But where do these Slovenians come from, what is their secret?
The fantastic duel between
on the Tour has put a small country in orbit that surprises by the impact of an extraordinary generation of athletes.
The new dominant cycling couple share the limelight with other compatriots who have gone beyond the local sphere to become planetary idols.
breaks records in the NBA, the basketball team is noted in Europe (champion in 2017),
fighting for the scepter of the best goalkeeper in the world ... In Ljubljana they claim to be the capital of the country with the most Olympic medals per inhabitant.
Slovenia, with a population of two million people and an extension similar to the Valencian Community, has
and that its participation in the Games is recent, since 1992, since before it was under the flag of Yugoslavia.
Nothing is accidental, nor is it the result of a spontaneous generation, but rather a consequence of an
carried out from the base, from the school itself, say the heads of the country's Ministry of Sports.
"In Slovenia we invest a lot in sports for children and young people, we have a good network of public sports facilities and we have improved the professional work area in sports," they justify from the political field.
“Sport is a good of common interest and the State systematically guarantees the conditions for its development.
We work for the entire population, regardless of the social and economic situation of the citizen.
Sport acquires great importance in the educational system ”, they state, while they are proud of the repercussion obtained during the last three weeks in the Tour de France.
Before, the Slovenians vibrated with the volleyball teams, twice European runners-up, handball and ice hockey, with
, double Olympic ski champion, and
, cross-country skier, bronze in the 2010 Games.
Planning from the offices is important, but also the individual talent of the athletes (Pogacar and Doncic) and the idiosyncrasy of a country that treasures the competitive spirit of Yugoslavia, the Croatian impudence, the
and the Austrian discipline.
A good scouting job is also essential.
The class is there and you just have to know how to channel it, as
Josean Fernández Matxin did
The Spanish coach discovered the boy in a youth race and has not separated from him since.
For the technician, virtue is born of necessity, because Slovenia is a small country and the kids have to wake up soon: «Slovenia lacks important races and its cyclists have to emigrate to Italy or
Austria to compete
Tadej is smart, brave and a fast learner.
Since he was little he has been away from home and that has made him mature early, so he is ahead ».
Matxin's arguments for sacrifice, dedication and precocity are similar to those provided by
, goalkeeping coach for Olimpia Ljubljana, a team in which Oblak made his debut at just 16 years old: “Jan is not afraid.
He's really a workaholic. '
The coach of the team,
, added in the professional beginnings of the goalkeeper: “I was surprised by his maturity.
Even though he was extremely young when he played for Olimpia's first team, he was always eager to listen and follow the instructions we gave him.
Maturity and precocity
Maturity and precocity
like those that distinguish Doncic, which has constantly amazed him since his arrival in Madrid.
At the age of 16, he became the youngest Real Madrid player to make his debut in the ACB.
The first ball he touched turned it into a triple.
A phenomenon that already falls in love with the NBA.
The Slovenian journalist
explained after the conclusion of the last Tour of Spain that the secret is not in any strange potion, but in an enormous facility to learn and assimilate concepts.
“Pogacar has already seen what he has been able to do in just a couple of years, but Roglic also reached the elite quickly, after leaving skiing;
in just six years he has fought with the best.
He is ambitious and says he never repeats mistakes.
He gave up ski jumping because he realized that he would never be a world champion.
A matter of priorities
, and for Slovenia, sport comes first.
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