STA, 18 January 2020 - Grega Lačen, one of Slovenia's top mountain climbers, was killed after falling from a great height while descending one of the peaks in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia on Friday afternoon. The police have ruled out any foul play.
The 43-year-old died falling down a high-steep rock face near the Mlinar Saddle despite being well-equipped and familiar with the area. A local rescue team has already recovered the body.
Lačen was part of Slovenia's many successful climbing expeditions, reported the newspaper Večer. He summited numerous peaks, including Mount Everest, having skied down the world's highest mountain.
He also led an expedition to the Karakoram mountain range, which spans the borders of Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
In the wake of several tragic climbing accidents in January, the police have urged climbers to exercise extra caution, particularly when descending steep snow slopes.
STA, 18 January 2020 - The Italians dominated the men's World Cup parallel giant slalom in Slovenia's ski resort Rogla on Saturday, whereas the Czech Republic took the top place in the women's race.
Italy's Edwin Corrati beat his countryman Roland Fischnaller to defend last year's win in Rogla. Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic won the women's race, beating Germany's Ramona Theresia Hofmeister.
Third places went to Russian snowboarders in both categories, Natalija Soboleva and Vic Wild.
Slovenian snowboarders left empty-handed, with Tim Mastnak the only one to have made it into the final rounds.
Mastnak, who placed eighth in the qualifying stage, was beaten by Poland's Oskar Kwiatkowski in the round of 16.
Slovenia's best women's snowboarder was Gloria Kotnik, who ranked 31st in the qualifiers.
Saturday, 18 January 2020 the Jasa Ski Resort on Rogla is hosting FIS World Cup in Parallel Giant Snowboarding, with 160 competitors from 24 countries registered.
The event is free to enter, spectators should gather on the platform in front of the Zreče Thermal Spa - see the map at the bottom - and the programme follows after a video from last year's event
9.00-11.00: Match qualifications
11.00-11.30: DJ party
11.30-11.45: Laško drumming group
11.45-12.00: DJ party
12.00-12.30: Polkaholiki – see below
12.30-12.45: Laško drumming group
12.45-13.00: DJ party
13.00-14.20: Finals and then trophy presentation
15:00-24:00 After party at Baru Uniorček with music from Zvita Feltna
A few more details, in Slovene, are here
Pokljuka is the largest closed forest area in Triglav National Park and one of the best known Slovenian plateaus, mostly due to the biathlon World Cup competitions it has hosted for decades. For those that are unfamiliar with the sport, biathlon is cross country skiing combined with shooting.
The World Cup biathlon races begin next Thursday, 23 January 2020, and for anyone looking for a good excuse for a trip into nature the forecasts say the weather will be sunny, like it was for this race in 2015:
For further details on the schedule, please click here.
Tickets cost €20 for Thursday and Friday and €25 for Saturday and Sunday. For details on special offers, click here.
The organisers are asking visitors to leave their vehicles in Bled and continue their journey to Pokljuka with a shuttle bus service that’s free with a World Cup ticket. For further details on how to get there here please click here.
STA, 14 January 2020 - The Slovenian men's handball team made it to the main round of the European Championship featuring the best 12 teams at the tournament after winning all three matches in the preliminary round, including against the hosts Sweden.
Slovenia opened the tournament in Group F in Sweden's Gothenburg last Friday by beating Poland 26:23, and followed the win up with a tough 21:19 victory against the Swedes on Sunday.
The cherry on the top was today's win against Switzerland, with Slovenia easily cruising past the Swiss for a 29:25 win and a perfect 3:0 score at the tournament under the new head coach Ljubomir Vranješ.
Vranješ said that the liked that the players "showed character", including the younger and lesser used players, which showed that "we have breadth in the team" and was important mentally and when it came to the playing form.
In the main round, Slovenia will play in Group II in Malmö and start the four-game phase on Friday and finish it on 22 January. The top two teams from each of the main round groups will make it to the semi-finals in Stockholm.
"I always want to win, and the players do too, and of course we had thought we would advance," the coach said, adding that "we have done a fantastic job in Gothenburg and now we are going to Malmö."
At the tournament co-hosted by Austria and Norway, Slovenia are also looking to secure a berth at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo or a slot at one of the three Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Only the Euro winner will secure a berth at the 2020 Summer Olympics. If the winner is Denmark, who have already won a ticket for Tokyo by winning the latest world championship, the runner-up will also secure an Olympic berth.
Another path to Tokyo is via three qualifying tournaments, hosted by France, Germany and Norway between 17 and 19 April, with two teams to qualify from each.
Sweden, Croatia and Spain have secured the appearance at the tournaments, and another two slots are open for European teams. Slovenia could secure a slot depending on their result at the championship.
STA, 14 January 2020 - Slovenian tennis player Dalila Jakupović started the Australian Open qualifying tournament on Tuesday, but conceded after leading the match 6-4, 5-6 due to uncontrollable coughing and breathing difficulties, likely caused by smoke and air pollution from the continent's fires.
It is yet unclear whether her coughing fit was directly linked to fires wreaking havoc with the air quality, but many tennis players and coaches urged the organisers to postpone the matches.
After her retirement from the match with Switzerland's Stefanie Vögele, Jakupović told the press she was indeed having problems due to the polluted air.
"I think it's not fair to us, the players, besides, it's definitely not healthy," the 28-year-old said, adding she was shocked upon finding out the qualifying matches would go on today.
She highlighted that the organisers still had plenty of time until the tournament's start. "It was really bad. I've never experienced anything like it and I was quite scared. I was afraid of losing consciousness and falling down. That's why I dropped to my knees. I couldn't walk anymore," said Jakupović, who persisted playing for almost two hours.
Similar problems occurred during a match between Slovenian tennis player Blaž Kavčič and Brit Joy Clark. Kavčič won the match 7-6, 3-6, 6-2, but one of the ball kids fainted during the face-off.
Both players immediately stooped playing and came to the kid's help, report the Australian media, with the medical assistance being provided.
The first Grand Slam of the season takes place in Melbourne where air pollution has dropped to hazardous levels, the worst-rated in the world, with smoke from the fires lingering over the city. The authorities have warned the locals to take health precautions, stay at home and shut the doors and windows.
However, the organisers have assured the public they are constantly checking the improving levels and that umpires have the power to stop the matches to protect the participants' health.
"Not the best air quality this morning in #Melbourne," twitted today Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams's coach, adding a photo of Melbourne blanketed in smoke haze.
STA, 11 January 2020 - Skier Žan Kranjec won the giant slalom FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing race in Adelboden, Switzerland, on Saturday. Four giant slaloms into the season, he has taken the lead in the giant slalom rankings. Croatian Filip Zubčić was second and French Victor Muffat-Jeandet took third place.
He was sixth after the first run and made it to the top following a mistake by Italian Luca di Aliprandini, who was in the lead after the first run.
This was Kranjec's first victory of the season, during which he has not placed lower than place four.
"This win means a lot to me," Kranjec said after the race. "I've always dreamt of winning a world cup race and then I finally made it last season," he said, referring to his first world cup victory.
"I've also dreamt of winning in Adelboden, for me one of the most demanding pistes, and now I've achieved this as well," Kranjec said.
"Right now I'm probably in the best shape of my career. The race today was hard but I know that anything is possible in the second run."
It seems however that Kranjec's victory was a surprise for the organising team, as they did not have a Slovenian flag ready for the award ceremony and had to borrow it from one of the spectators.
STA, 11 January 2020 - Cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič took second place in the sprint event of FIS Cross-Country event in Dresden, Germany, on Saturday. She has thus taken the lead in the cross country sprint rankings.
After clocking the fastest time in her group in qualifications, she was the fastest in her group in the quarter finals and second in her group in the semi-finals.
In the final run, Lampič finished 0.21 seconds slower than the winner, Swede Linn Svahn. Swede Maja Dahlqvist took third place, lagging only 0.5 seconds behind Lampič.
"I think Dresden is growing on me. There's a bit of a bitter aftertaste because I feel that I could have won today. But it is what it is and we'll keep on fighting tomorrow," she said, referring to the sprint relay scheduled for tomorrow.
"Today I was blocked in the home stretch and I couldn't take advantage of my speed. I couldn't make it to the front and had to wait for the piste to widen. I attacked by I didn't manage to win.
"Tomorrow Katja and I will do our best, improve our handoff and hope for a podium," Lamšič said, referring to her teammate Katja Višnar.
The first results of fan voting for the NBA All-star game later this year have revealed Dončić at the top, ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo and James LeBron.
Fan votes account for only half of the votes for the star players of the East and West conferences. The other half is divided between players and the press. Seven reserve players are chosen by the head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players. Out of the pool of 24 players two teams are put together by the leading vote getters of the respective conference, the team captains. Last year, these were LeBron and Antetokounmpo.
The voting will conclude on January 20, 2020 and the NBA All-star game will take place on February 16, 2020.
STA, 4 January 2019 - Slovenian cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič dominated the World Cup freestyle sprint event in Val di Fiemme, Italy, on Saturday in what was her third World Cup win.
The second place went to Norwegian Astrid Jacobsen and third to Jessica Diggins from the US.
"I'm very happy ... This was really an excellent day for me. My plan was to stay in the back and attack on the last hill," Lampič told the press after the race.
The Val di Fiemme sprint was the penultimate of the Tour de Ski series, the highlight of the World Cup season, which ends on Sunday.
Lampič is now in the lead in the series' sprint events with 75 points, and has climbed from the tenth to seventh place overall.
She rejoiced at her first World Cup victory in February 2017 and her second in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, last Sunday.
STA, 2 January 2019 - The Ljubljana city is aiming to increase the share of the population who take regular exercise to 75% by 2028 by offering a wide selection of subsidised sports activities for all groups of residents.
The city authorities say they will allocate about EUR 897,000 annually over the next three years to involve socially excluded, overfed and physically unfit children in sports as a leisure activity.
Children will be offered a choice of sport activities at their schools free of charge, along with several programmes of activities throughout the year.
Those include skating and cross-country running for kindergarten children, sport as play for children from first to sixth grade of primary school, and sports activities for older primary school children.
Children can learn various activities from cycling to playing golf, and the city also finances tournaments for primary school children.
While most of the activities are voluntary, all children in the first, third and six grades of primary school have to take mandatory swimming courses as part of the school curricula.
Sports associations are required to offer free training for socially deprived children.
The city would like to increase the share of residents who do sport at least twice a week to 75% by 2028, raising the share by 2% a year among adults and involving 10% more senior citizens in tutored exercise.
As part of the efforts the city is planning to hold 30 mass recreational events a year, and put in place standard equipment at outdoor fitness and street training areas and outdoor sports courts.
The city will allocate more than EUR 19 million for sports this year and almost EUR 25 million next year.