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Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ivica Kostelić Does It Again, Winning Combined Event In Kitzbühel.



Lately this blog has been looking like a blog devoted to Croatian skier Ivica Kostelić or highjumper Blanka Vlasić, or at least a sports oriented blog. This is not what I had plannned at the beginning. But I'm not complaining. A success is a success. Actually, if I posted every interesting Croatian sports item, I'd have to quit my job and do this full-time.

After being out of action for a month because of his 6th knee operation, missing some events, and then coming back winning shows what this guy is made of.  (Probably all thanks to baka's domaći štrukli.)  Ivica finished 7th in the slalom, picking up valuable points at legendary Kitzbühel,, which has been the most difficult course for him and many others. That was his best finish there to date. (As well as for compatriot Natko Zrnčić-Dim who finished 10th. Not too bad at all.)

Ivica and Natko celebrating after the results at Kitzbühel. (Foto: AFP)

Today however, Ivica outdid himself and took 1st place on the podium in the Combination event. He's been on the podium here previously the past 2 years, so this one was a long time coming. Again, Natko also skied a fantastic race and almost reached the podium, finishing 5th. These guys seem to be peaking, and the timing couldn't be better, just in time for the Winter Olympics in February. If Ivica stays injury free from now on, and skis the way  he always has, and is capable of, 2010 should be a great year for Croatian skiing. And even if it isn't, it's cool just too see the smile on his and the fan's faces at the finish line.

The Majstor (Professor) at his best. Foto: PIXELL

These points from the races pushed Ivica from 7th to 5th in the overall Ski World Cup Standings and he now has taken over 3rd in the Slalom as well as the Combined. It would be a fairy tale story for him to take Gold at the Olympics, in any of the disciplines, with his sister Janica rooting him on, which she always does. Now that would be a super storybook ending. (or beginning?)

Also, if you are an avid ski fan, video game player,or just excited about the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, you can download for free "Ski Challenge 2010" from Croatian news portals 24 Sata and Vecernji List. I tried it out and it's pretty fun. Watch out for those tricky turns.

JOJ! Ivica and Natko at Kitzbühel. Shouldn't they be wearing a cape or something?

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