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subota, 15. veljače 2014.

Continuity & Consistency.....Ivica Kostelić Medals In 3 Straight Winter Olympics

 (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/Mrazpix)

I haven't posted anything this year regarding Ivica Kostelic, so now is as good a time as any. He's been skiing with recurring knee problems from the start as well as a thyroid problem just before the Olympics. However, another great result and podium finish. He hasn't won gold yet at the Olympics, but you when you put it all in perspective, (also remember, he's already a world champion in different ski disciplines), this is his third Winter Olympics in a row finishing on the podium, in total winning 4 silver medals. That's what you call consistency. Numerous other gold medal winners ended up not showing up on the podium ever again, so showing up on the podium again and again over a 12 year period (and knee operations into double digits too btw)...speaks volumes.

 Ivica got chosen to carry the flag at the Olympic opening ceremonies again, this time the bobsled team failed to qualify so the 2014 Croatian Olympic team is the smallest Croatian Olympic team sent to the Winter Olympics. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images Europe)

Skiing legend sister Janica, his father Ante and girlfriend also left Zagreb to join the team in Sochi. (As well as his guitar, see video at bottom) Photo: Goran Jakus/PIXSELL.

Because of the health problems and not being 100%, it wasn't looking very promising for any medal for Croatia at this Winter Olympics, since he was our best chance. His 4 medals plus the 6 medals of his sister Janica Kostelić also makes them the most successful and decorated Olympics family. (And considering Janica's 11 knee/thyroid operations and his ten operations, they are easily the most operated Olympic families too) This is one of the reasons his nickname in the Croatian press and by fans is "Doktore" (Doctor-eh), not because of all the doctors he's met and seen, or because he dates doctors, wanted to be a doctor as a kid or has a doctor fetish,  but because he can operate on the slopes, being one of the few skiers who can score points in all the disciplines.  Fellow national team skier Natko Zrnčić Dim also finished in the top 10, which is not too shabby either.

He will try for Kostelic medal No. 11 in tomorrows Super-G and in the slalom on Feb. 19th. He is the defending silver medalist, and it will most likely be his final time on skis at the Winter Olympics.

(I've done a few posts in the past about NHL hockey players of Croatian descent, and recently found out that Marc-Édouard Vlasic, who is on the Canadian Olympic hockey team at these Sochi Winter Olympics, can be added to that list now too. Your bonus piece of Croatianicity related info for the day)



KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Croatia's Ivica Kostelic won silver in the men's super combined Friday, the third consecutive Olympics in which he finished second in the event. Brand him the Buffalo Bills or the Alydar of skiing if you like, but Kostelic is having none of it.

He sat next to the gold medal winner, Switzerland's Sandro Viletta, at a post-race news conference and faced the question he knew was coming. Was he disappointed?

Photo: Reuters.

"Yup, this is the question that is often said to me," Kostelic said, acknowledging that everyone loves a winner. "The Americans, they say the second one is the first loser. But I say this is not completely true. … Silver medal, of course I would have liked to have gold today. I had a good chance. It's just there was this one guy who skied better" — and here he looked over at Viletta — "and one should not be unthankful for the silver."

Kostelic spoke slowly and deliberately, as if to hammer home his point.

"I could be anywhere, I could be in a hospital right now, too," he said. "I could be picking garbage in Calcutta, or dying of hunger in Africa. So anyone who complains about silver or bronze doesn't have the right to do so. Gold is the ultimate aim for us, and for me as well, but I am happy with silver."

Kostelić during the downhill portion. Photo: Reuters.

Kostelic specializes in silver in other ways too. At 34, he is the second-oldest Alpine skier to win an Olympic medal. And he is second-best in his family: His sister Janica won six Olympic medals, four gold, at the 2002 Salt Lake Games and 2006 Torino Games.

"The Olympics are something special to me and to my family," Kostelic said. "I would also like to point out one thing. This is the 10th Olympic medal in my family. Janica has six and now I have four, and I am especially proud of that fact."

 Photo: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters.

Kostelic had one more thing he wanted the world to know. He thinks Russia gets a bum rap.

"Since I am Slavic, I understand parts of Russian language and maybe this whole culture is a little closer to me," he said. "Maybe this sounds crazy, but Russia is a great nation. I know there is a lot of criticism over some stuff. But sometimes we shouldn't compare the western way of thinking and the Russian way of thinking.

  Natko Zrnčić-Dim also finished in the top 10. Photo: Reuters.

"Besides that, these Olympic Games are very good. We heard a lot about security is going to be very tough. But actually I hardly notice that it is tougher than Vancouver or Torino. The people are very friendly, and I think these Games so far have been good, a success."


1. Sandro Viletta (Švi) 2:45.20
3. Christof Innerhofer (Ita) +0.47
4. Kjetil Jansrud (Nor) +1.06
5. Adam Žampa (Svk) +1.14
6. Bode Miller (SAD) +1.40
7. Ondrej Bank (Češ) +1.64
8. Carlo Janka (Švi) +1.68
8. Aksel Lund Svindal (Nor) +1.68

The slalom portion of the men's super combined.

Some interesting behind the scenes footage.

A recently made Olympic Channel video about Janica Kostelic I came across.

Sidenote; the Serbian Winter Olympic team racked up yet another victory in the best rape and throat slitting song event, they lead the medal standings by far in that category and have dominated over the years, winning gold every Winter Olympics since 1996 . Big congrats.

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