5 things you should know about Andrej Jerman...
By Michael Mastarciyan
One of the first things you should know about Andrej Jerman is that outside of his Mom, Dad and other immediate family members – no one calls him Andrej – to friends and fans alike, the 32-year-old Slovenian speed specialist is known simply as “Jerry.”
A solid performer in speed events on the World Cup tour for the past decade, Jerman has amassed twenty-seven career World Cup top-10s in downhill, Super-G, combined and super-combined - including two victories in downhill – one at Garmisch in 2007 (the first ever by a Slovenian racer) and one at Bormio in 2009.
You’d think that with a job as glamorous as that of a world class ski racer, and national hero status in his home country, Jerman would have some sort of international playboy kind of vibe about him. But nope – this is definitely not the case.
Friendly, approachable, humble and low-key in character and behavior, Jerman would likely be the last person you’d think was one of the best alpine racers in the world if you met him in an off-slope setting – and he’d definitely be the last person on the World Cup tour who’d play “the racer card” to impress anyone who didn’t know who he was at first sight. A military man by career when he’s not racing for his country, Jerman is statesmanlike in his demeanor off the course and is acutely aware of the goings on in the bigger world outside the one he inhabits during ski racing season – sit down for a meal or drink with him and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
But enough about Jerman’s credentials as an upstanding citizen and all-round good guy – the purpose of this article is not pitch his merits for a future in Slovenian politics - although it’s hard to believe he’s not already on the radar of political strategists and scouts in his homeland. The goal of this piece is to find out more about Jerman “the regular guy.”
Here then, are a few bits and bites about the guy everyone loves to call Jerry….
1. Jerry loves to vacation off the beaten path and his favourite vacation spot so far has been Iran!
“My travel tastes are more for exotic locations, especially in the East and Africa. My best holiday so far was a trip to Iran when my wife Simona and I were still dating in July 2007. We went to Tehran and stayed there for a couple of days and then went up north to the area near the Caspian Sea and the mountains. Simona had read a book about the Castle of Alamut and it peaked both of our interests so we wanted to go there. We visited all the big tourist spots - Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz and we loved it. The history of old Persia is one of a kind and huge, but the most interesting thing for us was the people. They were so friendly, it was the complete opposite of what you hear from politicians in the United States when you see them on the news. The most surprising thing was the price of gas which was ridiculously cheap, I think one litre of gas was less then 10 cents (in terms of dollars). The other thing I found out was that they have some really good ski areas there. Hopefully one day I can ski there.”
“Another place I really like to visit is Africa. Simona and I also went to Uganda in 2008. She worked there as a volunteer for three months in 2005 for a charity group called Edirisa. She wanted to show me where she had worked so we went and it was great. We visited places like Lake Bunyonyi where we went for a 3-day-trekking trip and we also visited with the local Bakiga people. There is much more to tell about that trip, but let’s save it for another story some other time, haha!”
2. Jerry thinks his wife and Mom are great cooks - but he’s better - and he’s the top chef at home!
“I love good food. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s good because I’m a really picky eater. It’s not like I don’t like certain things like fish or something like that. It’s just that I want to have good food, I want to know what it is that I’m eating and what went in it. My wife and my Mom are great cooks, but my favourite cook is me and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m the top chef at my house! I love to cook when I have time and the reality is that my wife and I are both really busy during the week so it’s hard to cook big complicated meals when we’re working. But on the weekend we have more time and we love to cook and experiment with recipes we find in our cookbooks.
3. Jerry is a huge Manchester United fan!
“I’m a huge Man U fan! It’s always been my dream to go to Manchester to see Man U play at home against Chelsea or Liverpool but it’s more or less just a dream because getting tickets would be harder than winning the lottery and even if you could get them I’m sure they would be really, really expensive. I’ve been a Man U fan as long as I can remember and I have to say that I was really disappointed when they lost to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Final last month. I was watching at home with my wife Simona, but she’s more of a Barcelona fan and she was teasing me the whole time. I wasn’t throwing things at the television or anything, I was pretty calm but really, really disappointed.”
4. Jerry loves to rollerblade and play inline hockey - but his puck-handling skills still need a little work!
“I really enjoy playing inline hockey on rollerblades. I like hockey as a game but not as much as people in Canada, I mean I don’t watch it every night. I like inline hockey as a game because in the winter I don’t have much time to play ice hockey, so I play inline in the summer as part of my dry-land training program. I get together with about 14 guys and we play about once a week at a place near my home for about two-and-a-half hours. My puck handling is not at a very high level, I think I’m more of what you would call a “grinder” because I like to dig and fight for the puck as much as possible. It’s no-contact hockey so no body checks or that kind of stuff, well okay maybe sometimes there’s a little bit of contact when the puck is on the boards and you try to squeeze somebody and try to get away with it (he laughs!).”
5. Jerry is a cinephile and is a huge fan of The Godfather!
“I am definitely a big cinephile. My wife and I both love to relax by going to the movies. I really like Clint Eastwood movies but if I think if I had to pick my number one favourite movie it would be The Godfather, it’s such an amazing film and The Godfather II was fantastic also. The last movie we saw was Casino Jack and we really liked it. I’m not a big eater when I go to the movies maybe I get a drink or something. I remember one time when I was eating though. I was having nachos and there were some girls sitting behind us being very loud, talking and making a lot of noise and the guy next to me was getting really angry and upset about the noise and then all of a sudden he erupted and started to yell ‘shut up’ at the girls who were making the noise. I remember this because I remember just sinking into my seat chewing on my nachos, but trying to chew quietly because the guy was so nervous next to me, haha!”