It's necessary to get Adobe Flash Player to see this page correctly.
Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Innsbruck 2012 Athlete Role Model: Petra Majdic (SLO)
FIS is pleased to announce the FIS Athlete Role Model (ARM) Petra Majdic who will be the ARM for Cross-Country Skiing at the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games at Innsbruck from 13th-22nd January 2012.
The involvement of the Athlete Role Models to mentor the young athletes attending the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at their first edition in Singapore 2010 was one of the most appreciated features of this new Olympic event. The recently retired athlete, Petra Majdic, has agreed to serve as the Athlete Role Models for the FIS Cross-Country discipline in Innsbruck 2012. Petra Majdic participated in her first Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. One of her most extraordinary performances was, however, in Vancouver in 2010, where she fought back after a bad fall, claiming a bronze medal with five broken ribs. The popular Slovenian won a bronze medal in her last FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo 2011, and has over 30 FIS World Cup podiums to her name.
Petra Majdic retired after the 2010/11 season, leaving an impressive skiing career behind. Although you would think being a retired athlete leaves you with time to focus on other things, Majdic is already busy working on several projects. One of them lies very close to her Slovenian heart, as she is the Ambassador for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Candidature, Planica 2017. "To give something back to my home country, and to help Planica is very important to me. Hopefully, by using a well-known person, it will help them being awarded with the Championships" Majdic explains.
The positive attitude and openness Majdic shares while talking about her projects is impressive. "I have had a fantastic career, and it feels great to step down at the right time. I can really say that I have fulfilled my dreams, which is important to me. I did not want to continue racing and be positioned 50th, I rather want people to remember me as a good athlete. When you reach the age I have, other things in life become more important. I was somewhat concerned about my lifestyle, and wondered whether it would still be possible to be successful in another job besides being an athlete? I have had great success as a Cross-Country skier, and now I want to share my knowledge with others".
Majdic wants to finish her study in sociology and marketing, which will come in handy working on her many projects. Besides being an ARM for YOG and an Ambassador for Planica, she is also helping with the distribution of One-Way's products, works in the Army, helps the Slovenian Ski Association find sponsors, as well as working with youngsters, juniors and seniors in Cross-Country Skiing in Slovenia.
Majdic is concerned about the young athletes taking part in the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and will do her best to share her unique knowledge with them during the Games. "I want to share my life story. They are all so young, and at this time, there are really no larger problems in their lives. For me, communication is the most important part of my role. I can talk with them, and we can deal with problems or difficulties as they arise". Being known for her talkative attitude, and not to mention her own special way of celebrating victories or podium spots, Majdic is very clear about how the athletes should behave if they are proud of their performance: "Don't be afraid to celebrate, show your emotions even if it is crying or smiling". Majdic remembers observing other athletes having won or making top 3. There was no smiling or showing other emotions. Something she felt was completely wrong. "No one can help you if you don't show them what's wrong" she says.
Starting her Cross-Country career in a country where Cross-Country Skiing hardly was recognized, Majdic knows that it takes a lot of hard work to become one of the best skiers in the world. When asking how she felt before her first Olympic Winter Games she gets a bit emotional but keeps on smiling. "I was in a competition group where no one believed they could become better than 30th in the World Cup. I had bigger dreams. I trained more, and even though the Federation didn't believe in Cross-Country Skiing as a discipline, one important person did believe in me: my coach". Starting in the Olympic Winter Games with the wrong equipment, no waxing team, older athletes not welcoming her, and her coach located in Slovenia, Majdic managed to get a 5th place in the pursuit. "I was younger than the other athletes but still more successful, which did not make my life any easier. One thing never changed though; I never stopped believing in myself and that if you are fair to other it will come back to you one day".
Talking about expectations, Majdic is quite clear of what our future top athletes should focus on and not, and is happy to hear that the ARMs will have the chance to interact with the athletes on different levels and through new channels. "One thing you can never control, is managing the expectations from various parties. Media and sponsors will be ready to attack you with questions and obligations, and I will do my best to share my knowledge on this topic. Some times its better to not focus too much on the Olympics or what kind of competition it is".
One of the main parts of the Cultural and Education Program (CEP) in Innsbruck is sharing knowledge with other athletes across disciplines and nations. Majdic herself has several great friends from non-typical Cross-Country nations such as Mongolia and Brazil. "I love talking to other athletes who are working really hard to fulfill their dreams. I find it much more interesting discussing with athletes who have gone a long way to get where they are today, and my respect for them is tremendous. I guess having fought hard myself I can relate to their feelings which makes our friendship even stronger".
It is less than 100 days to go to Innsbruck 2012, what do you look most forward to? "I cannot wait to meet the young, ambitious athletes. Clean & clear in their minds, honest, positive, no faking, no cheating, just being 100% themselves". Being real is important to Petra, who never has tried to hide who she is. Describing what she thinks people would remember her as in 3 words, she says: "crazy, too much talking- loud while smiling and always honest".
When asking what kind of advice Petra would like to give the young athletes, she quickly replies: "Find something you like and continue it. Cross-Country Skiing was always a hobby of mine, not a profession. I think that when it gets too serious, the fun of practicing your sport is lost. You should never feel that you are an athlete performing on behalf of someone else, it is YOUR sport because you like it".
Petra Majdic will be following the Cross-Country Skiing competitions in Innsbruck starting Tuesday 17th January.
Contributed by Sofie Torlei Olsen