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18/01/2019 - 11:41
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Soelden (AUT), 22.10.2005.
Janica 2nd, Nika 15th!!!
Janica's great comeback
Janica Kostelic surprized herself today in Soelden in reaching her first podium of the season on the demanding Rettenbacher glacier. The triple Olympic champion came in 2nd behind Slovenia’s Tina Maze and ahead of last year’s winner Anja Paerson. In the first run, she clocked the 5th best time but the fastest on in the afternoon, half a second ahead of Maze who beat her by only 34/100 of a second. Last year, Janica was 8th in her first race after a 19-month-long break.

“To be second here is beyond my wildest dream, this is amazing,” she said with a big smile on her face. “I only skied 23 days since last summer and only 11 of them in giant slalom. It’s a very demanding hill, and I did well here each time I raced here. It has always be a special place for me here. In 1998, I scored my first ever World Cup point here and last year I achieved this wonderful comeback after that long break.”

“Because of my recent health problems, I didn’t train so much this fall, maybe 23 days including 11 in giant slalom, so I was not so sure about my form. In fact, as it turns out, it seems that I’m doing better in giant slalom when I train less. It’s very interesting.”

“I never reached a podium so early that’s why I was jumping up-and-down at the finish line. It’s also nice to beat Anja in her best event, it didn’t happen so often in the past. We are great rivals on the course, but we go along really well once the race is over. It’s great to have such great a rival, it makes everything more interesting.”

“Before the race, I asked Ivica to come here and to watch the race from the finish area. It’s great to have him around. My last thoughts at the start are for him, and I’m really elated by the idea to see him at the arrival. I’m sorry he can not compete here this weekend.”

“Today’s race was by far the most difficult ever here. It’s a very challenging slope and the course was really icy and wavy. You had to be as smooth as possible not to make mistakes. In the first run, I had some problems so I didn’t try too hard. In fact, I was thinking about this in my second run, because each time I really went for it in trying hard to win a GS, I crashed. So I didn’t want to go over my limits.”

“To win a World Cup giant slalom is definitely one of my big goals this season because I was often on the podium in that specialty but never at the top – except at the 2002 Olympics. But beside this, I don’t aim for any precise objective, I want to live day-by-day in trying to remain healthy and happy. It’s a long season and there are a lot of important races. I’m now looking forward for the next speed events in Canada. I like competing in Lake Louise, I often did well there.”

After ten more days of training in Hintertux, Janica will be going back home early November and for week break. The skier from Zagreb will train again in Colorado before flying over to Canada at the end of the month.
Two downhill races and a Super-G are scheduled in Lake Louise in the first weekend of December and then three more races in Aspen – a Super-G, a GS and a slalom. It would surprise me if she would not win one of those.

Patrick Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy - Hrvatski ski/board magazin

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