Sport in Slovenia
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Slovenia. Although athletes from this region have been involved in international sport previously, they did not compete under their own name until the break up of Yugoslavia in 1991, as was also Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro.
Slovenia is in what is considered as the crossroads of European culture and trade mainly because of its location. Despite its mostly mountainous geography, Slovenia is considered as a center for many sports in the region because of the number of notable athletes that hails from this country.
There are a good number of sports that are played in Slovenia at the professional level. Pre-World War II, Slovenia was considered as a powerhouse when it came to fencing, and also gymnastics with world champions like Miroslav Cerar and Leon Štukelj.
Slovenia loves a good number of sports that includes athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, ice hockey, tennis, skiing, and swimming. But by far, the most popular sport is football.
The Slovenian national football team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2002 as well as 2010. Their 2010 qualifying game also was quite notable because they came into the match as the underdog to the heavily favored Russian team. The Slovenian national team also qualified in the UEFA European Football Championship in 2000. Early football greats that came from this part of the world include names like Danilo Popivoda, Brane Oblak, Džoni Novak, Srečko Katanec, and Zlatko Zahovič. The more recent football superstar roster includes Robert Koren, Samir Handanović, Josip Iličić, Milivoje Novaković, Tim Matavž, Valter Birsa, and Jan Oblak.
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Popular sports of Slovenia
- Football (Soccer), athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, ice hockey, tennis, skiing, fencing, volleyball, rowing, gymnastics and swimming
Slovenia Sporting Success
- Slovenia qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2002. They also qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- In 2020, Tadej Pogačar became the first Slovenian winner of the Tour de France. Another Slovenian, Primož Roglič, came second.
Athletes from Slovenia
- Miroslav Cerar (gymnastics) - won the pommel horse event at the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics.
- Tina Maze (alpine skiing) - won two gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics
- Leon Štukelj (gymnastics)
- Rok Petrovič (alpine skiing)
- Petra Majdič (Cross-country skiing)
- Srečko Katanec (Football)
- Anže Kopitar (ice hockey)
- Tadej Pogačar (dual winner of the Tour de France)
Slovenia Sports trivia
- Slovenian extreme athlete Davo Karničar is the only person to ski down Mount Everest.
- The Slovenian sports colours are green, blue and white
Slovenia at major events
Past sporting events hosted in Slovenia
- 2013 EuroBasket 2013
Upcoming sporting events in Slovenia
- 2022 International Volleyball Federation Men's World Championship (co-hosted with Poland)
Annual sporting events held in Slovenia
- Ljubljana Marathon - held on the last weekend in October.
- International Rowing Regatta - every year Lake Bled hosts a rowing regatta
Sporting Facilities in Slovenia
- Stožice Stadium - a multi-purpose stadium located in Ljubljana.