Rifleman Jozef Gönci from Košice is one of Slovakia's best hopes for a gold medal at the Atlanta Summer Olympics.
There is nothing quite like it, sport at its most human level, the Olympics. The entire world will be focused on Atlanta for two weeks, cheering, hoping and gasping at the athletic feats accomplished in 1996.
There are a sea of stories. For Slovakia it is a chance to compete in the summer games as its own nation for the first time in its history. Seventy athletes will participate from Slovakia aiming for a gold, but more importantly for the chance to compete.
The Slovak Olympic Committee has promised a million crowns for any athlete that brings home a gold medal. Pressure? "It's hard to say," said canoeist Michal Martikán. "I think about it every day," said rifleman Jozef Gönci.
The athletes must know that five million Slovaks will be tuning in to 250 hours of broadcasting on STV 1, the station's largest production ever, to be with their countrymen and women every step of the way. The Olympics show us what is good in sport; what is real. Inside, on pages 6 and 7, the stories of four of tomorrow's possible heroes are brought to life.
3. Jul 1996 at 0:00 | Daniel J. Stoll