THE ICE-HOCKEY world championships in Finland look set to become the most-watched sports event of the year in Slovakia, with millions of Slovak fans hoping to see their national team battle for gold again after the country's exhilarating victory last year in Sweden.
Ordinary Slovaks and local celebrities are keeping their fingers crossed for the country's ice-hockey stars, including NHL players like Miroslav Šatan of the Buffalo Sabres, Peter Bondra of the Washington Capitals, Robert Švehla of the Toronto Maple Leaves, Žigmund Pálffy of the LA Kings, and Jozef Stümpel of the Boston Bruins.
People from all walks of life are convinced that the Slovak team, which last year beat Russia in the finals, are fit for another gold.
"I am firmly convinced that our team will successfully defend the title," actor Stanislav Dančiak told the Slovak daily Nový čas.
Deputy speaker of parliament Béla Bugár added: "I believe that it will work out and the dream will come true again. I am a big fan."
Although many agree that defending the title will be a hard task for the national team, estimates at their final ranking remained ambitious, with the most pessimistic observers hoping the team will bring home bronze.
Erik Lukáš, a student from Košice, said: "I am not sure [that the team will win gold], but I believe they will definitely be among the top three."
Documentary on long-legged supermodel
FANS of the Wonderbra supermodel born in Slovakia Adriana Sklena€íková will soon be able to see a documentary about the beauty, who is most recently appearing in first-aid educational ads in France.
Czech director Miloslav Šmídmajer came up with the idea to make the documentary about Sklena€íková, the wife of Panathineikos Athens football star Christian Karembeau, after the Prague-based agency Czechmodels asked him if he would be interested in filming the life stories of any of its models.
"I explained to Adriana's agent in Slovakia what my plan was and the answer came three weeks later - Adriana agreed with everything," Šmídmajer told the Slovak weekly Moment.
Šmídmajer admitted that before the filming he was expecting the supermodel to have diva-like manners, but he was pleasantly surprised with Sklena€íková's friendly behaviour.
"I thought she was going to be a conceited and capricious blonde girl. I was wrong. Since the very beginning Adriana has been very friendly," Šmídmajer said.
The documentary will take the viewers through major events of Sklena€íková's life that led this 1971-born blonde beauty to the top catwalks of the world.
The filmmaker still has to shoot in Slovakia, and in the Czech capital Prague where Sklena€íková studied at university.
Tractor collector dreams of opening a museum
DUŠAN Pražienka, 73, who over several decades has collected more than 90 historical tractors, various other pieces of agricultural machinery, and cars recently received Sk1.3 million (€32,000) to put his precious but corroding fleet under a roof.
Pražienka's collection includes a 1942 Lanz Buldog made by a well-known German tractor maker, as well as dozens of other agricultural machines, largely from the first half of the 20th century.
Last year, after increasing rust bit into his collection, Pražienka decided to introduce himself to then agriculture minister Pavol Koncoš, who promised a ministry grant to house his machines.
"I told [the minister] about my collection and he was excited," Pražienka told the Slovak weekly Plus 7 dní.
After Pražienka sent an investment proposal to the ministry, bureaucrats okayed his grant, and in August 2002 he was sent the money.
Pražienka said he was still organising permits and land-ownership rights to get the tractor park up and running. His dreams, however, do not stop there.
"My goal is to turn it into a museum one day," Pražienka said.
Biggest pan in country?
THE BRATISLAVA-based restaurant Crepa in the city centre has decorated its interior with what might be the country's biggest frying pan, 1.5 metres wide and weighing 65 kilograms.
Crepa's co-owner Mária Martanová told the Slovak daily Nový čas that the pan, made by artisan Tomáš Achsa, took three months to create.
The pan is 3.2 metres long and it took five men to hang it from the ceiling.
THE NEW Miss Slovakia, 19-year-old Adriana Pospíšilová.
Miss Slovakia 2003
ADRIANA Pospíšilová, 19, from Bratislava was voted Miss Slovakia 2003.
The high-school student said she loves animals and that she has a cat and dog at home. Another animal, a lizard, is tattooed on her right ankle. Pospíšilová said that during the contest she covered the tattoo with lots of make up and powder.
Pospíšilová said she wants to study medicine next year. Her prizes from the contest include a BMW, an exotic holiday, and a Sk1 million (€24,400) modelling contract.
5. May 2003 at 0:00