SLOVAKIA has formally agreed to participate in the 30th Summer Olympic Games in London next summer and also decided on a folk-pattern design for the athletes’ attire, according to František Chmelár, the head of the Slovak Olympic Committee, who signed the Olympic application on October 24.
“We pledged to take part in the summer games and I firmly believe nothing will stop us from competing in London. And while we are there we also want to be successful. We want to represent Slovakia not just in the athletic competitions but through all our activities and presence there,” Chmelár told the SITA newswire.
The design that will be used for the apparel for all the athletes is based on a traditional folk pattern originating from the village of Čičmany in northern Slovakia.
“In the past there was no unifying element in the Slovak Olympic [clothing] collections – something that could make our country clearly discernible among all the other countries and what we as a nation could identify ourselves with,” said Miroslav Jankovič of the Alpine Pro company, which will supply the team’s apparel.
So far 55 athletes have qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games but if national sports teams also qualify that number will increase, Chmelár said, adding that the qualification process will continue until early July next year and that this will be Slovakia’s 10th participation in either summer or winter Olympic Games since it became an independent country.
Slovakia was most successful in the summer games in Beijing in 2008 with the Slovak athletes bringing home three gold medals, two silver, and one bronze.
“We have never been a small team but rather average-sized. And the design of our team T-shirts can help us to gain success and recognition in London,” Chmelár opined.
7. Nov 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská