Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Nasťa

THERE are only two sports in which Slovakia has ever won an Olympic gold medal - canoeing and the biathlon. And both of the two victories from the winter games belong to Nasťa Kuzmina. This statistic illustrates several points.

THERE are only two sports in which Slovakia has ever won an Olympic gold medal - canoeing and the biathlon. And both of the two victories from the winter games belong to Nasťa Kuzmina. This statistic illustrates several points.

Firstly, small countries have it rough. The games in Sochi started just a week ago, and at the time of writing, Germany already had 10 medals. After 20 years, Slovakia has five. And it’s not like the country is in the middle of Africa and we only get to see ice and snow in the movies. No, the climate is exactly the same as in Germany.

As a result, the nation has developed an appreciation for small, awkward sports. Sure, there are the star tennis and hockey players. And sure, football is the most popular sport. But this is one of the few places on earth where a skeet shooter or kayaker can hope to reach celebrity status.

And lastly, the medal count explains why Kuzmina’s origin is such an intriguing and hotly debated issue. When three out of five winter Olympic medals are won by a woman who was born in Russia and only received citizenship at 24, questions about national identity and immigration policy naturally come up. Given that Slovakia is not known for its openness, the widespread enthusiasm for Nasťa’s success proves that sometimes sports are really about more than just medals.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Kuciak did not even have a computer as a child and he grew up to be an analyst

A village boy who angered Marian Kocner. A profile of Ján Kuciak, who recently received the White Crow award in memoriam.

Ján Kuciak

UPDATED: Lajčák considers resignation if the migration compact is rejected

The foreign affairs minister also admitted to some disputes with PM Robert Fico.

Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák

How to cope with waste

Slovakia lags behind in recycling and reducing waste, but examples of other countries, particularly the Netherlands, are helping Slovakia implement strategies to reduce waste.

Roughly 67 percent of communal waste ended up at landfills in Slovakia, while only 23 percent was recycled.

Europe might not be just an innocent victim

While real estate bubbles in the US, Greece and Spain were partial causes of global crisis, irresponsible lending was also rife in places you hear little about.