Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Slovak gold rush at Paralympic games

GOLD diggers is the nickname the Slovak media gave to visually impaired Paralympic alpine skiers Jakub Krako and Henrieta Farkašová after they returned from the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, each with three gold and one silver medal. Their early results – two gold and one bronze medal – at the 2014 Winter Paralympics games in Sochi, Russia, should cement their reputation.

Paralympic alpine skier Henrieta Farkašová’s ride with her guide, Natália Šubrtová.(Source: SITA)

Slovakia sent 21 Paralympic athletes to compete in the March 7-16 games. Eight are competing in alpine skiing, six are visually impaired and need a guide; one athlete is competing in cross country skiing and biathlon; five are taking part in wheelchair curling and one athlete is competing in snowboarding, which debuted at this year’s games, the TASR newswire reported.

In the first five days, Slovakia picked up five medals, while Farkašová, together with her guide Natália Šubrtová, were the most successful, as they won first place in slalom and third in downhill. Krako, with his guide Martin Motyka, took gold in the men’s Super-G; Miroslav Haraus, with his guide Maroš Hudík, received silver in downhill, and Petra Smaržová won bronze in the slalom.

Farkašová won her fourth gold despite stressful conditions, since she started first in order of athletes, and just before her race began, her guide discovered problems with her ski binding, which had to be replaced, the daily Sme reported.

“I was not happy about being first in order; I did not want to open the whole competition, but luckily I have enough experience.” Farkašová said, as quoted by Sme. “I tried to get all the secondary thoughts out of my head.”

Still, the main idea of the games is not to be happy about winning a medal, but about the effort made in reaching it, Ján Riapoš, the head of Slovak Paralympics Committee, told Sme.

“The Paralympics symbolise the borderless power of human will,” Riapoš said. “Many people give up even when facing a small obstacle. In our sport, we try to push the limits of human abilities, even as we are physically impaired.”

The mere fact that 24 athletes are in the game is a success for Slovakia, according to Riapoš. By comparison, Austria, which is among the leading countries in winter sports, sent just 13 athletes to Sochi, he said.

Hopefully, the success of the Paralympic athletes will heal the wounds of Slovak fans who were disappointed by the results of the athletes from the Olympic games, who brought home just one gold medal, Riapoš said, according to Sme.

Top stories

State insulation falls behind expectations, ministry widens support

Only 134 homeowners in the first round and 62 in the second applied for a subsidy via the insulation programme.

Only 134 homeowners in the first round and 62 in the second applied for a subsidy via the state insulation programme. Illustration stock photo

US philosopher with Slovak roots, Michael Novak, dies

The man who advised politicians and even presidents Gerald Ford and James Carter died on February 17, aged 83.

Michael Novak

Fee has a negative impact

Practice shows that municipalities will require investors to pay the fee for development from their own budgets and at the same time to also cover the so-called induced investments.

Some municipalities want to re-think the fee.

Discovery made hard mining work more efficient

Gunpowder was used to blow up the rock for the first time in the Upper Bieber adit for the first time 390 years ago.