Photo by Vid Ponikvar / Sportida


27 years ago you decided to surprise me and make my day (you were stubborn back then already).
Joy and happiness accompanying your birth were endless. I wanted and also got a girl. Certainly, it was Dora who was most happy and excited at that time. She hardly waited to be allowed to start carrying you around – sometimes you also fell down from her arms and I was breathing deeply. When you sensed the world around you, you would only laugh and never cry, sleep all nights long so that I had to check on you if you were still breathing. During the day there was no nap for you, we even had to pick you up from the kindergarten earlier than it would be normal. And Dora could never hide from you. You were doing everything just like her, you followed her like her shade everywhere she would go and harass her… and so was your skiing. At the age of 2.5 you put the skis on and just skied down the slope – I almost had a coronary. However, you made your decision and so it was.

Just like your sister Dora you also started skiing in our local ski club, where I used to be a coach assistant for the youngest categories and your film started rolling. You were skiing and playing on skis with such joy, skied everywhere, mostly through woods, looking for every bump you could spot, which launched you high in the air or just enabled you to jump. And always and everywhere you wanted to be the first, to win. It became a bit annoying. For this goal of yours you decided to do anything, even most foolish things…

You phone call from Chile, La Parva, on August 23, 2008 turned everything upside down. The phone rang, I checked the clock – ˝what?, eh, obviously you’re not skiing, bad weather or something,˝ it’s too soon to call me… but it struck me. I called you back, which was cheaper for you – at first there was no response, just silence and then crying. Suddenly it became all clear to me, ˝Mom, I fell…˝

Everybody knows how the story continued… However, your last season surprised us all, the whole world, probably the least it was a surprise for both of us as we were probably the only ones who knew, what we had been doing to establish the basis for it all, believed and actually had always known that you were capable of succeeding. Everything just had to fit in! On this journey we had a lot of good and capable people on our side. They helped us train with their knowledge and financially. For the 100th time: thank you all, we couldn’t make it without your help! But in order to reach the top we needed special people. Every single day… because to tackle all the ‘bigs’ we couldn’t have done it on our own. It was your own decision. You wanted to be the best whatever it would have taken to achieve it. You were aware of it and felt that you could do it. For that reason we looked for them – the best, most loyal colleagues in the world. Do you know them? There were a lot of doubts, polemics and comments about our wrong choice related to our team… until December 2, 2016, when everyone shut up.

The season 2016/17 started… turbulence of emotions and excellence of the racer, who kept setting new limits all over again. The sky became the limit. It was all happening so fast, that I wasn’t even aware of the intensity of all the feelings going through me, using all my energy available… I’m sorry for St. Moritz. You know, then I totally broke down before the ‘last’ race. It was all too tense. We went there to take three medals and it was only one left. Thank you, Dora, to sober me up, to ground me back and you were there – Ilka’s rescuer. And Ilka, the next day after all this ‘sh…’, you went to the start and won. That’s you, my kid. With one difference only, that you haven’t been a kid to me anymore as whatever this word means. I’m not proud of it, but we couldn’t do it the other way.

The season ended incredibly, with your fantastic win in Aspen. Two globes were yours – the third one slipped away, but not in Aspen, much earlier already!
It was like in dreams. What followed unfortunately made us step on solid ground again. Earlier you worked as it had been planned, lived and did your sport, you did your job. I hadn’t known that the price for it all would be so high. It became like a maze from which one can’t escape. Attention, media, sponsors… you manage to stay unnoticed only in your home backyard. You can’t work uninterrupted anymore. It’s great to be part of it due to your success, but it’s really tiring. I can’t hide you anymore, distance you from all the outer happening when necessary. We now know that success isn’t an oasis of happiness: there’s no stopping, resting, you can’t relax anymore. I know that you’re aware that it’s impossible to avoid it, that you even don’t want to… however, we need to approach it in a different way. Only ˝yes˝ and ˝no˝, ˝now˝ or ˝next time˝ and ˝later˝ will be uncompromising. It will be more our own way again. And what will be, will be! I know that at least two people are already rolling their eyes and wagging their heads. They were saving your time and energy as much as they could and taught us a lot. I cannot believe that this what we still need to learn.

Unfortunately, that day came, that bloody Sunday, when it all went wrong. You did your best, but the wish – if nothing else to relax from it all, and anger grew stronger and stronger every day. I had a bad feeling that day from morning on. No, you shouldn’t be skiing when you’re upset. Although you were skiing better and better every day and the quality of it was getting higher. Your body only functions accurately, can lead and accompany your skiing when you’re in the state of wishing and being relaxed. Then you trust yourself 100% and every obstacle or trouble on the slope is a challenge to reach even higher speed.

Right now you’re in OR, you start in one year and I feel guilty, because I couldn’t hide you… a new task for the future, we’ll acquire it as well – we have a team, worthy people and we’re not alone. I know it’ll be hard, but much easier than then.

Now, I’ll be a mom for a little while and a ˝babe˝… and then at full speed into the future…