Ivica Kostelić

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Ivica Kostelić
— Alpine skier  —
Ivica Kostelic 25102010 CroSki AE09283.jpg
Kostelić in October 2010
Disciplines Slalom, giant slalom, super-G,
combined, downhill
Club Ski club Zagreb[1]
Born (1979-11-23) 23 November 1979 (age 34)
Zagreb, SR Croatia,
SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Olympics
Teams 4 – (20022014)
Medals 4
World Cup
Seasons 17th – (19982014)
Wins 26[2]
Podiums 59[2]
Overall titles 1 – (2011)
Discipline titles 5 – (SL in 2002 and 2011, K in 2011, 2012 and 2013)

Ivica Kostelić (pronounced [ˈiʋitsa ˈkɔstɛlitɕ]; born 23 November 1979) is a World Cup alpine ski racer from Croatia. He specializes in slalom and combined, but is also one of the few alpine World Cup ski racers able to score points in all disciplines.

After considerable success in junior competitions, Kostelić's World Cup career has alternated between triumph and injury. His main accomplishments include a World Championship gold medal in slalom in 2003, Olympic silver medal in slalom in 2010, Olympic silver medals in combined in 2006 (traditional combined), 2010 (super combined) and 2014, as well as the overall World Cup title in 2011.

Kostelić has scored a total of with 26 World Cup race victories and a total of 59 World Cup podiums during his career (as of February 2014). He won the slalom World Cup title in 2002 and 2011, and the combined World Cup title in 2011 and 2012.

Since 2008, he has finished among the top six in the overall World Cup standings each season (2008: sixth; 2009: fourth; 2010: fifth; 2011: first; 2012: fourth; 2013: fifth). He has also scored points in all disciplines each of those seasons, and his best race results (as of March 2011) are a seventh place in downhill, a second place in giant slalom, and victories in all other disciplines (11 in slalom, 1 in parallel-slalom, 2 in combined, 4 in super combined, and 1 in super-G).

Career[edit]

Early World Cup years (1998–2002)[edit]

Kostelić made his first World Cup start in October 1998 in Sölden, Austria, at the age of 18, but failed to qualify for a second run.[3] He did not finish any of his first 11 World Cup races over 3 seasons, until finally scoring World Cup points for the first time in Sestriere, Italy, in December 2000. His first three seasons on the World Cup all ended prematurely due to injuries, failing to make it past December or January each season.

Breakthrough (2002–2005)[edit]

His big breakthrough came during the 2002 season, when he shockingly won the slalom at Aspen, Colorado, in November 2001 starting from the 64th bib number, his first finish higher than 21st place in any World Cup race. He won two more slaloms that season, and had three additional podiums (top 3), enough to clinch the slalom season title over Bode Miller while avoiding season-ending injury for the first time in his career.

Kostelić would continue his success during the next season, winning three more slalom races by mid-season, and adding a gold medal in slalom in February at the 2003 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He would narrowly miss repeating his slalom title, falling to second place as Kalle Palander won four consecutive slaloms in late season to clinch the globe. He would go on to win another slalom race during the 2003–2004 season, the 7th win of his career, before injuries again ended his season prematurely in January. He would return to World Cup competition in time for the start of the 2004–2005 season, but would fail to finish any of his first 7 races that year. Despite a pair of podiums later that season and occasional top-10 finishes, he would not win another World Cup race for nearly three years.

Resurgence as all-event skier (2006–2010)[edit]

Kostelić began his World Cup career as a technical specialist, racing only slalom and GS (with an occasional super-G), but started to ski more often the speed events including downhill during the 2006 season, primarily in order to compete in the new format of super combined, which consists of single runs of downhill and slalom. He did win a Nor-Am downhill in December 1998 at Lake Louise, Canada. As his sister Janica, 'Ivo' has always been aiming to become a complete racer able to excel in all specialties. He scored his first World Cup points at Kitzbuehel, Austria, finishing 29th on the 'Streif' in January 2008. A week later he was 8th in the downhill at Chamonix, in France. His broadened portfolio brought quick dividends, with a silver medal in the combined (a traditional combined with a single downhill and two runs of slalom) at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, in February. He would follow that success during the 2007 World Cup season with a win in the super combined in Reiteralm, Austria, in December 2006, his eighth World Cup win and first other than slalom.

Starting with the 2008 season, Kostelić joined the select group of World Cup racers able to excel in all disciplines. Although he failed to win any World Cup races during the 2008 season, he finished second 4 times and third twice in slalom and super combined events, and for the first time scored points in all disciplines. He would finish second in the combined standings and sixth in the overall. The next season brought another win in slalom, along with three more second places (including in GS for his first time) and a pair of thirds, as he moved up to fourth in the overall standings while again taking second in the slalom standings. Success in all disciplines continued in the 2010 season, with two more World Cup wins in slalom and combined (for a total of 11 in his career) along with a second in super-G, his first podium in a speed event. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, he won a pair of silver medals, in slalom and combined.

Overall World Cup title (2011)[edit]

Kostelić's skiing would reach another level during the 2011 season. Following a third in the season-opening slalom in November at Levi, Finland, however, he suffered a string of mediocre finishes outside the top-10 for the rest of 2010. Then he opened the New Year with a victory in the first-ever Munich City Event parallel slalom on 2 January, and took second place four days later in the slalom in his hometown of Zagreb. He followed that up with three more wins over the next two weeks in slalom and super combined at Adelboden and Wengen, Switzerland, to take the lead in the overall World Cup standings for the first time. At the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel, Austria, he had victories in super-G and combined, plus a second place in slalom, which opened a gap of more than 400 points over his nearest competitors in the overall ranking. A week later, he won the super combined in Chamonix, France, his third straight win in combined and clinching the combined title for the season with one race still remaining.[4] It was his seventh victory of January 2011, the most by any alpine ski racer in a single calendar month in World Cup history, and he scored points in all 14 World Cup races held in January, including two seconds and two-fifths along with top-30 finishes in all three downhills, for a total of 999 points in January alone.

After the stunning success of January, Kostelić's results tailed off considerably and he would fail to finish higher than fifth in any of the remaining 10 World Cup races on the season. In February, Kostelić won a bronze medal in super-G at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch, but finished only 8th and 13th in the slalom and giant slalom after sustained a knee injury in the second giant slalom run. He had chosen not to race the World Championships downhill or the super combined (in which he was the clear favorite to win the gold medal) in order to avoid injury on the extremely icy course.[5] On 12 March, five races before the end of the season, he clinched his first overall World Cup title,[6] and he would clinch the slalom title at the final race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on 19 March, despite finishing out of the points that day.[7] Kostelić would win a total of three crystal globes for the 2011 season including the overall, slalom, and combined titles.

Out for defending the overall World Cup title (2012)[edit]

In the 2012 season Kostelić had a better start than the year before, winning two slaloms already in December. Next victories were the super combined and the slalom at Wengen, and the following weekend he won also the classical combined of the Hahnenkamm races (downhill and slalom) in Kitzbühel, where he could take the overall lead for the first time during this season.

Personal life[edit]

Ivica Kostelić was born and raised in Zagreb. His parents, Ante and Marica, are former elite team handball players. They taught Ivica and his sister Janica (who is two years younger) to ski on the nearby hill Sljeme (now the site of the annual Snow Queen Trophy World Cup races).[8] Janica Kostelić also became an accomplished skier, and Ante Kostelić has remained their primary ski coach throughout their careers, and is the head coach of the Croatian ski team.[9]

In 2006 Kostelić passed the entrance exam at the University of Zagreb to become a part-time undergraduate student of history.[10]

Nacional article[edit]

In January 2003, after winning the slalom at Kranjska Gora, Kostelić told the reporters that before the race he had felt "powerful, all-conquering, like a German soldier ready for battle in 1941", in reference to the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union.[11] Although the Croatian media had largely ignored the statement, the weekly tabloid Nacional picked up the story and published an article featuring previously unreleased statements made by Kostelić from an interview that he gave to the weekly in May 2002. According to Nacional Kostelić said that he was "fascinated" with the scale of the World War II Luftwaffe attack on Britain and gave an opinion on the differences between national socialism and communism saying that "Nationalism was still a healthy system for someone who was ambitious. In communism, we weren’t permitted to be ambitious, and both systems were totalitarian."[12]

His remarks were interpreted by the weekly as a sign of far right political leanings and the story attracted attention from international press.[13] Kostelić then issued a statement claiming that the sentences published by Nacional were taken out of context and that they were made in informal conversation conducted after the formal interview, and added that "my heart is neither left- nor right-oriented, only towards sports, and my mind is only on skiing".[11]

Other journalists had dismissed his original statement as nothing more than a badly chosen metaphor due to the fact that both Ivica and his father Ante are avid World War II buffs.[11] Since 2002 Ante Kostelić owns a publishing house which published the Croatian edition of the award-winning book Stalingrad by Antony Beevor. In April 2010 the company also published a book (Waffen-SS, Mračne Sile Zločinačke Politike – Waffen-SS, Dark Forces of Evil Politics) about the Waffen-SS which Ante Kostelić had edited.[14]

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

Season Discipline
2002 Slalom[15]
2011 Overall[16]
Combined[17]
Slalom[18]
2012 Combined[19]

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
slalom
Super-G Downhill Combined
2001 21 107 40
2002 22 7 1 22
2003 23 7 2 27
2004 24 34 14 30 37
2005 25 31 7
2006 26 40 15 16
2007 27 25 16 3
2008 28 6 5 40 25 35 2
2009 29 4 2 8 26 47 4
2010 30 5 4 21 15 23 3
2011 31 1 1 11 3 25 1
2012 32 4 2 23 43 1
2013 33 5 3 14 28 44 1 [A]

Race victories[edit]

  • 26 wins – 15 slalom, 9 combined (5 super combined, 4 traditional), 1 parallel slalom, 1 super-G
Season Date Location Discipline
2002 25 November 2001 Aspen, USA Slalom
13 January 2002    Wengen, Switzerland Slalom
9 March 2002 Flachau, Austria Slalom
2003 16 December 2002 Sestriere, Italy Slalom
5 January 2003 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Slalom
12 January 2003 Bormio, Italy Slalom
2004 15 December 2003 Madonna di Campiglio, Italy Slalom
2007 10 December 2006 Reiteralm, Austria Super combined
2009 22 December 2008 Alta Badia, Italy Slalom
2010 17 January 2010    Wengen, Switzerland Slalom
24 January 2010 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
2011 2 January 2011 Munich, Germany Parallel slalom
9 January 2011    Adelboden, Switzerland Slalom
14 January 2011    Wengen, Switzerland Super combined
16 January 2011 Slalom
21 January 2011 Kitzbühel, Austria Super-G
23 January 2011 Combined
30 January 2011 Chamonix, France Super combined
2012 8 December 2011 Beaver Creek, USA Slalom
21 December 2011 Flachau, Austria Slalom
13 January 2012    Wengen, Switzerland Super combined
15 January 2012 Slalom
22 January 2012 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
12 February 2012 Sochi, Russia Super combined
2013 27 January 2013 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
10 March 2013 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Slalom

Olympic results[edit]

Olympics Age Downhill Super-G Giant slalom Slalom Combined
2002 Salt Lake City 22 &
&
9th DNF &
2006 Turin 26 &
31st &
6th 2nd
2010 Vancouver 30 18th 16th 7th 2nd 2nd
2014 Sochi 34 &
24th 27th 9th 2nd

Footnotes[edit]

  • A Crystal globes in combined have not been officially awarded for 2013 season. However, athletes still get their medals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About me". ivica.kostelic.hr. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Ivica Kostelic". ski-db.com. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "FIS Biography for Ivica Kostelic". Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Kostelic Gets 7th Cup Win of Month at Chamonix". Ski Racing. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Svindal Defends Super-Combi Gold at Worlds". Ski Racing. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Walchhofer Wins To Take DH Lead, Kostelic Ices Overall". Ski Racing. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Razzoli Wins Race, Kostelic Everything Else at Cup Finale". Ski Racing. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Golden Gates". Sports Illustrated. 4 March 2002. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Croatian Ski Association – National teams". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Duplančić, Blaž (13 July 2006). "U šestom desetljeću ću BITI PROFESOR POVIJESTI" (in Croatian). Slobodna Dalmacija. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c White, Jim (20 January 2003). "'Of course he is not a Nazi. He is a man who likes history'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Pleše, Mladen (15 January 2003). "Ivica Kostelić: Nazism was a healthy system". Nacional. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Croatian skier under fire over 'Nazi' remarks". BBC News. 16 January 2003. 
  14. ^ Pavliša, Mija (16 April 2010). "Ante Kostelić uredio knjigu o vojnicima SS-a". T-Portal.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Kostelic seals slalom crown". BBC Sport (BBC). 9 March 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  16. ^ Lang, Patrick (12 March 2011). "Croatia's Kostelic wins overall World Cup". Reuters (Thomson Reuters). Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Kostelic wins super-combined World Cup". Yahoo! Eurosport (TF1 Group). Reuters. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  18. ^ Dunbar, Graham (19 March 2011). "Kostelic of Croatia Wins World Cup Slalom Title". ABC News (American Broadcasting Company). Associated Press. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Kostelic bags super combined World Cup title". Yahoo! Eurosport (TF1 Group). Reuters. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Jakov Fak
Flagbearer for Croatia
Sochi 2014
Succeeded by
Incumbent