Primož Peterka

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Primož Peterka
Primoz Peterka.jpg
Personal information
Born (1979-02-28) February 28, 1979 (age 36)
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Professional information
Personal best 212 m (696 ft)
Planica, 18 Mar 2000
World Cup
Seasons 19962009
Wins 15
Additional podiums 17 (+2 Team)
Total podiums 32 (+2 Team)
Overall titles 2 (1997, 1998)
Updated on 30 Mar 2015.

Primož Peterka (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈpriːmɔʃ ˈpeːtərka]; born 28 February 1979) is a Slovenian former ski jumper. During his career he won fifteen World Cup events and two consecutive World Cup titles, making him the third most successful Slovenian winter sports athlete and one of the country's most successful sports personalities.

Career[edit]

Peterka was born in Prikrnica, near Ljubljana, Slovenia (then a part of Yugoslavia). He started ski jumping on a small hill (with a K-point at around 20 metres) near his hometown of Moravče, a small town about 30 km north-east from Ljubljana. He later joined the Triglav ski club in Kranj.

He made his World Cup debut on 4 January 1996. Due to the poor results from Slovenian jumpers at the time, Peterka was brought in as a replacement for the Four Hills Tournament event in Innsbruck, where he finished eighth. This was considered a superb result, thereby making him the leading jumper for Slovenia. Peterka continued his good form, winning the events in Zakopane and Falun, and finishing the season ninth overall. He also finished second behind Michael Uhrmann at the 1996 Junior World Championships.

1996–97[edit]

Peterka at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1997
Peterka at Engelberg in 1997

The 1996–97 season saw much success for Peterka. He won seven individual World Cup events, as well as the prestigious Four Hills Tournament where he made his debut a year earlier. In the overall World Cup standings only Dieter Thoma was able to keep up with him, but Peterka ended the season on top. He also won the ski flying standings. On 9 February 1997, Peterka became the first Slovenian to fly over 200 metres, landing a 203 m jump at Kulm.

1997–98[edit]

Peterka at Holmenkollen in 1998

The 1997–98 season was also successful. Peterka won four individual events and a second consecutive World Cup title, defeating Kazuyoshi Funaki in the final event of the season. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Peterka claimed fifth place in the individual large hill event and sixth in the individual normal hill event, results that some thought were disappointing.

World Cup[edit]

Standings[edit]

Season Overall SF JP 4H NT
1995–96 10 9 38 N/A
1996–97 1st 1st 2nd 1st 6
1997–98 1st 3rd 1st 22 10
1998–99 27 20 31 28 41
1999–00 67 66 51
2000–01 N/A
2001–02 25 N/A N/A 13 13
2002–03 7 N/A N/A 5 21
2003–04 45 N/A N/A 28 33
2004–05 34 N/A N/A 38 24
2005–06 32 N/A N/A 21 33
2006–07 81 N/A N/A
2007–08 40 N/A N/A 71 39
2008–09 47 20 N/A 45

Wins[edit]

No. Season Date Place Hill Size
1 1995-96 27 Jan 1996 Poland Zakopane Wielka Krokiew K-116 LH
2 13 Mar 1996 Sweden Falun Lugnet K-90 NH
3 1996-97 8 Dec 1996 Finland Kuusamo Rukatunturi K-120 LH
4 15 Dec 1996 Czech Republic Harrachov Čerťák K-120 LH
5 1 Jan 1997 Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen Große Olympiaschanze K-115 LH
6 11 Jan 1997 Switzerland Engelberg Gross-Titlis-Schanze K-120 LH
7 12 Jan 1997 Switzerland Engelberg Gross-Titlis-Schanze K-120 LH
8 9 Feb 1997 Austria Tauplitz/Bad Mitterndorf Kulm K-185 FH
9 13 Mar 1997 Sweden Falun Lugnet K-115 (night) LH
10 1997-98 18 Jan 1998 Poland Zakopane Wielka Krokiew K-116 LH
11 8 Mar 1998 Finland Lahti Salpausselkä K-116 LH
12 11 Mar 1998 Sweden Falun Lugnet K-115 (night) LH
13 15 Mar 1998 Norway Oslo Holmenkollbakken K-112 LH
14 2002-03 29 Nov 2002 Finland Kuusamo Rukatunturi K-120 LH
15 1 Jan 2003 Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen Große Olympiaschanze K-115 LH

After success[edit]

As is typical for many young ski jumpers, Peterka underwent a personality crisis after his success. After three successful seasons, his results were suddenly no longer near the standards expected from him. During this time, details of his personal life were discussed in public, mostly his clashes with officials and his relationship with Renata Bohinc, a Slovenian beauty queen who won in 1996.

A turning point in Peterka's life and career came in 2001 when his son was born. In the 2001–02 World Cup season he returned to the ski jumping elite. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he won the bronze team medal. The 2002–03 season was also successful, with Peterka winning two individual events (Kuusamo and Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and finishing the season seventh overall.

The following years were not as successful for Peterka. From 2004 onwards he never again managed to finish inside the top 10 in an individual World Cup event. However, at the 2005 World Championships in Oberstdorf he won another bronze team medal for Slovenia (together with Jure Bogataj, Rok Benkovič and Jernej Damjan). This made Peterka the first Slovenian ski jumper to win medals at both the Olympics and the World Championships.

Film[edit]

Two sports documentary films were made about his life and career. The first was called Vleci, Primož ("Fly, Primož") and was directed by Beno Hvala in 1997, detailing the story of Peterka's early career. The second, Peterka: leto odločitve ("Peterka: Year of Decision"), was directed by Vlado Škafar in 2002 and focuses on the personality crisis of a young champion who struggles to find his way back to the top.

References[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Jure Košir
Flagbearer for  Slovenia
Nagano 1998
Succeeded by
Dejan Košir