Petra Majdič

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Petra Majdič
MAJDIC Petra Tour de Ski 2010.jpg
Petra Majdic competing at Tour De Ski 2010
Full name Petra Majdič
Born (1979-12-22) December 22, 1979 (age 37)
Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Ski club ŠD Atrans Trojane
World Cup career
Seasons 1999–2011
Individual wins 24 (all wins)
16 (World Cup)
6 (Tour de Ski)
2 (World Cup finale)
Indiv. podiums 48
Updated on 2011-03-18.

Petra Majdič (born 22 December 1979 in Ljubljana) is a Slovenian former cross-country skier. Her best results came in classic style races. She won twenty-four World Cup races, twenty in sprint races, but she also won a marathon (30 km race) in Trondheim in 2009.[1] She is the first Slovenian cross-country skier to win the World Cup race, the first to get a medal at the World Championships and the first to get an Olympic medal. With 20 wins, Majdič is the second-most successful sprinter in FIS Cross-Country World Cup history and with 24 wins in total she's the fourth-most successful World Cup competitor of all time.


She first appeared in World Cup on 9 January 1999 in Nové Město, where she ended 10 km classic as 69th. In 2000, she won her first point in Falun with 30th place in 10 km freestyle. She showed talent for sprint events a year later in Asiago, where she earned her first podium for a 3rd-place finish in 1.5 km freestyle sprint. But real breakthrough came late for Majdič; after achieving two more podium finishes in 2002, she struggled for four years to make a major progress. Cross-country skiing was a marginal sport in Slovenia at that time and she was often frustrated about her training conditions and especially about her skis. As a skier from outside the World Cup elite and from a low-ranked country, she was unable to get the same quality skis as her competitors. The only way forward was even more hard work, as only top results could provide her with a chance to get equal terms with others. Her first victory came at the end of successful 2006 season in 1 km classic sprint of Drammen. First win, 3rd place in 45 km classic marathon of Mora and 9th place overall put Majdič in the spotlight for the first time, after so many years of hard work and little payback. She was recognized as the best female athlete in Slovenia and in the 2007 season she was finally able to compete on top skis and with an excellent support team, including a new coach and ski service team. She won three races and grabbed three more podium finishes to end season as 4th overall, 2nd in sprint and 8th in distance. Additionally, she earned a silver in the individual sprint at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. In the 2008 season, Majdič won her first World Cup title for sprints. In the 2009 season, she profiled herself as a serial winner, winning first four sprints of the season and eight sprints all together, but modified World Cup Finale rules prevented her from winning the World Cup overall. She won her second World Cup title for sprints, however, with a record 879 points and a record 409 points margin ahead of second-placed Arianna Follis.

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

During the warm-up for the 1.4 kilometre classic sprint on 17 February in the 2010 Olympics she skied off-course, down a bank, into a 3 m (10 ft) deep gully where she crashed on rocks breaking both ski poles, a ski tip, and sustained four broken ribs along with a pneumothorax.[2][3][4] The start time for her qualifying round was pushed back, but she collapsed in pain after qualifying and was taken to hospital to be x-rayed. The x-rays failed to show the rib fractures. Thus, she returned to the course and, despite the agonizing pain, won her quarterfinal and just got through the semifinal as a lucky loser. During the semifinal, one of the broken ribs pierced her lung, collapsing it. Despite this and the excruciating pain, she finished third to win the bronze medal in the final, the first individual Winter Olympic medal for Slovenia in 16 years.[5] She earned the highest praise from other skiers, staff and the media for her amazing bravery as she attended the medal giving ceremony with a tube in her chest to relieve pneumothorax.[6] She said at the press conference afterward "Today, this is not a bronze. This is a gold with little diamonds on it".[7]

Two days after the race she was awarded with the Golden Order for Services by the President of Slovenia Danilo Türk.[8][9] On February 26 it was announced that Petra Majdič and Joannie Rochette are the two Olympians to receive the Terry Fox Award, the purpose of which is to honour an Olympian, who touched the world with courage, humility and extraordinary athletic abilities at the 2010 Games.[10][11]

After an inspiring Olympic performance, anecdotal factoids had appeared amongst her supporters, all including Majdič herself and Chuck Norris, a typical one being "When Chuck Norris can't go on, Petra Majdič perseveres!".[12]

On 11 January 2011, she was proclaimed the Slovenian Woman of the Year for 2010. The award is conferred each year by the readers of Jana, oldest women's magazine in Slovenia.[13]

2011 comeback[edit]

Due to extent of her injury, many wrote Majdič off, while some were convinced that she will retire. Her coach Ivan Hudač persuaded her to continue with career for at least another year and after a successful preparation period she was fit enough to start the 2010–11 season along with other top skiers. It took Majdič only two World Cup races to get back to the podium, she was second in 1.2 km classic sprint of Kuusamo. She was unable to win any races in November and December, but raised her form and won three races in January. She moved on to win a bronze medal in freestyle sprint of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo. She won yet another World Cup sprint in March, her twenty-fourth career win and third in Stockholm. With that win Majdič clinched her third Sprint title.[14]

She retired from competitive skiing on 20 March 2011, wearing the "Goodbye, I love you" sign on her backside.[15] Justyna Kowalczyk also appeared with a "Goodbye Petra" sign on her head during that same race.[16]


World Cup victories[edit]

Petra Majdič with Olympic medal and Terry Fox award
Petra Majdič at World cup in Otepää, Estonia 2007
Season Date Location Race
2005/06 6 March 2006 Norway Drammen Individual sprint 1 km classic
2006/07 25 November 2006 Finland Kuusamo Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
3 January 2007 Germany Oberstdorf Individual 10 km classic*
21 March 2007 Sweden Stockholm Individual sprint 1 km classic
2007/08 1 December 2007 Finland Kuusamo Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
23 January 2008 Canada Canmore Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
10 February 2008 Estonia Otepää Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
2008/09 29 November 2008 Finland Kuusamo Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
14 December 2008 Switzerland Davos Individual sprint 1.4 km freestyle
20 December 2008 Germany Düsseldorf Individual sprint 0.8 km freestyle
25 January 2009 Estonia Otepää Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
13 February 2009 Italy Valdidentro Individual sprint 1.4 km freestyle
7 March 2009 Finland Lahti Individual sprint 1.2 km freestyle
12 March 2009 Norway Trondheim Individual sprint 1.4 km classic
14 March 2009 Norway Trondheim Individual 30 km classic
18 March 2009 Sweden Stockholm Individual sprint 1 km classic**
2009/10 13 December 2009 Switzerland Davos Individual sprint 1 km freestyle
1 January 2010 Germany Oberhof Individual prologue 2.8 km freestyle*
3 January 2010 Germany Oberhof Individual sprint 1.6 km classic*
9 January 2010 Italy Val di Fiemme Individual 10 km classic*
2010/11 2 January 2011 Germany Oberstdorf Individual sprint 1.2 km classic*
5 January 2011 Italy Toblach Individual sprint 1.3 km freestyle*
23 January 2011 Estonia Otepää Individual sprint 1.2 km classic
16 March 2011 Sweden Stockholm Individual sprint 1 km classic**
  • * The win was a one-race victory, as a part of Tour de Ski
  • ** The win was a one-race victory, as a part of World Cup finale

World Cup standings[edit]

Season Sprint Distance Tour De Ski Overall
1999/2000 - - - 69.
2000/01 24. - - 34.
2001/02 9. - - 14.
2002/03 22. - - 14.
2003/04 32. 21. - 23.
2004/05 11. 18. - 13.
2005/06 12. 10. - 9.
2006/07 2. 8. 6. 4.
2007/08 1. 14. 18. 5.
2008/09 1. 5. 3. 2.
2009/10* 3. 8. 2. 3.
2010/11 1. 13. 6. 6.
  • *due to injury at Olympics she missed a big part of the season

Olympic games results[edit]

Country City Date Discipline Result
USA Salt Lake City 2002 12. February 10 km 8.
15. February Pursuit 2 x 7,5 km 7.
21. February Relay 4 x 5 km 9.
24. February 30 km 12.
Italy Torino 2006 12. February Pursuit 2 x 7,5 km 11.
16. February 10 km 6.
22. February Sprint – free 8.
24. February 30 km 14.
Canada Vancouver 2010 17. February Sprint – classic 3.



  1. ^ [1] Archived February 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^,majdic-won-olympic-medal-with-four-broken-ribs-and-damaged-lung.html
  3. ^ "Olympic notebook: Slovenian Majdic skied to bronze with 4 broken ribs"., 2010-02-20. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  4. ^ [2] Archived March 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Epstein, David, "The Truth About Pain: It's in Your Head", Sports Illustrated, 8 August 2011, pp. 58–66.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Bjoergen wins 1st gold in cross-country sprint". 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  8. ^ "STA: OLYMPICS: President Decorates Olympic Medalist Majdic". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  9. ^ "Majdic to be honoured by Slovenia for her Olympic exploits". Monsters and Critics. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  10. ^ The New York Times  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics | Olympic Videos, Photos, News". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  12. ^ "Ko Chuck Norris ne zmore več, Petra Majdič vztraja!". 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  13. ^ "Cross-Country Skier Majdic Gets Women's Magazine Award". Slovenian Press Agency. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Eurosport. "Majdic claims sprint crown in Stockholm – Yahoo! Eurosport". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  15. ^ "Pri Majdičevi je bil adrenalin včasih že na meji kolapsa :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  16. ^ "World Cup Finale: A Victory Lap for Bjørgen « NordicXplained". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-05.