OLYMPICS: Maze Biggest Slovenian Favourite at Sochi Games

Ljubljana, 6 February - Slovenia's best female Alpine skier and reigning World Cup champion Tina Maze will be the biggest Slovenian favourite at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics. The double silver medallist from the 2010 Vancouver Games is confident despite currently standing 5th in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

Lenzerheide, Switzerland
Slovenian skier Tina Maze
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

The 30-year-old Maze is among the biggest stars of the upcoming games, with the French press agency AFP for instance putting her among the four main medal favourites in Alpine skiing in Russia's Sochi.

Maze has also been projected to win silver in downhill by the Associated Press (AP) despite having a lacklustre season for her standards. She currently ranks 5th in the World Cup with 754 points.

Maze, who will compete in all disciplines in Sochi, won her first World Cup event of the current season on 25 January in Cortina d'Ampezzo, while she failed to finish the last race ahead of the Shochi Games in Slovenia's Kranjska gora.

Maze is one one of the most successful female Alpine skiers of all time, and her last season was one of the finest seasons ever in the World Cup, with the Slovenian breaking the overall score record among women.

She scored a total of 2,414 points last season, winning 11 races and scoring 24 podium finishes. She won at least once in all five disciplines and was among the top ten in 32 out of 35 races.

Maze is also the most successful Slovenian athlete at Winter Olympics, as she won silvers in the women's super G and giant slalom in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

She has also won six medals at World Championships, including two gold medals, in giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2011 and in super G in Schladming last year.

Maze has recently been selected the best female athlete in Europe in 2013 by journalists of European press agencies and declared the Slovenian athlete of 2013 by the national Association of Sports Journalists.

Along Maze, Slovenia will also be represented in women's Alpine skiing by Ilka Štuhec, Maruša Ferk and Katarina Lavtar. The men's team meanwhile features Rok Perko, Mitja Valenčič, Klemen Kosi and Žan Kranjec.

© STA, 2014