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Slovenian House in PyeongChang officially open

PyeongChang, 10 February - The Slovenian House, a meeting point of Slovenian athletes, fans, sports officials, business executives and other visitors at this year's Olympics in PyeongChang, officially opened on Saturday with a ceremony attended by respected guests, including former UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon and the President of International Automobile Federation, Jean Todt.

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
The official opening of the Slovenian House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
Slovenian Ambassador to JapanSimona Leskovar (left) shakes hands with former UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon at the Slovenian House.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea.
Education, Science and Sports Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič (left) shakes hands with former UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon at the Slovenian House.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

PyeongChang, South Korea
Slovenia House at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

"Our goal is to make this place as Slovenian as possible. I think we did a good job thanks to our sponsors and to a lesser extent the OKS," said the head of the Slovenian Olympic Committee (OKS), Bogdan Gabrovec.

Listing the events, the Slovenian house will host, he highlighted Sunday's signing of an agreement on strategic cooperation between the Slovenian and Japanese Olympic committees ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"Because of this agreement, which will enable us to practice with some of the top athletes and work with acclaimed experts, I am convinced that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will bring more medals for Slovenia than those in Rio," Gabroavec said.

Next Sunday he will host a reception for 17 presidents of the coalition of Olympic committee from Central and SE Europe. "We have successful talks in this relation, we are working on a common approach. I hope this continues in the future," he said.

The guests were also greeted today by former OKS chief Janez Kocijančič, who is in PyeongChang as the head of the European Olympic Committee and deputy chief of the International Ski Federation.

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he had very fond memories of Slovenia, where he has served as ambassador and that a part of his heart would always belong to Slovenia.

"Sport is a universal language that is common to all people and athletes are an inspiration," Education, Science and Sports Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič stressed in her address.

A Slovenian House was last set up at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. But in the future, Slovenia plans to promote itself this way more frequently. It is already preparing ground for a Slovenian house at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 and at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

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© STA, 2018