After sour beginning, sweet end to Fak's Olympic campaign
Lesce, 26 February - Olympic medallist Jakov Fak started his Olympic venture with a bitter aftertaste due to acrimony over whether he should carry the Slovenian flag at the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, but his return home has been much more pleasant as he was treated for a reception at his new home in Lesce.
"I hope that Gorenjska people accept me, I consider myself a bit of a Gorenjska man already," the Croatian-born biathlete said at a reception that his new neighbours at an upscale area of Lesce organised for him on Monday.
Fak, who hails from the mountainous Gorski Kotar region of Croatia, has been building a pre-fabricated house in the Alpine Gorenjska region, not very far from the Nordic Centre in Planica and the biathlon centre on Pokljuka plateau, and expects to move in this year.
He said he decided to build his future here eight years ago, when he opted for Slovenian citizenship and joined the Slovenian team. Eight years later, this is becoming reality.
"My life story is building up well. Matea and I have a girl, Mila, who will now finally get her home. I am happy and proud that ... the beautiful Gorenjska will be my home as well."
Fak won silver in the men's 20-kilometre race in PyeongChang, one of only two medals for Slovenia at these Winter Olympic Games.
He returned home last night and said he was shocked how much the house has grown during his absence.
"I fought in the sports arena, but I see that everyone who's been working on the house has fought as well," he said. "Now all of you know where my home is. When it's done, you're invited to a drink, cookies and tea."
Fak was among three athletes short-listed by the Slovenian Olympic Committee to carry the flag at the opening ceremony, but an online poll jointly organised with the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija was mired in acrimony over whether Fak should carry the Slovenian flag considering that he was born in Croatia and carried the flag for Croatia in Vancouver eight years earlier.