Tekst: A.K. / Foto: AFP
OGROMAN tekst posve�en fenomenu najuspješnije skijaške obitelji objavio je ugledni NYT s posebnim osvrtom na nevjerojatnu mo� regeneracije koju su nakon teških ozljeda i operacija pokazali Janica i Ivica.
Neposredni povod za pri�u još je uvijek aktualna Ivi�ina slalomska pobjeda u Wengenu: "Mjesec dana nakon operacije desnog koljena, Kosteli� se osje�ao dovoljno zdravim da pobijedi u obje slalomske utrke, ali uspon na postolje poslije operacije koljena obiteljska je tradicija Kosteli�evih".
NYT podsje�a da je njegova mla�a sestra Janica tako�er imala isti obi�aj prije nego li se umirovila 2006. s rekordne �etiri zlatne olimpijske medalje. "Mislim da je izdr�ljivost jedna od najve�ih vrlina", filozofski zaklju�uje Ivica.
"Janica je imala 11 manjih i ve�ih operacija koljena, a Ivica je zasad na osam, od toga sedam samo na desnom koljenu. Tri od tih velikih operacija došle su prije nego što je postao jedan od najboljih skijaša u Svjetskom kupu", podsje�a list.
Citira Nietzchea, uzor mu je Lincoln
"Svi su govorili 'Zaboravite na njega', ali ja sam znao da moram nastaviti, kao Abraham Lincoln", iskoristio je Ivica ameri�ku povijesnu referencu za ameri�kog novinara.
"Ivica voli povijest i filozofiju, citira Friedricha Nietzchea i jednako dobro iznosi svoje mišljenja na hrvatskom, njema�kom ili engleskom, a nakon što je ostvario prvu ovogodišnju pobjedu u Svjetskom kupu napao je organizatore natjecanja da superkombinacija, koja danas dominira SK-om, daje ogromnu prednost spustašima u odnosu na slalomaše.
"Super-kombinacija je pljuvanje u lice slalomašima"
Klasi�na kombinacija sastoji se od spusta i dvije slalomske utrke, ali super-kombinacija, koju je u petak u Wengenu osvojio Bode Miller, skra�eni je spust i samo jedna slalomska utrke. Kosteli� govori kako je miks dvominutnog spusta i 45 sekundi slaloma nepošten.
"Recimo da se Usain Bolt i ja natje�emo u sprintu i da on tr�i 100, a ja 60 metara. Vjerojatno bi ga pobijedio, ali zna�i li to da sam bolji sprinter od njega? Ovo je pljuvanje u lice slalomašima", ogor�eno je Ivica zatra�io povratak starog na�ina super-kombinacije.
"Nije va�no u kojoj disciplini �u osvojiti olimpijsku medalju, mo�e i u curlingu"
Sljede�eg mjeseca Kosteli�a o�ekuju OI u Vancouveru, a njegov cilj je medalja koju bi pridodao srebru osvojenom 2006. u kombinaciji iza Ligetyja, iako nije izbirljiv kada su u pitanju �elje gdje bi je osvojio: "Nije bitno, mo�e i u curligu".
New York Times za kraj otkriva �itateljima kako su na po�etku karijera Kosteli�i spavali u autima pored skijališta jer nisu imali novca za hotele i da su prolazili 1400 "vrata" dnevno, što je 300 posto više nego što prolaze ostali vrhunski skijaši.
"Njihova tijela o�ito su platila cijenu, ali dok su odlazili s konferencije za tisak u Wengenu, oboje su se smijali, a ne šepali".
Pogledajmo i original vijest u New York Timesu:
For Two Croats, Obstacles Are as Plentiful as Success
Ivica Kostelic won his first World Cup race of the season Sunday.
He said downhill skiers had an advantage over slalom skiers.
(Peter Schneider/European Pressphoto Agency)
WENGEN, Switzerland — Five weeks after surgery on his right knee, Ivica Kostelic felt healthy enough to rip down two selective slalom runs and end up the winner here Sunday.
But climbing the podium after knee surgery is a Kostelic family tradition. Ivica has done it for years, and his younger sister, Janica, did it too before leaving the sport in 2006 with more gold medals (four) than any women’s Olympic Alpine skier in history.
“I guess persistence is one of the best virtues,” Ivica said.
Ivica, who has yet to win at the Olympics, has a long way to ski before he closes the family medal gap. But his latest operation, an arthroscopic procedure on Dec. 13, does mean that he is closing the medical gap.
Janica had 11 minor and major knee operations; Ivica has now had eight, seven on the right knee alone. Three of those major surgeries came before he became a factor in World Cup competition.
“Everyone was saying, ‘Forget about him,’ ” but I knew I just had to keep going, like Abraham Lincoln,” Ivica said, using an American historical reference for the benefit of his American interviewer.
Ivica likes his history and his philosophy. He can quote Friedrich Nietzche and is prone to speaking his mind, whether in his native Croatian, German or English.
On Sunday, after winning his first World Cup race of the season, he took advantage of his bully pulpit to criticize the habit of turning World Cup runs into ice. He saved his strongest words for the super-combined format, now prevalent on tour. In Kostelic’s view, the format gives downhill skiers an outrageous advantage over slalom skiers.
The classic combined is a downhill and two slalom runs, but it was long considered too favorable to slalom skiers. The super-combined, which Bode Miller won Friday in Wengen, is a shortened downhill run and just one slalom run. Although gaps in slalom are generally bigger than in downhill, Kostelic said having a downhill of close to two minutes and a slalom run of about 45 seconds was unfair.
“Let’s say me and Usian Bolt were competing in the sprint, and he was running 100 meters and I was running 60 meters,” Kostelic said. “I would probably beat him, but does that mean I’m better in sprinting than Usain Bolt?”
“This is like spitting in the face of a slalom skier,” he said, lobbying for a return to the classic formula.
Once restricted to technical events because of his injuries, Kostelic, 30, has expanded his repertory in recent seasons, scoring points in multiple disciplines and even skiing the world’s most intimidating downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria. The World Cup circuit races there next weekend.
“I was surprised that I was scared, because a skier with 20-plus years behind him is not very easily intimidated by anything,” Kostelic said. “You’re always telling to yourself, ‘It’s not that bad, not that bad. It’s O.K. Everyone does it.’ And then you come to the start and you check out the guy in front of you.”
Kostelic has certainly been getting examined closely by the opposition since his return to the circuit this month.
“It’s amazing how quickly he recovers,” said Ted Ligety, his American rival, who finished eighth in Sunday’s slalom. “You don’t think of people normally recovering from arthroscopic surgery in two weeks. It’s kind of phenomenal. Normally the U.S. program is a good month off at least. He’s had a lot of ups and downs in his career, but he’s always had super strong technique.”
After injuring his knee in Val d’Isere on Dec. 11, Kostelic had surgery two days later in Basel, Switzerland, to remove part of the meniscus. He resumed skiing on Dec. 26 and was training at full speed on Dec. 30.
“I am a bit surprised I came back and won so quickly, but I think today’s conditions suited me really well,” he said. “Kind of spring snow, pretty warm, and you have to ski with a lot of feeling. I like that.”
Spring snow and moderate temperatures could be part of the Olympic experience next month on Whistler Mountain in Vancouver. Kostelic’s goal for the season is a medal to go with the silver he took behind Ligety in the combined in 2006. But he apparently is not picky about which event he wins it in.
“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “Curling.”
Win or lose, Janica plans to be there with her brother in Canada, just as she was with him in Wengen, raising both arms in triumph when he held off Andre Myhrer of Sweden on the second run to win by 29-hundredths of a second in a combined total of 1 minute 40.34 seconds.
“Of course, I’m proud of him; I’ve always been proud of him,” she said.
Janica, 28, did not look like a retired skier as she leaned on her poles in her Croatian team racing suit, but her mind was not totally on the racing during this long weekend in Wengen. She and her new boyfriend repeatedly embraced and kissed in the finish area in full view of the crowd and television cameras during Friday’s super-combined and Saturday’s downhill.
On Sunday, her attention wandered again at Ivica’s news conference. As he answered questions in a converted school classroom, Janica joked around in the back, doing elementary-school-level math on the blackboard.
“When I’m racing, she’s always with me,” Ivica said. “She’s not my coach or anything. She’s just most of the time enjoying herself, free skiing and watching races, you know, helping me with a couple of tips.”
They have been through more than most siblings together. Their hard-driving father, Ante, still part of Ivica’s coaching team, was a former team handball player determined to make his children into ski champions at a time when Croatia and the former Yugoslavia were still in turmoil.
They slept in cars near ski resorts because they lacked the money for hotels. They put in quantity as well as quality, racing through as many as 1,400 gates in a day, more than triple the total of most other top skiers.
Their bodies have clearly paid a price, but as they walked away from the news conference together through the quaint, pedestrian-only streets of Wengen, they were both laughing, not limping.
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: New York Times, January 18, 2010
Ivica Kosteli� - Wengen SL 2010 - 2nd run
Za portal pripremio: zm