LJUBLJANA, December 30, 2012 - The Sports Writers Associations of Slovenia (DŠNS) inaugurated the Slovenian Sports Hall of Fame in Ljubljana on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 to honour Slovenian sporting stars of yesteryear.
The Hall of Fame, which will be located in the foyer of Stožice Arena in Ljubljana,
will initially feature nearly two-dozen Slovenian athletes, with the bulk making their mark on Slovenian sports in the early to the mid-20th century.
Realising an idea that has been around in sports circles for years, the Hall of Fame project was put into motion last year with the induction of legendary gymnasts Leon Štukelj and Miroslav Cerar as the first hall-of-famers.
An additional 20 athletes were inducted this year as the facilities for the hall were made available by the Ljubljana Municipality.
"Higher, faster, stronger. Victories, medals, elite performances... These are our sports heroes who have made a mark on their times," Jože Zidar, the head of the DŠNS, said at tonight's opening ceremony.
"The athletes included in the Hall of Game are special personalities who paved the path to later generation of athletes. They are an endless stream of inspiration, pride and perseverance, which demands a permanent place in our collective memory," said Zidar.
In addition to the Ljubljana Municipality, the Public Institute of Sport in Ljubljana, the Sports Museum and the Sports Foundation all helped make the project a reality.
The Hall of Fame currently features 22 athletes: 2011 inductees: Leon Štukelj (gymnastics), Miroslav Cerar (gymnastics) 2012 inductees: Rudolf Cvetko (fencing), Peter Šumi (gymnastics), Stane Derganc (gymnastics), Josip Primoži); (gymnastics), Ludvik Stari; (speedway), Janez Polda (ski jumping), Stanko Lorger (track and field), Miroslav Steržaj (bowling), Jože Šlibar (ski jumping), Janez Žirovnik(cycling), Draga Stameji; Pokovec (athletics), Ivo Daneu(basketball), Albin Felc (ice hockey), Nataša Urban; Bezjak(track and field), Aljoša Žorga (basketball), Rudi Hiti ice hockey),Branko Oblak (football), Vinko Jelovac (basketball), Mima Jaušovec(tennis), the rowing eight from the 1964 Olympics.