Velez-Zuzulova: My Dream of World Cup Race in Jasna Has Come True

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Slovak slalom stars Veronika Velez-Zuzulova (left) and Petra Vlhova at a press conference ahead of the World Cup weekend in Jasna. (Photo by TASR)

Jasna, March 3 (TASR) – Slovak top alpine ski slalom racers Veronika Velez-Zuzulova and Petra Vlhova at a press conference on Thursday said they can’t wait to see the run at the weekend World Cup races on their home slopes in Jasna in central Slovakia.

Both ski stars stated that they expect to be fuelled by huge support from fans at Slovakia’s largest ski resort, located beneath the Chopok Peak in the Low Tatras.

“I have been waiting for this for a long time. My dream has come true … I’m looking forward to this,” said Velez-Zuzulova in reference to the return of a World Cup race to Slovakia after a 30-year hiatus.

Having harvested success at international races earlier this season, both Slovaks said that they feel ever stronger support among fans from their home country. Earlier this year, Velez-Zuzulova and Vlhova came first and third respectively in Flachau, Austria and thus became the first skiers in Slovak history – male or female – to take two of three podium positions.

“There will be far more our fans than at any other race – even though they were also to be heard in Flachau and Maribor (Slovenia) … I place this race in my personal hierarchy very high as it’s at home and everyone wants to see a top result,” said the young star Vlhova, 20.

“The track in Jasna appears rather easy, but it’s tricky in fact. It’s long and certainly it isn’t one of the easiest in the World Cup circuit,” noted the more experienced Velez-Zuzulova, 31.

The World Cup weekend at Jasna collides with the general election with Slovakia (on Saturday), with both skiers stating that they wouldn’t like to miss the opportunity to vote.

“I’ll certainly go vote. As I’m not running in the giant slalom (set for Saturday), I’ll manage to vote in Liptovsky Mikulas in the morning,” said Velez-Zuzulova.

Vlhova will have it a bit more complicated, as she’s going to be on the slopes both on Saturday and Sunday.

“I’d like to vote, but I’ll see how it ends up. If possible, I’ll certainly go vote,” said Vlhova.

As a junior, Vlhova has already recorded one shining result at Jasna, where she became the world slalom champion two years ago. “It can’t be forgotten, I recollect it often. It’s a superb feeling to win at home,” said Vlhova, who also belongs to a circle of front-runners for the World Cup slalom on Sunday.