Slovenian Olympians lead record-breaking show of Olympic solidarity at Lake Bled

1 | 3 | 2016

Olympians in Slovenia have marked Olympic year 2016 in stunning fashion with a dramatic show of solidarity at Lake Bled in Slovenia.  In collaboration with the Slovenian NOC, Slovenia’s Olympians have contributed to a successful Guinness World Record attempt with close to 6000 people forming an Olympic ‘Circle of Safety’ around the lake.

On 30 December thousands gathered at Lake Bled in an event aimed at bringing the Slovenian sporting community together to celebrate the contribution sports people make to society and to recognise those athletes preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. At exactly six-o-clock lights were turned on around the lake and visitors joined hands to form a symbolic unbroken circle.

During the event, Olympic medal winners Brigita Bukovec (athletics 1992, 1996) and Jani Klemencic (rowing, 1992, 1996, 2000) ran around the lake carrying an Olympic torch aloft before presenting it to the guest of honour, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, who then raised the torch to start the lighting of the lights and the fireworks display confirming the successful Guinness World Record attempt.

This was followed by an official presentation for aspiring Rio 2016 athletes along with the award of two special honours recognising the contribution to sport in Slovenia of retiring Olympians Primoz Kozmus, a four-time Olympian who won gold in the hammer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and Luka Spik, Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist in rowing and four-time Olympian, who recently ended their sporting careers.

Bogdan Gabrovec, President of the Slovenian Olympic Committee – Association of Sports Federations offered up the following words during the ceremony:

“Sport will bring Slovenians together, making us one and giving us new hope in the coming Olympic year.”

Miroslav Cerar, Olympic gold medallist and President of the Slovenian Olympic Academy and the Slovenian Olympians Association, said:

"Slovenian Olympians, together with the Athletes’ Commission and the Slovenian Olympic Academy, strive to promote sport through the Olympic values. Our mission is to ensure athletes and Olympians have an appropriate place in our society, because they are the greatest ambassadors and promoters of sport in society.

“In association and collaboration with our National Olympic Committee, our joint activities and the multifaceted event in Bled, showed how together we can achieve our objectives and motivate athletes and the general public to participate.

“The most important thing beside this is the interaction of us Olympians who were participants of the Olympic games many years ago?, with the younger athletes who are going to be ?our future Olympians. ? We had this opportunity at Bled and wish candidates for Olympic Games in Rio 2016 best wishes with their performances"

Petra Robnik, Turin 2006 Olympian and Secretary of the Slovenian Olympians Association, added:

“The unforgettable occasion really brought together all sections of Slovenia society and was the result of a fantastic collaborative effort. We were thrilled to be working closely with the NOC to bring the event to life.

“The WOA’s own close relationship with the IOC has shown us how two sporting bodies can really complement each other and ensure athletes at the heart of everything they do.”