Slovenia's Olympic Committee was established immediately following
independence and in 1992 was recognized by the International Olympic
Committee. The Committee unites 54 national branch associations and 76
local sports organizations boasting more than 3000 clubs and 300,000
individuals. 265,000 members are regularly involved in selected sports
activities, and almost one third of adult Slovenes take part in some
form of physical recreation at least once a week. Some 88,000 athletes
are registered in top or competitive classes, and of these, more than
2500 are categorized as first class or promising athletes.
When Slovenia was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy,
Slovenes were competing at international competitions, and they have
been participating in the Olympic Games since 1912. Their first silver
medal in fencing was joined at subsequent Olympic Games by numerous
medals won by Slovene gymnasts, including those of Leon Stukelj. The
three gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal he was
awarded between 1924 and 1936 make him the most successful Slovene
Olympic athlete of all times.
Like the earlier fame of our victorious gymnasts, the renown of
Slovenia's alpine skiers has grown with their successes over the last
twenty years. Our athletes have also won the highest medals on the
world stage in ski jumping, rowing, whitewater canoeing and kayaking,
track and field . . . Among the Olympic team medal winners are
basketball, handball, and soccer players who won their medals as
members of Yugoslav teams.