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Primoz Peterka
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Primoz Peterka

Primož Peterka, born on February 28, 1979 is a Slovene ski jumper.

Primož was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He started ski jumping at a small (critical point at approx. 20 metres) ski jumping hill near the school in his hometown Moravče;, a small town about 30 km north east from Ljubljana. To be more precise, Primož was from Prikrnica, a village less than 1 km from Moravče.

He entered a Ski club Triglav from Kranj, a town where he later also attended economics secondary school.

His first world cup event was on January 4, 1996 in Insbruck when he replaced one of team mates. Already at his first event he surprised everyone with the 8th position. Later during remainder of the 1995/96 he continued with good jumps, won his first victory in Polish resort Zakopane and one more in Swedish resort Falun. If only points past his first match in Innsbruck had been taken into account, only an Austrian champion Andreas Goldberger would have been better than him that season. At that season he also attended a junior world championship in Asiago (Italy) and won the second position, only Michael Uhrmann from Germany being better than him.

The 1996/97 season was his most successful. He won at 7 matches and an overall standings at the prestigious Four Hills new year tournament. Only a German veteran Dieter Thoma was able to follow him but he couldn't prevent him a season's overall victory. Beside that he was also the best in ski flying only standings. On February 9, 1997 he flew 203 metres in Kulm, Austria and thus became the first Slovenian to fly over 200 metres. This national record, however, didn't last very long. At another ski flying event in Planica, about a month later, a fore jumper Goran Janus flew 206 metres.

The next season, 1997/98, was slightly less successful. He won "only" at 4 events but nevertheless at the final event, in his "home" Planica he managed to defend the last Kazuyoshi Funaki's (Japan) "attack" and win once more in the overall standings. He was also the best in ski jumping (ski flying results) not taken into account) standings. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan he was quite succesful with the 5th place at K-120 and the 6th place at K-90 event. although slightly less than expected by many Slovenians.

A personality crisis is typical for many young ski jumpers and Primož was not an exception. It was really deep, it started right after the 1997/98 season and lasted about 3 years. At this period when having problems with coaches and various functionaries, he moved with his girlfriend Renata Bohinc, the 1996 beauty Queen of Slovenia, to Kranj (they got married in 2003). Meanwhile he "warned" about himself once. As a fore jumper at the 2000 ski flying event in Planica he flew 212 metres. This time he possesed the national record fot two years when Robert Kranjec, a ski flying specialist, landed at 222.5 metres, again in Planica.

An important turning point in his life and career was the birth of his son Maj in 2001. In the upcoming season 2001/02 he found his way back to the ski jumping elite. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, USA, together with Robert Kranjec, Damijan Fras and Peter Žonta he won the bronze medal at a team match, that was the only Slovenian medal at those Olympics. The next season, 2002/03, was also quite succesful. He won in Kuusamo and in Garrmisch-Partenkirchen,

Two sports documentary films were recorded about him. Vleci, Primož (a German translation would be "Zieh, Primož", maybe the best English translation could be "Insist, Primož"), directed by in 1997 by ??? is about his early career. In 2002 another documentary Peterka: leto odločitve (Peterka: a year of decision) was directed by Vlado Škafar and is about his way out of his personal crisis.

Primož Peterka's career hasn't finished yet. Till now he won at 15 events, thus being the most successful Slovenian winter sports athlete and also one of the most successful Slovenian sports personalities. The list of all his world cup victories is as follows:

Season Date Place Country
1995/96 January 27, 1996 Zakopane Poland
1995/96 March 13, 1996 Falun Sweden
1996/97 December 8, 1996 Kuusamo Finland
1996/97 December 15, 1996 Harrachov Czech Republic
1996/97 January 1, 1997 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany
1996/97 January 11, 1997 Engelberg Switzerland
1996/97 January 12, 1997 Engelberg Switzerland
1996/97 February 9, 1997 Tauplitz/Bad Mitterndorf (Kulm) Austria
1996/97 March 13, 1997 Falun Sweden
1997/98 January 18, 1998 Zakopane Poland
1997/98 March 8, 1998 Lahti Finland
1997/98 March 11, 1998 Falun Sweden
1997/98 March 15, 1998 Holmenkollen (Oslo) Norway
2002/03 November 29, 2002 Kuusamo Finland
2002/03 January 1, 2003 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany

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