Slovene dreams: Vasilij Zbogar

Yachting World - - Olympics -

Vasilij Zbogar has sailed against the best: Robert Scheidt, Ben Ainslie, Paul Good­i­son and most re­cently Giles Scott. Asked who he rates the high­est, the smil­ing Slove­nian paused be­fore choos­ing Scott. “He is strong men­tally and phys­i­cally, he makes few mis­takes,” says Zbogar, the only Slove­nian to win medals in Olympic sail­ing.

Fol­low­ing Sil­ver and Bronze in the Laser in 2004 and 2008, Zbogar bulked up to be com­pet­i­tive for the Finn. Hav­ing missed out in 2012, his Rio Sil­ver was an al­most perfect swan­song to a ca­reer that has spanned five

Games. Per­haps if he had come from a wealth­ier na­tion, he could have been one of the all-time greats. That’s not some­thing Zbogar al­lows him­self to dwell on. “Ev­ery­thing I have learned is through trial and er­ror,” he says. “I think maybe if I had grown up in one of the big­ger na­tions, the dif­fer­ence would have been that I would have had my suc­cess sooner, be­cause I would have learned the best way of do­ing things sooner.

“I didn’t start hav­ing ma­jor in­ter­na­tional suc­cess un­til my early thir­ties, and maybe in a dif­fer­ent sys­tem I could have had that knowl­edge ten years ear­lier.”

Now, hav­ing re­tired from Olympic com­pe­ti­tion, he wants to pass on his hard-earned knowl­edge to the next gen­er­a­tion of Slove­nian sailors.

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