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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

FIS Vice-President Janez Kocijančič Dies at 78

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 2 2020
FIS

FIS Vice-President Janez Kocijančič has died after a long illness at the age of 78, Kocijancic served on the FIS Council since 1981 and was elected Vice President in 2010.

Kocijančič, who was also active in politics and business, was the president of the Slovenian Olympic Committee between 1991 and 2014, and headed the European Olympic Committees since 2017.

Born in 1941, he graduated in law in 1965 and earned a master's and a doctoral degree in the same field, while he also entered politics at a young age, presiding over the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia in 1968-1971.

Since then, he was active in business, including as the chief executive of the flag carrier Adria Airways between 1982 and 1993.

Kocijančič returned to politics in the late 1980s, and in 1993, two years after Slovenia gained independence, he became the leader of the United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD), the precursor of today's Social Democrats (SD). In the same year, he became a member of the National Assembly and stayed at the helm of the ZLSD until the end of his MP term in 1997.

But Kocijančič will be most remembered by his work in sports, where he has left an indelible mark, especially in skiing, while also serving at important international posts.

First, he headed the Ski Association of Slovenia (1974-1984) and Yugoslavia (1984-1988), before in 1991 after Slovenia became an independent nation, he led the creation of the Ski Association of Slovenia which became one of the most active FIS member nations.

Janez Kocijančič was also elected the first president of the Slovenian Olympic Committee and served at the post for more than 23 years. Since 2005, he was also a member of the executive committee of the European Olympic Committees, becoming the organization's Vice-President in 2013 and its President in 2017.

In 1981, Kocijančič was elected a member of the Council of the International Ski Federation (FIS), and served as vice president since 2010. During his outstanding service for FIS, Kocijančič began as a member of the Legal and Safety Committee. Alongside his role as FIS Vice-President, he also chaired the Marc Hodler Foundation Board and FIS Marketing Ltd.

He is the recipient of the Bloudek Award (1985), Slovenia's most prestigious sports accolade, and of the Norwegian King Olav Trophy (2014) for his global promotion of skiing.

FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said of Kocijančič, “FIS and the world of sport has lost a true friend. Janez Kocijančič was a dedicated member of the Council who served FIS and the sport with distinction and wisdom. His wonderful sense of humour will also be warmly remembered. It is with a heavy heart that I express the deepest condolences of FIS to his wife Andrea and their family, the Ski Association of Slovenia community and his many friends all over the world.”

Release courtesy of FIS