What do Slovenia in the middle of Europe and the Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific have in common except that the latter are almost 100 times smaller than the surface of Slovenia, which in turn is almost 100 times smaller than the sea around the Cook Islands? They are linked by Slovenian ski champion Tina Maze!
The ambassador of the "I Feel Slovenia" brand and the face of a new series of tourism advertisements to promote Slovenia has added a numismatic success to her outstanding skiing results. Before departing for the Sochi Olympic Games to join the Slovenian Olympic squad, her image appeared on a silver coin with none other than Queen Elisabeth II on its reverse. In cooperation with Zlatarna Celje, the Central Bank of the Cook Islands has, for the second time, issued a special Diamond Edition of coins, which is a novelty in the world of modern numismatics and sport.
Maze is the only active athlete in the world to be featured on such a collector’s item worth €179. "It’s difficult to describe the feeling you have when holding your very own silver coin. I`m truly honoured," said the snow queen. The limited diamond edition of 999 coins features not only the image of Tina Maze but also her shining achievement. In the previous season, the thirty-year-old left her competition far, far behind. By winning the overall World Cup and the Big Crystal Globe the world record holder set new standards in women’s Alpine skiing. She won 2414 points and broke the record of 2000 points set by Hermann Maier in the 1999/2000 season. Maze has thus gained a place in the Guinness Book of Records 2014, becoming the best Slovenian alpine skier of all time.
With Mauro Pini as her new coach, Tina has got off to a successful start. With her downhill World Cup win in the Italian resort of Cortina d`Ampezzo in January she beat all her competitors for the first time in the exciting Olympic season, achieving her 23rd win. In Sochi the great Olympic hopeful is representing Slovenia together with 65 top Slovenian athletes competing in eight different sports.