An unwavering love of sports

The sporting heart of Slovenia beats passionately; this is a nation where sports are a way of life and an integral part of the culture. This deep dedication to sports is marked by the national holiday, Day of Slovenian Sport, celebrated on September 23.  

Impressively, over two thirds of the population engage in recreational sports, showing the widespread commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Despite its modest size, Slovenia excels in sporting achievements on a per capita basis, with approximately 7,000 competing athletes, many of whom consistently win medals at international sporting events. Slovenians love of supporting their favorite athletes is deeply rooted in the culture as a source of collective pride and a national hobby. 

Take part in the sporting spirit of Slovenia.
Take part in the sporting spirit of Slovenia. © Slovenian Tourist Board

Slovenian athletes shine in team and individual sports at major competitions, which boosts Slovenia’s sports visibility. Many Slovenian athletes who have gained international recognition can pride themselves on being official Ambassadors of Slovenian tourism: top cyclists Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič, the G.O.A.T. in sports climbing, Janja Garnbret, and NBA basketball player Luka Dončić. Along with Goran Dragić, he played a pivotal role in winning EuroBasket 2017. Volleyball has experienced a remarkable revival, with the men’s national team achieving European championship runner-up status three times in six years. The country also plays a high level of handball: the men’s national team has competed at the Olympics three times and is consistently among the favorites in major competitions. Even in ice hockey, the men’s national team had the privilege of participating in the Olympics on two occasions, further highlighting Slovenia’s prowess in various sports. Recent participation in the UEFA European Championship Qualifying serves as a compelling testament to Slovenia’s emerging influence and strong performance on the international football stage. 


Many people wonder how a nation of two million people can be so successful at sports. While several factors contribute to this phenomenon, one stands out: the country’s remarkable geographical diversity. It is a rare to encounter a country that blends such a wide array of landscapes within such a compact territory; recall that Slovenia serves as a meeting point for the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst region and the Pannonian Plain. What further enhances this geographical richness is the pocket size of the country. Distances between these diverse landscapes are remarkably short, and even within the urban centers, nature is always just a stone’s throw away, encouraging residents and athletes alike to explore its wonders. This accessibility is a gift that keeps on giving, offering a variety of excellent training grounds for a wide range of sporting activities, 365 days a year. 

Browse through the brochure dedicated to sports tourism to find more intriguing facts about Slovenia’s passion for sports. 

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