IevaJ heads to the World Cup!

If not prevented by the weather, soon-to-be Olympian Ieva Januškevičiūtė will open a new chapter in Lithuanian alpine skiing history this weekend in Slovenia

By Marius Grinbergas,
Ieva, second from left, with her Kronplatz teammates in Slovenia
Ieva, second from left, with her Kronplatz teammates in Slovenia

This weekend, Ieva Januškevičiūtė will be the first Lithuanian woman to start an Alpine World Cup ski race. The race will take place in Kranska Gora where the 19-year-old will race the giant slalom on Saturday and the slalom on Sunday.

Arriving in Slovenia with her Italian team, Kronplatz Racing Center, Januškevičiūtė did her excitement ahead of such an exceptional start. “You need at least one really serious race before the Olympics,” said the athlete who made her debut at the last World Championships.

Although, the weather in Kranska Gora has deteriorated in recent days. “Today there was already 70cm of snow, and it continued to snow heavily,” said the Olympian.

For the Vilnius resident, this will be her last rehearsal before the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, which start on Feb. 7. Januškevičiūtė will be the first female Lithuanian athlete to participate in the alpine compensations. She will ski in the slalom and giant slalom events. Seventeen-year-old Rokas Zaveckas will compete in men’s alpine skiing.

Until now, only two Lithuanian athletes have competed in the World Cup: 1998 Nagano Olympian Linas Vaitkus and Vitalijus Rumiancevas, who took part in the 2006 Torino and 2010 Vancouver games. The best result came from Linas Vaitkus, who was 34th in a SG in 1997 in the USA. Rumancievas started two GS races, but did not reach the second run in either.

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