Slovak skier Petra Vlhová has the chance to defend her victory in the Athlete of the Year election. There are also other former laureates in the elite five: cyclist Peter Sagan and pedestrian Matej Tóth, who were joined by hockey player Erik Černák and sprinter Ján Volko. The winner for 2020 will be officially announced on December 16.
The Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee (SOŠV), in collaboration with the organizer of the survey, the SSN Sports Editorial Club, decided in 2020, which had a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19, to continue the annual tradition of announcing the most successful athletes to continue. It premiered in the former Czechoslovakia back in 1959. Since 1993, Czech and Slovak sports journalists have continued the tradition of the former Czechoslovak poll separately.
Despite major limitations, the sports life did not stop completely and this year Slovak athletes achieved several remarkable results. “As the umbrella organization of Slovak sports, the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee decided this year to deal with the announcement of the results of an important and traditional study, which is attracting the attention of all of society.
At the end of 2020, the sports calendar was constantly shaking to its foundations. In the end, however, we managed to organize quite a number of sporting events, which also included Slovak athletes. In difficult times, they brought joy to fans and hoped that life would return to normal, “ stated in the press release the president of SOŠV Anton Siekel.
The committee of the SSN Club of Sports Editors decided to conduct a survey in 2020 on the most successful Slovak athletes. However, compared to the past, there was a change in the “busy” year. Instead of ten, only the five most successful individuals will be awarded, and instead of three teams, only the winner will be awarded.
“We were of course sorry that many of our sports representatives could not show their kumšt at important events this year and ‘fight’ with their results in the Athlete of the Year poll. this popular opportunity, again, albeit with fewer places to pick up than in the past, “ Tomáš Grosmann, the chairman of KŠR SSN, said on the sidelines of the survey.
Of the five most successful, now known to the public only in alphabetical order, three already held the winning scepter in the poll. Petra Vlhová is the defender of last year’s championship, Peter Sagan is a three-time winner of the poll (2013, 2015, 2017) and Matej Tóth was victorious in 2016.
Vlhová was among the winners a total of five times, Peter Sagan ten times in a row and Matej Tóth six times in a row with the elite. Sprinter Ján Volko came fourth in the poll twice (2017, 2019). Hockey player Erik Černák is one of the laureates of the survey for the first time.
This year, 94 members of KŠR voted in the poll, giving their vote to 26 people and six teams. The decline in the number of laureates resulted in the historically lowest numbers of individuals and groups on the ballots.
The name of the most successful athlete appeared on 93 ballots. After the deadline and evaluation of the survey, it is known that the footballer finished in three places behind the top five. Martin Dúbravka, hockey player Andrej Sekera a biathlete Ivona Fialková.
The pandemic also affected the form of the solemn announcement of the research results. The current situation does not allow the Slovak sports family to meet at a gala dinner and to broadcast the most successful live broadcasts. That is why the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee, in collaboration with RTVS, is preparing a special program on December 16 (at 8.30 pm at the Unity), in which the public will discover the order in the survey. All laureates will perform in it.
Since 2010, KŠR has also rewarded famous sports personalities from the past in the Sports Legend category, which will not be missing even now. Boxer Ján Zachara was the first to receive a big round of applause, followed by hockey player Jozef Golonka, soccer player Jozef Adamec, handball player Anton Frolo, athlete Eva Šuranová, figure skater Karol Divín, gymnast Marianna Némethová-Krajčírová, athlete Jozef Pribilinis Verlegenropilinec, basketball player Stanecilinec. The name of this year’s legend will be revealed to the public during a televised broadcast on December 16, 2020.