6 reasons for Pegan wild card for Olympic games 2008
1) He has been the top ranked gymnast on the FIG Ranking List for at least 7 years (Horizontal bar).
(Category: Horizontal Bar)
2) At the last three World Championships he has won one gold and two silver medals.
3) He has won more than fifty medals at the biggest international competitions!
4) He also has two elements, pegan, named after him (high bar and parallel bar) and in the FIG Code of Points.
5) The basic Olympic rule - LET THE BEST SPORTSMAN WIN - should be respected.
For the number of years, the rules of the Olympic qualification in gymnastics stopped the best gymnasts on individual apparatus to participate in the most important competition of their career - the Olympic Games. In this way the basic rule, that the best sportsman should win, was not respected.
The efforts of Slovenian gymnastics federation together with many other countries have with the understanding of the FIG President, Mr Bruno Grandi resulted that for the first time World Champions qualify directly to the OG as a result of their excellence. In this way, Mitja Petkovsek (SLO-World Champion on parallel bars) and Leszek Blanik (POL - World champion in vault) qualified to Beijing, yet three gymnasts, who finished second cannot participate - Krisztian Berki, Yuri van Gelder and Aljaz Pegan.
It is expected that the rules for 2012 OG will allow top 3 gymnasts from the World ranking list on the individual apparatus to go to the Olympic Games. Both Yuri van Gelder (age 24) and Krisztian Berki (age 22) will therefore have an opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games, when they will be at the peak of their career.
Aljaz Pegan is today 33 years old
and although he is still among the very best in the world, however, it would not be fair to him and his competitors to leave him out of the Olympics.
to be in Beijing and challenge the very best gymnasts in the world on high bar for the most prestigous title ever.
HIGH BAR OLYMPIC FINALS ARE THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS HE HAS BEEN THE TOP HIGH BAR WORKER IN THE WORLD.
THE OLYMPIC FINALS WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT ALJAZ PEGAN.
6) The tradition of a small yet one of the most successful gymnastics countries always based on dreams, which should not be shattered.
Some of the most prominent gymnastics names in history come from Slovenia:
- Olympic all-around champion of 1924, who has been honoured in the opening ceremony of the 1996 OG in Atlanta with a standing ovation of the entire world.
video from Atlanta: http://www.ighof.com/videos/stukelj_video.html
- four time World Champion in 1931.
- Olympic Champion on pommel horse in 1964 and 1968, who dominated the gymnastics scene in the 1960s.
Slovenia has population of only 2 million people, yet has organised 2 World Championships (1922 and 1970), European Championships in 2004 and World Cup events in 2005, 2006 and 2007, with the fourth World Cups event being held between April 25-27 2008.
In the last decade, Mitja Petkovsek and Aljaz Pegan live the dream of our sporting nation - together they have won 5 European and 3 World titles and numerous medals at the biggest competitions.
Today Slovenia is showing their respect for Aljaz Pegan by supporting his quest for the wild card invitation - do not shatter this dream!