The victory of the Slovenian national basketball team in the third game of its premiere appearance at the Summer Olympics against Spain raised the entire Slovenian public to its feet. Musicians, athletes, politicians and journalists also shared their enthusiasm on social networks. “The team is the TEAM. Fantastic ending. Congratulatioooons,” the Prime Minister Janez Janša tweeted euphorically and emphasised the importance of collectivity on the path to success. The President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, was obviously also very nervous about the end of the match, he wrote: “Ugh, something for a quick heart, heartfelt congratulations to Slovenian basketball players, congrats.” The President of the Social Democrats, Tanja Fajon, is also enthusiastic about Slovenia’s victories at the Tokyo Games: “Slovenia’s victory! Well done guys. Congratulations! Fantastic show.”
Of course, even Slovenian journalists did not hide their euphoria and pride. Bojan Požar emphasised that the match against Spain proved that we really have Luka Dončić, probably the best basketball player in the world at the moment, but that we also have a basketball team – Slovenia. Planet’s editor-in-chief Mirko Mayer also vividly showed on Twitter what he thinks of Dnevnik’s editor Darijan Košir’s comment: “World champions Spaniards defeated by these Čančarji, Blažiči, Prepeliči, Murići and Dimci. Luka Dončić was stopped, but we are strong and versatile. Indestructible. A machine. Quarterfinals, we are coming, semi-finals, we are coming, the finals…”
And while Slovenia was watching the match between Spain and Slovenia at the 2020 Olympics, Delo and Večer’s journalist activist Uroš Esih watched the end of World War II in 1945 from a holiday in Croatia: “What a victory! What a struggle! Slovenia has sovereignly defeated countries in the group that were marked by fascist regimes.”
Even the never to be candidate of the Coalition of the Constitutional Arc, radical left-wing economist Jože P. Damijan, tried to tell Uroš Esih that the basketball teams of Japan, Argentina and Spain had nothing to do with the events of the Second World War, when fascist regimes ruled in the mentioned countries, but Esih, who more than evidently “got tangled”, did not allow himself to be convinced otherwise, and stubbornly insisted on his own.
Esih sparked anger among most Twitter users. His tweet was liked by some representatives of the political left, such as SD MP Jani Prednik and former state secretary Jan Škoberne, also from the SD. In general, however, users were critical in their tweets that they should not mix politics and sports and that the aforementioned basketball teams have nothing to do with something that happened 75 years ago.
Well, if we are a bit mischievous, war correspondent Uroš Esih will have something to write about in the coming days, as the next enemy on Slovenia’s path is none other than Germany.