Yoga, meditation and mental strength propelling alpine skier Miha Oserban (SLO)

Yoga, meditation and mental strength propelling alpine skier Miha Oserban (SLO)

JEONGSEON – Miha Oserban (SLO) is confident his name will be up in lights come the end of the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games. So bullish that he is happy to share what he expects to be taking home to Slovenia.

He is competing in all four men’s alpine skiing events: slalom, giant slalom, Super-G and alpine combined. And he envisages at least two golds.

“I want as many medals as I can get. Obviously, the gold colour,” Oserban, the 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) giant slalom champion, said.

“We will see, there are a lot of great competitors here but I at least wish to get another one in giant slalom and one in slalom.”

Should he succeed, the 17-year-old reckons it will be partially thanks to his somewhat surprising new obsessions.

“Nowadays I also realise yoga is a key,” Oserban revealed, after listing the more common qualities of hard work, discipline and dedication. “I am trying to do it every day, if not at least every two days – in the evening, before bed. I follow an online programme.

“Last year I saw that you really need to commit to it and now I feel a lot more relaxed, not stressed. I do a lot of meditation too and I talk to a lot of psychologists. They help me a lot. I am mentally strong. I will probably do it every night here.”

A former under-16 national champion, Oserban has plenty to aim for when it comes to achievements by Slovenian skiing greats. One star in particular is close to his heart. It took a trip to France in 2023 to make his world championships debut for the teenager to finally meet Tina Maze.

“I took a picture of us. She said that I am on a great path and I just need to continue and not get off the tracks and I will get there,” Oserban said of double Olympic champion, who comes from the same mountainous village as he does.

“There isn’t a statue (in the village of Crna na Koroskem) but everyone knows her. They are starting to know me but I hope the whole world will know me, as well as my home village.”

Fellow national men’s team skiers, Zan Kranjec, the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games giant slalom silver medallist, and Rok Aznoh, the 2023 downhill junior world champion, certainly know who he is.

“I’ve learned a lot from them,” Oserban said, before sharing more evidence of his unshakeable self-belief. “I know I ski better with their help, but I try to find my limits. I am my own man.”

Winner of his most recent International Ski and Snowboad Federation (FIS) race, the Slovenian is expecting to get plenty of reward for locating and then pushing those limits in the coming days, starting with the Super-G on Sunday.

“It is definitely fun not knowing who the best is going to be. I can see how good I am,” he said. “I hope I will do everything to achieve the same result I did last year at EYOF.”

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