Milos Jansa leads small nation
with big legends and family tradition
© 2007 Getty Images
Slovenia’s consistent rowing success has been rooted in the long-term nurturing
philosophy of Coach Milos Jansa. A small pool of about 300 rowers means Jansa’s
approach has been to work with individual rowers “a lot of years.”
The most heralded heroes moulded by Bled-based Jansa, 57, are undoubtedly Luka Spik,
28, and IztokCop, 35. Cop made his first
podium appearance in 1991, when he and
partner Denis Zvegelj, both just 19, glided into
silver in the men’s pair, behind the legendary
Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent. Spik
made his first appearance with Cop in 1999
and won gold head-on at the World Rowing
Championships in the double.
has been active 22 years, and I coached him
from the beginning. He started when he was
13. Luka Spik also started when he was 13. I’ve
coached them from the beginning,” says Jansa
of the men in Slovenia’s famed double, named
World Rowing Crew of the Year in 2005.
“Our selections are not like in bigger countries.
We work with younger rowers to develop them
for ten to twelve years. Every junior has a period
of work of about six or seven years. Iztok Cop
Rowing was elevated to one of Slovenia’s
most important sports when in 1992 Cop
and Zvegelj were the first athletes to win a
medal ( bronze) at the Olympic Games for
their newly independent country. Cop went
on to become Olympic Champion with Spik
at Sydney and the crew added Olympic silver
in 2004 at Athens.
(L-R) Slovenian Coaches Milos
Jansa, Marko Mizerit, Dusan
Jerse and Vlado Krulcic.