Primož Kozmus – Medals


7. April 2018

Primož Kozmus: Odličja, prenovljena stalna razstava

Primož Kozmus – Olympic gold was the vision of this young lad from Brestanica

It is customary in Slovenia to view our boldest visionaries (especially in sports) as dreamers; but only until their desire and vision become reality. The story of Primož Kozmus, Olympic and world hammer throwing champion reflects this persisting Slovenian trait that leaves many talented individuals to drown in the ignorance and under submit to their limitations.

Living in Brežice – a town that has always produced strong athletes – this delicate young lad from Brestanica dreamed of Olympic victory; this was no mere "boyish fantasy", this was a goal. One, which he successfully realized with the help of two "gurus of the hammer"; the former national record holders and coaches Vladimir Kevo and Marjan Ogorevc (the latter was also a bio-therapist).

The story of how he won his five medals at the world's biggest competitions (Olympic gold and silver at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, silver at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007, gold at Berlin 2009 and bronze at Daegu 2011) is a tribute to Primož's dedication, tenacity, and stubbornness, and above all to his putting everything else aside for a decade and a half. He was not put off by the difficulties of his at times inhuman training regime, in part because he adopted a positive stance towards them. His guiding principle in sport was to accept both the good and the bad, knowing you cannot have one without the other.

Alongside his companions, he trod the long path to Olympus of the gods of sports, taking small though deliberate steps, certain that the human body can achieve the unimaginable. He also set his sights on the world record, but realised its presented too great a challenge for his body (absent resorting to banned substances). But he trained his body, spirit, and energy to such an extent that even the biggest competitions proved a fitting challenge rather than a burden. His calm and focus at the toughest competitions were the subject of admiration; to use the popular expression, his head was always in the game. When he finally managed to put all the parts together, before the World Championships in Osaka in 2007, he had reached a level where the question was no longer whether a medal was attainable but rather what class of medal he would win. His Olympic victory at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing is unforgettable. His fantastic series of throws past the 80-metre mark (80.75; 82.02 – the winning throw; 80.79; 80.64; 80.98 and 80.85 metres), won him the gold medal and a place among the greatest hammer throwers of all time. This was the apex of the careers of the magnificent Brežice five –Kozmus-Kevo-Ogorevc-Nasif-Lipovšek. From atop the pyramid of the hammer throwers of the world, he often recalled those early days (at the tender age of 13), when a group of young and older enthusiasts would make their own hammers and wires and shovel snow at the Brežice stadium so they could train following the regime of the world record holder, cleaning their throwing circles using buckets of hot water to stop them from freezing...

Lacking a supportive domestic environment, conscious that the very best conditions must be provided for the highest achievements to be possible – Primož Kozmus would undoubtedly not have succeeded had he not understood early on that he was born for the sport. Aware that very few people get close to realising their potential to the fullest extent, he embraced his gifts without hesitation and with unreserved commitment.


Vito Divac, journalist

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