Tina Maze was born on May 2 1983 in Slovenj Gradec, in the part of former Yugoslavia, which is now Slovenia. Her home since she was one year old, when she is not training or competing abroad, is Crna na Koroskem, which is surrounded by ski slopes; and this is where she learned to ski from the tender age of three. She is a member of the CRN – SK Crna Ski Club. Ms Maze is five foot seven and a half inches (or 1.72 metres) tall.
While still in primary school, Ms Maze learned to play volleyball and also the piano, which began her lifelong love of music. In 2012 she recorded My Way Is My Decision, her first song, while preparing for the 2013 season and instantly became a rock star celebrity both at home and abroad.
The music for this song, which was released on October 26 2012, was composed and produced by one of Slovenia’s top music producers, with the lyrics written by Leon Oblak and Charlie Mason. It went viral on Youtube and clocked up 400,000 viewers in just more than two days to become the most viewed music video in Slovenian history. During her high school years at the Gymnasium in Ravne na Koroskem; and in 1999 at the age of fifteen, she became a member of Slovenia’s B ski team. With lowly positions of 121 and 125, she still managed to win a second and a first place in her first FIS races.
At age 17 Ms Maze began her World Cup career in the giant slalom and was only 18 when she competed in the Winter Olympics in 2002. Shortly thereafter, she decided to split from the national team and go it alone with Andrea Massi to concentrate on all disciplines of the sport. Together they formed a team called Team to aMaze, which was an excellent decision, as the pair have taken her career to the very top of international skiing. To date she has won eleven World Cup races, which makes her Slovenia’s most successful alpine skier.
2008 saw Ms Maze win her first of downhill race. She also won a second place silver medal in the giant slalom at the 2009 World Championships, a silver medal at the 2011 World championships for the combined, as well as a gold medal in the giant slalom. She was the flag bearer for the Slovenian team at the 2011 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where she won silver medals for both the Super G and the giant slalom. For the super combined in the World Championship, as well as being bestowed with the title of Giant Slalom World Champion and taking third place overall in the FIS World Cup in 2011. Her aim now is to win a first place in the Super G, which will earn her a place on the very short list of Alpine skiing all round winners. Another accolade which she has earned three times so far is that of Best Slovenian Athlete of the Year, an honour granted her in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
2013 World Cup season
The 2013 World Cup season actually started in December of 2012 and Ms Maze is already way ahead of all her competitors, having won four Giant Slaloms and one Super Combined by the middle of December. In honour of her currently being the best female Alpine ski racer, sponsors flock to support her, even though her sport is not known for having huge international sponsorship.
Her main sponsors are Armani EA7, from the internationally acclaimed Italian designer’s sportswear collection; the chocolate producers, Milka; Stockli winter sports and ski products; Komperdell, well known in ski circles for their high quality sports equipment; Alpina, her supplier of goggles and helmets; and Zlatarna Celje jewellers who have come out with a special range dedicated to and created with her input – Zlatarna Celje – Lencia by Tina Maze.
Her entire team also has sponsors – Armal, as Slovenian company; the international insurance company Generali which insures the team; Avto Jarc car company which provides an Audi and a Volkswagen Multivan; and the Impakta company. There are another ten companies which provide all the team’s equipment. Ms Maze also has an online store which sells a variety of clothing and sporting accessories which all have the Tina Maze logo, as well as her Lencia jewellery line.
Ms Maze’s long time partner is her coach, Andrea Massi, who hails from the Slovenian border town of Gorizia and who is a member of the small Slovene community in Italy.