Versatile Maze blazes a trail to become queen of the slopes

Tina Maze retired with two Olympic titles after becoming an icon in her native Slovenia and across the world thanks to her versatility and consistent excellence.

Maze is the subject of the Olympic Channel’s third episode in the new season of Legends Live On, which will also feature athlete Hicham El Guerrouj, who won the 1,500/5,000m double at the Olympic Games in 2004; six-time fencing champion Valentina Vezzali; Uschi Disl, winner of nine biathlon medals over five Olympic Winter Games; and triple swimming gold medallist Peter van den Hoogenband.

Maze was born in Crna Na Koroskem, a small town of 3,000 people but with a rich Olympic history. After starting out on the slopes at three-years-old, by the time she reached her teens she was beating all the other girls in times faster than the winners of the boys’ races.

She was 12th in the giant slalom on her Olympic debut at Salt Lake City 2002 but there was disappointment in Turin four years later when she finished outside the medals and questioned her future. Maze appointed Andrea Massi as her coach – a turning point in her life as he convinced her she could succeed in Super-G and downhill.

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Maze was the Slovenian flag bearer at Vancouver 2010 and she won the country’s first two silver medals at an Olympic Winter Games in super-G and giant slalom. At Sochi 2014 she went one better, sharing downhill gold with Dominique Gisin (Switzerland). “I was just gliding as much as I could, leaving the skis, just going fast, fast,” she said. The following day she won the giant slalom, which she described as “maximum”.

Maze retired in January 2017 and has worked for Reuss developing skis for women as well as in an ambassadorial role while also commentating for TV.