Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

On Golden Ponds: Neon-Green Slovenia Turning Heads

Win over Slovakia an Olympic first

By Jim Iovino
|  Saturday, Feb 15, 2014  |  Updated 10:32 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Neon-Green Slovenia Turning Heads

Getty Images

Sabahudin Kovacevic #86 of Slovenia celebrates with teammates after a goal in the third period by Anze Kopitar #11 (not pictured) against Slovakia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day eight of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

You say Slovakia, I say Slovenia.

Same difference, right? Wrong. Slovakia is a hotbed for hockey. Slovenia is, umm... hey, check out the neon green on those uniforms!

Those glowing green and blue jerseys have been the only memorable feature of Team Slovenia in these Olympics -- until now.

The Slovenians pulled off the biggest win in the country's history (and first Olympic win ever) by downing Team Slovakia on Saturday, 3-1.

"Now that we've beaten Slovakia, maybe they're not going to mix us up with them anymore," Slovenia's only NHL player on its roster, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, told the Associated Press.

Being in the Olympics at all is a remarkable feat for Team Slovenia, considering this one simple stat:

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the entire country of Slovenia is home to just seven indoor ice rinks. That's right, seven.

The entire state of Minnesota, by comparison, has more than 200, according to rinkfinder.com. Heck, Mexico has 23 indoor rinks, says the IIHF.

For a country with so few available hockey players to choose from (148 according to the IIHF), it's impressive that they have even made the Olympics, let alone win.

But still, those uniforms. What's up with that?

This is a picture of Slovenia's flag:


Note the prominence of red, white and blue. So why are their uniforms white, blue and neon green? The same thing could be asked of the country's soccer team, which uses identical colors.

Some say they use the colors in order to distinguish themselves from Slovakia, which also uses the red, white and blue color scheme. That could be part of it.

Others say the colors are a nod to the beautiful landscape of the country, which is filled with green mountains and blue skies. This is also why you see the pointed lines on the jerseys, which represent said mountains.

And this is an example of said mountains:

One can see why the country is so proud of them.

In any case, the neon green has had Twitter abuzz throughout the Sochi Games. Enjoy.

Get the latest Olympics 2014 Newsletter
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out