Uroš Velepec
Photo: arhiv SZS

Velepec Uroš

A Bloudek Plaque winning biathlon coach, the head coach of the Slovenian national biathlon A team and one-time very successful biathlete and triathlete, and a graduate of the Faculty of Sport of the University of Ljubljana.

One of the better known Slovenian sports people and coaches, he began his career in the national youth squad for cross-country skiing, then switched to biathlon and later the triathlon.

He won one of the hardest endurance competitions twice in a row, the Ultraman world championship in Hawaii, where competitors have to swim 10 km, cycle 421 km then run 84 km.

He was also several times the national champion in biathlon, duathlon and triathlon, in the European long triathlon championship together with Igor Kogoj and Miro Kregar he won team 3rd place, and he took part twice in the Winter Olympics, at Albertville in 1992 and Lillehammer in 1994.

In the biathlon he secured his best ranking with 7th place in the world championships in 1993 at Borovets in Bulgaria. In 2002 he retired from active sports and became a biathlon coach, first for the national youth team and then for the senior team.

He managed the Slovenian national senior team from 2007 to 2015. After the 2015 season he went abroad and successfully managed the Ukrainian national women’s team. Under his leadership, competitors won three Olympic medals (Jakov Fak twice – Vancouver in 2010 and PyeongChang, and Teja Gregorin – Soči 2014), and his competitors have regularly won medals in world and European (youth and senior) championships.

Last year on his return he helped Jakov Fak to the world elite, who after two seasons struggling with health and injury issues returned to win Olympic bronze. As a versatile coach he also helps other sports people develop (triathlon, mountain biking, light athletics and so forth).

He helps in the training of the best Ironman triathlete of recent times, David Pleše. He also works as a teacher, lecturing on the biathlon sector at the Faculty of Sport.

Starting this year he is again managing the select Slovenian national biathletes. For his major contribution to the development of Slovenian sport, in 2012 he received the Bloudek Plaque.