Croatian skier Ivica Kostelic was crowned World Champion in Alpine Skiing in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Saturday. Kostelic is engaged to an Icelandic woman, Elín Arnarsdóttir, and is therefore branded “Iceland’s son-in-law” by the Icelandic media.
From the French Alps. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“It is the grandest award one can win in Alpine skiing and what all skiers strive to achieve,” Kostelic told Morgunbladid. He boasts a World Championship title in slalom from 2003, the silver in slalom at the 2010 Olympics and the silver in Alpine skiing combined in 2006 and 2010 and has won 18 awards in World Championships.
Kostelic was saluted as a hero upon his return to Croatia. “People came up to me on the street and congratulated me, everyone from playschool students to senior citizens,” he described. “It appears as if everyone watched me throughout the season. The people in my neighborhood held a welcoming party and I was very surprised. It was great.”
“The Croatians gave him a warm welcome,” confirmed Arnarsdóttir. “It has been intensely covered in the papers because it is a fantastic achievement for Croatia to win this series of tournaments.”
Arnarsdóttir also used to practice skiing, competing with the Icelandic national team from 2003 to 2005 and she knows how much work goes into such an achievement.
The couple lives in Zagreb but Arnarsdóttir has taught her fiancé a few words in Icelandic. “He knows how to say: ‘I’m Iceland’s son-in-law’,” she laughed.