Being Vesna Fabjan's Parents

We are very proud to be the parents of Vesna Fabjan; however, being a parent to a cross-country skier is far more challenging than meets the eye at first sight. Watching her compete is very stressful. Before a contest starts, the heart starts racing and the stomach hurts. Even when we watch live transmissions on the computer or television, we get very nervous and are shivering with excitement in hope for every gained second; but seconds sometimes run too fast.

When Vesna does great, we feel wonderful, especially for knowing that she is pleased with the fact that she has improved her previous rankings, reduced her arrears, which means that she’s made progress.

However, the path that leads to these successful results has been long. We’ve been watching and supporting Vesna since her first attempts to cross-country ski. It took us all a lot of conformation, sacrifice and mutual reconciliation. There was never a doubt who would take her to the contest. We were always game and it was very clear where we were going on Sunday – with Vesna to the contest, of course.

Her participating in more important competitions has also changed the logistics. Nowadays, we cannot wait for her to come home from her training or a contest. Vesna 'trained' us not to ask her right away, how much time she will be spending at home. On her return, all her clothes need to be washed and dried immediately since she sometimes stays at home only a day or two.

When it comes to food, we subject to Vesna's requests and wishes. It gives me great pleasure to cook or bake some of domestic dishes for her. After a long absence and hotel food, Vesna likes to enjoy home-cooked beef broth or, to my great surprise, home-made black pudding, while the French fries are off limits. 

Vesna needs our support also when she's not at home. We can only help and encourage her by talking to her on the phone or computer. A onetime illusion to actually be able to see each other while making long-distance calls has come true. We find video calls quite useful; however, a warm hug in a difficult moment can only be replaced by a mere hand wave. 

It's great to be a parent to a successful, top athlete. Watching her succeed and receive congratulations at showing good results it's not difficult for us to subordinate and conform our lives to her sports career. We stand by her and help her pass through crises, which are not rare, and we always will.

Fani and Miran Fabjan