On the occasion of the forthcoming next edition of BBL (in Slovak Banskobystrická latka = in translation High jump lath in Banská Bystrica or Banská Bystrica High Jump Meeting, next only BBL), we present the circumstances and memories of our editor and long-time BBL contributor, Jozef Ivan, of the then world’s great high jumper, before and after he became an Olympic champion in the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games, Stefan Christian Holm from Sweden, born on 25th May 1976.
„I’m going to Sliač for Stefan Holm at noon. If you want, come to the reception of Hotel Lux, where I will bring him from the airport and you can interview him.“
– This is how the director of BBL Lubomir Roško told him in a friendly way on phone this news on the morning of 24th February 2003.
And Jozef Ivan recalls:
„To meet the leading competitor of the world high jump tables and to mediate his very first interview in Banská Bystrica, also for the viewers of the regional television AZTV (its successor is TV Hronka), was a very strong motivation. Lubo kept his promise and so I met for the first time at the reception of Hotel Lux this nice Swedish athlete, later Olympic champion, 4-time BBL winner, 4-time indoor world champion, and thanks to the interpreting of Martina Pačesová, I prepared an interview with him also for the regional TV. On the next day, 25th February 2003, Stefan Holm, right at his 1st start at the BBL, won with a jump of 234 cm and he won also the hearts of the spectators in Banská Bystrica. A year later on 17th February 2004 Stefan repeated his victory with the same 234 cm performance and also tried to pass over the 240 cm bar. Although he was very close to surpassing it in his 3 attempts, this threshold remained unbroken at that time. And 6 months later, on 22th August 2004, Stefan Holm won the Olympic title with 236 cm – in Athens.“
Stefan was again in Banská Bystrica, at the BBL, on 13th February 2007, when in his 3rd start, he recorded his 3rd win – with a performance of 237 cm, which was a new BBL record. During the competition, after one of his attempts at 231 cm, a t-shirt with the number 100 appeared on Stefan Holm’s body – meaning that Stefan, just in Banská Bystrica, surpassed the 230 cm threshold for the 100th time. And the last time, as a competing high jumper, it was on 5th February 2008. Stefan recorded his 4th victory at this event, this time with 234 cm performance. This means again the number 100 = 100% success rate in Banská Bystrica.
Then he visited the BBL again after a long break, as Stefan had already finished his high jump career in the meantime. It was on 4th February 2016, when Stefan came – after 8 years – to Banská Bystrica as a guest and also as a coach of his pupil Sofie Natalie SKOOG, who took 2nd place at this event with her 193 cm performance.
At every single start of Stefan Holm, as well as at every other visit to Banská Bystrica, was present our editor and co-author of the article, a member of the Sports Hall of Fame of Banská Bystrica, Jozef Ivan, who communicates with him to this day and can only confirm that Stefan, as well as many other world’s top high jumpers, come to the BBL, as well as to the city, very gladly.
In 2019, the BBL celebrated its 25th anniversary. The organizers, on this occasion, invited to the meeting also former prominent high jumpers who competed and won in Banská Bystrica in recent years. Stefan Holm responded to the written invitation with the words that you can read on the front page of the newsletter for the 25th year of the BBL.
At the 25th edition of the BBL on 9th February 2019, in the sports hall Štiavničky, along coaching his pupil Sofia Natalie SKOOG, Stefan was also watching on the phone his son Melwin’s performance at the competition in Karlstad, Sweden. The tension from his face disappeared only after his son’s successful attempt at 196 cm. As he said himself, he would be very happy if his son Melwin would also compete at Banská Bystrica one day. His pupil Sofie Natalie SKOOG also made BBL history this year, when alongside the winner, starting in the event with the status of representative of independent states, Marija LASICKENE with 200 cm and alongside 2nd placed Elena VALLORTIGARA from Italy with 194 cm, 4 athletes shared the 3rd place with the same performance of 190 cm: Elena VALLORTIGARA from Italy, Jaroslava MAHUČICH from Ukraine, Michaela Hrubá from Czechia and Sofie Natalie SKOOG from Sweden, which has never been recorded in the history of the BBL before and since.
The 30th anniversary edition of the BBL will take place on 13th February 2024.
On its eve, a Gala evening will be held at the Ministry Club, where the invited BBL personalities will gather to be thanked and appreciated for their contribution to the Banská Bystrica event. Stefan Holm will again be among the invitees. It has been 21 years since his first visit to Banská Bystrica and the BBL, which is not easy to believe for such a world sports personality. Not just him, but also Jozef Ivan, who, if he was not mistaken, counted 8 common events, when counting also the subsequent planned meeting. Surely it could not have occurred to him at the beginning, that he would meet Stefan so many times and that even after the end of his sporting career, he would have the opportunity to communicate with him, especially through Facebook, or to follow his literary career, in the writing and publishing of the books together with Jessica Eriksson, not just about sport, but also on other topics.
A big dream comes true for Stefan too. His son Melwin LYCKE HOLM, born on October 12, 2004, will also be on the starting list of the 30th BBL. It is almost certain that the Banská Bystrica audience will prepare a friendly, unforgettable welcome and cheering for him in the competition, as they do for all the participants. We believe that he, like his father, will also look back fondly on his performance, and perhaps later on his performances in Banská Bystrica, and will return to Banská Bystrica with pleasure after all these years.
Well, the Holms, Stefan and Melwin, we look forward to seeing you together in Banská Bystrica! See you later.“
bývalý mládežnícky futbalista Dukly BB, absolvent Strojníckej fakulty SVŠT Bratislava, majster kúrenár, vodár, plynár, tlakár, kotlár, kurič, revízny technik VTZ, realitný maklér, skúsený správca bytových a priemyselných nehnuteľností, jediný slovenský finalista súťaže Vynikajúci podnikateľ 1993. Od roku 1973 futbalový a hokejový štatistik a historik, od roku 2011 jediný zástupca Slovenska v IFFHS - Medzinárodnej federácii futbalových historikov a štatistikov. Člen British Publishing House. Publicista a zakladateľ: Športová agentúra DUKLA, športový portál Duklasport.sk a CONUS Group (mobilné kotolne, luxusné drevostavby z Fínska a Kanady).
bývalý atlét a basketbalista. Akademický majster ČSSR, absolvent Pedagogickej fakulty v Banskej Bystrici. Doktorát na Fakulte telesnej výchovy a športu Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave. Dlhoročný moderátor a organizátor telovýchovných a športových podujatí na Slovensku, publicista Športovej agentúry DUKLA a portálu Duklasport.sk. Od 30. marca 2022 člen Športovej siene slávy mesta Banská Bystrica.