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Slovenia's Dončić and Garnbret included on Time Magazine’s list of influencers for 2021

The US magazine Time included Slovenian sport phenoms Luka Dončić (basketball player) and Janja Garnbret (competitive climber) on its Time 100 Next list of 100 emerging influencers and leaders for 2021. Both are top-flight athletes who are challenging the limits of the possible. They are peers who will turn 22 this year.

Sport climber Janja Garnbret was labelled a favourite for gold at the Tokyo Olympics, where competitive climbing will make its debut

Sport climber Janja Garnbret was labelled a favourite for gold at the Tokyo Olympics, where competitive climbing will make its debut | Author Stanko Gruden, STA

Dončić was presented to readers by Serbian basketball player Boban Marjanović, the Ljubljana resident’s teammate on the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in North America.

“You can’t relax on the court with Luka Dončić. Even if you’re not open, he can make Luka magic at any moment – throwing a perfect pass that somehow lands in your hands. Every game, he debuts a new move. It’s crazy,” wrote Marjanović. “He’s just 21, but he has already made an all-NBA First Team and is set to earn many more honours.”

Also worthy of special mention is Slovenian competitive climbing star, Janja Garnbret, who Time has named as the favourite to take a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, where competitive climbing will be contested as an Olympic sport for the first time.

Billy Perrigo talked with the Slovenian climber on behalf of Time Magazine. Garnbret hopes that additional attention will take her sport to new heights in a period when climbing gyms around the world are closed due to the novelle coronavirus pandemic.

“I have a responsibility to show the sport to the world, and to set a good example,” said Garnbret. And although her aim is to win a gold medal, that is not the only reason for her journey to Tokyo. “I’m the kind of person who, if I’m not having fun, then I definitely won’t get a good result. I’m going there to enjoy it, because I know if I enjoy it, everything will be O.K.”

Just 12 days separate the birthdays of Dončić and Garnbret: Dončić was born on 28 February, while Garnbret was born on 12 March. As new sports stars of the future, they were included on Time Magazine’s list in the category ‘Phenoms’.