Jerry Kokesh, development director with the U.S. Biathlon Association and their press officer, said Thursday that the languages routinely heard around the sport include French, English, German, Russian, Slovak, Czechoslovakian, Slovenian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Austrian, Finnish, Polish, Korean, and Russian dialects from Ukraine, Moldavia and Belarus.
"Somehow, everyone communicates," Kokesh
said."There are always problems, but we wade through them and somehow survive.
"The one man who brings it all together is Janez [Vodicar]," he
said. Vodicar, 51, a Slovenian who has studied Russian, has been with the IBU since 1988.He
has been involved in biathlon dating back to the 1970s.Along with the official biathlon languages, Vodicar also speaks French, Italian, Hungarian, Croatian, Austrian and several dialects. He
knows the sport and its athletes, and enjoys sharing his
is the man who conducts the press table at the World Cup competitions.He
introduces the winning athletes and talks easily about their histories.He
sometimes asks questions of them, and is even known to answer the query before the biathlete can.
"I don't know how we bring it all together," he
said Thursday about the many languages of biathlon."It just comes together.
"Everyone is happy, most of the time," he
continued."At one time or another, everyone needs help [because of the language differences] and they talk to me." He admits language problems arise, and sometimes he becomes "a referee."