Slovenian national team coach Matjaz Kopitar has managed to be there for many of the most memorable moments in the decorated hockey career of his son, Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. When Anze left their small town as a teenager to play with Sodertalje of the Swedish Elite League, dad was there to see him off. When Anze won the Stanley Cup in 2012 in Los Angeles, dad was there to celebrate.
Dad will be there again this February when Anze adds the title of Olympian to an impressive resume that includes first-round NHL draft pick, NHL All-Star and Stanley Cup champion. This time father and son will share in the historic moment together as Slovenia's hockey team competes for the first time in the Winter Olympics.
"It's definitely going to be huge for our country," Anze Kopitar said. "Even before we've had some Olympics goals and Olympic medals. In a country with 2 million people it's pretty impressive. It's pretty phenomenal how you can accomplish that coming out of such a small country."