Slovenia is located in southeastern Europe, bordered to the west by Italy, to the north by Austria, to the east by Hungary, and to the south by Croatia. In 1918, it joined with Serbs and Croats as part of a reorganized Yugoslavia, encompassing six republics.
In 1990, free elections in Slovenia were won by parties advocating greater regional autonomy, and on June 25, 1991, Slovenia's parliament declared itself independent and sovereign. Clashes began two days later between Yugoslav troops and Slovenian militias. Official support from outside of Yugoslavia came when the European Community announced its recognition of Slovenia on January 15, 1992.
Slovenia has competed as an independent nation at the past four Olympic Winter Games. Previously it competed as part of Yugoslavia. Three of Slovenia's four medals have come in Alpine skiing.
Alpine skier Tina Maze finished third in the 2008-09 women's giant slalom World Cup standings and is a legitimate threat for a medal in that event in Vancouver.