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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 05 Sep 2016
ROK FLANDER, THE RESTAURANT OWNER AND THE WORLD CHAMPION

DEAR ROK, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born on June 26th 1979 in Kranj, Slovenia. After elementary school, I completed my primary education at an economics high school and have continued studying at the faculty of Organizational Science in Slovenia. I began snowboarding in 1991, at the age of 12. I was introduced to the sport by my brother Benjamin, who later also became my first coach. I entered the world of professional sports through athletics. Among other things, I competed in high jump during elementary school, and achieved notable results in national competitions. After elementary school, I trained in tennis for four years. During my childhood and youth, I spent all of my free time training, biking, bmx and skateboarding.
WHICH SPORTS WAS YOUR FAVORITE & WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO MAURITIUS?
Along with snowboarding, windsurfing is the sport that has most marked my life. I started windsurfing in 1994. From my first contact with the board, I have been addicted to this sport. It is more than a sport to me - it is a way of life, and it occupies most of my free time. After more than 20 years of training, I am most interested in finding ultimate conditions, which means traveling around the world in search of the perfect combination of wind and waves. This is also how I came to Mauritius for the first time. It was basically a coincidence. In 2004 with a bunch of friends we were on the way to Madagascar in search for the ultimate condition on the water and searching for the last unspoiled parts of our planet. As there was no direct connection to Madagascar we had to make a three day stop in Mauritius. It was a coincidence but those three days at One Eye were simply epic. This is what made me come back to Mauritius ever since. The mild tropical climate and the beauty of the nature at Le Morne area finally created a great training environment for all my off season conditional preparations.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MILESTONES MET BY YOU?
I believe it is a bit the same for everybody. A very important milestone happened just recently when our daughter joined us in this world. It was my wife Gabriella and our daughter Jade who made this transition from a professional athlete to a businessman, a more pleasant experience. I have to say that at the moment I don’t miss competitions anymore and really enjoy the everyday of our family life. On the professional basis there was quite some important milestones. I would definitely point out my World Champion title from Switzerland 2007. Apart from that I also won 14 world cup podiums and took part at three Olympic Games. Torino (8th place), Vancouver (7th place) and Sochi ( 6th place).
WHAT DOES YOUR AVERAGE DAY LOOK LIKE?
As you can imagine running a Bar and Restaurant is one of the most difficult jobs. Basically the work for you never stops. There is always something that has to be taken care of! That’s why it is important to take time for yourself and family every now and then. At this point it is also important to say that this business is a family business and this is the only way it can be successful.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?
I am strongly connected with the ocean and this is also the main reason
apart of my family for living and staying here the majority of the year. Mauritius is also interesting because of its colorful population. It is a place where you meet interesting people from all over the world. Not to forget that the place where we are located (La Gaulette and Le Morne) is still very pure and the local spirit is strong and unique.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS?
It is balance that brings happiness to your life. The most important thing is to stay connected to yourself and being able to hear your inner voice.

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