The Olympics in Tokyo 50 years ago (1964) as well as those in Los Angeles 30 years ago (1984) very certainly of historical significance for the Croatian sports. While the Games in Tokyo gave rise to the winners of silver medals and great names of Croatian and
world water polo, Ozren Bonacic, Antun Nardelli, Fran Nonkovic, Vinko Rosic, Karl Stipanic, Ivan Trumbic and Zlatko Šimenc, the Games in Los Angeles ended in winning ten Olympic medals - gold in handball (both competition), water polo, kayaking and wrestling, silver in kayaking and tennis and bronze in boxing, basketball and football.


The Games in Los Angeles were the beginning of rise of Dražen Petrovic, one of the world's greatest basketball role models, winner of three Olympic medals, captain of the Croatian team at the Olympic in Barcelona in 1992 who has won the historical silver medal for
the independent Republic of Croatia. In 2006, the Croatian Olympic family established the annual award Dražen Petrovic as encouragement to the young athletes. This award is continuously presented on September 10th, on the day of the establishment of the COC, showing that the Croatian Olympic family continuously nurtures the memory of the extraordinary sports and Olympic successes of this excellent athlete whose name is a part of the Croatian identity. The first team medal won by Croatian female athletes comes also from the Games in Los Angeles, with three Croatian athletes within the Yugoslavian National Team - Jasna Ptujec, Mirjana Ognjenovic and Biserka Višnjic. These days, the canoeist Matija Ljubek, one of the most successful Croatian Olympians with four Olympic medals in total, would celebrate thirty years from winning both gold and silver medals at the same Games. One of the greatest recognitions of the COC, the Lifetime achievement award, presented to the individuals and teams, is named after Ljubek, who was truly one of the leading Croatian sports names. This year, Ljubek was posthumously awarded by the Croatian President, Mr. Ivo Josipovic. Perica Bukic, top Croatian water polo player, winner of two Olympic golds and one silver, began his excellent career at the Games in Los Angeles. Tomislav Paškvalin, winner of two Olympic golds and current Assistant Minister for Science, Education and Sports, confirmed his excellent career at the L.A. Olympics as well. These days, Vlado Lisjak, world-renowned wrestler, celebrated the golden medal won at the L.A. Olympics as well and in September this year, he was awarded with the medal of the Order of Danica Hrvatska (the Croatian Morning Star) with the image of Franjo Bučar. With the message "Olympic history for the Olympic future" Croatian Olympic Committee conveniently congratulated these Olympians who are, as emphasized by the COC's President Mr Zlatko Mateša, Croatian role models and true treasure of the exceptional world's sports and Olympic movement.

 

Tokio Olympics 1964
Water polo – silver medal: Ivan Trumbic, Vinko Rosic, Zlatko Šimenc, Anton Nardeli,
Ozren Bonacic, Frane Nonkovic, Karlo Stipanic

 

Los Angeles Olympics 1984
Handball (women) - gold medal: Jasna Ptujec, Mirjana Ognjenovic, Biserka Višnjic
Handball (men) – gold medal: Zdravko Zovko, Pavao Jurina
Water polo - gold medal: Deni Lušic, Božo Vuletic, Veselin 1uho, Zoran Roje, Milivoj
Bebic, Perica Bukic, Dragan Andric, Goran Sukno, Tomislav Paškvalin
Canoe C-2 500– gold medal: Matija Ljubek (in pair with Mirko Nišovic)
Wrestling – gold medal: Vlado Lisjak
Canoe C-2 1000 – silver medal: Matija Ljubek (in pair with Mirko Nišovic)
Kayak K-1 1000 - Milan Janic
Tennis (demonstration sports) - Sabrina Goleš
Football - bronze medal: Ivan Pudar, Nenad Gracan, Borislav Cvetkovic, Tomislav
Ivkovic, Stjepan Deveric, Branko Miljuš
Boxing - bronze medal: Milan Puzovic
Basketball (men) – bronze medal: Dražen Petrovic, Aleksandar Petrovic, Ivan Sunara,
Branko Vukicevic, Andro Knego, Mihovil Nakic