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FRANJO BUCAR IOC Member from 1920 to 1946. Franjo Bucar, a promoter of the modern Olympic movement in Croatia, was born in Zagreb, on 25 November 1866. He received his B.A. in History and Geography from the University of Zagreb, and his Ph.D. in History in Graz, Austria, in 1897.

He worked as a physical education teacher at secondary schools in Zagreb, and from 1894 to 1896; he organised a course for gymnastics teachers at the first Croatian school, which provided training for physical education teachers. He promoted new sports and founded numerous clubs, vocational associations, as well as the Croatian Sports Association (1909) and the Yugoslav Olympic Committee (1919).

 

In August 1894, two months after the foundation of the International Olympic Committee, he published news of the event in Gymnastics magazine. During his studies at the Royal Central Gymnastics Institute in Stockholm from 1892 to 1894, and during his numerous travels throughout Europe, he met a number of IOC members with whose help he attempted to secure Croatia’s membership in the IOC. During his visit to Paris in 1908, he discussed the possibility of Croatia becoming a member of the IOC with Pierre de Coubertin. Pierre de Coubertin basically agreed, but the IOC never discussed Croatia’s application. Bucar's book titled The 1912 Stockholm Olympics substantially contributed to the development of the Olympic movement in Croatia. At these games he was a guest of Victor Balck, President of their Organising Committee.

Franjo Bucar was elected the first President of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee, founded in 1919, and he held this post until 20 January 1927. He became an IOC member in 1920. He corresponded with IOC Presidents Pierre de Coubertin, Henri de Baillet-Latour and Sigfrid Edström regarding tasks and issues related to Olympism. After the Second World War, he offered himself to the authorities as a mediator in activities related to joining the IOC. He sent a letter to the Croatian Physical Culture Committee, but passed away on 25 December 1946, before receiving a reply. For fifty years, Franjo Bucar published numerous articles on the Olympic movement in daily newspapers, sports magazines, lexicons and encyclopaedias. He collaborated on many memorial documents, sports organisations monographs and official gazettes of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee.