Croatian Paralympic Committee (CPC), the highest national sports association of disabled athletes, celebrated in September this year its 50th anniversary of work and active promotion of the rights of disabled persons to sports activities and superior athletic performances.

 

In the recent history of Croatia, the Croatian Paralympic Committee – until 2006 active under the name of Croatian Sports Federation of Disabled Persons – has significantly influenced the increase in number of athletes in sports activities, participation in projects on cooperation with international and global associations, as well as increase of top results at the Paralympic Games. Already with the first performance under her own, Croatian .ag, at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona in 1992, the extraordinary athlete Milka Milinkovic won a bronze medal in the women's javelin, becoming thus the first winner of Olympic medals in the Croatian history. Today she is the owner of eight medals (two gold, two silver and four bronze). The swimmer Roko Mikelin Opara is the holder of eight medals – one gold, three silver and four bronze. Mihovil Španja is also the holder of four bronze (also in swimming), the athlete Antonia Balek holds two gold medals, while the shot puffer Darko Kralj holds one gold and one silver medal. Adam Kablac is the winner of gold medal in goalball (volleyball for the blind athletes). Branimir Budetic holds one silver and one bronze medal as well as his fellow athlete, Zoran Talic, who is the holder of one silver medal. The winners of one bronze medal are Ivica Lazic, Milan Košic and Branko Sorko (sitting volleyball), Mikela Ristoski and Jelena Vukovic (athletics), Marinko Vidaic and Špiro Zrilic (goalball). Until the present day, the Croatian Paralympic athletes, 15 of them, have won 35 medals in total, counting from Heidelberg 1972 up to London 2012. The celebration on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of CPC, organized on September 5th in Rijeka, was attended by numerous dignitaries, including the representatives of the National Paralympic Committees from Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, the President of the Croatian Paralympic Committee, Mr. Ratko Kovacic and the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sir Philip Craven, who congratulated the CPC on the Jubilee and wished the CPC a lot of success in its work. 

 

Along with the IPC President, the ceremony was attended by the Assistant Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Mr. Tomislav Paškvalin, Personal Representative and Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Vesna Škulic, Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel and Representatives of the President of the Croatian Parliament and County-Ruler of the Primorsko-Goranska County. On the occasion of its Jubilee, the CPC presented the COC with a special recognition, awarded by the CPC President, Mr. Ratko Kovacic to the Secretary General of the COC, Mr. Josip Cop. The path of this supreme sports Paralympic organization that gathers 12 national, 10 county and 10 municipal sports associations of disabled persons, was permanently marked with the beautiful occasional monograph "Half of a century of Croatian Paralympism".