After full 25 years (since the independence of the Republic of Croatia), Croatian sports is not “assigned” to one of the relevant ministries of the Croatian Government anymore. According to the Law on Organization and Scope of Ministries and other Central State Administration Bodies, in November this year it has received, for the first time, its own office – the Central Office for Sports.
The Office will perform administrative and experts tasks in the field of development and promotion of sports and its role in the society, funding of sports programs and sports development programs, expert activities, the status of top athletes, national sports development program, administrative and inspectional supervision of sports activities; preparation and implementation of EU projects and many other strategically important tasks. Our most successful Olympian Janica Kostelić, who has performed at three Winter Olympic Games and who is also the most successful Alpine skier in the history of Winter Olympics with four gold and two silver medals, was appointed the first Secretary of State for Sports.
Janica is the only athlete with four medals (three gold, one silver) at single Olympic Games (Salt Lake City 2002) and she has also appeared at the Olympics in Nagano in 1998 and in Turin in 2006 (one gold, one silver). She was World Champion in different ski disciplines five times, the third female skier in the history who has won the World Cup races in all the five skiing disciplines, as well as the second female skier – winner in all the five disciplines in a single season. Three times she has won the title of overall winner at the World Cup, and she has seven small Crystal Globes, three in Slalom and four in Combined. Janica Kostelić was selected eight times the Best Croatian Female Athlete of the Year.
In the choice of the French Academy of Sports, in 2005 she was named the World’s Best Female Athlete. In 2009, she was presented the International Fair Play Award – Fair Play Mecenate. Due to the appointment to the new position of Secretary of State for Sports, Janica was dismissed from her previous position of Assistant Minister of Science, Education and Sports.