Zagreb, January 17, 2017 - President and Secretary General of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša and Josip Čop, congratulated today all the athletes and sports professionals the Great Day of Croatian Sport, i.e. the celebration held in memory of January 17, 1992 when the IOC brought the Decision on temporary recognition of the Croatian Olympic Committee.
Two days after the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia (January 15) the historic Decision on temporary recognition of the Croatian Olympic Committee, established on September 10, 1991 – brought by the IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and four of his Vice-Presidents – reached Croatia on January 17, 1992.
This Decision enabled the Croatian athletes to perform - for the first time - under their own flag at the Winter Olympics in Albertville on February 8 of that year. The IOC brought the Decision on full recognition on September 24, 1993. Meanwhile, the Croatian athletes were already celebrating the first Olympic medals won at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, the first Summer Olympics at which they participated.
The Decision on recognition was received by the first President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Antun Vrdoljak, who - at the proposal of Juan Antonio Samaranch, a proven friend of Croatia and Croatian athletes - became a member of the IOC and maintained that position from 1995 to 2012 as the third Croat, and the first and only of sovereign Croatia.
Since the Croatian independence, from 1992 to 2017, the Croatian athletes participated at seven Summer and as many Winter Olympics, where they have won 44 medals, of which 33 at the Summer (11 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze), and 11 at the Winter Olympics (4 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze). Six medals (4 gold and 2 silver) were won by the best Croatian athlete of all times Janica Kostelić.
Performances at the Olympic Games in numbers:
At the Summer Olympics, there were 398 Croatian athletes, including 102 female athletes.
In individual sports, most of them performed in Athletics, 39 of them, including 14 female athletes. Followed by Swimming, 36 (11 female swimmers); Rowing 31; Sailing 24 (4 female athletes); Tennis 17 (7 female tennis players); Shooting 16 (9 female athletes); Kayaking 12 athletes; Table Tennis 12 (6 female athletes); Taekwondo 8 (6 female athletes); Boxing 7; four athletes participated in Cycling, Gymnastics (2 female gymnasts) and Wrestling, while in Judo there were three athletes including two female judokas. In Weightlifting, there were two athletes and one in Open Water Swimming (female swimmer), Diving (female diver) and Fencing.
In team sports, most of them performed in Handball (67), including a team of 15 female handball players. Followed by Basketball with 52 athletes (12 female basketball players). In Water Polo, there were 45 athletes and 12 female volleyball players in Volleyball.
At the Winter Olympics, there were 53 athletes, including 16 female athletes.
In terms of sports, most of them performed in Alpine Skiing, 20 athletes (7 female skiers). In Bobsleigh, there were 12 athletes, in Cross-Country Skiing 10 (3 female athletes), in Biathlon 5 including two female athletes, in Figure Skating four (3 female skaters), while in Skeleton and Snowboarding there were one athlete i.e. female athlete. (hoo/msč)