Zagreb, August 12, 2017 – After a serious illness Zdravko Hebel, second President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (2000-2002) and winner of gold medal in Water Polo at the Mexico Olympics 1968, passed away in Zagreb at the age of 75.  

Zdravko Hebel, a member of the COC Founding Assembly as the representative of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, was one of the two first COC Vice Presidents, who served the longest term – from its foundation in 1991. Zdravko Hebel was Vice President until 2000, when he was elected COC President. He led Croatia's highest sports organisation until 2002, when he resigned. He was an ex officio COC Council member from 1991 to 2002.

An experienced sports official, Zdravko Hebel was also President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation from 1995 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2002, and President of the Zagreb Sports Association for nine years – from 1991 to 2000. An Olympian and Olympic Water Polo Champion from the 1968 Ciudad de Mexico Olympics, he had a rich sports career. Between 1963 and 1977, his club, the Mladost Academic Water Polo Club, won the former Yugoslav Championship three times: in 1967, 1969 and 1971. They were four-time European Champions Cup winners (in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1971), and the European Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup winners in 1975. He played on the Yugoslav national team twenty times between 1967 and 1970. Even after finishing his career as an athlete, Zdravko Hebel remained dedicated to water polo, also as an international referee.

Zdravko Hebel was born in Zagreb on 21 January 1943. He holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering, and he is a regular professor at the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Zagreb. He has been a member of the Croatian Academy of Technological Sciences since 1993.  Winner of IOC Trophy "Sport & Universality" in 2000.

On the occasion of the death of the Olympian Zdravko Hebel, the heads of the Croatian Olympic Committee, President and Secretary General Zlatko Mateša  ana Josip Čop expressed the Hebel family and the Croatian sports family their sincere and deep condolences; "The Croatian Olympic family will appreciate everything he has done as an Olympian and sports official for the growth of the family and for contribution to the world's Olympic movement and its values in today’s society. We remain grateful for his immense efforts."