ZAGREB, July 28, 2016 - The Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) gave a send-off to the Croatian Olympic Delegation that is travelling to the Olympics, held from August 5th to August 21st in Rio de Janeiro.
Among the athletes, gather prior to the trip to Brazil in Zagreb's hotel Panorama, there were experienced Olympians, for whom this will be their third appearance at the Olympics, such as water polo players Josip Pavić, Damir Burić, Andre Bušlja and Maro Joković, female shooter Snježana Pejčić, swimmer Mario Todorović, shooter Petar Gorša, handball players Zlatko Horvat and Domagoj Duvnjak, while to the sailor Peter Cupać this will be his fourth appearance at the Olympics. But there were also many athletes who will first experience the magic of the biggest global sports events, and the youngest among them are the gymnast Ana Đerek, diver Marcela Marić and tennis players Ana Konjuh.
The Croatian Olympic Water Polo Team Rio set off to Rio immediately after the official farewell ceremony, while the remaining athletes will travel to Rio yet the next day. The members of the Mission, along with its Head Damir Šegota, will meet the athletes at the Olympic Village in Rio. Boxers, athletes and taekwondo player are to travel later. Let's not forget that the sailor Tina Mihelić and rowers Damir Martin, Valent and Martin Sinković are already training hard in Rio, while the Croatian Olympic Basketball Team Rio left for Argentina yesterday, where they will play warm-up matches before the arrival to the Olympic Village.
"I wish to congratulate all our athletes and the people who are following their work regarding placement at the Olympic Games in Rio. I wish everyone a lot of health and keeping the sports shape that helped them to participate at the Olympic Games. From August 5th the entire Croatia, including the Croatian Olympic Committee, will be with you and follow - as the biggest fan - all your performances. I would like to thank everyone who helped to carry out the trip to the Olympic games, which is financially, logistically and in every other way an extremely challenging operation, go smoothly" - said Zlatko Mateša, President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, on this occasion.
At the official farewell ceremony, Secretary General of the Croatian Olympic Committee Josip Čop presented the official Olympic apparel the Olympians will wear in leisure time, at the Opening and closing Ceremonies and at the Medal Awarding Ceremony. It is a sportswear apparel of the company Erke, specially designed and created for the Olympic Games that carries a feature of the Croatian Olympic Committee and the distinctive red-and-white checks. "The cooperation with our partner brings, for already four years, great results, visible in new equipment, which boasts with distinguishability, exceptional quality and branding with our "checks". Only for the upcoming Olympic Games, there are as much as 550 sets prepared for our athletes, which means that each of our Olympians will have at his/her disposal 28 items. Furthermore, we have prepared special apparel not only for the Opening Ceremony, but also for the Medal Awarding Ceremony, and therefore I hope we'll get to see our athletes as often as possible in this very apparel"- said the Secretary General of the Croatian Olympic Committee.
Besides the official Erke apparel, the members of the delegation have also received a special line of Startas sneakers with a message "From Vukovar with love, 705 employees of Borovo", solemnly awarded - on behalf of the company Borovo - by Dubravko Šimenc, famous water polo player and Olympian.
Snježana Pejčić invited all those present and the general public to 'download' a free mobile application for iOS and Android platform called 'HOO - Rio 2016', which the company MOBILEone has donated to the Croatian Olympic Committee and to the Croatian public. It is intended for athletes, journalists and all the fans, and it contains useful information such as competition schedules, athletes' biographies, photo gallery, and - of course - a section under the name 'medals'.
Along the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša, the Minister of Science and Technology Predrag Šustar, Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić, President of the National Council for Sports Predrag Sloboda and Assistant Minister for Sports and most successful Croatian Olympic champion Janica Kostelić gave a send-off to the members of the Delegation.
At the end of the ceremony, Josip Pavić, as the flag-bearer at the upcoming Opening Ceremony, read - on behalf of all the Croatian Olympians - the Croatian Olympic Delegation's Declaration on Fair Play for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016. At the end of the ceremony, all the present athletes have signed the said declaration, sending thus a strong message, which all of them will follow at the upcoming Olympic Games.