Zagreb, 12 July 2021 - After the Croatian Olympic Committee's Farewell ceremony for the first group of Croatian athletes travelling to the Olympic Games, on the eve of their departure to the airport, the Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banožić and Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj held a reception at the Ministry of Defense for top athletes - contractual reservists of the Croatian Army who achieved the standard for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Let us remind you, due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the Games have been postponed until this year.

Representatives of the Croatian Olympic Committee, led by the President Zlatko Mateša and representatives of the Croatian Judo Federation, led by Honorary President Tomislav Čuljko, also attended the reception.
On that occasion, Minister Banožić noted that out of the 42 Croatian Army reservists, as many as 20 achieved the standard for performance at the Olympics.
- This is a truly great achievement and I congratulate you on behalf of all members of the Croatian Army and employees of the Ministry of Defense. We are proud of you and your results and happy to be part of the Croatian Army Family, said Minister of Defense, stressing that hard work is riddled with honesty and honor, the work that gives top results. The Minister wished the athletes a lot of sports luck, great surroundings and success in Japan: - I am sure that after the Olympic Games we will meet here again at the Ministry of Defense and celebrate together your top results. All that you accomplish will surely be remembered, making all of us extremely proud.
The President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša thanked the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Defense and the Croatian Army for their great support to top athletes - contractual reservists in achieving the best possible sports results.
- If we imagined for a moment that these young athletes - contractual reservists of the Croatian Army - are one sports club, you would surely be the most successful club in the country. The above mentioned speaks about importance of the project of the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Defense - said Mateša.
At the end of the reception, judoka Barbara Matić and rower Damir Martin said they would do their best at the upcoming Olympics to achieve results that will make the Croatian Army and the entire Homeland proud. (Croatian Ministry of Defense/NOC of Croatia)