Zagreb, 23 July 2020 – On the day celebrating exactly 365 days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) Zlatko Mateša hosted the first Secretary General of the COC Slavko Podgorelec, who held this position from 16 September 1991 to 31  October 2000.

The former National Wrestling Champion, now a vital 85-year-old retiree, experienced 30 years ago the struggle for international recognition of the Croatian Olympic Committee and admission of our athletes into the global Olympic Family. In a friendly conversation with the Head of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Podgorelec evoked memories of "days of pride and glory", in which the Croatian athletes performed for the first time under their own tricolor flag at the largest multi-sports event - first at the Winter Olympics in Albertville and then in the same year of 1992 at the summer edition of the Olympic Games - in Barcelona.

The President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša informed the former (first) Secretary General about current events related to the postponed Tokyo Olympics, as well as the situation in Croatian and European sports, after almost all competitive activities were blocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sports official, who once celebrated victor in the fight for Croatian Olympism, expressed his optimism that international Olympism will succeed in overcoming all the temptations of the times we live in.  (COC/VK)