President Milanović Receives Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Medal Winners and Presents Charter of the Republic of Croatia to Croatian Olympic Committee
The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović hosted a reception for the medal winners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the delegations of the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Croatian Paralympic Committee. The President of the Republic presented the Charter of the Republic of Croatia to the Croatian Olympic Committee on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.
Congratulating them on their medals, President Milanović thanked the Croatian Olympians and Paralympians, and underlined that the Croatian Olympic medal winners have done a wonderful thing for the Republic of Croatia. “I do not know if you have ever been driven by the thought or the feeling of personal ambition, family ambition, the wish to do something for yourselves or your homeland, but the latter you definitely have. You have made us very happy, we have watched closely what you are doing”, President Milanović told them.
He noted that for a small country as Croatia is, yet also big, burdened by a difficult recent past, such achievements carry a lot of weight. “People see it, feel it, experience it. I cannot be aware of all those difficult moments you have gone through as competitors, as individuals who work out, all your suspicions, fears, doubts, insecurity, good luck and bad luck, and hopes. Finally, when you step onto the podium and when you are given a medal, only you and a very small number of people know how that looks,”, President Milanović said.
The President of the Republic regrets that the competitors who were in Tokyo but did not win medals are not also present in the Office of the President. “Some of them did not get a medal, did not get the chance to be on the Olympic podium. I regret that some of those young women and men who missed winning a medal by a blink of the eye, by one breath, by one heartbeat, are not here with us. They too deserve our respect, not gratitude, because what you are doing, you are doing primarily for your sake, those are your lives. Croatia is indebted to you, you have done a wonderful thing for Croatia. Thank you once again, continue fighting!” President Milanović said in concluding his address.
For extraordinary encouragement in the development and promotion of Croatian sports at home and abroad, and the support provided to Croatian athletes to achieve the highest national, European and world and Olympic results in all types of sports, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović has presented the Charter of the Republic of Croatia to the Croatian Olympic Committee.
Accepting the recognition of the Republic of Croatia, the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša said that he accepts the Charter with gratitude on behalf of all those who have glorified Croatian sports in the past thirty years, and have put Croatia ahead of many other big and richer countries by the number of medals won. “This is all what remains of these ladies and these young men, and all those who participated in the Games and who are part of their sports successes, the coaches, the heads of associations, the general secretaries, the association secretaries, hundreds upon hundreds of people who have dedicated themselves to the promotion of Croatian sports. Your recognition is exceptionally meaningful to all of us”, the President of the Croatian Olympic committee said.
On behalf of the Croatian Paralympic Committee, the President of the Croatian Paralympic Committee Ratko Kovačić spoke, highlighting that the Croatian Paralympians returned from Tokyo with excellent results. “We as Paralympians have won seven medals, this has never been done before at any Paralympic Games. We have thus shown that we are keeping up with the world, that we are succeeding, and even in conditions that were quite difficult, we achieved good results. It is clear that support for further strengthening sports for persons with disabilities is essential”, said the President of the Croatian Paralympic Committee in his address.
Attending the reception in the Office of the President were medal winners at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, their coaches and coaching staffs, representatives of the Croatian Olympic and the Croatian Paralympic Committees as well as representatives of Croatian sports federations.
PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić, Filip Glas