Wednesday, 9 February 2022

The Flag of Croatia: What Does It Represent?

February 9, 2022 - We are nearly a week into the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, and national pride has completed another two-year cycle, regaining its place at the top of the global psyche. Amidst considerable controversy and closely aligning with the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes are again on Beijing.

Two years ago, the world watched with anxiety as a novel virus threatened to take the lives of millions and completely disrupt human livelihood. Now, after months of riding an epidemiological rollercoaster, citizens are refocusing their attention once more, this time to cheer on national heroes as they compete to do their country proud.

Croatia is no exception. Europe’s holiday paradise has sent eleven athletes (seven men and four women) to vie for gold against the world’s elite of winter sport. On February 4th, Croatia’s modest but inspired team waved the Trobojnica alongside the colours of ninety other nations in a traditional show of solidarity and sportsmanship. With patriotic sentiments high, I want to draw our attention to arguably the most potent symbol of Croatian cultural identity, the flag.

The modern flag of Croatia was adopted on December 21st, 1990, only a day before the constitution. However, this design was not the first. Throughout Croatia’s history, many different standards have flown over Zagreb. Still, they contained many standard features which we can still observe today.

Starting with the base palate, the flag consists of a traditional tricolour (Note: Trobojnica means Tricolor), a popular scheme employed by many countries across Europe. The triband consists of three horizontal red, white, and blue stripes. While these colours may seem somewhat generic on the surface, they are part of the Pan-Slavic design laid out in the 1848 Prague Slavic Congress. Moreover, this specific combination has additional symbolic value to Croatia, representing the historical constituents of the Kingdom of Croatia. Croatia proper is represented by the red and white, Slavonia by the blue and white, and Dalmatia again by blue. Yellow is also featured historically in Dalmatia, but I imagine it was omitted to maintain a simple design. Nonetheless, this seamless arrangement portrays the interwoven identities of the Croat nation.

The coat of arms of “grb” is the most prominent symbol of Croatia that is featured as the focal point of the flag. The central shield is a checkerboard known colloquially as “šahovnica.” The checkerboard goes way back, first used in 1495 with everyday use since the 10th century. So, every time a fan dawns a team Croatia jersey, remember that they are wearing nearly a thousand years of tacky but iconic history.

Perhaps the most misunderstood portion of the Croatian flags comes from a five-shield crown that adorns the beloved checkerboard. Each shield represents the five historical regions of Croatia. Going from left to right, we start with the six-point stary over the crescent moon, an ancient symbol of Croatia proper. Next, there are the blue and red stripes of the Dubrovnik region, conveniently neighbouring the three leopard heads of Dalmatia. Istria is expressed by a golden goat on a dark blue shield. Finally, the last shield represents Slavonia with another six-point star over the marten or “kuna” that shares its name with Croatia’s national currency. Over the šahovnica, these shields symbolize the identity of all of Croatia’s peoples, each region a jewel in the crown of Croat unity.

Croatia’s flag, much like its people, embodies an ancient culture with diverse origins that have concentrated within modern borders. Whether you identify personally as Croatian or simply observing at a sporting event, take the time to appreciate the majestic beauty of a national symbol that was almost a thousand years in the making.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


Monday, 24 January 2022

11 Athletes to Represent Croatia at Winter Olympic Games in Beijing

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - During the 4-20 February Winter Olympics in Beijing, 11 athletes will represent Croatia, ten of whom are member of the Croatian Ski Federation, Croatia's Olympic committee said on Monday.

Croatia's skiers include Zrinka Ljutić, Leona Popović and Andrea Komšić in the women's events and Filip Zubčić, Matej Vidović and Samuel Kolega in the men's Alpine skiing events and all of them, except Vidović, will compete in both the Slalom and Giant Slalom, while Vidović will only take part in the Slalom event.

Vedrana Malec, Marko Skender and Tena Hadžić will represent Croatia in the Nordic events.

Lea Jugovac will compete in snowboard events including Big Air and Slopestyle.

Croatia to have one competitor in Speed Skating

Valentina Aščić will take part in the short track - 500 and 1,500 metres.

Croatia had 11 athletes at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014, while a record number of Croatian athletes, 23, participated in the games in Turin in 2006.

Friday, 10 September 2021

President Meets Athletes Who Won Medals at Olympic, Paralympic Games

ZAGREB, 10 Sept 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Friday received Croatian athletes who won medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and a delegation of the Croatian Olympic (HOO) and Paralympic Committees, presenting the HOO with the Charter of the Republic of Croatia for its 30th anniversary.

Congratulating the athletes on their medals, Milanović said that they had done a great thing for Croatia.

"You have made us very happy, we followed what you did," he said, expressing regret that other Croatian competitors at the Olympic and Paralympic Games who did not win any medals were not at the reception as well.

"They, too, deserve our respect... Croatia owes you, you have done a beautiful thing for the country," Milanović said.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gold Medal Match Between Croatian Players for the First Time Ever!

July 29, 2021 - Historic! An unthinkable and spectacular event has happened today not only in Croatian sports history but also in the Olympic Games. Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have won today and there will be a Gold Medal Match between Croatian players in Tokyo 2020!

The morning got off to a great start for Croatia at the Olympics, after the couple Marin Cilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals in the semi-final, thus securing at least one medal for their country. But in recent days, everyone was closely following the fact that two pairs of Croatian tennis players reached the semifinals, as the brand-new champions of the doubles category at Wimbledon, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, had also managed to reach those instances.

With the four Croatian tennis players in the semifinals, a bronze medal was already confirmed for the Croatian delegation. But with today's victory for Cilić and Dodig (6-2, 6-2) over their New Zealand counterparts Daniell and Venus, Croatia had already secured at least one silver medal. Even before it happened, everyone was wondering, "What if there was a final between Croats?".

And that's how it went from imagination to reality. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić defeated their American rivals Krajicek and Sandgren (6-4, 6-4), and Croatia thus secured a gold and silver medal in tennis in the doubles category, in what will be an unprecedented and exciting Croatian Gold Medal match in a tennis final.

To reach the grand final, Mektić and Pavić had to beat Brazilians Demoliner and Merlo in a close match (7-6, 6-4) in the first round. They then beat the Italians Musetti and Sonego in the second round, also in a difficult match (7-5, 6-7, 10-7). This earned them qualification for the quarterfinals, where they beat the locals McLachlan and Nishikori (6-3, 6-3). At this point, the dream of the Olympic medal was already approaching, with the Croatian tennis players in the semifinals. Today they beat Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 6-4 in both sets, in a match that lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, have 51 victories and only five defeats this year. They both arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

Croatian sport reaches a historic moment with the first tennis doubles final between Croatian players, something that, although it is not the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, happened only in 1904 between American players and for the last time four years later, in 1908 between British players. So it has been 113 years since this incredible gold medal match feat was not attested.

The game is scheduled for tomorrow, and although the exact time is not yet confirmed, it is believed that it will be played around 8, after the bronze match between New Zealanders and Americans.

It is true that, although four Croatian tennis players will compete for first place, only two of them will be able to win the long-awaited gold medal. However, it can be said from now on that, regardless of the result, it is a historic moment and a great joy for Croatian tennis and sport in general. Congratulations to Mate Pavić, Marin Cilić, Nikola Mektić, and Ivan Dodig for the success!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about the history of sport in Croatia and everything about its most famous athletes, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Only 40 Croatian Athletes Qualified for Tokyo So Far

April 8, 2021 - Only 40 Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo so far. A look at Croatia at the Olympic Games this summer. reports that there are only three months left until the start of the Olympic Games in Japan. From July 23 to August 8, Tokyo will be the world’s sports center and host today’s best athletes in various sports.

Croatia participated in its first Games back in 1992 and participated in seven Olympic competitions, winning 33 medals total - 11 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 12 bronze.

According to the number of qualified athletes, it is clear that Croatian sport is in crisis. To date, a total of only 40 Croatian athletes have qualified for Tokyo. 10-15 more are expected from individual sports (boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, tennis, cycling). The basketball team, which plays its qualifiers in June, faces a challenging task because they may play without their biggest stars - Bogdanović, Šarić, and Zubac.

In the best-case scenario, Croatia can see 65 athletes in Japan, which is the lowest number in the last 30 years. Croatia only had less in Barcelona in 1992 (41 athletes in 12 sports). Given the war period, this figure is not surprising. 

Croatia at the Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992 - 41 athletes - 12 sports (three medals)
Atlanta 1996 - 85 athletes - 14 sports (two medals)
Sydney 2000 - 91 athletes - 12 sports (two medals)
Athens 2004 - 81 athletes - 14 sports (five medals)
Beijing 2008 - 101 athletes - 15 sports (five medals)
London 2012 - 107 athletes - 18 sports (six medals)
Rio de Janeiro 2016 - 88 athletes - 18 sports (ten medals)

Tokyo 2021 - In the best case scenario, 65 athletes, and how many medals?
Croatian athletes will not be expected to break the record from Rio and the ten medals won that summer.

Favorites for medals?
The shortlist of favorites for medals at this year's Games includes Sandra Perković, Sinković brothers, Tin Srbić, Croatia water polo, Tonči Stipanović, Šime, and Mihovil Fantela, Josip Glasnović, Damir Martin, and Mektić-Pavić (tennis players are not yet on the list of qualified athletes).

Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo:
ATHLETICS (Sandra Perković, Sara Kolak, Filip Mihaljević, Bojana Bjeljac, Matea Parlov Koštro)
GYMNASTICS (Tin Srbić, Ana Đerek)
WRESTLING (Božo Starčević)
SAILING (Tonči Stipanović, Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobeva)
KAYAK / CANOE (Matija Marinić)
SWIMMING (Franko Grgić, Marin Mogić)
TABLE TENNIS (Tomislav Pucar, Andrej Gacina, Frane Tomislav Kojic)
SHOOTING (Josip Glasnović, Snježana Pejčić, Petar Gorša, Miran Maričić)
TAEKWONDO (Kristina Tomic, Matea Jelic, Toni Kanaet)
WATER POLO - 12 athletes
ROWING (Damir Martin, Valent, and Martin Sinković)

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 19 October 2018

On this Day in 1968, Đurđica Bjedov Became Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming

Đurđa "Đurđica" Bjedov, the only Yugoslav Olympic champion in swimming, won her prized gold medal at the Olympic Games in Mexico City on this day in 1968. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018

What's The Secret of Croatia's Sporting Success?

Just what is it that makes Croats so, so good?

Monday, 29 January 2018

20 Croatian Athletes to Take Part in Olympic Winter Games

ZAGREB, January 29, 2018 - Eleven days before the start of the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympic Games that will be held in South Korea, a total of 20 Croatians, who compete in four sports, have secured their place in the games.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Novi Vinodolski: Old Phones For Olympic Medals

There is a lot of talk lately about Croatia and recycling, and it seems concerns have been noted as the the town of Novi Vinodolski responds to Japans unusual appeal...

Monday, 1 August 2016

Selca Sport Summer - The Amateurs Promoting the Olympic Motto

The Olympic motto is “faster, higher, stronger”, but according to Pierre De Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic games; “The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete.” That is the exact motive that young amateurs on the eastern part of Brač island had when they started a great sporting event in Selca municipality four years ago.

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