Stars make a splash with Special Olympics Athletes in Croatia

Water Polo and Tennis Stars join Special Olympics Croatia at the Pool

 Photo: (back row, left to right) Olympic water polo player Dubravko Šimenc; Zdenko Mlakar, President, Special Olympics Croatia; Damir Tomljenović, Deputy, Prefect Zagreb County; and former professional tennis player Mario Ančić, join Special Olympics swimmers for a light-hearted moment on the awards podium.  Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Croatia

Special Olympics Croatia held its 10th national aquatics competition on 18 and 19 October 2011 at the Tuheljske Spa, outside of Zagreb.  One hundred and twenty-two Special Olympics athletes representing clubs throughout Croatia participated in the competition.  Swimmers competed in various events including the 25 m, 50 m and 100 m freestyle; 25 m and 50 m breaststroke; and 25 m and 50 m backstroke.

The competition was organized by the Special Olympics club Luč and the Stančić Rehabilitation Center.

The event was opened by Prof.  Igor Jukic, Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb. Medals were presented by Damir Tomljenović, Deputy, Prefect Zagreb County; Olympic Gold and Silver medalist in water polo Dubravko Šimenc; highly successful ATP player and Olympic bronze medalist in tennis Mario Ančić; and Zdenko Mlakar, President, Special Olympics Croatia.

“The swimming competition is one of our most popular events and we are very happy to have such distinguished guests from academia, local government and sports with us to acknowledge the skills and efforts made by our athletes,” said Mlakar.