Croatia - Culture - Sports

Sports

Main article: Sport in Croatia

There is more than 400 thousand active sportspeople in Croatia. Out of that number, 277 thousand Croatians are members of sports associations and nearly four thousand are members of chess and contract bridge associations. Association football is the most popular sport. The Croatian Football Federation (Croatian: Hrvatski nogometni savez), with more than 118 thousand registered players, is the largest sporting association in the country. The Prva HNL football league attracts the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the country. In season 2010/2011, it attracted 458,746 spectators.

Croatian athletes competing at international events since Croatian independence in 1991 won 33 Olympic medals, including ten gold medals—at the 2012 Summer Olympics in discus throw, trap shooting, and water polo; at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics in handball, at the 2000 Summer Olympics in weightlifting and four gold medals in alpine skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2006 Winter Olympics. In addition, Croatian athletes won 13 gold medals at world championships, including two in athletics at the World Championships in Athletics held in 2007 and 2009, one in handball at the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, one in water polo at the 2007 World Aquatics Championships, one in rowing at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, six in alpine skiing at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held in 2003 and 2005 and two at the World Taekwondo Championships in 2011 and 2007. Croatian athletes also won the 2005 Davis Cup.

Croatia hosted several major sport competitions, including the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship, the 2007 World Table Tennis Championships, the 2000 World Rowing Championships, the 1987 Summer Universiade, the 1979 Mediterranean Games and several European Championships. The governing sports authority in the country is the Croatian Olympic Committee (Croatian: Hrvatski olimpijski odbor), founded on 10 September 1991 and recognised by the International Olympic Committee since 17 January 1992, in time to permit the Croatian athletes to appear at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France representing the newly independent nation for the first time at the Olympic Games.

Medals won by Croatia at the Olympics
Olympic Games Olympic medals
Gold Silver Bronze
1992 Albertville 0 0 0
1992 Barcelona 0 1 2
1994 Lillehammer 0 0 0
1996 Atlanta 1 1 0
1998 Nagano 0 0 0
2000 Sydney 1 0 1
2002 Salt Lake City 3 1 0
2004 Athens 1 2 2
2006 Turin 1 2 0
2008 Beijing 0 2 3
2010 Vancouver 0 2 1
2012 London 3 1 2
TOTAL: 10 12 11

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Famous quotes containing the word sports:

    Come, my Celia, let us prove
    While we may the sports of love;
    Time will not be ours forever,
    He at length our good will sever.
    Ben Jonson (1572–1637)

    ...I didn’t come to this with any particular cachet. I was just a person who grew up in the United States. And when I looked around at the people who were sportscasters, I thought they were just people who grew up in the United States, too. So I thought, Why can’t a woman do it? I just assumed everyone else would think it was a swell idea.
    Gayle Gardner, U.S. sports reporter. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 85 (June 17, 1991)

    The whole idea of image is so confused. On the one hand, Madison Avenue is worried about the image of the players in a tennis tour. On the other hand, sports events are often sponsored by the makers of junk food, beer, and cigarettes. What’s the message when an athlete who works at keeping her body fit is sponsored by a sugar-filled snack that does more harm than good?
    Martina Navratilova (b. 1956)