The Croatian team won the 1st World Championship in Olive Picking, held on Brač island
Considering Croatian olive oil makers have been winning international awards left and right for years now, it comes as no surprise that our olive harvesters boast impressive skills as well. The 1st World Championship in Olive Picking was held in Postira on Brač island from October 19 to 22; among 9 international teams, it was the Croatian team that took away the gold medal earlier today, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on October 22, 2017.
Croatia was represented by Ivana Gospodnetić and Zoran Gospodnetić from Dol, joined by Sanda Gilić and Tonko Škarić from Postira. Apart from Croatia, eight more countries competed in the championship: Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Montenegro, Hungary, France, Netherlands, and New Zealand. Each national team was composed of two men and two women whose skills were tested in two categories: hand-picking and harvesting using rakes.
The Croatian team managed to harvest a total of 107.6 kilogrammes of olives – 21 kilos more than the Dutch who placed second. Croats picked their way to victory led by captain Škarić, also known as the fastest olive picker on Brač island. “I’m very happy we’re the best [team] and that we are the champions. Our whole team worked quickly and in unison. I will remember this day for a long time, as becoming a world champion doesn’t exactly happen often, and olives are a great love of mine”, said Škarić, smiling and proudly boasting his gold medal. To be more precise, it’s not exactly gold – medals granted to winners were made out of the famous white stone excavated in the Brač quarry.
All participants were awarded a bottle of olive oil made from olives they picked during the day. The bottles are engraved with the championship logo, and make for a lovely token of remembrance. If the manifestation turns into a tradition, ten or twenty years from now, the 2017 winners will surely look back on this day with pride… and some nostalgia. Congratulations!
Here are the final scores of all participating teams:
1. Croatia: 107.6 kg
2. Netherlands: 86.4 kg
3. Hungary: 84.4 kg
4. New Zealand: 82.4 kg
5. Montenegro: 77.4 kg
6. Greece: 75.4 kg
7. Italy: 62.6 kg
8. Slovenia: 54 kg
9. France: 31.4 kg
Photo credit: Postira Tourist Board