Exhibition on 30th Anniversary of Universiade Opens in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

The world university student games were one of the most important events to take place in Zagreb in the 1980s.

In the “Nikola Tesla” Technical Museum in Zagreb, the exhibition “30 Years Since Universiade 1987” was opened last night. The Universiade is a multi-sports competition of university students which is held every two years. In 1987, it was held in Zagreb, under the slogan “World of Youth for the World of Peace.” The exhibition features a collection of memorabilia connected with the sporting event, reports prvi.hr on December 8, 2017.

“We have medals from the games, original posters, uniforms, toys, and other memorabilia. Interestingly, Nedjeljko Dragić, the author of Zagi, the games’ mascot, redraw him again, but now 30 years older. The drawing arrived from Germany yesterday,” says exhibition author Igor Novaković.

Novaković started collecting souvenirs related to Zagi in order to save them from oblivion. “At one fair, I accidentally came across Zagi. He was all dusty, but his smile immediately returned me to my childhood. I started looking for memorabilia, and the collection grew. My initial goal was not to have an exhibition, but to remember it for myself,” says Novaković.

Mirko Novosel, one of the main organisers of the Universiade, remembered how Zagi was born. “My office was at Tuškanac, and I was sitting there with the secretary general of the international organisation for university sports. He asked me what would be our mascot. I turned towards a window and saw a small squirrel jumping there on the tree. That will be our mascot, that is a real Zagreb animal. Cibona had wolves, Medveščak had bears, and we will have a squirrel”, explained Novosel.

The honour of lighting the Universiade flame was given to then best European basketball player Dražen Petrović. The exhibition was visited by his mother, Biserka Petrović. “At the time, I was cleaning and ironing this original shirt which is here in the museum. My son Dražen asked me why I was doing that since he was never going to wear it again. But now, 30 years later, the original shirt is here, part of the exhibition. It is fascinating,” said Biserka Petrović.

The exhibition was opened by Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. “Today’s opening of the exhibition highlights the part of our history which we can all be proud of. It shows children that, with dedicated work, solidarity and will, we can create an image that will be deeply engraved in the history of Croatia and our city,” said Bandić.

The Universiade included 12 sports, 122 national teams and more than 5,000 athletes. A total of 1,299 competitions were held in 130 individual disciplines and six tournaments, while training and competitions events were held in 26 facilities in Zagreb and 14 facilities in other nearby towns.

The exhibition is open until 4 February 2018.

Translated from prvi.hr.


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