Croatia’s Paralympic Team Presented for Winter Games in PyeongChang!

Daniela Rogulj

Seven Paralympians will represent Croatia at the 12th Winter Paralympic Games.

On Thursday, the Croatian Paralympic Committee (HPO) presented the Croatian Paralympic athletes who will perform at the 12th Winter Paralympic Games, set to take place from March 9 to 18, 2018, in PyeongChang, reports on March 1, 2018.

Croatia’s colors will be defended by a record-breaking seven athletes in three sports – alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding. Croatia’s Paralympians in the 2018 Winter Games include alpine skiers Dino Sokolović, Damir Mizdrak, Lovro Dokić and Eva Goluža, Nordic skiers Josip Zima and Antun Bošnjaković, and snowboarder Bruno Bošnjak.

The Croatian flag will be carried at the opening ceremony by the 17-year-old alpine skier, Eva Goluža.

“PyeongChang will be the fifth time we have competed in the Winter Paralympic Games. Our debut was in Salt Lake City in 2002, and so far, we had a total of seven athletes in the Winter Games, and all seven were skiers. However, the team that is traveling to Korea has seven members in three sports, which is a big step forward,” said HPO President Ratko Kovačić.

Kovačić, who was selected as the new president of HPO last weekend, stressed that this team would be led by skier Dino Sokolović, who will compete in the Winter Games for the third time. This will be Mizdrak’s second Paralympic games, while everyone else will be making their debut. 

“I want our athletes to be determined and brave because bravery follows happiness,” added the president of HPO.

Croatia anticipates the success ofDino Sokolović who four years ago in Sochi was a step away from the medal in the competition of sitting skiers. After the first run of the slalom, Sokolović convincingly led, but a mistake in the second run forced him to leave the track.

“I hope I will not repeat Sochi. I’m going to Korea without any pressure, and I hope to get good placement. I pray to God that I will come back with a medal,” Sokolović said, before adding: “In Korea, we expect better weather conditions than we had in Sochi. And the track will be far better which is good news.”

For Damir Mizdrak, PyeongChang will be his second Paralympic Games. In Sochi, in the competition of blind and visually impaired athletes, he placed 12th in the slalom.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to defend the colors of my country. I was an outsider in Sochi, and I gained experience there, and now I hope I will have my best runs,” said Mizdrak.

For the first time in the Winter Paralympic Games, Croatia will have representatives in Nordic skiing and snowboarding. Josip Zima will compete in the disciplines of sitting nordic in cross-country – 15 km and cross country – sprint, while Antun Bošnjaković will compete in cross country skiing – a sprint for standing Nordic skiers. Snowboarder Bruno Bošnjak will compete in the banked slalom and the snowboard cross-country.

“I imagined that I would one day compete at the Olympic Games, and my dream ended because of an accident. Everything fell apart, but now it is back, and I will compete in the Paralympic Games,” Bošnjak said, who was also one step away from advancing to the Turin Olympics. However, he was severely injured during one of the qualifying races and broke his cervical spine which left him paralyzed. After completing a four-year recovery, he managed to walk. Unfortunately, Bošnjak was seriously injured again after falling from his bicycle, damaging his vertebrae. Despite everything, Bruno’s desire to compete in snowboarding was even stronger. 

The Winter Paralympics will also debut Antun Bošnjaković and Josip Zima.

“There is a great atmosphere in the team, and we are all excited to leave. I do not expect too much from my appearances in Korea because it will be my first big competition and I am going for the experience. My goal is next winter’s Beijing Paralympics tournament where I want to win a medal,” Antun said confidently. 

The Croatian Paralympics team will leave for PyeongChang on March 2nd. The opening ceremony will be held on March 9th at the Olympic stadium where the opening and closing of the Winter Olympic Games were held.

Translated from 


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