Tony Madunić, reporting for CSR from Whistler, Canada
The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games run from Feb 12-28th and Team Croatia arrived to the mountain resort town of Whistler, which is two hours north of Vancouver, earlier in the week.
Via connections with the Vancouver Croatian Centre, 45 local Croats scored guest list spots to the “official welcome ceremony” in Whistler. Mom, Dad and I were with the group and I had no idea what was in store when we headed up the mountain that day. By the time the news of the event reached me it had traveled from person to person across multiple languages and was pretty vague.
We had our own welcoming ceremony in mind. After evading three radar traps on the drive from Vancouver, we arrived and started to unload Dad’s arsenal: 2 massive Croatian flags on poles, 1 even larger one without a pole, 2 smaller ones for the kids, a Croatian hat, a Hrvatska track jacket and more. I immediately knew it was going to be an interesting day when a Team Russia trainer kissed our flag seconds after Dad unfurled it. How many times are you going to see that?
RUSSIANS STILL HAVE NOT FORGOT WHAT WE DID FOR THEM IN 2008
On the outskirts of the Athletes Village we met the rest of the group from Vancouver as well as the head of the Croatian delegation, Damir Šegota. He gave us a tour of the Athletes Village and the team accommodations. The Croats share a building with the Czechs and, as you’d expect, we saw athletes from all over the world including Aussies, Americans, Greeks, Russians, Austrians, Swedes, Italians, Japanese, Belgians, French, and even Peruvians. We saw thousands of volunteers dressed in bright blue and a massive police and security presence was felt everywhere.
HOW COME THE CZECHS GET A BIGGER SIGN?
One of the best parts- seeing how people in the village were impressed to see Croatians and our flags. Other athletes, volunteers, visitors and security were taken with our huge collection of flags and checkered everything and took lots of photos of us. Maybe the non-Croatian athletes were jealous that our team had so many fans.
Before the main event, the Croatian athletes, local Olympic delegates and our group had a ‘meet and greet’ in front of their accommodations center.
AFTER THAT, THE OFFICIAL CEREMONY BEGAN…
…FOLLOWED BY THE CROATIAN ANTHEM
A PARTY SPONTANEOUSLY BROKE OUT WITH OLYMPIC MASCOTS QUACHI AND MOGA
THE 2010 CROATIAN WINTER OLYMPIC TEAM
Matea Ferk-Alpine Skiing
Nika Fleiss-Alpine Skiing
Ana Jelušić-Alpine Skiing
Ivica Kostelić-Alpine Skiing
Danko Marinelli-Alpine Skiing
Sofija Novoselić-Alpine Skiing
Tea Palić-Alpine Skiing
Ivan Ratkić-Alpine Skiing
Dalibor Šamšal-Alpine Skiing
Natko Zrnčić-Dim-Alpine Skiing
TONY MADUNIĆ WITH CROATIAN BIATHLETE JAKOV FAK
Finally, we needed a ‘big bang’ ending so everybody climbed a hill in the Athletes Village for a massive photo op. Even the police got in for this one.
~CroatianSoccerReport.com would like to thank Tony Madunić and family for the exclusive look into the official Croatian welcoming party in Whistler. You did a fantastic job!
If there are any CSR readers planning on being in Vancouver during the Olympics, feel free to email us at CroatianSoccerReport@gmail.com with any pictures or videos you take, whether you’re at an event or just taking in the experience.
shit, if the Slovenes had their way, they rather be with the serbs than us.
Fak going to Slovenia next year does not really bother me. I pay no attention to biathlon and without Slovenia's coaching and facilities he would not even be an Olympian.
So Fak will be representing Slovenia from now on because that's where he trains and his coach is Slovenian. Those Slovenians are turds and Fak is their little puppet. They should be a little more thankful to us for being the buffer between them and the Serbs. Kunts.
Does anyone know if we can buy the Croatian outfit worn during the opening ceremonies? My wife would LOVE one. I am Canadian, she is Croatian.
My email is email@example.com
Here is another video that my friend made documenting my whole experience:
As a CSR fan i thought i would share a video of a fellow croatian (myself) trying to make a name for himself at MSG in NYC shooting for $50k at a Ranger game, enjoy:
Lemme know if any of you have any questions. really a cool experience!
nice read….well done.
even better, we medaled while slovenia and the serbs have not.
he will start 3rd in pursuit with another chance to get a medal.
You've got to support anyone with the name "Fak"…
Fak gets the bronze, he looked solid through the first 2 stages, but Vincent Jay just blew him away (14.4 seconds).
Other than the top 3, the rest was a bit of a blow away.
Jakov Fak's got a chance!!!!
Good report buddy. Love to see our athletes in any sport.
What an excellent report! Good stuff Tony! It looks like you guys have a real solid Croatian community over there in Vancouver. Please keep us updated on the celebrations you have when our athlete's start racking up the medals!
Again, great job man!
Thanks for this, Tony! I can't believe the lack of general information out there on Croatian olympic athletes this year. The NBC site only highlights two of them so this is great to have a list like this and get your impressions of their arrival. Well done!
Excellent, excellent job. I was 50-50 on making the trip to Vancouver this year, however wasnt able to get my hands on a Canada-USA hockey ticket.
After reading this post, I am regretting not going. I didnt think there was this much interest in Croatian winter sports, especially with Janica Kostelic not participating this year.
Keep us updated on your adventure in Whistler. Great stuff! Looking forward to hearing from you.