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nedjelja, 30. listopada 2011.

Marin Cilic Wins St. Petersburg Open Title

Photo: Reteurs



The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia --  Marin Cilic won his first title of the season and sixth of his career Sunday, beating Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the St. Petersburg Open.

The 22nd-ranked Cilic, playing in his fourth final this season, broke in the sixth game of the first set. Tipsarevic, who won his second career title in Moscow last week, broke early in the second set.

Tipsarevic saved two break points before the fourth-seeded Croat broke him with a precise backhand down the line in the sixth game of the third set.

On his next serve at 5-2 down, Tipsarevic fell to 15-40, but fired an ace and served a winner to save two match points. But on the subsequent deuce, the 13th-ranked Serb returned wide and Cilic converted his third match point with a backhand winner.

"I played the first two sets a little bit up and down and had some unforced errors," Cilic said. "But I played my best tennis in the third set. I lost three finals this year and all of them were in three sets. So today, when the match went into the third set, I was really into it to win."

Tipsarevic took a medical timeout after the first game in the third set to have the back of his right leg massaged and receive treatment for a blister on the little toe of his right foot.

Cilic said he used the time to gather his thoughts.

A few words at the press conference after the final match.

"As soon as he (Tipsarevic) came back on the court to serve, I was ready to push him, push him physically and that was the turning point of the match," he said.

Tipsarevic, who won his first career title in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 26, said he was tired by the end of the match.

"Marin deserved to win - he was a better player today," Tipsarevic said. "I really gave everything today, but in the third set I felt it wasn't about tennis it was about me completely out of fuel on court. I've played a lot of matches in the last two weeks."

Cilic is the second Croat to win the tournament after Mario Ancic in 2006.

A few moments of play during today's final.

subota, 22. listopada 2011.

20th H.O.G. Rally And "Croatian Harley Days" Review

I posted back in January about the 20th European H.O.G Rally and Croatian "Harley Davidson Days" that took place on the Adriatiac coast in the town of Biograd na Moru from May 26th - 29th.  Tens of thousands of Harley enthusiasts as well as the riders themselves descended to Croatia to partake of the good times and festivities. Harley Davidson riders from Croatia, but most importantly, from all across Europe, came to join other motorcycle enthusiasts for sun and fun in the beautiful ancient city of Biograd. As an added bonus was all the tourist money that came rolling in with the bikes, and all the positive exposure. (But maybe the best news of all was that THIS messed up chick didn't show up in her Karadzic-Mladic pajamas and wacko Seselj teddy bear, along with all of her people).

A patch belonging to one of the Croatian Harley Owners Group members "Pleter Chapter Croatia HOG".

I told some people around here about it, they were considering doing some travelling in the area, but they decided to stick around and go to "The Greatest Show On Earth". There's not much more I can add, except that it was a resounding success. I've spent time travelling along the coast there on those very same scenic roads, so I know they all enjoyed the trek to Biograd. Everyone had a blast during the festivities, great food, music, motorcycles, drinks, all kinds of entertainment acts as well as Harley Davidson competitons for best custom bikes and other categories. And of course the gorgeous scenery. They even had police escorts all the way to Biograd during the Harley Parade to the city. It seems kind of fitting to have these kinds of events because afterall, motorcycles originated from the European continent. You can read the original post for more information HERE




Croatia could have been custom made for hosting a Harley party - great biking roads, breathtaking scenery, sunshine, beaches... and a final party with more than 20,000 Harley riders that traveled from all corners of Europe

From the hazy, rugged hills inland to the glistening Adriatic sea that hugs the Dalmatian coastline, Croatia certainly proved itself as a truly spectacular location to mark the 20th European H.O.G. Rally.

The bustling town of Biograd Na Moru, located midway along the western coast, was the epicentre of the celebrations. Its two-kilometre-long harbour promenade and beach was draped in black and orange as Harley-Davidson brought its legendary party to the town.

The Harley-Davidson Demo Experience marked the northern end of the site, by the ferry port, entertaining riders with the incredible 2011 model line-up, including the whole range from Sportsters to Cross Bones and the Touring models. A specially designed demo route gave riders the opportunity to experience the best roads the area has to offer, astride a motorcycle that made the ride truly memorable.

The new Jumpstart Experience - a Fat Boy at the Demo Ride area and a Sportster located further along the site near the Expo Tent - gave non-riders the chance to feel the power of riding a Harley-Davidson, without moving an inch! One participant said: "I've never even sat on a motorcycle before, not even as a passenger, and I was buzzing with adrenaline when I got off - I have to learn to ride one of these!"

The Harbour stage nearby provided music and entertainment during the afternoon and early evening, hosting bands including Heavy Metal Kids, The Crave, local band Prljavo Kazalište  and tribute acts to Zucchero and Rammstein.

A later updated video from a different perspective, this one from Harley riders arriving on ferries across from Italy.

Amusing footage from 2011, the arriving Harley riders even getting a police escort into the town of Biograd na Moru. Because I get so many requests about interesting history facts...this scene reminds me of what it must have been like when the Croatian tribes in the 6th-7th century arrived on the local scene. (according to the 30th and 31st chapter of De Administrando Imperio by the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII and other sources, the pagan Croatian tribes during the time of Emperor Heraclius arrived in ancient Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum from areas north of Bavaria, the Danube river and in and around the Carpathians. They arrived bringing hope, freedom and protection from the marauding pillaging mounted cut-throat barbarians found terrorizing the areas making them desolate, after they killed most of them and sent the remaining few packing, the Croat tribes then set up their own realms and duchies with freedom, peace and security. Wow what epic glorious times those were too, I'm sure they had some some good celebratory barbecue feasts, wines and good mead after the battles also, although they didn't ride Harley's of course but instead rode horses with swords and spears and cool helmets, but still their arrival bringing glorious freedom was pretty cool and similar like this probably).

For party goers left wanting more, the party moved south to the Beach stage which saw breathtaking fire and acrobatic displays from Flowfuzion, the Katy Shotter Band, popular classic, Queen on Fire, High on Heels and a Rolling Stones tribute act. An after-hours DJ Tower marked the southern end of the event site on the beach.

Along the promenade, local bars and restaurants overlook the sea, a view temporarily complemented by a line of beautiful Harleys. The main entrance to the site was a hive of activity during the event, with Harley-Davidson Berlin, event merchandise and H.O.G. Hospitality areas drawing the shoppers and spectators to watch the bikes pour in.

Friday's Custom Bike Show moved out of town, to the neighbouring city of Zadar to the north. The show was held at the beautiful point named Salute to the Sun, beyond Zadar's old town and harbour and attracted a range of beautiful motorcycles from across Europe that competed for first and second place in one of 10 categories. Additional prizes included the coveted People's Choice, Best in Show and, of course, as an Affiliate AMD World Championship event, the Best Modified Harley class where the prize is a trip to Sturgis to compete at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building, won by Tomaz Capuder from Dream Machine Motorcycles in Slovenia with his beautifully modified VRod.

Between Biograd and Zadar, and beyond, visitors to the event were spoilt with magnificent biking roads. A real bikers paradise, the coastal roads feature a mix of hairpins, long sweeping bends, tunnels buried through the rocks, great road surfaces, and all set against the backdrop of the gleaming blue Adriatic Sea.

The terrain in Croatia is rugged, with a mix of rocks, forests, mountains and of course, the islands. To help visitors make the most of what this country has to offer, the Pleter chapter designed a number of guided and self-guided tours.

Saturday's parade saw more than 3,000 bikes line-up at Zadar's Falkensteiner camping ground. As the line of thundering Harleys made its way south on the road to Biograd, spectators lined the streets, creating a spine-tingling atmosphere that represents everything Harley-Davidson and H.O.G. stands for.

With the sun setting on the final night of partying, drawing the first Croatia Harley Days and 20th European H.O.G. rally to a close, the 65,000 people who have enjoyed this experience look forward to the next adventure.

Footage of the custom bikes competitions which took place up the coast in the city of Zadar.

četvrtak, 20. listopada 2011.

Kostelić Honored As "Skier Of The Year" By World Journalists

Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe

Kostelić Honored by Journalists with Skier d'Or Award


Croatia's Ivica Kostelić, the defending World Cup champion was honored Thursday (Oct. 20) with the “Skier d'Or,” or Skier of the Year by the AIJS, an international organization of ski journalists.

Half a dozen other racers were also mentioned this year by the ski reporters including Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Christof Innerhofer and Didier Cuche yet Kostelić received nearly a third of the expressed votes.

Offical Ivica Kostelić website: (Photo AFP)

Many of the reporters who chose the 31-year-old from Zagreb took time adding a comment to underline his charisma or his sometimes impressive determination and passion for ski racing.

In fact, very few champions have been able to clinch the Crystal Cup indicative of the World Cup overall title after overcoming as many injuries or tough moments as Ivica. He underwent several major surgeries in his younger years even before scoring his first World Cup points in December 2000 at Sestriere. A year later, after another serious knee injury, he set a record winning his first slalom at Aspen, Co, wearing bib 64.

Footage of Ivica winning the Super G race at Kitzbuhel earlier this year.

That was the start of a true saga which includes both golden and sad moments. Key in the journalists' decision was his series of seven wins in multiple disciplines within a single month last January - a record – and his triumph in Kitzbuehel’s Super-G, a truly amazing highlight considering there is no homologated Super-G course existing in Croatia.

Ivica is also admired for his strength of mind which continuously pushed him forward to become an established ‘all-rounder’ able to excel in all specialties.

Kostelić really perpetuates the tradition of the all-time great ski champions who don’t want to set themselves any limits – and always try hard moving forward beyond their imagination.

Ivica Kostelić Honoured With Skieur d'Or-Serge Lang Trophy As Skier Of The Year



Croatian Alpine skier Ivica Kostelic was awarded the Skieur d'Or-Serge Lang Trophy as the Skier of the Year at a ceremony in Soelden, Austria, on Thursday.

The award, created in 1963, is given by the International Association of Ski Journalists. This is the first time Kostelic has won it.

Other skiers competing with Kostelic for the trophy were Maria Riesch, Didier Cuche and Christof Innerhofer.

In 2001, the Serge Lang Trophy went to Kostelic's sister, Janica Kostelic.

Related Posts: kostelic-wins-super-combined




Swedish Saab Gripen Fighter Offered To Croatia

 An image of the Saab JAS 39C Gripen using the current Croatian MIG-21 camouflage colour scheme.

*Update Oct 15,2012 -

I'm not particulary interested these days in military matters, but I do have a military background, and this is a topic that has been on the backburner for the last few years and I'm interested to see which fighter aircraft the Croatian Government and Croatian Armed Forces are going to choose. So I figure why not?

 3 Croatian MIG-21's on patrol in Croatia.

In a nutshell, Croatia currently uses the upgraded MIG-21 as it's main go to fighter/interceptor. In 2003 the Croatian government and Ministry of Defence conducted a  minor upgrade and an extensive overhaul was performed to make them interoperable with NATO air forces.  However, there has been talk over the past few years, (especially since becoming a member of NATO in 2009) about which fighter aircraft will be their next choice. Although the date has been quickly approaching regarding which fighter jet to get, technically Croatia could wait a while still before making a final decision. Like neighbouring Slovenia is currently doing, Croatia can temporarily have NATO fighters from neighbouring countries patrolling Croatian airspace.  Any kind of hypothetical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances and neighbouring NATO fighters will take care of business pretty quick.

 2 Croatian MIG-21's taking off for maneuvers in Croatia.

The world economic crisis slowed the process down, but they will have to decide in the very near future. Also helicopters will be on the bargaining table as Croatia  is in the process of completely modernizing their air defence systems across the board. An up to date radar and early warning systems network has already been implemented.   The MIG-21's are scheduled to be decomissioned within the next year or two. There is talk of possibly getting the Saab JAS 39 Gripen or the Eurofighter Typhoon.

However the possibilities of getting the Dassault Rafale, American F-16 and even the Russian MiG-35 were also on the table over the years. Croatia could still revamp their current fleet of fighters and modernize them up to date, which would save many millions and keep the fighter jets going for years still, they are still up to date regarding NATO requirements.  We'll have to see..urgency vis-a-vis cost. The rumour mills lately have been leaning towards the "Gripen" if there is to be a near future purchase, and with the article attached below, it seems the fighter aircraft suppliers are trying to get every ounce of leverage in gaining  the upper hand in negotiating a contract.  When the final decision is made I'll post the conclusion to this piece....

Sweden Offers Gripen to Croatia

2 Saab Gripens flying over Sweden. Photo: Jamie Hunter



Today, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) invited Croatian media to a press briefing in Zagreb to present the Swedish Gripen offer that has been submitted to the Croatian government.

Through FXM, the Swedish Government submitted an offer including the sale of either twelve or eight of the latest version of Gripen C/D. The offer also includes a support and training agreement for pilots and technicians.

In order to ensure that the Croatian Air Force remains operative without interruption when its current MiG-21s are decommissioned, Sweden is initially offering a loan of older Gripen-A aircraft until the delivery of the Gripen C/Ds.

Linked to a possible Croatian acquisition of Gripen fighters Saab offers an industrial co-operation package. Supported by the combined experiences and resources of its strong industrial network, Saab and the Gripen supplier base offers Croatia a partnership through a new generation defence and industrial co-operation programme. Saab is ready to commit to an industrial co-operation obligation valued at 100 percent of the contract value.

“Saab has an excellent track record of delivering on our promises in Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa. We offer Croatia industrial co-operation programmes designed to create and sustain high tech jobs, delivering investment and generating sustainable export growth thus generating means to finance the acquisition of a new fighter system”, says Pierre Gauffin, Marketing Director Gripen Croatia, Saab.

Gripen is in operational service with the Swedish, Czech Republic, Hungarian, South African and Royal Thai Air Forces. The UK Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS) is also operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.


As a an interesting and relevent end to this post, I decided to leave a couple short vids. The first one is a very short video which touches upon the little known fact about Rudolf Perešin. I guess one could say he was the catalyst for the embryo of the beginning of the modern Croatian airforce when he defected and flew his plane to Austria instead attacking Croatia as ordered by the Jugoslav military. The second one is just short footage of the sole MIG-21 that is symbolically painted in the traditional Croatian chequered pattern, known locally as the "Kockasti", doing some low flybys at an airshow in Varaždin, Croatia.  I put it here just because it looked cool and I felt like it.

nedjelja, 16. listopada 2011.

Cory Sarich - Another North American Hockey Player Of Croatian Descent

Cory Sarich NHL profile at

Well, this one is another one that that I had no plans on doing. I don't really follow hockey all that much these days, (It's been mostly soccer, skiing, Olympics, women's beach volleyballl, Croatian soccer playboy girls, tennis, racing and fashion models over the years, stuff like that.  (Non bar n grill type and downtown eatery/kawfee shawp type stuff)  Although as a youngster I did play organized hockey for a few years. However, this one was strange because Cory Sarich of the Calgary Flames hockey club is of Croatian descent AND he wears the number 6 as well. What's the big deal about that? Well, long story short, I had quite the amount of shitfuckery from certain people since relocating here 2 years ago for a work assignment. I'm talking Calgary itself. (They call it "Cowtown"...If there was ever a perfect and ideal place to do nuclear and biological weapons testing, then this is the place)  Anything not endemic to this city or one of its cliques is considered easy pickings. Real grade 5 type of stuff, from adults even.  In that case, it was because of the number 66 AND it was on a couple of my Croatia soccer jerseys. Some kind of issue and complex with numbers vis-a-vis spicy cold cuts, European fashion/gastronomy choices and calf and horse strangling events.  (Big faux pas in these them there parts I'll tell ya what sonny boy, better take those weirdo soccer jerseys back to Ontarioland, What in tarnations is that you're wearin'...shorts!?  Where's the beach?!  Where is your dagnabit  Wrangler jean jacket and Stampeders hat?) Soccer shirts are too ethnic, only non-ethnic foods are allowed too. Tats, non Levi's or Wrangler clothing, using a belt for actually helping keep your pants up and you're you've got 3 strikes against you. Throw in the Calgary Serb-stooge factor who think any visible Croatia related tattoo or anything actually has something to do with them, and then shitfuckery game hits the fan)  I guess they never heard of David Diehl either.

Anyway, I also noticed there are a few other players in the NHL these days that are of Croatian descent, or part Croatian descent. I also did some posts about the better known ones previously. You can read them HERE, HERE and HERE.

Besides, like I've mentioned before, if it's Croatia related in any way, it may find it's way onto this blog. If 1 person in internetland finds the information new and interesting or useful, my job is done.  I just took this straight off of Wikipedia, you can click on the links to his NHL profile to find out more about Cory Sarich.

(Note - Since the time of this post, Cory has moved on to play for the Colorado Avalanche.  Coincidentally, another Croatian background hockey great, Joe Sakic, is now Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche. I'm glad he gave his head a shake and took off for Non-Cowstrangling bucket-o-bacon land)

Related: canadian-croat-breaks-first-nhl-goal-first-shot-first-shift

Photograph by: Doug Pensinger, Getty Images


Related: youve-never-heard-of-big-m




Cory Sarich (born August 16, 1978) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing career

Cory Sarich was selected in the 2nd round, 27th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.

Sarich was traded along with Wayne Primeau and Brian Holzinger from Buffalo, to Tampa Bay for Chris Gratton on March 9, 2000, and played with the Stanley Cup-winning team of 2003–04.

Sarich signed a five-year contract with the Calgary Flames on July 1, 2007.

On December 12, 2007, Sarich became the NHL's reigning iron man when Brendan Morrison was forced to miss a game with wrist complications. He played his 419th consecutive game the day before in a game against Tampa Bay, where Sarich had played four full seasons and 388 games. Sarich's streak came to an end on March 1, 2008 when he missed the game at Phoenix, giving ironman status to Andrew Brunette. The current ironman is current teammate Jay Bouwmeester.

Cory Sarich talking about bodychecking.

Personal life

Sarich grew up in Bladworth, Saskatchewan. He is of Croatian descent. He now makes his home in Calgary, Alberta with his wife, Reagan, and their three children.

Sarich's brother in-law is Minnesota Wild defenseman Nick Schultz, and his brother Rod Sarich is a defenseman for the Sheffield Steelers of the British Elite Ice Hockey League

subota, 8. listopada 2011.

Google Wishes Croatia A "Happy Independence Day".

  The Google homepage in Croatia celebrating Independence Day on October 8th. The ornamental interwoven design is the  "Croatian wattle" (aka pleter, troplet) taken from the historic Baška tablet


These days Google Doodle has a tradition of marking significant historical or current actual events on their search page in different countries. Depending on the market, users see a localized version of Google Doodle, and today the search giant has a message for customers from Croatia.

If you visit today. October 8th, you will be greeted by a Doodle dedicated to Croatian Independence Day.

Thank you, Google;)

A Google Doodle featuring Croatia during the 2006 World Cup.

This is not the first time however that Google had on its home page something "Croatian". We recently had a birthday Doodle dedicated to a character from a story written by the great Croatian writer, Miroslav Krleža, as well as a 2006 Doodle with the Croatian National Football Team theme, which can be seen above.

(Note - During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Microsoft also decided to put Ivica Kostelic on their Bing search engine page after his strong showing and 2 medals. You can see that one HERE

Krleža's character Petrica Kerempuh resting in the shade, a scene from one of the author's stories.

četvrtak, 6. listopada 2011.

Girls Wearing Croatian Soccer Jerseys In Japan

This one is really not a big news story, current events story or even news at all really. Just sort of a cute piece of footage.  From what I can make of it, there was some kind of "Fashion Show" that took place in Japan last year.  It's just the part where a bunch of young people from different countries went on stage for a few minutes in clothing that represents their descent and heritage in some way. The only reason I'm putting it here is because I like the 2 Croatian chicks who decided to wear the Croatian soccer jerseys as their choice.  2 thumbs up from me. My kind of Croatian chicks. It's not very often outside of Croatia you see that, unless there's a soccer tournament going on somewhere or one of those big picnics. Sort of reminds me of a previous post I did HERE. You can fast forward to about the 7 minute mark to see the Croatian girls come on stage. Cute and amusing if anything..........

(*Note- My free time is being increasingly taken up by other projects, couple other blogs as well as work on forums.  One Croatia related, one not. However I'll continue to try and add interesting additions here whenever I come across them. Gotta love tabs.)


Sendai Ikuei Gakuen presents the first joint JEC/ILC International Fashion show at Ikueisai 2010! Showcasing costumes and music from 9 different countries and regions including Germany, Japan, China, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Croatia.

This video I decided to throw in to show the meaning of the word "contrast".

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And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

Yep, I know it's still 2 years away and I already covered this topic last year when it was announced, but I added a few extra imag...