Serbian Olympic Medalist

 

Ivana Maksimovic, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Today my school had a visit from Ivana Maksimovic, who won a silver medal in this summer’s London Olympic Games. She took second in an event called the Women’s 50 Meter Rifle 3 Positions. This was a bit of a surprise accomplishment for the 22 year old as the number one ranked woman finished sixth in the event.

Olympic medals run in the family as her father, Goran, won the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics and competed in four other Olympics. Her mother is a shooting coach also.

She was very friendly and good with the kids. She even brought her medal and all the kids got to hold it. Ivana was patient in answering questions and she signed a lot of autographs.

I asked her how the Serbian Olympic Committee supported her. She said they paid for some of her training expenses and competitions, and she “couldn’t have done it without them.” She did, however, mention that she had to go to Novi Sad to find a range for the event she won a medal in.

Ocean holds the London 2012 Olympic Silver Medal

It was great she could come by the school and I was happy for Serbia to get another medal at the Olympics. We’ll she how she does at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. After watching all the Olympics this summer, my kids were thrilled to hold the medal and to meet a real Olympian.

Olympic Wrap Up for Serbia

 

Phelps and Cavic in a photo finish
Cavic (left) and Phelps (right) in a photo finish

Serbia’s brightest moment came in the 100 meter butterfly event. Milorad Cavic (pronounced Chavich) in Serb is shown above nearing the wall in the finals. He was beaten by Michael Phelps by .01 second. It looked like he reached first but was gliding as he neared the wall while Phelps was coming forward with his arm. In my opinion, it was just a lucky break for Phelps and the race could have gone to either swimmer. It was the closest scare, besides the relay event that Phelps had in reaching his goal of 8 gold medals. It is also funny that Cavic has a name very similar to Nadia’s maiden name! Milorad set the Olympic record in a previous heat that still stands in the event. He received a hero’s welcome here in Belgrade with thousands coming to a rally in his honor upon arrival from China. 

It was a bit sad to see Novak Djokovich lose to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. He did come back and win the bronze medal in the consolation match against Blake. He was the second best tennis player in the games and deserved a silver medal, but was seeded in Nadal’s bracket. We watched his exciting quarterfinal match against Frenchman Monfils in the shopping mall here in Belgrade. Everyone went crazy when he won. I could tell that Novak wanted to win the medal very badly. 

The third and last medal was won by the men’s water polo team. Serbia defeated neighbor and best friend Montenegro to win the bronze medal. Last Olympics, those two countries were together and I wonder how they would have done competing together. Serbia’s three medals were its first medals as an solo independent nation. With only 6.5 million people, three medals is pretty good. That is a ratio of just over 2 million people per medal. Compare that to the USA’s 2.7 million people per medal and it is slightly better. I wonder how the former Yugoslavia would have done together in this olympics? I also enjoyed listening to the Serbian Olympic Theme, Srbija Navija! or Serbia Cheers! Thanks Sanja I. for sending it to me. 

I really enjoyed watching them but am glad they are over as it dragged on a bit with so many obscure and unwatchable sports. I think the Olympics could get rid of many sports like synchronized swimming and diving, equestrian, shooting, table tennis, judo, etc.


Serbia Olympic Update

We are crazy for the Olympics here in the Kralovec family. Yesterday’s 4 x 100m relay swimming race had us on the edge of our seats. We hope Phelps reaches his quest for 8 golds. We also enjoyed the dunkfest of the USA Redeem Team against China in basketball. They will have tougher competition upcoming. 

Serbia’s quest for their first medal as an independent nation has had it’s ups and downs. Their best hope is in tennis, but it suffered a set back yesterday when nagging injuries kept Ana Ivanovic out of the draw. The three other Serbs, Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, and Jelena Jankovic all won their first round matches and now are into the round of 32. Janko upset seeded David Ferrer of Spain. Novak has Raphael Nadal on his half of the draw, while Janko has Roger Federer on his side. Both should move on to the round of 16. Jelena is the number two seed, but has Venus Williams and Marat Safin’s sister on her half of the draw. 

Ana drops out of the women's singles tennis draw.

In water polo, the Serbian men defeated Germany in the first round and are scheduled to face arch rival Croatia today. The Serbian men’s soccer team looked outclassed against the Ivory Coast on Sunday in a 1-3 defeat. Their final group match against Argentina is a must win situation. Argentina has already qualified to the quarterfinals and might play with substitutes. The Serb men have one point from a first round draw with Australia. They need a decisive win against Argentina tomorrow and an Ivory Coast close loss. 

The Serbian Women’s Volleyball team has two wins against two lesser opponents and plays powerhouse Brazil tomorrow which will be a good test. The men’s volleyball team is trying to bounce back against Brazil today after a narrow defeat to Russia in round one.