Croatian Olympic Committee’s special recognition presented to Stipe Božić for rescue services in saving lives without reservations and fair gesture, Croatian Female Climbing Expedition, Šime Stipaničev and Toni Pavičić Donkić for sports venture of the year.

Stipe Božić, mountaineer – rescue services in saving lives without reservations and fair gesture

What makes Stipe Božić a humanist and generous donor of his very self is his deep sense of solidarity. He has put his years-old sports experience, top-class rock-climbing skills and knowledge at the service of saving lives. Experience of this great sports notable often carries unspeakably painful side such as the Kornati tragedy and loss of twelve young Croatian lives.
Sports results of Stipe Božić as mountaineer put him at the very top of the world's most successful names. He won the highest peaks of all seven continents, the North Pole, and other natural phenomena such as the deepest cave in Croatia, Luka's pit 1395 meters deep.

Croatian Female Climbing Expedition - sports venture of the year

The first Croatian Female Climbing Expedition "Cho Oyu 2007", which reached in October 2007 the magical, for most people elusive height of 8201 meters, the Himalayan summit Cho Oyu, situated on the border between Nepal and Tibet, 35 km west of the world's highest peak Mount Everest. This was the first female expedition of total four in the world that have succeeded in such a venture. The first women who conquered the sixth summit of the world on October 2nd were sisters Darija and Iris Bostjančić and Vedrana Simičević. Another two member of the expedition that counted a total of 19 members, Marija Maćešić and Jana Mijailović, joined them on October 3rd. Courageous members of the first Croatian Female Climbing Expedition introduced the Croatian climbing to the top of the world. With this, the first and only female expedition got included in a group of four world climbing expeditions that ever crossed the mountain peaks above eight thousand meters.

COMPOSITION OF THE FIRST CROATIAN FEMALE EXPEDITION “CHO OYU2007" - Ana Maria Bojko, Head of the Expedition, Jana Mijailović, Deputy Head of the expedition, Tihana Boban, Darija Bostjančić, Iris Bostjančić, Anita Carević, Jelena Dabić, Irena Gayatri Horvat, Pavla Kovač, Josipa Levar, Marija Maćešić, Iris Prebeg, Renata Randić, Vedrana Simičević, Milena Šijan, Karolina Vranješ, Ena Vrbek, Dubravka Županić, physician Dubravko Marković and Darko Berljak, counselor and Head of the Expedition Base Camp.

Šime Stipaničev, sailor - sports venture of the year

Šime Stipaničev, born in 1981 in Šibenik, is the first Croat to sail the Single’s Regatta across the Atlantic in the class Open 6.5 (mini). The event known as Transat 6.50 is one of the most demanding and most extreme sailing regattas in the world. It is held every two years, and the goal is to sail the route of 4400 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing boat of length of approximately six meters without any logistical or other assistance. The route is separated into two phases, the first from La Rochelle in France to Madeira and the second from Madeira to Salvadore de Bahia in Brazil.

This Atlantic international sports event which Šime Stipaničev crowned in 2007 not only with his own sports crown but also with a Croatian crown in general, brings together more than 80 sailors of the world among which there are Olympians, world-class athletes and those without sports titles, in one word lovers of adventurous challenges that go beyond the "usual" athletic ventures. During the regatta, the sailors are forced to a limited number of hours of sleep, the amount of food that is not greater than 35 kg, only one hundred liters of water, only three cubic meters of living space, which again they have to share with 200 kg of equipment. In addition, the sailor is at the same time skipper, navigator and meteorologist. Since his childhood, Šime Stipaničev he was closely connected the sea and ships, and he has 16 years of sailing experience. He was a member of the Croatian Olympic Team in the Olympic 470 class, and he was sailing as crew member at the trophy crusaders such as AAG Big One or Citroen. However, he does not hide the fact that his true passion is Single’s regatta.

Toni Pavičić Donkić, marathon swimmer - sports venture of the year

Croatian marathon swimmer, member of the Croatian Olympic Team, Toni Pavičić Donkić, born in 1968 in Vrbanj on Hvar, is the first Croat who swam across the 15.5 kilometers long Strait of Gibraltar in 3:09 hours, which is the fourth best result of all-time. With this, Hvar native Pavičić-Donkić, nicknamed "Briškula", managed to enter the first four of a total of 165 open water swimmers from all over the world that succeeded to connect two continents - Europe and Africa - with swimming.

Swimming career of Hvar native Pavičić-Donkić began in 1981 in the swimming club "Faros" from Stari Grad, the cradle of today’s open water swimming in Croatia. In the nineties Pavičić-Donkić was swimming for Split’s club Jadran, keeping mostly the records in 200 and 400 m Freestyle. With more than 25 years of swimming under his belt and still living intensely with the same, this excellent marathon swimmer appeared at almost all the major marathons in the country and the world, and achieved over 50 victories. He was the first who has swum across the Channel of Vis (24 km). Besides that, he is the second Croat, after Veljko Rogošić, who swam across the English Channel (36 km) with a new Croatian record of 9:45 hours.

The latest sports venture of Toni Pavičić is the realization of his dream to enter himself and Croatia into the Golden Book of Marathon Swimmers who swam across Gibraltar, which is also called the Small La Manche. Gibraltar marathon began in the Spanish Tarifa, the southernmost city of the European continent, at 6 o'clock in the morning when the sea temperature was 18 degrees. In the second part of the Strait that leads towards Morocco, the waves were rising up to height of two meters and the wind was very strong, what stopped Toni from achieving an even better result. On the coast in the Moroccan Bay of Tangier, he was welcomed by over a thousand spectators and numerous TV crews. Besides the magnificent welcome on his home island of Hvar, the Croatian sports family awarded him with the Croatian Olympic Committee’s special recognition.