For the third time in Croatia’s history a water polo player will carry the nation’s flag at the opening of the Olympic Games…
2012 World Water Polo Player of the Year and London Olympic Gold medalist Josip Pavić has been named Croatia’s flag bearer for the opening of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It will be the third time, after Perica Bukić and Dubravko Šimenc, that a water polo player has had the honour of carrying Croatia’s flag at the Games opening.
The decision was made by the council of the Croatian Olympic Committee at a meeting on 27 June 2016 in Zagreb.
Criteria for selection of the position of flag bearer includes performance and achievements in competitions, especially at the Olympics, but also the availability to take part in the opening ceremony due to the calendar of events. Some of the Croatian Olympians, like discus star Sandra Perković, will still not be in Rio when the Games open on 5 August.
Pavić, who turned 36 at the start of this year, has competed at two Olympic Games already (2008 & 2012). He regarded as the best goalkeeper in the 2012 Olympic tournament where Croatia won gold. He currently plays for LEN Champions League powerhouse Olympiacos in Greece.