Milka was the president of the Rijeka Sports Association for Persons with Disabilities and a member of the Athletic Club Srce (Heart). She deceased after a serious illness on June 11, 2017. Milka was the most successful Croatian paralympic athlete and the Winner of the first Paralympic medal for Croatia. Besides, Milka was the only person in the world who competed at nine different Paralympic Games, what is an extraordinary achievement for the city of Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and the Republic of Croatia. Milka had been living in Kraljevica near Rijeka since 1968, when she had come to medical therapy following the worst injury caused by the fall. In the accident her spine got broken leaving her paraplegic and permanently bound to the wheelchair. As a part of the rehabilitation she started doing disability sports. In 1972 she have appeared for the first time at the Paralympics, held in Heidelberg, Germany, together with late Ivica Pribanić. They are the first Croatian representatives ever that have participated at Paralympic Games.
Of the four medals which were won at the time at those Paralympic Games, Milka won two. In 1988 Milka won a gold medal in the shot put and set the new paralympic record. From 1993 to 2000 Milka took part at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney and participated in all major European and World championships. In 1998 she received the national sports award “Franjo Bučar” and in 2001 an award for best athlete of the Croatian Sports Alliance of Disabled Athletes. In 2009 Milka Milinković became the president of the newly established Rijeka Sports Association for Persons with Disabilities, and to this day she’s volunteering as the sports practicing promotion leader among people with disabilities, primarily for the area of the city of Rijeka and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
In her long lasting sports career she won 153 medals, of which 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze at the Paralympic Games, plus 16 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze at European and World Championships. Giving personal example, she makes positive impact on all the athletes in our association and encourages us to commit to the work. From the personal experience Milka emphasizes the usefulness of practicing sports – it helped her physically and psychologically master overcoming regular obligations and obstacles in her life. Her results stand as a guideline and a challenge to all of us in association, and she motivates us to work harder.
Milka’s life motto was: “As long as I can laugh, I’m happy!“
Miroslav is a member of the Athletic Club “Srce” (Heart) in Rijeka. As a young man he was training boxing and tae-kwon-do and was very successful. After the traffic accident in 1988 he began with the long-term medical rehabilitation which lasts until today. His first encounter with paralympic sport happened in 1997, and that, by his words, opened the windows of the world, gave him the fullness of life and helped knock down the limitations of physical disability.
Miroslav is a member of the national athletics selection since 1998, and to date has competed at the Paralympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London. Since his first international competition in 1998, Miroslav continuously participates at all European and World Championships, where he won more than 90 medals. His favorite medals are golds from European and World Championships. Miroslav recommends to all persons with disabilities practicing sports to help them realize how small their disability really is.
Rudi is a member of the shooting club for persons with disabilities named “Paraolimpijac” (Paralympic Athlete) in Rijeka. He’s in sport for already 40 years. As a boy he was training football and table tennis, but due to a disability and continuous therapy he could never really fully develop his skills. It was only in 1999 the he managed to turn his love of guns into sports trainings and making it the most important thing in his life. Since 2002 Rudolf is a member of the national shooting team and in 2008 he competed at the Paralympic Games in Beijing. With the national selection he regularly participates in numerous European and world competitions and at the World Cup, where he has won more than 15 medals.
His favorite medals are gold from 2007 World Championship in Suhl, Germany, with which he also set the world record, and the bronze from 2010 World Championship in Zagreb, Croatia. As a European and World Championships medalist, he lacks the Paralympics medal, winning of which became his new life mission. Rudi likes to point out that the most wonderful feeling is to be the best at what you do, and his motto is: “Success occurs when readiness and opportunity meet!“
Vjekoslav is a member of the table tennis club for persons with disabilities in Rijeka. Before the traffic accident he had in 1990, he was very active in doing sports. Besides table tennis, he used to train sailing and water polo. After mentioned traffic accident followed by the long recovery, in 1997 he returned to practicing sport again. That same year, he competed at the national championship in table tennis for persons with disabilities and became a member of the national team. Until today Vjeko participated at the Paralympic Games in London, Beijing and Sydney, where he won the fourth place. In addition to competing at the Paralympic Games, since 1998 Vjeko is a regular attendee at European and World Championships and other international competitions. In total he won more than 40 medals, of which ten are golden.
In his spare time he swims recreationally, and likes to enjoy a good movie or music.