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#LEGENDSFOREVER PERICA BUKIĆ

Perica Bukić jedan od najtrofejnijih svjetski vaterpolista svih vremena jednako je uspješan i u svojoj drugoj karijeri.

Svojim igrama, rezultatima, pojavom i ponašanjem Perica Bukić ostavio je neizbrisiv trag u svjetskom vaterpolu. U karijeri je ukupno osvojio 40 odličja.

Trofeji – s reprezentacijom: na OI zlato u Los Angelesu 1984. i u Seoulu 1988. i srebro u Atlanti 1996; na Svjetskom prvenstvu zlato u Madridu 1986 i Perthu 1991.; na Svjetskom kupu zlato u Solunu 1987. i Berlinu 1989. srebro u Barceloni 1991; na Igrama dobre volje zlato u Seattleu 1990.; na Europskom prvenstvu srebro u Sofiji 1985., Strasbourgu 1987. i Bonnu 1989.; na Mediteranskim igrama srebro u Canetu 1991., Ateni 1993., na Univerzijadi srebro u Kobeu 1985. i bronca u Zagrebu 1987.

Trofeji – s klubovima: Prvak Europe: 1989, 1990. i 1996. (Mladost), 1992. (Jadran); Kup pobjednika kupova Europe: 1999. (Mladost); Kup LEN: 2001. (Mladost); Europski Superkup: 1989. i 1996. (Mladost); Mediteranski kup: 1988. i 1991. (Mladost); Prvak Hrvatske: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997. i 1999. (Mladost); Kup Hrvatske: 1993, 1994, 1998. i 1999. (Mladost); Prvak Jugoslavije: 1989. i 1990. (Mladost); Kup Jugoslavije: 1989. (Mladost)

Igrao za klubove: Solaris iz Šibenika, Mladost iz Zagreba i Jadran iz Splita. Dvostruki je dobitnik Državne nagrade za šport “Franjo Bučar”, 1991. osobno i 1996. kao član reprezentacije. 1985. godine upisuje Ekonomski fakultet u Zagrebu na kojemu je i diplomirao. U to vrijeme još je igrao u Solarisu iz Šibenika pa je od ponedjeljka do petka boravio u Zagrebu radi studija, odakle je putovao na utakmice u Šibenik, ili mjesto u kojem je Solaris gostovao, na taj način nije mogao ostati vrhunski sportaš. Odlazak iz Šibenika je bio neizbježan, pa tako 1987. potpisuje za Mladost.

1996. je na otvaranju Olimpijskih igara u Atlanti imao čast nošenja zastave republike Hrvatske. 2008. godine primljen je u Međunarodnu Kuću slavnih vodenih sportova sa svega 42 godine. Dvoje od troje Peričine djece, sin Luka i kćer Petra, također su hrvatski vaterpolski reprezentativci. Od 2001. do 2004. godine kao najtrofejniji hrvatski olimpijac obnašao je dužnost predsjednika Hrvatskog kluba olimpijaca. Igračku karijeru završio je 2001. godine, tada postaje direktorom vaterpolskog kluba Mladost, a tu je funkciju obnašao do 2008. godine.

U večeri nakon oproštajne utakmice, dobio je ponudu da svojom popularnošću, širokim krugom poznanika i fakultetskim obrazovanjem pomogne hrvatskoj politici. Nešto kasnije je prihvatio taj izazov. 2003. godine Bukić ulazi u Hrvatski sabor i na dužnosti ostaje kroz dva mandata sve do 2011. U prvom mandatu zadržava se na bliskim temama, sudjelujući u kreiranju Zakona o športu, kao i temama vezanim uz šibensku regiju. U drugom mandatu širi područja svog angažmana, te sudjeluje u raspravama o ljudskim pravima, socijalnim pitanjima, naročito onima koje se dotiču djece i mladeži.

Godine 2004. je izabran za predsjednika Hrvatskog vaterpolskog saveza, a dužnost je obnašao do 2010 godine. Do 2011. godine svoje dužnosti u savezu je obavljao na volonterskoj bazi, a po završetku mandata u Saboru, zapošljava se kao profesionalac na funkciji izvršnog direktora Hrvatskog vaterpolskog saveza.

Kada trofejima koje je osvajao za vrijeme igračke karijere dodamo i one dužnosničke ima ih ukupno 63. U trenutku njegova dolaska u savezu situacija nije bila nimalo lagana. Rezultati su uglavnom bili loši, a sponzora je bilo malo. Mnogo toga se promijenilo u 15 godina njegovog mandata.

Od 2007. godine i medalje na Svjetskom prvenstvu Hrvatska je ušla u svoje zlatno desetljeće koje i dalje traje. Od 2007. do 2019. reprezentacija je osvojila 23 medalje od kojih su dvije olimpijske (zlato London 2012. i srebro Rio 2016.), te čak 7 medalja osvojenih u nizu na Svjetskim prvenstvima, od čega smo u dva navrata bili i Svjetski prvaci (Melbourn 2007. i Budimpešta 2017.).

Perica Bukić je do sada realizirao mnoge ciljeve u sportskom i društvenom životu, ali ono što ga krasi je da si i dalje postavlja nove.

Kratki intervju s Pericom Bukićem

Kako ste se odlučili studirati baš Ekonomski fakultet?

Perica: Vaterpolo je poznat kao akademski sport, te je većina mojih suigrača završila neki od fakulteta. Razmišljajući o budućnosti, odlučio sam se za ekonomiju, koja se poklapala s onim što me interesiralo i u čemu sam se vidio nakon sportske karijere. Također, Ekonomski fakultet je studij prilagođen obvezama vrhunskog sportaša, jer veći dio predavanja nije bio obavezan te sam mogao paralelno studirati ali i izvršavati obveze prema klubu i reprezentaciji.

Kako vam je klub pomogao u vašoj post sportskoj karijeri?

Perica: Dok sam još igrao, pri kraju karijere, tadašnje vodstvo kluba mi je ponudilo opciju preuzimanja funkcije direktora kluba. Tako da zapravo mogu reći kako sam s igranjem vaterpola završio u jednu subotu, a svoju drugu karijeru započeo već u nedjelju kao direktor HAVK Mladost. Na taj način sam uspio spojiti sport koji volim s onim za što sam se obrazovao.

Što mislite da li je danas lakše ili teže spojiti obrazovanje i sport?

Perica: Mislim da je prije bilo lakše studirati uz sport. U moje vrijeme dolaznost na predavanja nije bila neophodna, za ispite si se mogao spremati i na putovanjima i natjecanjima. Danas je prisutnost na predavanjima uglavnom preduvjet za izlazak na ispite, što sportašima posebno onim vrhunskim uvelike otežava usklađivanje obaveza, te se često događa odustajanje od sportske karijere. Mislim da je nužno kvalitetnije definirati status sportaša – studenta

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Perica Bukić one of the most laureate water polo players of all time is equally successful in his second career.

With his playing, results, appearance and behaviour, Perica Bukić left an indelible mark on world water polo. In his career he has won 40 medals. His awards are:

With national team: Olympic gold in Los Angeles in 1984 and in Seoul in 1988 and silver in Atlanta in 1996; gold at the 1986 World Cup in Madrid and Perth in 1991; gold at the World Cup in Thessaloniki 1987 and Berlin in 1989, silver in Barcelona in 1991; gold at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle; silver at the European Championships in Sofia in 1985, Strasbourg in 1987 and Bonn in 1989; silver at the Mediterranean Games in Canet in 1991, Athens in 1993, silver at the Kobe Universiade in 1985 and bronze in Zagreb in 1987.

With clubs: European Champion: 1989, 1990 and 1996 (Youth), 1992 (Jadran); European Cup Winners’ Cup: 1999 (Mladost); LEN Cup: 2001 (Mladost); European Super Cup: 1989 and 1996 (Mladost); Mediterranean Cup: 1988 and 1991 (Mladost); Champion of Croatia: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999 (Mladost); Croatian Cup: 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999 (Mladost); Champion of Yugoslavia: 1989 and 1990 (Mladost); Yugoslav Cup: 1989 (Mladost)

He played for the clubs: Solaris from Šibenik, Mladost from Zagreb and Jadran from Split. He is a two-time winner of the Franjo Bučar Croatia National Sports Award, in 1991 personally and in 1996 as a member of the national team. In 1985 he enrolled at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb where he graduated. At that time, he was still playing in Solaris from Šibenik, so he stayed in Zagreb from Monday to Friday to study, from where he travelled to matches in Šibenik, or to the city where Solaris played, in this way he could not remain a top athlete. Departure from Šibenik was inevitable, so in 1987 he signed for Mladost.

In 1996, at the opening of the Atlanta Olympic Games, he had the honour of carrying the flag of the Republic of Croatia. In 2008 he was admitted to the International Water Sports Hall of Fame at just 42 years old. Two of Perica’s three children, son Luka and daughter Petra, are also Croatian water polo players. From 2001 to 2004, as the most laureate Croatian Olympian, he served as President of the Croatian Olympic Club. He finished his playing career in 2001, then became the director of the Mladost water polo club and held the post until 2008.

In the evening of his farewell game, he was offered to help Croatian politics with his popularity, wide circle of acquaintances and college education. He accepted that challenge a little later. In 2003, Bukić joined the Croatian Parliament and remained in office for two terms until 2011. In his first term, he stayed on close topics, participating in the creation of the Sports Law, as well as topics related to the Šibenik region. In his second term, he broadens his areas of engagement and participates in discussions on human rights, social issues, especially those affecting children and young people.

In 2004, he was elected president of the Croatian Water Polo Federation and held the post until 2010. Until 2011, he performed his duties in the Federation on a volunteer basis, and after completing his term in Parliament, he was hired as a professional in the position of Executive Director of the Croatian Water Polo Federation.

When we add to the trophies he won during his playing career those he won as an official, we get the total of 63. At the time of his arrival in the federation, the situation was not at all easy. The results were generally poor and there were few sponsors. Much has changed in the 15 years of his tenure.

Since 2007, World Cup medals, Croatia has entered its golden decade that still continues. From 2007 to 2019, the national team won 23 medals, two of which were Olympic (gold 2012 in London and silver in Rio 2016), and as many as 7 medals won in the World Championships, two of which were World Champions (Melbourne 2007 and Budapest 2017)

Perica Bukić has achieved many goals in sports and social life so far, but what should be admired is that he continues to set new ones.

An interview with Perica Bukić

How did you decide to study at the Faculty of Economics?

Water polo is known as an academic sport, so most of my teammates have graduated from one of the colleges. Thinking about the future, I decided on economy which matched what interested me and what I could picture myself doing after my sports career. Also, the Faculty of Economics is a study program adapted to the obligations of a top athlete, since most of the lectures were optional and I could study at the same time but also fulfil my obligations to the club and the national team.

How has the club helped you in your post sports career?

While I was still playing, towards the end of my career, the club management at the time offered me the option of assuming the position of club director. So I can actually say that I finished playing water polo on Saturday and started my second career on Sunday as director of HAVK Mladost. That way, I was able to combine the sport I love with what I was educated for.

What do you think is it easier or harder to combine education and sports today?

I think before it was easier to study and do sports. In my time, attending classes was not obligatory, you could prepare for exams while traveling and playing in competitions. Today, attendance at lectures is generally a requirement for being able to attend exams, which makes it especially difficult for athletes especially those at top-level to coordinate their commitments, and often sports careers are neglected in favour of the academic career. I think it is necessary to better define the status of student-athletes.

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