Friday, September 01, 2006

Ivan Lendjer - the problemsolver

An extraordinary event happened yesterday at world swimming championship in Brazil, where Serbian representative Ivan Lendjer won first place. This event itself is excellent news, but what makes it unique is something that happenned during the ceremony of giving medals. For some reason, a problem occured - the Brazilian organizers failed to play the national anthem of Serbia "Hej Sloveni" - due to the fact that they dont know what the Serbian national anthem is nowdays, or simply bad organization.
But Ivan simply solved this problem by singing the anthem himself. Audience listened without making a sound and other national team members joined in. They recieved massive applause afterwards.
News on B92

Now why is this obscure sport news worthy of being in Serbia Blog?

Couple of things makes it symbolic on several levels.
Anthem "Hej Sloveni" is considered a relique from the communist past, somehow still official national anthem, waiting to be replaced by more "appropriate", religious one, "Boze Pravde" (God of justice). This is actualy first time in last 15 years i heard somebody applauded to the hymn, usually it is boo-ed at football games by Serbian fans, and it's never sung by the sportists - when camera zooms on their faces you can usually see them chewing gum, winking and generally not standing still and proud (strange, i know).

Ivan is 16 years old and has won over 350 medals for Serbia so far. That fact alone deserves major respect. But the problem is that lately he has complained of lack of funding and inappropriate training conditions in Serbia and stated that he is thinking of taking Australian citizenship. Maybe singing the long forgotten anthem was his way of saying goodbye to Serbia.

This is what hurts the most - thousands of such individuals left and are still leaving the country because of economic and political problems. Can we really afford to lose the practical problemsolvers and champions like Ivan?

BG anons note - The Serbian government allocated 6 billion dinars to sport this year with funds from the National Investment Plan (or the Karic malaevolent fund if you prefer). The sum is apparantly 6 times bigger than last years budget.


Blogger Bg anon said...

Thanks Viktor good post. Think this is an interesting topic and perhaps I will write a part 2 to this.

2:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the problem was on that time Seria was nor regarded as a nation really. Its national anthem even less. On the other hand, brazilian people do not care about how to play teir own national anthem much even less a such tiny poor country like Serbia. I praise the lonely guy who solved his own problem.

10:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lendjer should keep his serbian citizenship whilst still being able to receive australian citizenship. He should also look into getting a scholarship to a college in the US. US college swimming is great in terms of training facilities and money. Both options still allow him to swim for his motherland.

3:40 am  
Blogger Ivica said...

"...such tiny poor country like Serbia...".
And from which enormously big and rich country you come from? How do you know that Serbia is poor? Don't write sh.t if you don't know what you're talking about.

2:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ivica,you are right...they think that they are so much better then us just because they are from some other country....I hate everyone who said that we are poor people ...I would tell them to come to Serbia and then to say something about us...

2:24 pm  

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