Mirko Sandić

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Mirko Sandić
Personal information
Born May 9, 1942
Died December 24, 2006 (aged 64)

Mirko Sandić (Serbian Cyrillic: Мирко Сандић; May 9, 1942 in Belgrade – December 24, 2006) was a Serbian water polo player who led the Yugoslav team to gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics and silver at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Overall, Sandic played more than 235 matches for the Yugoslav national team giving over 250 goals.

Mirko Sandic played water polo during the years when his country was a dominant international team. Wearing number 10 and being the tallest and biggest player, Sandic was considered to be the most prominent player contributing to his country’s 1968 Olympic gold medal performance of Mexico City and the 1964 Olympic silver medal of Tokyo.

According to friend and FINA President Ante Lambasa, Sandic learned to swim and started playing water polo at an early age in Makarska, the birth town of his mother where he spent his summers. However, it was not until age 16 that he began playing water polo for club Partizan, a member of the second division of the Yugoslav Water Polo League. As a member of this club until his retirement in 1974, Mirko played in over 1000 games and won 11 Yugoslav National Championships, 7 Yugoslav Cups, 5 European Club Championships and several Friendship Tournaments.

In 1972, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor from Josip Broz Tito, the Best Sportsman of Belgrade from the Lord Mayor, the 1971 Sportsman of the Year, and the 1997 Statue of the International Olympic Committee for achievement in the Olympic movement. He also served variously as the President of the Yugoslav Water Polo Federation, a member of the Yugoslavian Olympic Committee, a member of the LEN Technical Water Polo Committee and was the first President of the Serbian Water Polo Association (1998–2006). Sandic was elected to membership into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1999.

His heart was the largest ever registered in the world. After he retired from sports, he was JAT airways representative in Singapore for several years

Sandić coached the national teams of Egypt, Malaysia, and Singapore and now is coaching the Brazilian national team.

Sandić's cause of death was not released by the Serbian Water Polo Association.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Branislav Simić
Flagbearer for  Yugoslavia
Munich 1972
Succeeded by
Hrvoje Horvat