9 May 1942|
24 December 2006 (aged 64)|
|Height||198 cm (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (220 lb)|
Mirko Sandić (Serbian Cyrillic: Мирко Сандић; 9 May 1942 – 24 December 2006) was a Serbian water polo player who led Yugoslav teams to a gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. He also competed in the 1960 and 1972 Olympics where his teams placed fourth and fifth, respectively. In 1972 he was selected as the Olympic flag bearer for Yugoslavia. Between 1958 and 1974 Sandić played more than 235 matches for the Yugoslav national team contributing 250 goals.
According to his 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 Sandić played more than 1000 games and won 11 Yugoslav National Championships, 7 Yugoslav Cups and 5 European Cups, in 1964, 1966, 1967, 1971 and 1975.
Sandić had a degree in foreign affairs. After retiring from competitions he coached national water polo teams in Singapore (1975–1980), Malaysia (1976) and Egypt (1983–1987), while serving as a commercial manager for Jat Airways in those countries. He also worked with the state teams of New South Wales (1977) and Queensland (1978) in Australia and with the Yugoslav clubs GOC (1980–1982) and Partizan (1980–1983). In 1971 he was voted as the Yugoslav Sportsman of the Year, in 1972 received the Presidential Medal of Honor from Josip Broz Tito, and in 1997 an award from the International Olympic Committee for contribution to the Olympic movement. In 1987 he became a member of the Yugoslav National Olympic Committee, and from 1996 to 2003 served as the first president of the Serbian Water Polo Federation. In 1999, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
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