Olympic silver medalist Milorad Čavić would not have achieved such success under the cash-strapped Serbian sports system, the American-born Serb told W!LDRooSTeR. “For everything I have in my life I have to thank the United States,’ he said. “I remember some people tried to insult me by saying I’m an American. I said, yeah and I’m not ashamed of that. That doesn’t upset me.”
Born in Southern California, Čavić spent most of his life in the United States. “I grew up with many Serbs,’ he said. “As kids in the diaspora where we were very nationalistic. I love this country, even though there are a lot of reasons to not be so proud of it. When I touch down into Nikola Tesla airport I just feel that there is something right and I feel at home. I love it and I can’t explain it. Throughout my life in sports, if something feels so right it can’t be wrong.”
Kosovo is lost to Serbia, says US-Serb Milorad Čavić. The Olympic swimmer, who created such a furore when he brandished a ‘Kosovo is Serbia’ t.shirt in 2008, told W!LDRooSTeR: “We are very proud of our history in Kosovo but I think it is lost. We can never accept that but, in reality, Kosovo is lost. It is absolutely lost. It is lost because of the people who stand behind them.
“The international community doesn’t understand what has happened. George Bush didn’t understand what happened when he gave away Kosovo, gave away something that wasn’t his. As a man from the state of Texas, where most of the state is Mexican and in 70% of the state they speak exclusively Spanish, if the Mexican people of that region said, ‘hey, everything here is Spanish, our heritage is Spanish and we want to take this for ourselves’, you’d better believe that George Bush would have said no.
It is the stuff that movies are made of. Coming back from major surgery that could have resulted in paralysis to win Olympic gold would be a story made in heaven, if the 27-year-old American-born Serb Milorad Čavić can pull it off at the London 2012Olympic Games. In Belgrade, Čavić told W!LDRooSTeR that his training is on track to win the medal that was snatched from his fingertips in a controversial decision at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
In a close finish that still commands debate even among officials, Čavić was pipped to the post by Michael Phelps. But the result stands and Čavić came home with the silver medal. Had the decision fallen his way, Čavić’s career could have ended there and then. “I deeply feel that I would have stopped swimming had I won the Olympic gold,’ he said. “Maybe I would have continued for one more year but that’s it.”
The Balkan states could collectively host the Olympics in the not too distant future, if Serbia’s President Boris Tadić has his way. In an apparent flash of inspiration while visiting the London 2012 Olympic venues on Wednesday, the president came up with the idea as part of his greater plan to reunite the states of the former Yugoslavia. Maybe the idea is not as far-fetched as it might appear at first.
There are plenty of recent examples of countries working together to successfully host international sporting events. Spain and Portugal put in a combined bid for the World Cup 2018, alongside a bid from The Netherlands and Belgium, while Japan and Korea jointly hosted the football tournament in 2002, so why not bring together these ex-YU stable-mates to hold this sporting opus across the Balkans.