Aleksandar Sasha Dimitric – Red Star Handball Legend

Aleksandar Sasha Dimitric – Handball Legend in Former Yugoslavia and in Oz!

My husband Aleksandar Sasha Dimitric introduced European Handball to Australia in 1983 and was Technical Manager for Handball at the Olympics 2000 in Sydney.

Sydney Olympics 2000

He was recognised in my previous post by a blogger (gamche) who commented: “Aleksandar Dimitrić Zvezdina rukometna legenda??? (the Red Star Handball legend???)”, to which I replied “Yes” and promised to write more about his handball career. Sasha had a big smile when I showed him what “gamche” said and promised to cooperate. Unfortunately, illness intervened, and this project stalled before it had even started.

But when I make a promise, I feel I need to keep it. So, here’s the first instalment.

A long time ago, 18-year-old Aleksandar Dimitrić chose handball over soccer and became one of the best Red Star handball players. He was also a member of the Yugoslav Handball Team at international championships in Germany, Denmark and Norway.

Aleksandar started playing handball in high school (II. muška gimnazija) in Belgrade in 1947 and soon joined the newly formed handball club within the famous Red Star sports club.  He first trained on the football field with 11 players in the team, having to shoot from a 14-metre distance, thus developing a powerful shot.

Veliki Rukomet – 11 players a side – Aleksandar is second from left in front row

When he switched to “mali rukomet” – “little handball” – with 7 players a side, his shot was so powerful that goal keepers were quite scared of him. In addition, the speed of his movements and a high jump scared all the enemy players, too. He scored quite a few goals.

Aleksandar’s Mighty Jump Shot

In 1955, the Red Star handball club became Yugoslavia’s champions, and the event is still talked about today among sports enthusiasts. In 1956, they were champions again. Aleksandar Dimitrić took part in both events, the first in Belgrade, the second in Sarajevo.

Exhausted after a match representing Yugoslavia
Aleksandar representing Yugoslavia at European championships

To his great regret, he had to pull out of the Yugoslav national team to play in Hungary as he had to finish his studies – he had no right to postpone any more exams.

After obtaining an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree from Belgrade University in 1957, 12 months of compulsory military service followed. He was first sent to Zagreb. As soon as he was recognised as the famous handball star, the officer in charge released him of petty duties and allowed him to train handball with another person during lunchtime. After Zagreb, he was sent to Čačak in Serbia where his life was even better. He had his own room, was appointed chief coach for handball and played in handball competitions regularly for his unit.

When his military service was over, Aleksandar took a skiing holiday on Mount Jahorina in Bosnia in February 1958. Skiing was his other passion. He took part in competitions in slalom and downhill on Kopaonik in Serbia, Šar Planina in Macedonia and on Mount Jahorina in Bosnia. He was a downhill Serbian champion once. He loved speeding down the mountain as much as moving fast on the handball court. Speed was his elixir. One season, he broke three pairs of skis but, luckily, none of his bones.

I loved skiing, too. Mount Jahorina was where destiny put me in late February 1958 to completely change the course of his life.

❤ ❤

Adding some more information from the book Almanah Rukometnog Saveza Jugoslavije 1949-1989.

Turnir nacija, Zagreb, 20. II 1956
Yugoslav Representatives, members of the Red Star Handball Club, Belgrade

(To be continued)

Copyright (C) 2021 Irina Dimitric

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Cee’s FOTD Challenge

G’day folks! Happy Valentine’s Day! For me this year, all I want is a peace of mind, so I’m ditching the traditional red Rose and opting for the calming colour of a pale blue Plumbago blossom instead.

Here’s a haiku:

“Plumbago soft blue

A ray of morning sunshine

Tranquillity reigns”

And another one for my hubby Sasha:

“Hair electrified

Silver tufts shine in the sun

It’s my Valentine” ❤

The way we were in 1958 with my parents. ❤ ❤

©Copyright 2021 Irina Dimitric

FOTD – February 13 – Parrot Tulip – Cee’s Photo Challenges (ceenphotography.com) Continue reading

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Jacaranda 2020 – Haiku – FOTD Challenge, 26 November

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I finally managed to walk up to the Jacaranda in my street before the end of November Splendour.

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The blue carpet on the footpath…

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and in the gutter announces the end of the Jacaranda season is approaching.

~

And here’s a haiku:

 

Quiet afternoon

Jacaranda blossoms sway

To the zephyr’s tune

~

 

Feeling grateful for so much beauty around me. ❤ 

Wishing you all a happy and safe Thursday! ❤

© 2020 Irina Dimitric

FOTD – November 26 – Bearded Iris – Cee’s Photo Challenges (ceenphotography.com)

 

Continue reading
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Remembrance Day 2020 – Haiku

 

A sprig of Rosemary and a haiku to honour the fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day, 11 November, originally Armistice Day, when in 1918 World War One ended.

 

Fields drenched with their blood

The ultimate sacrifice

We remember them

 

Despite finding himself in many dangerous situations, my father came home safe and sound.  He was just lucky, I guess.

LEST WE FORGET!

©Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric

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Remembering Sydney 2000 Olympics



To some, it doesn’t seem like 20 years ago. To me, it seems like 100 years ago! Both Sasha and I were so much fitter in those days! I remember I had both hips replaced that year, first in April and then in November. Sasha was so busy with the Olympics, being Technical Manager for Handball (European Handball) which he introduced to Australia in 1983, that he had hardly had any time for me. But I had a good time at Greenwich Hospital rehab, where in addition to regular exercises I demonstrated my belly dancing skills as well.

Aleksandar Sasha Dimitric

 



That was then.

Yesterday, we each survived a silly fall. I was the first to go for a sixer in the evening, landing on my face after tripping over an electrical cord. That feeling of helplessness and looming disaster when you’re flying and can’t stop it! And what a relief when you realise you didn’t break any bones and all your teeth are still keeping strong in your mouth! My upper lip is a bit bruised, that’s all. Ok, my back hurts a bit, but other than that I’m as fit as a fiddle, an old fiddle, mind you.

Sasha’s fall was stupid too. Despite my warnings, he regularly fails to lock his walker. So, last night when he reached for it, it rolled away from him!!! He found himself on the ground with the walker on top of him! His left calf is badly bruised, but nothing broken, hallelujah! Miracle!

This reminder might help. 🙂



Miracles do happen! We are two miracles. Two old fools too. Let’s just hope we’ve learned our lessons.

Sasha at the dentist recently. 🙂

 

This morning he said to me: “You know, your fall last night makes me feel so much better about myself.” And we both cracked up laughing.

We are counting our blessings today! ❤ ❤ 

 

Hope all is well with all of you bloggers! Take care and stay safe! ❤ 

© Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric

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Love is … Cee’s FOTD Challenge, 13 September

Yellow Daisy

FOTD – September 11 – Rose with raindrops

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Bird of Paradise – Haiku – FOTD Challenge

FOTD – August 27 – Dahlia

Bird of Paradise

Take me on your vibrant wings

To a cheerful land

I haven’t been here for a long long time. I hope you are keeping your spirits up despite the Covid-19 calamity that has been causing so much grief all over the world.

As for me, I’m trying to catch up on sleep every day ever since my husband’s health problems started in November 1919. He’s had a few surgeries, spent a long time in rehab and came home at the end of February 2020, just in the nick of time before the Covid-19 pandemic panic. Now, our social life consists of visiting doctors! Being elderly and  not very healthy, we are advised to stay at home. Luckily, we live in a house with a garden and enjoy sitting in the sun, admiring the flowers around us and listening to the birds singing and chirping. A nurse comes to dress Sasha’s diabetic ulcer  three times a week, and kind friends do small errands for us, but the bulk of our shopping is done online or by phone and delivered. Counting our blessings keeps us going. 

I don’t know when I’ll appear here again. In the meantime, I wish everyone all the best and stay safe. 

©Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day 2020! -Haiku- FOTD Challenge, 10 May





Flowers, phone calls, cards
Virtual hugs for mothers
Corona commands

(haiku)

https://ceenphotography.com/2020/05/09/fotd-may-10-peony/

©Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric

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The Air Raid – Celebrating the End of WWII 75 Years Ago on 8 May


THE AIR RAID

When I was nine years old, the war was on.
The enemy drowning fast at last; the end
Was near, but first the Allies had to bomb
Our town to drive the fiend aground, and so
We hid below in shelters, praying loud
While bombs were shaking walls and breaking hearts
And windows; I was always first to grab
My bag with sugar when the siren howled,
Then ran as fast as arrow; sheltered well
Beneath, I thought; the drone of bombers near,
Then whizz through air, then once again, three times
Before the end — the siren shrilling flat.


With my mother during WWII. This photo was sent to my father, a POW in Lamsdorf, Germany. 

Cosel Doctors – Lamsdorf – Stalag VIIIB/344

Back row from left: Dr B. Smith, Scotland; Dr J. Rigal, France; Dr T. Atkins, Australia; Dr A. Bazin, Russia

Front row from left: Padre L.G. Tudor, South Africa; Dr R.K. Webster, Great Britain; Dr B. Stojic, Yugoslavia; Dr N. Rose, Australia



I chose to repost this poem as this year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. My father was in a POW camp in Germany from 1941 t0 1945, and while the bombs were falling on us in Zagreb, he was trudging through deep snow with his mates, forced to march at gunpoint with the retreating German army for about four months before being liberated by the Americans in Nuremberg on April 17, 1945. This poem won The Poem of the Week award in Susan Budig’s Mindful Poetry Contest 2013. The challenge was to write a poem about our childhood in blank verse and iambic pentameter. It now appears in my book Dreams on my Pillow.

Check out my Author Page at:
https://www.amazon.com/author/irinadimitric

The world has been turned into turmoil  by COVID-19, but I keep telling myself, “Thank God, bombs are not falling from the sky!” 

Take care! Stay safe! ❤


© Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric

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ANZAC DAY, 25 April – PANDEMIC 2020

Tomorrow, on ANZAC DAY, I will remember my father and his WWI and WWII mates with admiration and a grateful heart. To all the brave men and women who had put their life on the line so that we could live in freedom I say a big THANK YOU. This includes the veterans of recent wars.

I used to watch my father march, and when he passed away, I always watched the ANZAC MARCH on ABC TV.

This year, there won’t be any marches. The invisible enemy will keep us firmly in lockdown. Yet, ANZAC DAY will be celebrated, and we will be able to participate online. The spirit of ANZAC will live on forever and ever.

LAST WE FORGET!

This book was published in 1918 and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The second edition was recently published. An E-book will soon be available too.

The back of the medals: 2 Russian St. George medals for bravery and “Albanska Spomenica” – the Albanian Commemorative Medal for the withdrawal of the Serbian Army through Albania

My father was 23  in 1916 when he got the Russian medals for bravery for giving first-aid under fire. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

When I asked him whether he was afraid, he simply said: ‘You just do your duty, you don’t think about danger to yourself’.  Then he paused and added: ‘Once, however, when a man next to me came down, and I saw his skull open up, brain spilling out, a thought occurred in my mind, “This could have been me…”.’  (Full Circle, First Edition, p 99)

He was lucky. He survived both world wars and lived to a ripe age of 101.

If you are interested, there’s a link on my Author Page at:

https://www.amazon.com/author/irinadimitric

If you happen to purchase and read my book, and enjoy writing reviews, I would very much appreciate a short review. ❤

©Copyright 2020 Irina Dimitric

 

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