15th-Canadian Olympic handball player Lucie Balthazar was born in 1958 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. As part of the Canadian handball team, she finished sixth in the 1976 Olympics, playing in all five matches and scoring one goal during the tournament.

Also born in 1958 Piotr Czaczka in Czarnowąsy, Poland, competed at the 1980 Olympic Games. The Polish team finished in 7th place with Czaczka scoring three goals in the four matches he played in.

American Yaro Dachniwsky, born today in 1963, is best known as a soccer goalkeeper, spending most of his career playing with indoor teams. In November 1994, Dachniwsky attended a trial for the USA national handball team and was selected for the 1996 Olympics. Playing as goalkeeper he contributed to the team’s ninth place finish in Atlanta, the best US Olympic team finish ever in the sport. In 2002 he carried the Olympic Torch in Racine, Wisconsin, as it travelled to Salt Lake city for that year’s Winter Olympic Games. “In these trying times, it was an honour to be selected to carry a symbol of peace,” he told the press “It is another moment in my life that consists of many great memories that I will have forever.”

Two time Olympian Laurie Fellener was born in 1968 in Wisconsin. In high school she played volleyball, basketball, softball and athletics, earning nine varsity letters. She went to the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay on a basketball scholarship, playing there from 1986-91, and earning a degree in public and environmental administration. She later earned a Masters degree in sports administration from the University of Kansas. In addition to her two Olympic appearances, in 1992 and 1996, the US team placing 6th and 8th respectively. She also won a gold medal with the US team at the 1995 Pan American Games. She also played at the Pan American Championships in 1989, winning silver, and 1991, winning gold. She competed at US Olympic Festivals in 1989, 1991, and 1995.

Husband of the Infanta Cristina, daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain and brother in law of King Felipe VI, Iñaki Urdangarin y Liebaert, was born in 1968. A Spanish handball player turned entrepreneur. At the age of 18, Urdangarin became a professional handball player with FC Barcelona Handbol, where he remained until his retirement in 2000. As a member of the Spanish handball team, he participated in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics, serving as team captain in 2000. The team won bronze in 1996 and 2000. Urdangarin has been a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee since 4th April 2001, and was elected first deputy chairman on 16th February 2004. In 2001, he received the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit. His Royal title The Most Excellent the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, was removed by Royal Decree in June 2015 after a scandal. His wife, Cristina, also lost her title as the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, but retained her title as Princess. After nearly seven years, the famous “Nóos case” involving political scandal, embezzlement and money laundering, resulted in Urdangarin receiving a prison sentence along with others, including the former Balearic President Jaume Matas, in February 2017. For his part,he received a six year and three months sentence, whilst his wife Cristina was absolved of all charges brought against her.

Nataliya Kubrina, Kazakhstani handball player, was born on this day in 1975, in Almaty. Part of the national team since 1997, she competed in one Olympic Games, in 2008 where the team were 10th.

Ljubica Nenezić born on this day in 1997 is a Montenegrin handball player for Kastamonu Bld. GSK and the Montenegrin national team.  As a goalkeeper she participated in two Olympic Games – 2012 and 2016. The team were silver medallists in London in 2012 and 11th in Rio four years later.


16th-Piotr Józef Cieśla born in Gdańsk, Poland in 1955 and competed in the 1976 Olympics, where he won bronze with his national team, playing in all five matches and scoring one goal.

Former Icelandic handball player Brynjar Kvaran was born in 1958, at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, the team were placed 6th and 8th respectively in the final standings.

Japanese Olympic handballer Kenji Tamamura was born today in 1961. Competing at the 1988 Games in Calgary, he helped his national team claim 11th place overall.

Born on this day in 1962 in Ruma, Yugoslavia, Zlatko Portner. During his successful career he played for RK Metaloplastika and FC Barcelona Handbol. In 1988 he was part of the Yugoslav team which won the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics – he played all six matches and scored 31 goals. Later he became a successful coach in Switzerland. As a player, he also won the Champions League with Barcelona.

Chinese handball player Che Zhihong was born on this day in 1975.  She was part of the 1996 Chinese Olympic team which was placed 5th at the Atlanta Games.

Vasily Filippov, born on this day in 1981 in Moscow is a Russian handball player. He competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where the Russian team placed sixth and was affiliated to the  Chekhovskiye Medvedi club in Chekhov.

Mohamed Hisham Sanad, born today in 1991, is an Egyptian handball player for USAM Nîmes gard and the Egyptian national team. He was a member of the Egypt national handball team at the 2016 Olympics, placing 9th.Standing at 6ft 3ins tall (1.91m), he made over 150 appearances for the team scoring 567 goals.



17th – Yugoslavian handball player Mile Isaković was born in 1958 in Šabac, he competed in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.  In 1980 the national team finished sixth, Isaković played in five matches and scored thirteen goals. Four years later he was again part of the Yugoslav team, this time they won the gold medal. He played all six matches and scored 39 goals.

Austrian Karin Hillinger was born in 1965 and competed at the 1984 Olympics where the team were placed in 6th place, having lost all five games in the tournament

A year later in 1966 saw the birth of Natalya Gennadyevna Morskova, born in Rostov-on-Don in Russia.  She competed for the Soviet Union in the 1988 Olympics and for the Unified Team in the 1992 Olympics. In 1988 she won the bronze medal with the Soviet team. She played all five matches and scored 25 goals. Four years later as a member of the Unified Team which also won the bronze medal, she played all five matches and scored 41 goals. She later represented Spain in international championships.

American Gregory William Caccia, known as Greg, was born today in 1967. In 1993 while a graduate the head of the physical education department suggested he tried put for the Olympics, In Atlanta, Caccia and his fellow handball contenders were set up with minimum wage jobs at shops, department stores and the like. Training took place form 6-8:30am and 7-9:30pm. Caccia recalls being so tired at times that he would park his car to the side of the road on the way to practice to have a nap. As handball was not as popular in America as in Europe the American Olympic Committee decided to fly the team to eastern Europe where they played in front of crowds of tens of thousands of spectators. The team also played in Brazil and Agentina, as well as Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. In 1995 they took part in the World Championships in Iceland. At the Atlanta Games the US team came a creditable ninth and a few weeks later Caccia found himself sitting down for dinner at the White House, “what next” he found himself asking – he decided to settle in the Atlanta area and took up a career with a medical sales firm

Craig Steven Fitschen, also born today in 1967 but in New York, competed at the 1988 Olympics. He was a right winger who attended Adelphi University and won a silver medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games, and played on the 1988 US Championship team. Fitschen also played on the winning team at the 1988 West Point Tournament. He played soccer, lacrosse, and handball (team) at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Dix Hills, New York. At the 1988 Games in Seoul the USA team came 12th.

Born on this day in 1968 in Nagykanizsa in Hungary, Auguszta Mátyás, who played for Hungarian second division side Nagykanizsai Izzó SE. She was there top scorer in 1991, 1992, 2002, 2004 and 2005. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, where the handball tournament took place at the Georgia World Congress Centre, she was part of the Hungarian team that claimed the Bronze medal.



18th– Born on this day in 1954 in Tbilisi in Russia was Aleksandr Semyonovich, a Soviet/Georgian handball player who competed in the 1976 and 1980. Anpilogov trained at Burevestnik in Tbilisi.  In 1976 he won Olympic gold with the Soviet team, playing in all six matches and scoring 13 goals. Four years later, as part of the Soviet team, he won silver, he played all six matches and scored 29 goals in those Games

Russian Liudmyla Kolomiets (nee Panchuk) who was on the Soviet national team from 1974-82,was  born in 1956 and died on 11th February 2011, just a month after her 55th birthday. She won an Olympic gold in 1976, a World Championship in 1982, and won silver at the 1975 Worlds. Panchuk missed the 1980 Olympics due to pregnancy. At the club level, she played her whole career with Spartak Kyiv, winning Soviet titles in 1974-77 and 1982-83, and the EHF Champions League in 1975, 1977 and 1983. Panchuk finished her competitive career after the 1983 season due to an Achilles tendon rupture. She worked for a long time as a state coach for women’s handball at the Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports and for 11 years she was the head of the protocol department of the National Olympic Committee.

Tetyana Horb from the Ukraine was born on this day in 1965 she competed for the Soviet Union in the 1988 Olympics and for the Unified Team in the 1992 Games. In 1988 she won the bronze with the Soviet team. The tournament took place in the Suwon Gymnastium in Suwon and in the tense final group, the Soviets first defeated Yugoslavia, while Korea beat Norway. This meant three teams were still in a position to win the gold, and even Norway could still claim the silver medal. The Norwegian women pulled away from Yugoslavia 20-15, meaning they had secured at least a bronze. The unofficial final match between South Korea and the USSR was sold out, filled with enthusiastic Korean supporters. The agile Koreans pulled up to a 16-12 lead, but saw it disappear as the Soviets scored five times in a row to take the lead, 17-16. In a last-ditch effort, the hosts managed to come back in to the game, winning it 21-19 in front of an ecstatic crowd. The Soviet women fell back to third, as the Norwegian team claimed its first Olympic medal in the sport. Four years later Horb again took bronze with the Unified team.

French handball coach, Olympian and professional handball player, Didier Dominique Dinart was born in 1977. He played for several clubs in France and Spain, including the Spanish handball club BM Ciudad Real and was a member of the French handball team. His list of medals and awards is extensive and includes gold medals at the World Cup 2001, Euro 2006, Olympics 2008, World Cup 2009, Euro 2010, World Cup 2011, Olympics 2012 and was an assistant coach for the French national team who won gold in Euro 2014 .He also represented France during the Handball EM 2012 in Serbia




19th-American Dennis Berkholtz was born in Wisconsin in 1945. He attended Kansas State University, graduating in 1967. Berkholtz played basketball at K State and later played AAU ball with the Goodyear Wingfoots team that won World Cup titles in 1969 and 1970. He was a backcourt player in handball and captained the US team at the 1972 Olympics, also playing at the 1970 and 1974 World Championships. He later coached the US team at the 1976 Olympics and became President of USA Handball in the late 1970s. Prior to the 1996 Olympics, Berkholtz helped relocate USA Handball to Atlanta. He also worked for the Organizing Committees for both 1996 Atlanta and 2002 Salt Lake City, serving as a ticketing, marketing, and housing consultant. In 2015 Berkholtz was named chairperson of BEACH Handball, in an effort to develop interest in beach handball in the United States.

Joachim Deckarm, born on this day in 1954 in Saarbrücken  and began his sports career as an athlete and later became one of the most talented and best handball players in West Germany. He became German Youth Champion in the pentathlon in 1971 but then turned to handball. With VfL Gummersbach he became German Champion in 1974-76 and European Cup champion in 1974 and 1978. In 1978 he  became World Champion with West Germany. In total, he earned 104 national caps and scored 381 goals. At a European Cup match with VfL Gummersbach in March 1979 in Hungary he struck his head against an opponent and fell unconscious to the ground, again striking his head on a thinly-coated cement floor, sustaining two skull fractures, and a severe brain injury. He was in a coma for 131 days, and never fully recovered. His brain injury caused his motor functions to regress to the level of an infant, and he lost the ability to speak, and has required full-time nursing care since 1982.  He has since been living in an assisted living facility in his hometown of Saarbrücken. On 19th January 2007, the day of the opening match of the 2007 World Cup in Germany, Joachim Deckarm celebrated his 53rd birthday as a guest of honour in the sold-out Berlin Max-Schmeling-Halle. In Saarbrücken, the Joachim-Deckarm sports hall is named after him.

Olympic gold medallist, Jasna Ptujec was born in 1959 in Zagreb. She played for RK Lokomotiva in Zagreb and as goalkeeper was part of the Yugoslavian gold medal winning 1984 Olympic team. The Olympic finals took place at the Titan Gym at the California State University at Fullerton – the 1982 World Championships had ended with the Soviet Union beating host nation Hungary, with Yugoslavia taking the bronze. These three squads qualified directly for the Olympics, supplemented with the host nation (USA), the best European qualifier (East Germany, fourth at the 1982 Worlds) and China as the winner of the Africa/Americas/Asia qualification tournament. As the USSR, GDR and Hungary refused to play in Los Angeles, they were replaced, with South Korea (sixth at the Worlds), West Germany (ninth) and Austria (eighth at the 1983 B World Championships), all this left Yugoslavia as the overwhelming favourite for the title. The first match for Yugoslavia however did not display this potential, as they beat West Germany by only a single goal (20-19). After that things improved and they won the next two matches. Their fourth match was effectively the “final”. They played South Korea, the second-ranked team with two wins and one loss. A win for Yugoslavia would guarantee the gold medal, which they managed, 29-23. They were helped by eight goals from Jasna Kolar-Merdan, who would tally up 48 goals in the entire tournament, including a record 17 in the 33-20 battering of the home team. Despite their loss against Yugoslavia, the Koreans held on to win the silver medal, soundly beating West Germany in the final match 26-17, through 16 goals by Yun Byeong-Sun. This defeat cost the West Germans a medal, the bronze going to China. The two medals for the Asian nations also marked the first time a non-European nation medalled in handball at the Olympics.

Yoon Soo-Kyung, born in 1964, is a South Korean team handball player and Olympic medallist. She played with the South Korean team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where the team won the silver medal.



20th -Russian handballer Elina Guseva was born in Turkmenistan in 1964. She played for Azerbaijan and later Russia, and was affiliated to the Spartak club in Bakinka, Baki. At the 1988 Olympics as part of the Russian team, playing one game and scoring a single goal, she won bronze and repeated that feat four years later, with the Unified Team, this time playing all five matches and scoring 14 times.

Also born in 1964, American Boyd Janny. A backcourt player, Janny attended the University of Wisconsin. He won a gold medal in handball at the 1987 Pan American Games and a silver medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Janny played on the US handball team at the 1987 World Championships, the 1987 Universiade, and the 1985 Pan American Championships. At the 1988 Olympic Games he was a squad member of the US team that were placed 12th

Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Gorpishin, born on this day in 1970 in Moldova is Russian team handball player and Olympic champion from 2000 in Sydney He also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with the Russian national team. He was a squad member on the Unified Team that won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. But he did not play in a single match and did not receive a medal. He played his “club” handball for the German teams TSG Friesenheim and Eintracht Hildesheim.

Elizabeth Amélia Basílio Viegas, who was born 20 today in 1985, in Luanda, Angola.  She plays for Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto as well as the Angolan national team, at 5ft 11 inches (1.80m) she plays as pivot.  At the 2008 Olympics with the national team she was 12th and 16th in the 2015 World championships. The Angolan team were gold medallists at the 2015 African Games

Croatian Jelena Grubišić, born in 1987, she plays as goalkeeper and is currently at CSM București and was a member of the Croatia national team, who were seventh at the 2012 London Olympics. Her previous clubs include –  Lokomotiva Zagreb (2002-9), Krim Ljubljana (2009-14) and Győri Audi ETO KC (2014-15). Her honours list is a long one – Romanian championship winner 2017 and 2017, Hungarian Championships silver medallist 2015, Hungarian Cup winner 2015, winner of the Slovenian Championships and Slovenian Cup for five consecutive years – 2010-2014. Croatian Champions 2004 and Croatian Cup winners 2005 and 2007, European Handball Champions League winners 2016 and bronze medallists 2017. She was given the award of Cetățean de onoare (Honorary Citizen) of the city of Bucharest in 2016

Przemysław Krajewski, born in 1987, plays for Wisła Płock and the Polish national team. He was a bronze medallist at the 2015 World Championships in Quatar when the Polish beat Spain in extra time. At the 2016 Olympic the Polish team were just put of the medals in fourth place. Krajewski was awarded the Silver Cross of Merit for sporting achievement in his his home country in 2015,


21stAnatoly Shevchenko, born in Russia in 1940 and played his club handball at Trud, presented the Soviet Union at the 1972 Munich Olympics. With the first eight nations of the 1970 World Championships automatically qualified (and ninth place USSR added because West German was already qualified as a host), the Olympic tournament was ensured of a competitive field. Of these nine nations, only Denmark failed to reach the second round. Both semi-final pools were a close affair. In Group A, East Germany (runner-up at the 1970 Worlds) had beaten Czechoslovakia in the first round, but lost to the Soviet Union 11-8 and missed out on the final on goal difference. In the other pool, reigning world champion Romania was surprised by Yugoslavia, which moved away from the Romanians in the second half to beat them 14-13 in a low-scoring affair. This gave Romania against East Germany, a repeat of the World Championship final of 1970, as the bronze medal match. Two years earlier, the Romanians required two overtimes to get rid of the Germans, but this time they obtained an early lead, giving them a 19-16 win in the end. The final was slightly disappointing. The Yugoslavs started with a 4-0 lead after six minutes, and protected a seven-point advantage in the first half. This sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, which never recovered and lost 21-16. Shevchenko and his Soviet team mates were eventually placed fifth.

Japanese Kenichi Sasaki born in 1950, represented Chuo University, Tokyo and competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In Munich in 1972 the Japanese where placed 11th, but fared slightly better four years later in Montreal where they were ninth.

Ilona Nagy, born in Budapest in 1951, played for Csepel SC in Budapest. She is an Olympic bronze medallist from the 1976 Montreal Games, as well as a double bronze World Championship medallist from the 1975 tournament held in Russia and the 1978 event, held in Czechoslovakia

German Birgit Peter, (nee Wagner) was born in 1969 in Rostock. She started playing handball at SC Empor Rostock. In 1990 she joined the Bundesliga club TV Lützellinden. With Lützellinden the right -handed player playing right-winger won the European Cup in 1991,  the DHB-Cup in 1992 and the German Championship in 1993, as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1994 she moved to league rivals TuS Walle Bremen, with them she won the championship in 1995 and 1996, and in 1995 the DHB Cup. When she became pregnant in 1998, she ended her career as a handball player. Later, Peter occasionally ran for Werder Bremen. Peter belonged to the German national team, winning the 1993 World Cup. She also took part in the 1992 Olympic Games, the team coming fourth.

Li Bing, born on this day in 1980 in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, who is affiliated to the Beijing Army, has competed in both the Olympics and World Championships. At the 2004 Games in Athens, the Chinese team were placed eighth and went two places better in 2008, coming sixth in the tournament.  At the 2011 World Championships, held in Brazil, Li was part of the team that came 21st overall.