Ivano Balić

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIvano•Balić
Used nameIvano•Balić
Born1 April 1979 in Split (CRO)
Measurements190 cm / 96 kg
AffiliationsRK Metković, Metković (CRO) / SDC San Antonio, Pamplona (ESP) / RK Zagreb, Zagreb (CRO)
NOC Croatia


Ivano Balic of Croatia, one of the best handball players of all-time, is the 2004 Olympic handball champion at the Olympic Games in Athens, and won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London (finished fourth in 2008 in Beijing where he was his country’s flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony). The 2003 World champion in Portugal, Balic was a member of the silver medal-winning team at the World Championships in 2005 in Tunisia, and in 2009 in Croatia. At the European Championships, Balic won two silver medals (2008, 2010) and one bronze (2012); in 2006, he was named the tournament MVP.

Five consecutive times, Balic has been named the most valuable player in major international competitions, calling him the “MVP of MVP’s” – at the 2004 and 2006 European Handball Championship, the 2004 Olympic Games, and the 2005 and 2007 World Championships. Twice he received the International Handball Federation (IHF) World Player of the Year award (2003, 2006).

Professionally, after playing for RK Metkovic from 2001-2004, Balic moved to Portland San Antonio in Pamplona, Spain where he stayed for four years, before moving to RK Zagreb which allowed him to be closer to his firstborn son in Croatia. From 2012-2013, he played for Athletico Madrid BM, moving to the German team HSG Wetzlar for the 2014-2015 season, retiring at the end of the year.

In 2007, Balic was named the Croatian Sportsman of the Year, and a fan poll voted him the “Best Male Handball Player Ever”. He has been awarded the Order of ‘Danica Hrvatska with the face of Franjo Bucar’ (the 13th most important medal given by the Republic of Croatia).

Born in Split, Croatia, together with Mirela Delic, a member of the Croatian national volleyball team, Balic has a son that was born in 2014. Before playing handball, Balic trained with the basketball club KK Split.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2004 Summer Olympics Handball CRO Ivano Balić
Handball, Men (Olympic) Croatia 1 Gold
2008 Summer Olympics Handball CRO Ivano Balić
Handball, Men (Olympic) Croatia 4
2012 Summer Olympics Handball CRO Ivano Balić
Handball, Men (Olympic) Croatia 3 Bronze

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony CRO Ivano Balić

Special Notes