Split as the regional centre was for centuries a place visited by crowned heads and rulers from around the world, and because of its open mentality and straightforward attitude a place frequented by global stars of film, theatre, music and entertainment. Split itself has spawned some globally recognised names, mostly in sports, among which the best known is Wimbledon winning tennis player Goran Ivanišević and before him Nikola Pilić, the selector of the 2005 Davis Cup winning Croatian tennis team. Part of that team was Split's own Mario Ančić.
Split has been home to 66 Olympic Games participants while its basketball courts have produced the likes of Dino Rađa and Toni Kukoč, world basketball aces of the NBA league. Split is home to Ivano Balić, European and World Best handball player. The members of the Croatian bobsled team hailing from the city further attest to the sporting spirit of Split. Although Split is on the sea and has no snow to speak of, these bobsledders are the backbone of the team at this years Torino Winter Olympic Games.
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