Veljko Rogošić, A Croatian Legend Passes

Veljko Rogošić, A Croatian Legend Passes

Veljko Rogošić, A Croatian Legend Passes

Courtesy of WOWSA, Split, Croatia.

Last night in a hospital in Split, Croatia, legendary Croatian swimmer Veljko Rogošić passed away at the age of 71.

An Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and a shipyard technician by trade, Rogošić nearly always found himself near the water.

He set a benchmark for pool and marathon swimming among his countrymen during a life dedicated to swimming.

He began as a great pool swimmer for the former Yugoslavia where he won 142 national championships and competed a total of 203 times for his country in international competitions, setting 51 national records in the 400m and 1500m freestyle, 200m and 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly and freestyle relays. He was the captain of the national team for 15 years and participated in two Olympic Games (1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo). His highest international rankings were in the 1500m freestyle (fourth) and 400m individual medley (fifth).

Rogošić won a World Cup Championship in the 200m butterfly in 1971 and received three Olympic Committee awards during his career.

He won the 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 marathons in Italian Ricconeu and won the world championship in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 at the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli.

According to the Guinness World Records, Rogošić set the world record for the longest distance ever swum without fins in the sea with his 225 km (139.8 mile) 50 hour 10 minute swim across the Adriatic Sea from Grado to Riccione in Italy between August 29th-31st 2006. The distance was measured by GPS.

As he continued to serve as an ambassador of the sport, he continued to be honored for his efforts and exploits. In 2004, he became a member of the Half Century Club for his crossing of the English Channel at the age of 63 in 11 hours 27 minutes – the first by a Croatian swimmer.

Rogošić‘s prowess in the butterfly and in the ocean were combined in this television advertisement.



The 2-time Olympic pool swimmer and world professional marathon swimming champion Rogošić was 65 years old when he swam his longest swim. Just two years earlier, Rogošić proved his speed and stamina when he crossed the English Channel at the age of 63 in 11 hours 27 minutes in 2004.

Steven Munatones recalls, “An Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Rogošić was clearly capable of a massively long swim after a lifetime dedicated to the sport of swimming.

He began as a great pool swimmer for the former Yugoslavia where he won 142 national championships and competed a total of 203 times for his country in international competitions. He set 51 national records in the 400m and 1500m freestyle, 200m and 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly and freestyle relays and was the national team captain for 15 years as he participated in two Olympic Games (1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo). His highest international rankings were in the 1500m freestyle (fourth) and 400m individual medley (fifth).

After he shifted from the pool to the open water, he continued to excel. He won the 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 marathons in Italian Ricconeu and won the world championship in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 at the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli as well as the 1976 Faros Maratón 1976. He swam against the best: finishing second to John Kinsella in the 1974 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and third overall in the 1975 and 1876 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean.

The video on the 225 km swim by Veljko Rogošić begins 3 minutes into the following video after the television commercials. Enjoy Veljko Rogošić’s Moje Najteže Milje (Veljko Rogošić’s Hardest Mile), the unprecedented Adriatic Swimming Marathon.



Veljko Rogošić “Moje najteže milje” from kastelanskakronika on Vimeo.

For every swimmer loves these words: “You did it…congratulations.”

Editor’s Note: The reported distance of Veljko Rogošić’s swim in the Adriatic Sea in 2006 is 139.8 statute miles (225 km). But the distance between his starting and finishing cities appears to be only a total straight-line distance of 121 statute miles (194.7 km), based on confirmation on Google Maps. However, information on the exact GPS coordinates of the starting and finishing positions are not known and were not reported.

Copyright © 2008 – 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association