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Rio 2016 Olympic Calympian: Damir Dugonjic, Men's swimming, Slovenia

Cal alum Damir "Dugi" Dugonjic will be a 3rd time Calympian in Rio, but he is still seeking that first Olympic medal.

Cal alum Damir Dugonjic will be competing in his 3rd Olympic in Rio while seeking his first medal
Cal alum Damir Dugonjic will be competing in his 3rd Olympic in Rio while seeking his first medal
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Damir Dugonjic

CGB's 2012 London Calympian profile

Sport: Men's swimming (100 Breast)

Country: Slovenia

Twitter: @iamdugiInstagram: @iamdugiPersonal Website: damirdugonjic.com

Birthday: February 21st, 1988 (age 28)

Hometown: Ravne na Koroškem, Slovenia

Cal affiliation: California Golden Bears alum (Environmental Science, Policy, and Management major)

Years at Cal: 2007-2011

Olympic appearances: 2008 Beijing (16th in 100 Breast), 2012 London (18th in 100 Breast)

Cal Achievements:

Dugi is a big part of the 2011 Cal Men's Swimming and Diving team NCAA Champions, along side fellow Calympians in Nathan Adrian and Tom Shields. In 2011, he won an individual NCAA title while also swam in both NCAA winning 200 and 400 medley relays.

He is a 3x NCAA individual champs in the 100 Breast - from 2009 to 2011 (see the full race below).

A full list of Damir Dugonjic's NCAA championships won at Cal:

  • 2009 - 100-yard breaststroke, 50.86
  • 2010 - 100-yard breaststroke, 51.65
  • 2010 - 200-yard medley relay (1:23.08 - Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Graeme Moore, Josh Daniels)
  • 2010 - 400-yard medley relay (3:02.83 - Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Tom Shields, Nathan Adrian)
  • 2011 - 100-yard breaststroke, 50.94
  • 2011 - 200-yard medley relay (1:23.12 - Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Graeme Moore, Nathan Adrian)
  • 2011 - 400-yard medley relay (3:02.28 - Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Tom Shields, Nathan Adrian)

That's quite an impressive list that should get Dugi into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame at some point when he is eligible (athletes need to wait 10 years after they have last competed for Cal to be eligible).

International Achievements:

After start swimming competitively at age 10, Dugi quickly made the International scene, even prior to him crossing the Atlantic to come to Berkeley. In 2006 he was a member of the Slovenian European Junior Championship Team. Two years later, after one year at Cal, Dugi became a 2008 Calympian.

From his website (not up to date since 2014):

Medals:

2012 - World Championships, Istanbul (SC)
Silver medal - 100m breaststroke
Silver medal -  50m breaststroke

2012 - European Championships, Chartres (SC)
Bronze medal - 50m breaststroke
Silver medal - 4x50 mixed medley relay

2012 - European Championships, Debrecen (LC)
Gold medal - 50m breaststroke

2011 - European Championships, Szczezin (SC)
Silver Medal - 100m breaststroke
Silver medal - 100m breaststroke

Records & Highlights:

2013 - European Record Holder
50m breaststroke LCM - 26.83

2013  - FINA World Championships, Barcelona (LC)
Fourth place - 100m breaststroke
Fourth place - 50m breaststroke

His SwimSwam profile has Dugi's performance from 2015.

2015 World Championships
In the 50-meter breast Dugonjic was expected to be a threat, and advanced from the semi-finals in 5th, swimming a sub-27 second race. In the championship final though, Dugonjic added about .3, but held his 5th place position. He also competed in the 100 breast, but finished in 17th in 1:00.36, just .01 from advancing to the semi's.

Best Time (Long Course):

50 Breast - 26.70 seconds; 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan

100 Breast - 59.66; 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome

Dugi may not have medaled at the 2015 Worlds Championship, but he did qualified for Rio 2016 by posting an A time in the 100 Breast (50 Breast, which Dugi is better at, is not an Olympic event).

More on Dugi:

First of all, congratulations to Damir Dugonjic and his wife, Camilla Salem, who is also a Cal alum on the impending arrival of what we hope would be a future Golden Bear.

Even after graduating, Dugi had stayed in the Bay Area to train for awhile. That's quite an impressive number of Calympians (everyone in the picture, sadly the only one not going to Rio is Natalie Coughlin) in that photo below.

Although his more recent social media updates seem to indicate that Dugi and his Californian wife have moved to Slovenia. It does appear that the Environmental Science, Policy, and Management major has moved to the Slovenian countryside.

Since his time as a Golden Bear, Dugi has continued to train and compete internationally. He's also found time to be (uncredited) in a tire commercial (from 2014).

The self proclaimed "tallest breaststroker ever", the 6'7" Slovenian will be making his 3rd straight Olympic competition in the 100 Breast. Unfortunately for Dugi, the top time in the world in this event is under 58 seconds. Dugi's top time (from 2009) is just under a minute. He would need to drop some serious time to make the final, not to mention medal. Nevertheless, we will be rooting for the Cal great in his pursuit of Olympic glory.

Good luck to Dugi in Rio and GO BEARS!