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VUKOVIC Jelena
Sport Para athletics, Para powerlifting
NPC Croatia   
GenderWomen
Age44
Place of BirthPula, YUG
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
F57
Further Personal Information
Residence
Pula, CRO
Occupation
Administrator, Athlete
Languages
Croatian, Dutch, English, Italian, Polish, Russian
Higher education
Biokinetics, Orthopaedics - Open University: Pula, CRO
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 1993 in Pula, Croatia.
Why this sport?
She always liked sport and first tried basketball and tennis, before taking up athletics after trying the discus throw.
Club / Team
AK Spektar: Pula, CRO
Name of coach
Katja Luketic [club], CRO, from 2004
Senior International Debut
Year
1996
Competing for
Croatia
Location
Zagreb, CRO
General Interest
Nicknames
Lela (Athlete, 04 Apr 2011)
Hobbies
Playing the guitar, being with her dog. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold and a bronze medal at the 1998 World Championships in Birmingham, England, and a bronze at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her mother. (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 24 Nov 2015)
Hero / Idol
Croatian basketballer Drazen Petrovic. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"To make your dreams come true, first you have to wake up." (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 24 Nov 2015)
Awards and honours
She has been honoured with the Order of Danica Hrvatska by the President of Croatia. (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 24 Nov 2015)
Impairment
Her impairment is due to complications during her delivery at birth. The delivery lasted over 13 hours, and resulted in a lower limb impairment. (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 24 Nov 2015)
Other information
OCCUPATION
She works as an administrative officer at the Istrian Health Centre in Pula, Croatia. (Facebook profile, 06 May 2018)

FROM STANDING TO SEATED
She previously competed in standing events, but a work accident in September 2013 forced her to use a wheelchair. She took a break from the sport to rehabilitate the injury, and began competing in seated events upon her return to competition in 2016. (drugo-lice-invalidnosti.org, 12 May 2014; tvistra.hr, 29 Mar 2017)

HOSPITAL STAY
She spent 13 months in hospital in Kurgan, Russian Federation, after the hospital was closed due to the nuclear accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine. She first entered the hospital in 1986 to undergo an operation, but went on to suffer bed sores and develop sepsis during her time at the hospital. "After the operation everything went unplanned. Chernobyl exploded, they closed the hospital, my mother was beside me the whole time. In a month I lost 30lbs, got a huge bed sore and sepsis, I was on the verge. By returning home to a hospital in Rovinj [Croatia], I saved my life." (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 24 Nov 2015; drugo-lice-invalidnosti.org, 12 May 2014)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
9 2000 Discus Throw F46 26.64
6 2000 Shot Put F44 7.81
7 2004 Shot Put F42-46 7.79 
3 2004 Discus Throw F42-46 23.94 
7 2008 Shot Put F42-46 8.31
7 2008 Discus Throw F42-46 24.90
5 2012 Shot Put F42/44 7.85
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
3 1998 Shot Put F42 7.53
1 1998 Discus Throw F42 25.88
4 1998 Javelin Throw F42 16.37
8 2006 Shot Put F42/44 8.40
7 2006 Discus Throw F42/44 24.84
5 2013 Shot Put F42/44 8.11
European Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
4 2018 Discus Throw F57 18.79
  2018 Shot Put F57  NoM