I have the pleasure of sharing some end of the year words with you for the third year in a row. This is an extremely huge honor for both myself writing this, as well as my teammates and friends from the club's locker room in whose names I write this, as I get to share with all of you some of our experiences and impressions at this time. Believe me that this is no easy task! Neither because I've been given a word limit to the letter, nor because I've had some topics suggested to write about, because that wasn't the case here. It's actually simply because this has been such an incredible season! Of course, every season in the past has also been big and special in its own way...
We find ourselves in a big season for all of us - for the people managing the club and those who created it and managed it before us, for us players and all of our colleagues from the athletics team, for our city, and definitely for our fans. Of course, without all of the cooperation, mutual understanding, and support from our fans and partners there would be no mighty KHL season. I believe that we are all equally proud of this achievement! I feel I wouldn't be wrong to say that the holiday season is a little bit different for all of us this year. For every one of us in the club, of our fans, and of our partners - the holidays came early for us this year. Some would say in April, some in September, but I think we could all agree that we have all received an incredible gift this year: playing in the prestigious KHL. Together we reached what could not be any bigger or better for Medvescak! Together we've been enjoying top performance hockey in our city for months now. I think many of us never thought that we would have hockey at this top international level played in the Ice Hall. I didn't even dream of having the opportunity to play in Medvescak's jersey in the KHL, but I admit that I always loved hearing stories about the big, successful Medvescak and their future as told by Damir Gojanovic. Once again it has been proven that it is incredibly important to have a vision, and everyone involved with the club definitely had one!
This season I have been personally enriched by another life experience thanks to our friends from Russia. And I'm very proud of that! I believe that some of you will also uncover the same value from this whole experience. I have been introduced to a new culture that I haven't had the opportunity to discover until now; a culture with distinct customs that celebrates holidays 'differently' from 'us'. Nevertheless, both cultures celebrate the same essence of the holiday, worshipping the same 'truth' with equal respect and desire for peace and prosperity. For myself, it is precisely this diversity that both enriches mankind and creates the basis for our mutual respect, love, and trust. I am discovering this new culture in the same year in which Croatia, the country I now also call home after four years, became a part of the European Union in which everyone, regardless of their language, alphabet, skin colour, gender, or sexual orientation can celebrate important dates happily as equals! Of course, in all of that joy and happiness, we must not forget those who need our help, and that our actions, kind words, or warm smiles can do a lot. We are also happy about the fact that more and more volunteers are giving a part of themselves to enrich the lives of others everyday at our games and projects. For this reason, try and find a minute in your day to give a part of your time to someone in a positive and genuine way to warm up your own heart as well as their lives. I too shall give it my all, along with all of my teammates, in every game we play to make you happy and to reward you for all of the good that you do.
'If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with a friend' is a quote I recently heard that I interpreted as a great description of the road that we have travelled together over the past four years, and especially this year. Together, we made it to the mighty KHL, and with it - together with you - we plan to go far. Together as friends! We have embarked on this long journey for the future of our club together with you - the fans, media, partners, friends, and we have no intention of losing any of you along the way. It is with sorrow that I look back at our friends and fans who, despite our support, have lost their fights and left us forever. Nevertheless, we in Medvescak honestly believe that they are still cheering us on from some other, equally beautiful place. It is precisely because of all of them that we have to keep working on making this world a safer, more beautiful, and worry-free place everyday, and that every moment is one of joy for everyone in it. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and the people around us so that we can enjoy the things we achieve together more. Do not forget about your own health along the way!
I can't think of a better and more genuine way to end this year-end letter other than to say another big and honest THANK YOU! THANK YOU to Damir and his team for everything they have done with Medvescak over the past four years, and for bringing the mighty KHL to Croatia together with our friends here and in Russia. THANK YOU to my teammates for giving it their all on the ice and making the locker room function as a unified whole. It's an incredible, indescribable feeling to be a part of this sports family. An extremely huge THANK YOU to you, our fans who inspire us to be better, who are with us until the final second of the game, and who genuinely believe in us and our future with your last ounce of strength!
I am thankful for the opportunity to write you this letter and with it to symbolically end this calendar year while opening a new, more successful, wonderful, and happy New Year.
Dear friends, together with my family and in the name of all of my teammates, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!