End of the Year Interview with Mr. Statman – dcro

With a new TISC year on the horizon we have caught up with the TISC-News site founder, dcro for a quick chat about sport, TISC and the year that was…

Hi Dario, great to be here with you today. I promise not to take up too much of your time and let you get on with your New Year celebrations.

Firstly, I have a present for you *hands over a tangerine*. Freshly bought this morning from the market – as a memento for the last TISC contest!

Why, thank you for the tangerine! I’m happy to take up this interview.

How do you plan spending your New Year’s Eve, any wild parties planned or will it be a quiet affair?

It looks like it will be a quiet affair this time, as none of the other plans really worked out (including the last ditch effort from yesterday). A glass of champagne and a cake will do the job.

So with 2017 drawing to a close I can’t let the opportunity go without asking you about the year that was. How will you remember 2017 in terms of your personal life and in a global context?

In a global sense, 2017 brought a lot of instability (wars, terrorism, referendums, natural catastrophes…), and sadly it doesn’t look like any of those things that human kind can influence will change anytime soon.

For me 2017 was also marked by the continuous rise of “social media moralists”… Athletes and other famous people are being constantly criticized at their social pages for every little thing they possibly didn’t do right. I’m sure they aren’t different from ordinary people in a sense that majority of them are not trying to be bad or something. And if you think I’m putting this out of proportion, then you haven’t seen equestrian social media (though I’m sure that’s present everywhere, remember Fourcade, Koukalova?).

On a personal note, 2017 wasn’t too bad, however it wasn’t ideal either.

As a fellow Totallympian, you are clearly a big sports fan. But what has always aroused my fascination is your obsession with equestrian sports. Coming from a nation of great athletes and stars, one might consider it unusual for a Croatian fan to have developed such a keen interest for equestrian sport. Can you tell me a little about how this developed over the years and what it is about equestrian that has you hooked?

If I remember correctly, I only learned about existence of dressage and eventing during 2008 Olympics. However, I wasn’t interested in them at that point. At all. Later on, during 2011, I remember stumbling on a streaming site named ClipMyHorse when searching for some Olympic qualification event in show jumping (around the same time I also stumbled on Totallympics). That site stayed with me and in early 2012 I remember watching plenty of dressage competitions in the run-up towards London 2012. I don’t quite remember how much I knew about the equestrian sports then, but it was definitely a lot less compared to today. Even so, coming into Olympics eventing cross-country and dressage freestyle final were already on my “not to miss” list. Fast forward to WEG 2014. That was the first time I watched complete equestrian championships, and got hooked to dressage in particular (after watching exactly 100 tests in two days of team competition). After that I started watching as many streamable international events as possible. As for eventing, it was around Rio 2016 (which was the most exciting competition I’ve ever seen) when I really started following it also outside of championships events. And that’s where I’m now. Meanwhile, show jumping has been in the mix all the way, but never in the spotlight.

Do you have a favourite sporting moment of 2017?

Well, I admit it’s kind of hard to remember all of them. And to choose one.

Andrew Nicholson onboard Nereo on their way to Badminton glory in 2017

I enjoyed seeing Andrew Nicholson winning Badminton Horse Trials in his 37th attempt. That was quite inspiring. For the Croatian sport, global athletics championhsips were quite successful and also water polo gold was pretty memorable.

Dcro’s statistics have become an integral part of any TISC live show in recent editions….you have even been dubbed as our resident TISC statman! However, this wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until after a few editions that we saw your first TISC participation and since then you haven’t looked back, becoming a stalwart of TISC. So can I ask, what is it about TISC that has captured your interest and won over your heart?

Yeah, I wasn’t there at first. Initially, I entered 2013 Open (failed to register votes) and 2014 Open (failed to register a song). It didn’t hook me at first for two reasons: 1) I’m not really a follower of Croatian music, 2) I got very tired of Eurovision, which I used to really like at one point. I finally decided to give it a try when someone contacted me before 2015 Open (don’t remember who). I was like “Why not?” and soon afterwards I realized TISC is so much more than a music contest. It’s time and place when Totallympics community comes together and has a blast!

Do you have a favourite TISC moment of 2017?

That would be getting 12 points from Mexico at 2017 Annual, hands down. First Croatian 12 points since 2013 Open and first set of 12 points for any of my entries (and still the only one). That was a cool birthday present from mrv.

Do you have a favourite TISC edition that stands out?

It’s hard to say. Song-wise, I’ll say it’s 2016 Annual. There were so many beautiful entries at that one. I still listen some of the songs that didn’t even make my top 12! Atmosphere-wise, I’ll pick 2017 Open. Emotional ladies, tangerines… It was a blast, and also a record number of Grand Final posts I believe.

Annual or Open?

Both. I guess it would be Open if more contestants were putting in braver (older) entries.

Of all the Croatian entries, which one would you say you are most proud of?

Neno Belan & Fiumen took Croatia to their best-ever placing at TISC Open in 2017

I really like my very first entry. Nikol from Zvijezde (2015 Open). Rijeka Snova from Neno Belan & Fiumens is very fine too (it’s quite cool that a song about my hometown produced our highest ever placement – 11th place).

We are approaching a significant milestone in TISC history with the 10th edition not far around the corner now. Do you think TISC will still be going strong into the future? Do you think we will see a TISC 50th edition one day?

Woah, 50th edition sounds crazy. Particularly as I’m one of those who still struggles to realize it’s 2018 tomorrow. However, I expect and hope that TISC franchise will continue to grow, with new music, new countries and new continents (Antarctica?).

Finally, I can’t let you go without asking if you have any wishes for 2018?

I wish for health and happiness. And a lot of exciting sports moments. On a personal level I’d like to be braver and try new things, as I feel like I’ve been kind of stuck in the last few years.

Thanks a million for sharing your thoughts with us. I would like to take this chance to wish you and your family a very happy and peaceful 2018!

Happy New Year everyone!

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