Marius Zibolis, the legend and captain of the Lithuanian national team, passed away unexpectedly

Marius Zibolis, the legend and captain of the Lithuanian national team, passed away unexpectedly
Marius Zibolis, the legend and captain of the Lithuanian national team, passed away unexpectedly

On behalf of the entire community, the Paralympic Committee expressed its sincere condolences to Marius’ relatives, friends and comrades, and assured them that they are with them at this difficult and sad moment.

Marius gave more than three decades of his life to goalball, during which he became a legend of Paralympic sports not only in our country, but also in the whole world. Outside of the goalball field, everyone knew Marius as a wonderful person with a good heart, a true friend, a sincere friend.

“Rest in peace, Mariau,” the Paralympic Committee wrote.

The long-year-old captain of the Lithuanian national team in his early teens injured his eye so much that he became blind while recklessly handling a knife. Just then, when he was invited to play goalball, he began an impressive sports career spanning three decades.

The former captain of the national team assured in the summer that his dream would be to make it to the 2024 Paris Paralympics with the team. It was to be his last Paralympics.

He knew for sure that the 2024 Games would be his last. It was supposed to be the last attempt to chase the dream, which was never achieved during a long career – to become a Paralympic champion.

“I know it will be difficult not only for the team to make it to the Games, but also for me, aiming to make it to the Paralympics again.” I understand that there are younger, smarter, faster players, but I will definitely still try to squeeze everything I can out of myself.

There aren’t enough of us goalball players to accept failure in advance. Yes, I’m already slower, but experience is also an important indicator, so in some places I can win not with physical data, but with cunning”, said the Lithuanian goalball legend at the time.

Marius Zibolis – was born on October 14, 1974, in Vilkaviškis district. He spent a year in a general education school, then moved to the Lithuanian Blind and Visually Impaired Education Center.

M. Zibolis started playing goalball in 1988. (13 years old). His career lasted 29 years. The first coach of Marius was Petras Čyžius, then the athlete was coached by Zenon Bajerūnas.

Karolis Levickis and Šarūnas Jukna were later coaches. While playing sports at school, he represented the sports club “Šarūnas”, and recently defended the colors of the sports club “Šaltinis” for the blind and partially sighted of the city of Vilnius.

M. Zibolis made his debut in the Lithuanian national team in 1990, when Raimundas Šimkus was the national team’s head coach.

He represented Lithuania in 4 Paralympic Games, 5 World Championships and 10 European Championships. Long-time captain of the Lithuanian national team.

The main achievements of M. Zibolis in goalball:

in 2001 European Championship silver

in 2007 European championship gold

in 2009 European championship gold

in 2011 European Championship silver

in 2013 European championship gold

in 2015 European Championship bronze

in 2017 European championship gold

in 2019 European Championship bronze

in 1998 World Championship bronze

in 2002 World Championship silver

in 2006 World Championship gold

in 2010 World Championship gold

in 2000 Silver at the Sydney Paralympic Games

in 2008 Silver at the Beijing Paralympic Games

in 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games bronze

The article is in Lithuanian

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