Most 14-year-old girls say they enjoy many pastimes. But Lutheran Academy student Kristina Jesenská channels all her free time into one interest: sports. Kristina has won several athletic competitions in Slovakia: the 1500-meter run, triathlon, the duathlon (a “run-bike-run” event), and the aquathon, a swim-run competition.
CCE: How long have you been swimming?
Kristina: I started swimming when I was three. I swam competitively, but I had to stop because of a strong allergy to chlorine. Then I started doing triathlons, and it has become my favorite event.
Why triathlon? What do you enjoy most about this event?
When I found out that I couldn’t continue to swim competitively, I turned to the triathlon because, like swimming, it is an individual sport. However, the triathlon has three disciplines: swimming, cycling and running. I like everything about this event. When I’m competing, I look forward to each different phase of the event. Winning is the best feeling! It tells me I trained hard and did my best.
The joy of victory is certainly pleasant. However, were there moments when you wanted a stop?
Actually, no, I’ve never wanted to quit sports.
In your opinion, what are the traits of a successful athlete?
Successful athletes need to be strong. They need to have a clear mental goal. And they need to be humble, so that the fame doesn’t turn their head.
Do you sometimes worry about fame turning your head?
No, I don’t, because I’m not interested in fame. I’m really only interested in doing well for the personal satisfaction it brings.
What motivates you?
My family; they’re my greatest support. What motivates me is that my parents and other people believe in me and trust that I can achieve my goals.
Are your family and friends glad that you’re involved in sports?
My parents encourage me a lot! And some of my friends are very supportive, too. Still, though, some of my friends complain that I don’t spend more time with them, hanging out…but that’s not my life.
Has your involvement in sports affected your academic performance? What do your teachers and leaders at the Lutheran Academy do to help develop your talent?
Sometimes, sports really does affect my school results when I’m too tired to study hard. But my teachers and the Academy stand behind me and help me. Our physical education class helps in my training.
Do you have an athlete role model? Who is it and why?
Michael Phelps has been a role model for me. He’s competed in the Olympic Games and won the most medals of any athlete. He works hard and gives his all to his sport. I don’t like some of the things he’s done in his personal life, but I like his athletic talent.
|The Lutheran Academy nurtures the development of some of Slovak´s most gifted young men and woman, preparing them to serve where God directs them. To learn more about supporting this work, contact Blythe Barreto.|