Mothers correcting their children’s performances, aplauses, the smell of fear, faces of pride, faces of disappointment, the sound of the athletes’ feet against the ground, the panel lights announcing the start of someone’s turn, voices of cheering, drops of sweat… it’s been 14 years since I last was part of any competition where I could feel adrenaline all over my body. I can still remember the last line of my drill, breathing hard for my last floor backflip.
Today I was a witness of the Grand Prix of Nationals of Romanian Athletics (second round) previous to the National Championship of Romania – Indoor Season. I have come to meet several athletes of the CSU Oradea team (high jump, triple jump and long jump) and it makes me very proud.
Imagine, training everyday your butt off for a competition that lasts no longer than 8 seconds. You can see the bodies of the athletes and you would tell how hard they have trained to get there. But you can see the results and you will be able to tell how hard they really did to be able to have something. How about those who didn’t make it? They didn’t try good enough? Dang. I can’t dare to say that.
My Romanian brother, Adi, participated in the 60m speed competition and in the long jump competition. I was holding myself to shout out or to aplause. But I can’t describe how happy I was to be there.
I have seen him train and sweat, in his ups and not so ups. I have seen his face dreaming about this and have heard the excitement in his voice describing the feeling of flying while longjumping. Being an athlete in Romania is a challenge not only as an athlete, but as a person because they have to struggle against the bad conditions to practice sports.
Do we go home with empty hands? Maybe. But not with empty hearts. We have earnt experience. We have seen the battlefield and we are ready to come back. I can’t wait to tell you what’s next.