sâmbătă, 18 ianuarie 2014

Cheering for the Szeklers in Sochi

I am proud to deliver some great news from the sport's world. The Sochi Olympics are even closer and many of my friends or simply people I know managed to qualify for the supreme sporting competition. The games begin at the beginning of February, there are just few weeks left until the creme-a-la-creme will compete for a precious medal in Russia.

So, there are people from my home region, Szeklerland, who will definitely be there. It's great to know that my county (Hargita/Harghita) sends a signifficant part of the Romanian squad to the 2014 Olympics. Obviously, in my hometown, the coldest place in Romania, it is no wonder that young people start practicing winter sports. Primarily, guys do hockey or skiing, but skating is also popular. And, as we know that the Szeklers are motivated people who are eager to achieve their goals, many of the ambitious athletes manage to accomplish their mission by going to the winter games.

This year, a number of talented persons will do the same. Here are some examples:

Eva Tofalvi (biathlon): the highly-experienced blonde biathlete is the symbol of the Romanian winter sports. She will compete at her fifth Olympics after Nagano, Salt Lake City, Torino and
Vancouver. She is at the end of her career in which she even managed to step on the top of the podium in a World Cup race. Her olympic personal best is the 11th place. This year she had a challenging battle versus her local rival, Reka Ferencz, for getting a boarding card to the Caucasus. Finally, the domestic biathlon association decided in favour of Tofalvi taking her current good form in consideration.

Zoltan Kelemen (figure skating): being qualified for his second Olympics, Zoltan is a magnifficent sportsman who is known exclusively for his performances as a skater. You cannot meet him in clubs, cannot hear a bad word from him and you will always see him behaving like a real professional. He just finished 14th at the euro champs in Budapest and ended his short program on the 22nd position.

Edit Miklos (alpine skiing): the almost 26 year old strength box is a fully talented woman. She started her career as a little kid who never had a real opponent for the first place. She was always dominating, fighting, going further. Edit won all the possible cups and titles in Romania and participated at the Vancouver Olympics representing the country where she was born. Afterwards she chose a new way and started to compete for Hungary. There are many top 30 races in her world cup career, she even caught a 12. place earlier this year. Edit won many international races, came in to the top 20 at the World Champs and sees good chances to set her personal best in Sochi.

Emoke Szocs (biathlon): running for Hungary as well, Emoke is listed for Sochi in the biathlon discipline. She was born in M-Ciuc/Csikszereda and has many domestic titles. She saw better chances in a team without rivals, so she starts for the neighbours. Actually, it has to be mentioned, the Szeklers have Hungarian nationality and thanks to the Hungarian government, now they have the right to ask for the citizenship as well. That's how Miklos and Szocs can compete for the Gulyas' country.

Zsolt Antal, Simon Marton (coaches): having a shining career behind them, the two coaches support their Szekler athletes. Mr. Marton has been training Tofalvi for decades leading her to fantastic results. Zsolt Antal raced at four editions of the Winter Olympics as a cross-country skier before he switched to a new trainer career. He goes to Sochi to prepare the skis of Emoke Szocs.

So, dear friends of sports! There are some friends of mine qualified for the greatest winter hit ever! They will be there in Sochi, so I kindly ask you to cheer for them and say: Hajra Szekelyek! Come on Szeklers!