Those two synchronized swimmers from the Czech Republic

This summer it has been practically impossible not to give a glance to Rio: everybody talked about the olympic games, the athletes, and the little scandals and affairs that took place there. The best athletes in the world were there and almost all sports were represented. If you practice or really like to watch even just one sport, it is the best opportunity to be amazed by those performances.
My favorite sport, the one I have practiced for years and even taught a bit is synchronized swimming.
There are different competitions in synchronized swimming and the first day they started with duets. The best ones in the world have been for quite a while the Russians. They are simply amazing and it’s a pleasure for the eyes to watch them. The Chinese, the Japanese, and the Ukrainians were the other teams that really really amazed me. However, when it came to efforts that all teams made to get there to Rio without considering the results, I couldn’t decide who did not deserve to qualify for the finals. In particular there were two girls (I call them girls because synchronized swimmers call each other like this, but they were more women than girls) from the Czech Republic, who were very different from the others. Their names were Sona Bernardova and Alzbeta Dufkova and you can see a picture of them here.
First of all their age was quite different from that of others: while Alzbeta is 26, which is around the average age of the participants (who were all around 25), Sona was 40. Sona for some reason reminded me of my first coach: her name was Annamaria and she had that same thin body with all those muscles showing and that same grace when moving. But this is not the reason why I am writing on them.
Normally an olympic synchronized swimmer trains around 10 hours per day, as the NBC commentator explained; however these two amazing athletes trained very early in the morning and very late in the evenings because their daily life is spent at work. In fact Sona is a lawyer and speaks four languages while Alzbeta speaks six. Obviously I don’t know their schedule, obviously I have no idea of the facilities they use, and, of course, they aren’t the only olympic athletes who have a job or study; however I find this fact simply amazing and very very inspiring. Why so? Because all of us have jobs or study, and all of us train only when we have some spare time during weekends, very early in the morning or late in the evening. So they are like us. I don’t know their stories because I wasn’t able to find any other information on them, all I know is that both of them have already been to many olympic games, therefore it might be that in the past they trained more and that’s why they reached this very high level. Still, when I heard what the commentator said about them, I thought: “They are like me!”
That doesn’t mean that I have a chance to go to the Olympic games, but it gives a whole different meaning to the word “athlete” because it makes us realize that we are all athletes. That’s why I found them so inspiring. That’s also why of this Olympic Game I will surely remember how angelic the Russians were, but more than them I will remember those two girls in the pink swimsuit from the Czech Republic.


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