by slaven brnjakovic
For every athlete nothing can be compared to the joy and pride of representing your country. Knowing that a whole state stands behind you and gives you support is the best feeling an athlete can possibly imagine. That is why there was a saying that goes: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Well, it is not that simple. In order for an athlete to succeed at an international level, he often needs backing from local governing bodies and sport unions.
There is a special feeling when you know that you made something on your own, without anybody’s help. Andrej signed his son Christian to train athletics, just for fitness and healthy life. However after some time, local trainers and experts noticed Christian’s potential and he started to become more oriented towards the throwing disciplines, eventually picking javelin as his “major”. After few instant successes and great results at the regional level, Christian and his father decided to try some bigger tournaments. European Junior Championship was the logical step. In a sport dominated by Eastern European countries, Christian had a good chance, coming with the national record of his country.
So far, Christian lacked the support of his own country, both financially and morally. He received no sponsorship deals, no imbursement for his performances. He wanted to represent his own country, but also wanted to pursue his dreams and become an Olympic champion one day.
Christian rocked the European championship and comfortably claimed the golden medal, first for his country in this division. His friends, family and most of all his father were very proud of him, knowing the hard way he had to overcome to get to this place. Since there are not so many restrictions in athletics about the switch of sport citizenship, there were many scouts and youth coaches present at the tournament. They immediately noticed Christian’s talent, potential and most importantly the willingness to succeed. After the tournament, he received a formal invitation to train and work with the Czech national team. Since he was a javelin thrower, Jan Zelezny was one of his boyhood idols and a chance of working with him was actually a dream come true.
However the decision was hard. Should he leave the country of his ancestors, birth, and origin to pursue his own dream? Many criticized him and called him a traitor, but only he knows his own sorrows. He called for his home country to react and offer him better conditions to represent his country, but they remained deaf. His father backed his decision and Christian became a new Czech international.
It is important to notice that his decision was based fully on sports. A change of heart is something we witness very often in the world of sports. Christian will never represent Czech with the passion he would if he chose his home country, but a fact that someone believed in him should be a motivation for itself. And the future results will show that.