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Andrea Bekic retires after injury blocks continuation in judo
9 Jun 2018 14:25
Andrea Bekic of Croatia was 2007 European cadets champion, she won six European Cups and won medals at two Grand Prixs. The was one of the first of a new generation but she knows how hard it is to come back after picking up many injuries and announced to quit.
What do you feel today when you've decided to break the competitive judo career?
Heavy feeling. All this is still fresh, the decision has just been made. You alone can not fully demonstrate that it is. It's all sort of unbelievable to me. If I'm not part of the judo world this way. And the heart is hard to accept. It really is really bad, I would say. Twenty years is a very long time and I've devoted everything to judo. Such fulfillment, as I have been, I have never been to this day. I have not given myself any more than I did in my sport. All the effort, giving up, tears, happiness, insanity, courage, perseverance, everything is there. The whole life since my ninth year was subordinated to judo.
What led to that decision?
The incidence of injuries in recent years. Specifically, the last four years. They came to each other and created a feeling of saturation. Satisfaction with doctors, surgery and severe, painful, long-lasting postoperative periods. Sometimes before the wish was overwhelmed by every fear, and all my steps were without any interruption and reckoning of future moves ahead.
When you are waking up for the night, you can not sleep from pain, and when there is a day you can not even stand on that leg. It was painful for me, and for the people who were in my vicinity watching it. Mom, Dad, and Coach especially. When I told my people I went to the European Cup in Belgrade, my first words were "I'm afraid of her. Now you have to break my head again, will you stay all over again. Will your knee endure it ... ". After I decided to retire, I first remembered her and thought "You will not have mom to worry anymore." They are four years old and with all my desire to go further and the heart that loves and pushes forward, the body has started to resist. I would say it tired. Years in maximum loads simply carry their own. Every career has to end when it's over, and somehow it seems to me that it's all about being the smartest moment to retire. The knee is good and I want it to stay good.
What are the most memorable moments in your career?
My dear ones are all successful, everybody tells their story. They are all proof and the fruit of work, effort, resignation and perseverance. Proof that nothing was in vain and that the years of training paid off. If I'm going to pick some, I'd go to 2006 and touch silver from the European Championships of the first year of the cadet. This championship was the first real indicator of my potential and talent I possessed.
I would like to emphasize how I remember and love success, but I appreciate and crap every one of my (no) successes. They were even stronger motors for further action and provoked stronger defiance and persistence in me. That's why I like this sport. It gives you the opportunity to learn to rise above all the difficulties you are encountering on the road. Both sporty and lively.
What are your new challenges?
In front of me another year of graduate study. It must first end. Project Management Study. Project management is very interesting to me. I am also interested in social entrepreneurship.
Transfer the knowledge I have to younger generations, and will be happy if any of them can help, both in their sports career and in that personal career.
Twenty years of selfless giving of judo and he is definitely the most beautiful thing that happened to me in life, but I also believe that what is waiting for me, along with the learned commitment and investment, will also yield success and leave positively striking traces, just as it is and judo did.
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Axel Heeren (NED)
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