L.A. is My New Paris

Me biking in the streets of Paris

Why I’ve been quite

In the past two months, I’ve been relatively quiet. This was because I went through the hardest two months of my life… and I think it’s not over yet. After Abu Dhabi, I broke my leg. This is the second time this has happened to me, and once is already too much. Three years ago, when I got injured, I said, “Better now than before the Olympics…” Now it’s happened again, and I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t finish the qualification period… not individually, nor with the relay. The injury struck when I was in the best shape of my life. I was in explosive form in all three sports. I was particularly happy with the new PB I achieved in running.

The hardest thing in my life was watching helplessly and longingly as everyone competed while my name was removed from every start list, and I slipped down the rankings helplessly during the most critical period. I couldn’t go to Huatulco, but I was there in spirit. In my mind, I assembled my bike, attended the briefing, done the course fam, prepared my transition area, warmed up, got nervous. I felt like I was swimming, riding, and running with them, feeling excited, worried, hopeful, and then experiencing deep sadness just like them, thousands of kilometers away.

Saying my special thanks

Every relay member I competed with is a fantastic athlete, but I want to highlight Zsanett Bragmayer and especially thank her for everything she did for the relay and for me. She was the one who participated in every relay, no matter how far she had to travel or how it interfered with her preparation or even aggravated her injury. She was always there and delivered what was expected of her. Besides, she gave me a lot during this period. She made me laugh, encouraged me when things didn’t go well. Even in the last two months, she supported me, which meant a lot to me. I hope we will still have relay experiences and successes together! Until then, enjoy Paris, it will be amazing!

Zsanett and Me

Dreams vs unluck

I love triathlon very much, but I often feel that triathlon doesn’t love me back. Or maybe I dreamed too big. Anyway, besides complete dedication, diligence, and enduring pain in training, you also need luck to make it to the Olympics. Our team, made up of excellent athletes, didn’t get much luck. We probably made mistakes, but bad luck always found us too. Among other things, the triathlon in Paris being replaced by a duathlon completely changed the end result. It was especially bad luck for our team, which is full of excellent swimmers. Later, in Abu Dhabi, the qualifying race was canceled due to rain, and the qualification period was closed early, causing us to drop out without being able to compete.

I look back on every relay appearance with emotion, as it’s entirely different from competing just for oneself. Being responsible and fighting for three other people gives me immense strength and is a great honor and responsibility. That’s why I love relays so much, and they bring out more of me than individual competitions. In Hamburg, Paris, and Krakow, we showed that we would have been a serious contender in the Olympics. For us not to show this, many things had to go wrong. But we will rise again.

The Mixed Relay Team at the Olympic Test Event

Deep down

Every setback was hard to recover from. After Abu Dhabi, I was completely broken mentally. I didn’t know the worst was yet to come. Two weeks later, I fractured my foot. During a running training session on an track, a football was kicked in front of me from a soccer training session on the grassy part. At the time, the injury didn’t seem serious. I even walked home with it. I was encouraged that it would heal quickly, it didn’t seem like a big deal. As time went on, it turned out to be a bigger problem, and a very slow and difficult-to-heal bone was broken. I went to every check-up with my running gear hoping for being cleared for running, always being told it would be okay next time. It’s been a month now since walking, jumping, and every movement has been pain-free, yet at every check-up, I kept hearing that running would take another two weeks, and then another two weeks.

Me during my injury

I still didn’t give up

From the beginning of my injury, I trained the same hours as before the injury. I swam and cycled the same way with a broken leg. Running was the only thing missing. Besides that, I did numerous special strength and other exercises, physical therapy, cryotherapy at -160 degrees Celsius, and received magnetic and laser therapy. But even that wasn’t enough to return in time, even though I hoped I could compete in every race.

My younger sibling Jazmin and I in matching bike uniforms

It hasn’t been my preferable strategy

Returning to individual competition. I started the qualification races at 19, much younger than the field. Alone, without any companion, relying on myself, I traveled to the other side of the world chasing my dream. I participated in 11 qualification races, none of which had a strategy that favored me. As a good swimmer, a small group breakaway would be most favorable for me. This never happened. In every race, I got off the bike in a pack of at least 20, sometimes 30, favoring weaker swimmers but good runners. I even called these races “runathlons.”

Since I’ve been injured, I’ve watched individual races where breakaways happen. This is hard to watch because it never happened for to, but it also gives me hope for the future.

God has other plans

My new dream

Paris is my favorite city, so I especially wanted to go to the Olympics. The PARIS Olympics. I’m glad I could be there at the Test Event and taste what it will be like this year. It will be fantastic 100%! Enjoy it, everyone who qualifies.

For me, L.A. is now my new Paris. 1500 days. A lot of time. A lot of time, but I will have a lot to do. I need to heal physically and mentally, and then I need to develop a lot. I’ve already risen once, and now I will do everything to rise again. I can’t wait to come back from this latest huge punch in my face, the fractured foot, which I don’t know how I deserved.

Final thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read this year-summary post. If you don’t want to miss anything fresh here, follow me on Instagram, where I will always share if a new article is up. If you found a mistake or have an idea for the future, please do not hesitate to reach out to me on the given platforms!

Disclaimer: Few of the photos above were taken by World Triathlon and they are the respectful owners.