|Photo by Károly Árvai|
– You've had some dreamlike weeks. Did the wedding and the honeymoon turn out as you and your husband, Ádám Telegdy, imagined?
– Yes. We had a wonderful honeymoon. Hawaii was an old dream for the both of us, so we thought, when would we go there if not after the wedding?! – said Boglárka Kapás (UTE), who returned to the pool on Monday.
– How do you like your work after all this?
– Surprisingly good. I didn't know what to expect after such a busy summer in my personal life when I had the best days and weeks of my life so far. It was strange to think of the cold, dark days ahead when I had to go to the swimming pool early in the morning. And even though I was worried about what would happen, I feel mentally recharged, so I couldn't wait to get started.
– That also sounds a bit like a fairy tale...
– But it's true. Here I am again, and I want to work and compete.
– Doesn't the fact that you have to climb back up from the bottom deter you?
– A year has passed in a way that I couldn't find my place in training sessions and competitions. Because of the Olympics and my younger sister's death, it took me some time to find myself, but I think I did it. I have had so many positive experiences that I am mentally strong again. It also means that I am ready to start training. That wasn't the case before, but now I can say that I'm good.
– And can you come back...? I only ask because some people already sound the alarm.
– I was waiting for a feeling that I haven't felt for a year: it's hard to work when you can't find your place. It's been a dark period for me, the last year and a half has been mentally draining, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel now. However, I also don't want to jinx it because I'll be 30 next year and I'm open to continuing swimming, but I don't know what I'll be capable of. All I know is that I want to do it, and I'm motivated - I've usually achieved good results in the past when I felt this way. So, I don't write myself off, and the fact that some people do is not a problem, I'm even happy about it.
– Does this create a kind of defiance in you?
– Something like that. It's vivid in me that someone told me when I changed swimming styles that I would never be a good butterfly swimmer. And I've won one world and two European championships since then, so I don't care about what other people think. I only look after myself.
– Doesn't it bother you that even you are targeted? You, who are regarded as a smiling, kind, open and helpful person – along with your great swimming results.
– Unfortunately, I see that it's not just happening to me. I've heard that since I missed the European Championships in Rome, people assumed that I had quit swimming.
– Back to the pool: you said you were looking forward to starting work, but what does that mean in practice? What are these difficult fall days like?
– Workout weeks are never easy, and the water temperature can be up to twenty-five degrees because of the current situation, and I'm usually cold. It's getting colder and colder outside, and the water is also cold, so I'm prepared to be freezing for a few months almost continuously. But I'm ready for that too.
– You joined your teammates three weeks later. Are you doing a completely different work for now?
– I am for now, but because of the "late arrival," my restart is less gradual than the others'. We're getting down to the hard work a bit earlier - partly because of my age and partly because I've missed quite a lot of time.
– Your coach, Balázs Virth, told us that you want to swim in the freestyle again.
– It was at the European Championships in Rome that I felt I missed the freestyle. Balázs was honest: he told me from the beginning that his plan to switch to butterfly is to get back into the mood for the freestyle.
– Does this also mean that the two hundred butterfly will not remain your main event?
– The butterfly stays, I'm not replacing it with the freestyle, I'm just swimming in this event as well.
– You mentioned the European Championships in Rome which you had to watch from the outside. Did it kill your soul a little?
– It was very bad, in fact, horrible to know that there was nothing I could do. It was horrible not being at the pool, not putting on my competition suit, and I was constantly thinking about how I wished I could be on the starting block.
– Although it's perhaps too early to talk about big goals as you've only just restarted training, what do you see in front of you?
– For now, I'm focusing on the foundation work until December for sure. The World Championships will be in Fukuoka next summer, and until then, we can build up my preparation so that I can swim well there and be back in the same shape as at the Gwangju World Championships or the Tokyo Olympics.