With exactly six months to the championship we asked Ms. Helena Wiśniewska – Polish sprint canoeist and bronze medalist of 2020 Summer Olympics in Women’s K-4 500 meters – a few questions regarding academic sports. Here are the highlights of the interview!
2022 FISU World University Championship Canoe Sprint is held in your city – Bydgoszcz. What do you think about it? Are you going to follow this event?
The championship takes place in September, so most likely I will not be able to appear at the sporting venue, but I definitely intend to follow the results of the canoeists racing in my beautiful home city – Bydgoszcz. Bydgoszcz, next to Poznań, is one of the most important canoeing centers in Poland, which is why I believe that the next important competition on the Brda River is an opportunity to promote both the discipline and the city. I hope that the organizers and all those interested will contribute to the advertising of the event among the residents and fans – I will be promoting the championship on my social media.
How do you perceive academic events? Have you ever taken part in them?
I have never had the opportunity to compete at the FISU World University Championships, because they usually took place right after my most important starts of the season, which is the time I spend on regeneration before the next round of preparations. Nevertheless, I consider academic events a very valuable field for sports competition. It is a good tradition that is worth maintaining and developing.
In your opinion, to what extent the FISU World University Championships can help in discovering the young talents of canoeing?
Competitions are the essence of sport, and rivalry on the water is the culmination of long, demanding preparations for the season. Each start in the competition of a higher rank motivates to even greater effort – and yet the athlete dreams, or at least should, of the championship and medals. Talents appearing at the FISU World University Championships will be under the watchful eye of the canoeing community, so I think that the contestants who bring good results from Bydgoszcz, after some time will break through at an even higher level of competition.
What do you think would help to increase the interest of young people, especially students, in sports and encourage them to participate in sports competitions?
In my opinion, it is necessary to tirelessly convince young people to at least try to play sports in one discipline or another. If they learn about the effort in the field that arouses their curiosity, they will choose the next path themselves, perhaps leading to a professional career, professions, successes. However, the first step is important – showing that there is an alternative to hours spent in front of a computer without outdoor exercise. The example should come from every direction – from family, school.
What advice do you have for beginning athletes?
Always set goals for yourself, because then it is easier to make the effort. And you have to make it, because every success in sports at the highest level requires commitment, sacrifice and sweat. Look for the positives in this challenging path – meet people, shape your character, gain experience. All of this makes you strong also in your private life.
We are grateful for all the pieces of advice and wish Helena continued success in winning international trophies!
We also would like to remind you that we are still waiting for your General and Quantitative Entry Forms!
See you in Bydgoszcz, Poland in just 6 months!