In Beijing in 2008, thanks to your mother, Czech archery was introduced after twenty-eight long years, and you have now continued its success. Did you think about her a lot during the decisive qualification in Paris?
It’s been three years since Mom left, and it still hurts. But during the race I don’t get anything in my head but archery. It hit me more after the race, a tear fell. I dreamed of the Olympics when I was little and Rio narrowly missed me in 2016. That’s where Mom could still go … I think big emotions will come right in Tokyo.
In France, you eliminated your opponent from Mongolia in a decisive quarterfinal match. How did you deal with the key moments?
I went to the race with a healthy confidence. It was clear that the very best are already qualified and I will already face the opponents I have. In fact, I went to Paris with the setting in my head that I would not return to Tokyo without a ticket. There was no other option for me.
And even your father and coach Zdeněk were not with you for a decisive duel …
The qualifying tournament was followed by the World Cup, which he needed to go to. But I had no idea he was leaving during the day. (laughs) During my successful campaign, he decided if he should overblow the ticket, but in the end we agreed that I could handle it myself. Before entering the most difficult fight, I was helped by good psychological training and a national team coach.
Psyche and archery are connected vessels, traditional Japanese archery is intertwined with Zen teachings. In what spheres of consciousness is the ultimate sporting archery taking place?
The spiritual side of the Eastern tradition connects archery with something above us. After all, our sports concept is somewhere else. For a traditional archer, the goal is not to hit the target, but to reach Zen. For us, hitting the target is the primary task. But the head definitely plays a crucial role. Cooperation with a mental coach helps me a lot in that, they complete races in much greater peace and with greater self-confidence.
Your mother dropped out in Beijing in the first round, but with a personal and Czech record. What ambitions will you bring to Tokyo?
I want to shoot what I have in my hands. And go through two elimination rounds. It will be difficult, but nothing is impossible. All the others are then shot in one day until the medal fights. There are already cards on the table.
Fan as part of the Czech boarding Olympic collection for the Tokyo Olympics.
Vlastimil Vacek, Right
With a smile, her mother remembered with a smile how, as a non-professional, she had to take unpaid leave for Beijing. In what conditions are you preparing?
Conditions have risen tremendously, and as a college student, I can’t complain about anything under the wings of the Victoria VSC. Scholarship programs are absolutely fantastic. Of course, better conditions bring greater success.