"Becoming a professional para athlete in the Czech Republic is currently more of a science fiction than a challenge. But it is my goal for the future." Says Martin Adamčík, a promising athletics athlete.
PMC: Hi Martin, we are glad that you accepted our invitation to an interview! Please introduce yourself to our readers in a few sentences.
MA: Hello everyone, I am a young para athlete representing the Czech Republic in shot put and discus throw. I have been involved in athletics for several years. I work as an IT engineer in ČSOB and as a personal trainer. I currently live in Prague, but I am from Mladá Boleslav, where I also started athletics.
PMC: Athletics is said to be the queen of all sports - how did you get into it?
MA: I was on a medical stay in the Košumberk Spa, where they were just preparing for the school paracup, which was held in Pardubice. Although I refused the first time, I was eventually convinced to go and met my current role model Jaroslav Petrouš there. I tried the discus throw and fell in love with it!
PMC: So how long have you been involved in athletics and what were your beginnings?
MA: I've been involved in athletics since 2014, when I started at AC Mladá Boleslav. The beginnings were difficult, I never stayed with anything for a long time, fortunately athletics was an exception.
PMC: You mentioned that you do shot put and discus throw, which are strength and very technical disciplines - why did you choose these two? What won you over to them?
MA: I tried the discus throw as my first discipline and it was love at first sight. The shot put was just a supplementary discipline at first and I had to grow into it. I love them both at the moment. What I love about them is that they are both quite similar and very different at the same time.
PMC: Give us an idea of the difficulty of these disciplines - does strength take precedence over technique, or is it the other way around?
MA: It's always technique over strength. But if you can combine strength with technique, it makes for something incredible. But to combine power with technique is very difficult. It's always easier to build up strength and then concentrate on technique. If one learns some technique, then strength can break it down again. It's such an amazing merry-go-round if it all works as it should.
PMC: In your case, you can't just focus on strength development and technique in athletics - you need to adapt everything to the handicap as well. How does this factor affect your performance?
MA: Unfortunately, I can't influence the handicap, so I don't focus on it at all. I try to pay attention to what I can influence, so strength and technical development.
PMC: How long have you been learning to overcome the obstacles associated with your handicap? What role did/does athletics play in this story?
MA: If one can grasp it correctly, there are no obstacles in my handicap. But it is true that it was only through athletics that I realized this.
PMC: Martin, you've managed to achieve great results this year - what is your training regime like? How and how often do you train?
MA: I hope that these great achievements are yet to come. The training doses are different. It depends if it's competition time or winter break. If I had to describe it as simply as possible: in the summer I have two technical training sessions and one or two gym sessions a week. In the winter, 4-5 workouts a week in the gym. If I'm preparing for a world event, it's 5 technical training sessions and two gym sessions a week.
PMC: Can you tell us who you work with? For example, do you have a coach specifically for technical and strength training?
MA: I currently have a trainer for technical disciplines and I consult my strength training with my personal trainer.
PMC: What is your long-term goal for your sport? Are there any numbers/values you would like to achieve?
MA: I don't like to have long-term goals. I have set some performance goals I want to accomplish for each year.
PMC: We know fitness is your hobby - boast about how much you put into benchpress?
MA: At the moment I am able to push 140 kilos.
PMC: Can you share with us your biggest sporting achievements? Are accomplishments more important to you or the medals around your neck?
MA: I am very proud to be leading the world discus throwing charts in my health group for the third year in a row. And my most valuable medals? Probably the silver from the U17 World Junior Championships in the discus throw. I definitely consider more performances than medals. Medals are just a piece of metal. No one can take my performance away from me.
PMC: Is there a strong memory associated with any of your achievements?
MA: Not with the result. The strongest memory is when I got an email inviting me to the national team reunion. That was in the fall of 2015 and when I think back on it now, I still get chills.
PMC: Having a role model is often key for athletes, especially in the beginning. Did you have one as well? Or do you still have a role model?
MA: I still have one role model from the beginning of my sporting career and that is Jaroslav Petrouš. He was the person who first gave me the discus and now we are good friends who motivate each other and train together. He is my role model not only in terms of sports but also in terms of how he helps disabled children.
PMC: Now imagine being that great role model for someone - what words of motivation would you like to share with people facing similar challenges?
MA: I would like to share one thought that always gives me the strength to keep going. "Every time someone tells me I can't do something, I do twice as much."
PMC: How challenging is the idea of becoming a professional para athlete in the Czech Republic?
MA: I think at the moment it's more science fiction than any challenge. But it is my goal for the future. I already subordinate the sport to my job and my free time, so it's a very nice idea.
PMC: How would you personally like to motivate and inspire individuals with a disability to pursue athletics?
MA: With my attitude. I go 120 % every training session even if circumstances sometimes don't help.
PMC: Martin, thank you so much for your time and sharing your story as an athlete. Is there anything you would like to tell the readers?
MA: I would like to thank the people who support me. It takes a great team to have around you. Even though athletics is an individual sport, I wouldn't be half of where I am right now without the people around me, and I promise that where I am is just the beginning.
PMC: What social media platforms can fans follow you on?