The Hungarian short track speed skating mixed relay team achieved a historic success at the Beijing Winter Olympics. They were able to stand on the podium in the debut event of the Winter Olympics. Zsófia Kónya, a student of the SZTE, is part of the Hungarian team and gave an exclusive interview to the university's press department after winning the bronze medal.
Zsófia Kónya, a psychology student of the University of Szeged, who won the first Winter Olympic medal in the history of the SZTE as a member of the short track speed skating team in the mixed relay. We interviewed the athlete of the Szeged Skating Association Immediately after the succes.
Congratulations on the Olympic bronze medal. How do you feel about it?
- I haven't fully digested it yet, but it feels really good. I've put a lot of time and effort into the sport in the last period, and now I feel it's worth it.
This is your third Olympics. How is it different from the previous two?
- On the one hand, this Olympics is different because I came here as an adult with a lot of experience. I was prepared for the pressure I would have to cope with. On the other hand, the virus situation has put a lot of obstacles in our way - even during the preparation.
How is your daily life in the Olympic Village?
-Well, here in the Village we have to go for a PCR test every day; the people around you are wearing that well-known white protective coverall all day long; restaurants has individually separated seating arrangements; there are disinfection stations everywhere. However, we are free to move around the village in a large area, so fortunately I don't feel confined, but of course I am cautious.
What stage are you at in your studies?
- My student status is currently active, but I am nowhere near to the level of my classmates'. Honestly, if you study besides training in competitive sports, it is not easy! Everything has been about the Olympics for me in the last 2-2.5 years, so perhaps understandably I have put my studies on the back burner. It was the same before PyeongChang, the previous Olympics. I didn't want to overwhelm myself, so I only took one or two courses. I have to add that the SZTE is giving me absolutely all the help I need to slowly but surely approach my graduation.
How far ahead do you plan, are you going to use your degree from SZTE?
- Competitive sports can only be played up to a certain age and we should definitely think about our life after sport. We should start to build it up during our sporting career so that we don't start our civil life from scratch. I think that it is an extra motivation if the sportsperson likes the chosen study programme, so that learning becomes easier.
Zsófia Kónya, besides the mixed relay, also represents her club, her country and the University of Szeged in individual events (500, 1000, 1500 metres) at the Winter Olympics 2022.
SZTEinfó / Ferenc Lévai
Photo: MOKSZ, Magyarock