Interview with Rostislav Vítek

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X-bionic® sphere? Luxurious conditions for training and regeneration!

How did you find out about x-bionic® sphere?

“Good news spread quickly. We knew about your lovely resort last year, but we were waiting for the completion of the X-BIONIC® HOTEL. We were looking for something special for training for this season since we have to prepare for the European Championships, qualifications for the Olympic Games and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I wanted the best possible preparation for my athletes.”

What is your opinion about the training conditions in our resort?

“It is incredible. We found everything we were looking for. We don´t have to leave the resort and that´s a luxury. Accommodation, food, gym, pools and regeneration – all in one single place. Distance swimmers have to get used to various temperature differences, like changes in water- and air- temperature. We were lucky with the weather too – sometimes it was sunny, sometimes it rained – we like it that way.”

So you prefer training in the outdoor pool?

“Definitely. The air is better outside, it´s easier to breathe and this leads to better performance. What´s more, the outdoor pool is longer.”

For a long time, top Czech and Slovak athletes used to prepare in the Nymburg training centre. Is that comparable to x-bionic® sphere?

“No (laugh). It´s true that we all used to train there, including me from the age of 12. But the time has left its marks on Nymburg. There is only a 25 m pool with four tracks, which is not sufficient for swimmers. We used to go there only because there too, everything was in one place. There´s no way one could compare that to the modern x-bionic® sphere resort. That´s like heaven and hell…”

What lies ahead of you in the near future?

“We have an Olympic qualification from 11th June – only the best man and woman from our country will progress, it will be very difficult. One could say that we will try to do the impossible since the competition will be very high.”

Distance swimming was introduced for the first time at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. How has this discipline moved forward?

“Back then it was a big unknown in Beijing, we were trying to get our sport to the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens, but it only became possible in Beijing. At the Olympic Games we progressed with Jana Pechanová and got into the top 25 swimmers in the world – that was already a success. Gradually, more and more swimmers started to do this sport, pool distance swimmers at 1500 m swim with us at 10 km. The competition is enormous.”

What is the key difference between pool and distance swimmers?

“It is very hard to compare them. Distance swimming is very demanding. Swimmers have to face rain, changes in the climate, various obstacles, such as fish or salty water. They have to fight against other swimmers; there is always some jostle and many other aspects. It is a demanding sport.”

In 2009, you swam through the La Manche Channel in Czech record time. What was that like?

“That was my most successful year. I won some races of the World Cup and swam through the Channel in excellent time. It was demanding, but I am glad that I went for it.”

Did you meet a shark there?

“Maybe (laugh). I don´t focus on that. When someone´s focusing on giving the best possible performance, everything else goes aside. I was focusing on my performance, the technique, refreshment and the navigation ship. Thanks to that I didn´t perceive my surroundings. But I must confess that sometimes we swam with sharks too. They told us about it once we arrived to the goal.”

Will you come back to x-bionic® sphere again?

“I will definitely come back. I only recently learned that my grand grandparents were from Šamorín and I had never been here before. It´s a nice city. I must say that x-bionic® sphere is the most beautiful and the most luxurious sport centre I have seen during my career.