My story began in 1991. I was born into what was back then Czechoslovakia and two years later the Czech Republic, in one of the most scenic regions near Karlštejn and Křivoklát castles.
My family has been always very active. I have the fondest memories of my childhood spent outside. In fourth grade I started playing basketball and competed in track & field events (60m sprint, high jump, long jump) where I soon found out that both sprints and longer distances were my biggest assets. I went through the youth national teams, U18 and U23 teams and some people started noticing. I would get emails and missed calls from the unknown coaches in the United States but I was in high school at the time. I had all the semi-professional support and my coach was the world record holder in my main event, 800m. There was not much that I wanted to change, but my transition to the university was rough.
No one cared about athletics at university, the priority for teachers was academics. I would try to get my morning workout done before 8am, go to school, travel to the afternoon practice at 4pm, go back to school, and I had no time to squeeze in some time for recovery, physical therapy, pool or studying. And just like that with all the stress, injuries came and I was not able to keep up at school due to the ever present fatigue. That is when I looked through some of the old emails that I once had pushed aside. Very soon I was in contact with some of the top running universities in the United States who expressed interest in giving me a full ride. I took my chances, I was ready for a change. I convinced my parents it was the right decision for me and eventually they agreed to support me even if things turned bad. I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Public Health, and moved on to complete my NCAA eligibility and get my Master’s degree at Utah State. After six years, I had two degrees, number of athletic accolades, countless friends, memories and experiences that I will forever cherish. My experience in the United States shaped me into the person I am today, helped me become fluent in English and other languages, helped me to be more attractive on the job market in the Czech Republic and added a priceless value to my life.
The admission and administration process prior to being admitted to the States had been enormously exhausting and difficult. There were also ups and downs in athletics, getting used to different training methods and opinions. Thinking back, I wish I had the opportunity to talk to more people who went through the similar process and I wish I had someone to guide me along from day one until graduation, because knowing that someone is there to help you out if needed is crucial when you live in an unknown environment at such a young age. USA Sport and Study is just a perfect fit for me, I can combine my passion for sport and communication and I can finally pass on my experience to help others chase their dreams.
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