Olympic and World Champion
Alexandra Benkovská, Grösslingová High School, Bratislava, Slovakia
Alena Učňová, Grösslingová High School, Bratislava, Slovakia
Adam Horňák, Jur Hronec High School, Bratislava, Slovakia
Matej Šefranko, Evanjelické lýceum, Bratislava, Slovakia
“We got a unique opportunity to travel to Banská Bystrica. Not just to see a nice city in Slovakia but to meet our role model – the world champion in 50km walk and the Olympic gold winner Matej Tóth. He picked us up at the railway station and took us to a restaurant in the city center. This is my experience with him so far.
The trip itself was a killer for me, but that’s irrelevant. To tell the truth, Matej had his time free from 5 p.m. so we had to wait a little for him to come. Later, as it turned out, it was worth the wait. As I was all tired and weak, his arrival filled me with new energy and enthusiasm. Moreover, I felt happy.
As we were sitting on the restaurant terrace our questions were mostly about his career as a race walker. But he didn’t hesitate to mention his family and how much they are all connected which, to be honest, warmed my heart. It’s really amazing that a professional athlete can manage his schedule to a state where he improves himself but simultaneously spends time with his wife and children.
Other than that, it was relieving to understand Matej’s views on sports and nutrition for I, myself, am an athlete also. He is considering participation at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 but has to respect his own body and keep his family in mind.
Our meeting was over in what seemed a blink of an eye and the day itself too. It was clear to see that your own success is determined only by you, more accurately, your head and the experience you’ve been through. After all, isn’t this what it’s all about?"
Jur Hronec High School
“With the help of TIME FOR WORDS Initiative I met with Olympic Gold Medalist Matej Tóth. This man is inspiring, positive and most of all, human. This meeting taught me that we also have talented athletes in Slovakia. With all my heart I am thankful for this experience. And do not forget: the first 30 kilometers run your body and the other 20 run your mind."
"The first part of our interview with Matej Tóth was in Banská Bystrica. This interview was less formal than the second one. We asked him a lot of questions about his life, his career and experiences which influenced him. Everybody in my group was an athlete so we asked him more questions on how to train and prepare for competitions. Matej gave us such great advice that can help us in ours careers.
The second part of the interview was in Bratislava where we had to speak on camera. I was very scared but when the interview started everything was great. In this interview we asked him questions about his priorities and life after his sports career. I liked how he spoke about his priorities and the support in his life.
This TIME FOR WORDS project was an amazing experience. It was unbelievable we could met someone like Matej Tóth. I already know everything that I wanted to know. It was very useful for me and I would repeat this whole project."
"Here is my reaction to interviews with famous people I have been part of. To the interview with Matej Tóth: love your family, dedicate your time to effort and magic will happen. You will achieve anything."