She has not even realized her European success from September, where she won 4 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze, (Masters Swimming European Championships in Slovenia), but she has already started the preparation for the next challenges. She does not miss any trainings, she starts every day in the swimming pool, because it makes her day fresh and energetic, though she aims for more. Viktória Felföldi is the corner stone of the masters program of Iron Swim – and not only with her results, but her committed and motivated character.
‘Europeans were a huge experience’ says Viki after the morning workout. ‘I just realized what it would mean if swimming was not only a hobby, and I would have prepared correctly for the competition. For the Europeans, I already prepared consciously. I started regular trainings in Duna Arena, because in Iron, I could work with a coach. We discussed with Dávid Végvári, at the beginning what my goals were, and that I wanted to be a European Champion in 2018, or to be on the podium at the minimum.’
There were almost 3 thousands participants in Slovenia. Many of them considered the event as a party, they had fun, they travelled with family and enjoyed themselves. Viki had a different mentality:
‘Some came to feel good and did not care about the result, they only love doing it. But for me this kind of masters sport means totally different. I have always been a result-oriented person, both in sport and life, even if I did not choose the professional sporting career due to an injury.’
‘I think she is more of a maximalist’ coach Dávid Végvári also has a say. He conducts the trainings of the masters section of Iron Swim. ‘Viki is exemplary, she is here at the trainings 100%. It is even very rare among the professionals. Certainly, I can see sometimes that she is tired or has some pain here or there, and we adjust the workout plan, but it is sure that she is not the kind of person who would miss a training for any reason.’
‘David’s help means a lot to me’ continues Viki. ‘I prepared for last year’s World Championships alone by swimming next to hobby swimmers. A coach can prepare you systematically, he knows what the swimmers must do to get to the peak by the competition period, even if we are speaking about only masters competition. The change was obvious, it could see especially in my times. I have developed a lot.’
‘She improved 6.5 sec in 200 fly and 19 sec in 800 free, but even in sprint events she went ahead, although she is not a sprinter type of swimmer’ says coach Dávid.
‘The coach is very important’ continues Viki, ‘because he knows how to put me together mentally. He gives advice that calms me down or fires me up to take apart the pool and beat myself. However, in this area there is still place to improve. Katinka inspires me, too, I also prefer the ‘killer’ events and I can see through her example how hard one can be, if they want to achieve success.’
Viki tried many sports, but her heart always got her back to swimming:
‘I was a competitive swimmer as a child, but I gave it up at the age of 15. Then I started to play handball, though my shoulders were too loose. In the university I did rowing and at the age of 21 I went back to competitive swimming for two and a half years. My coach thought me to start in relay at the beginning, but it turned out that trainings went better than expected and I could achieve good results after one-year work proved by multiple country national championships titles and a senior national bronze medal. Then I started to work, meanwhile I taught spinning, I had 2-3 jobs simultaneously and I was very happy to find a place where I had time for swimming training as well. Many people say that swimming is an anti-social sport, but I think that it is a community sport. I understand that in the water it is not possible to talk during training such as in cycling, for example, but the team is together in the swimming pool as well.’
‘In our group everybody has different goals’ David takes over, ‘ some of them wants to compete, others needs swimming for another sport. And there are some who learnt to swim recently. Anybody can start swimming because it is very useful from healthy reasons, especially for the ones suffering in cardiovascular diseases. Certainly, we differentiate the workout plans due to the goals, but it is the most important that in our club, everybody feels respected towards each other, and appreciates the others’ work, and goals while swimming next to each other.’
‘This is a way of life’ confirms Viki. ‘My family, friends and all acquaintances know exactly what swimming means to me, that besides trainings I travel to competitions about once per month. Preventive impact of swimming is very important, and I think that it does not get enough promotion. People come to the swimming pool very uneasily, oh, I get wet, there is hair-drying, they consider it as very sticky and they do not see that if I jump into water, it is very good for me. I understand that running is more available and it is easier to do. However, swimming gives good base for all sports, even among cyclists there are many, who started as swimmers, because it gives them good endurance. I do not drink coffee or energy drink, I refresh myself by the morning swimming that gives me the necessary energy for the rest of the day. For me water is essential, I feel home there.’