Road to Sochi: An Olympic blog

Alpine skier Rokas Zaveckas: On a great childhood, learning to dance, security in Sochi, his mother’s cooking, and reading on the road

From; Translated for The Lithuania Tribune
Rokas's life is inseparable from the mountains.
Rokas’s life is inseparable from the mountains.

Rokas Zaveckas is the primary candidate to represent Lithuania in one month—Feb. 7—in the men’s Olympic alpine skiing events. This is the 17-year-old’s first entry in the “Road to Sochi” blog.

Sometimes they say, that serious athletes don’t have a real childhood or adolescence. It’s not true. My childhood was one of the best there can be. Without sport, I wouldn’t have had those experiences.

Of course, there wasn’t a lot of free time, but that was only in the winter, because after the trips I had to get serious about my studies. In the sumer, there was kite surfing, sailing, and wakeboarding. Everything was about sports. I can’t sit still.


Sport is my life all the time. I started skiing when I was five years old, I don’t even remember it. I know that I skied with my father at Liepkalnis. In the beginning, he held me on his shoulders. Later I had plastic skis. When I was eight, coach Jennifer Virškus saw me on the ski hill and asked me to try ski racing. I tried it, and it didn’t go too bad. I was hooked. I started to train seriously.

At that time, I participated in sport dancing, swimming, and karate. I still play tennis.

My father took me to dancing. Not only because my sister participated, but also so that I wouldn’t be afraid of girls. Of course these days I don’t dance seriously, but just for fun. The training was useful. All sports that I’ve participated in now help me in alpine skiing. Coordination, speed, explosive power—it’s all related.

Of all the sports I chose alpine skiing and I really have no regrets. Not only am I attracted to the competition, but it’s also a hobby. I like skiing, not only during races and training, but also free skiing, through the soft snow.

In the summer, Rokas participates in extreme sports.
In the summer, Rokas participates in extreme sports.


I attend Mokausi Šv. Kristoforo high school. I don’t have a lot of time for studying, but somehow I still manage to combine it all. I don’t get any shortcuts. I agree with the teacher before the trip what I will have to do during the trip, and bring back all the work.

During the day while we’re driving, I read all the books the teacher assigns. And at night, I put on my headphones and listen to music. It’s like mediation.


I don’t follow film. Before I really liked computers. But now I decided, in stead of films I have to try reading.

I listen to music all kinds of music—it depends on the mood. From heavy metal to pop. Before the start I usually listen to loud music—rock, metal. Something that drives me.


I usually travel with my father. But there’s no friction between us. It happens sometimes, we’re both free spirited, but certainly not angry. We look at each other not just as coach and athlete, but as father and son. We’re friends, that’s how we avoid quarrels.

I often call my mother, I even try to every day. I miss her and my sister.

Rokas often travels with his father.
Rokas often travels with his father.


I really miss food at home. Whenever I come back, I always ask my mother to make something delicious. Steak is popular in my family. My mother also makes other really delicious dishes. When we’re on the road, we don’t eat anything fantastic. Potatos, meat, pasta.

Safety. Now it’s often said that Sochi might not be safe, that terrorists will try to attack. I try not to pay attention to it. The Russians will do everything they can to protect us. In the worst case, they attacks will take place somewhere nearby. But I really doubt that someone will be able to do something in Sochi.

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