Road to Sochi: An Olympic blog, part 3

Alpine skier Ieva Januškevičiutė: On Vanessa Mae, the positive power of music, conversations with her family, and relaxing before the race

From; Translated for The Lithuania Tribune
Ieva likes to be alone before the race.
Ieva likes to be alone before the race.

Ieva Januškevičiūtė will be the first Lithuanian athlete to participate in the Olympic women’s alpine skiing events. This is the 19-year-old skiers third blog post, “The Road to Sochi.” Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Hello! The Olympic games are getting closer. I will go to Sochi on Feb. 6. Until that time, I’ll be in Italy; I’ll travel back to Lithuania on Feb. 4 or 5. But before that, I still have a few races.


At a race in Slovenia I finally achieved Olympic giant slalom qualification. Therefore in Sochi I’ll be able to race in both the slalom and the giant slalom. The famous violinist Vanessa Mae also started the race in Slovenija. It wasn’t the first time that we’d met at a race. Personally, I don’t know her, but we’ve said hello to each other.


Don’t ask me if I’m nervous before a race. It’s very important that during the race you are mentally strong and ready. It’s rare for someone to be so strong and mentally independent without the help of others. What’s hardest for me, I usually call my parents. I usually call my dad, who managed to turn the negative into the positive and help me solve problems, or my mother. Sometimes I ask my current or former coaches, talk to my teammates, or my friends who used to ski with me. Only people who understand the life of a skier can help or understand. Before, I tried to talk with people who were not tuned into skiing, but they can never understand your problems or the difficulties that you face. It’s important to talk with the right people, who know how to manipulate your feelings and what antagonizes you. Proper mental preparation can have a significant impact on both training and racing.


The evening before a start, I like to listen to music. It helps me to relax and refresh myself with the proper amount of energy. Mostly I listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” and sometimes Lithuanian hip hop or rap songs, there are a few electronica pieces I also like. Whatever.


But the best way for me to relax before a start is something I call, “alone time.” It goes like this: The day before the race I go out for a run or a walk and I find a place where I can be alone with my thoughts. I don’t think too much, but I find a place where I can just be, or a path where I can run. During “alone time” it’s important to concentrate and understand that everything depends on you, that you have to be strong, and that everything you are doing you are doing for yourself, because you love it, because you love yourself. Finally, in a good mood you are ready to return home and wait for the race the next day.

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