Our latest ’60 Seconds With…’ guest is Croatian record-breaking high jumper, and former World Champion and Olympic silver medalist Blanka Vlašić. Blanka (30), who hails from the Dalmatian city of Split, was also the winner of the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in 2010 and is a double European Athlete of the Year winner…
Hello Blanka, you have had an amazing career so far, is there one performance that stands out?
On this question my first association is always Berlin 2009 and my second world title. Of course, I can’t forget the World Championships in Osaka and my first senior gold, the jump over 208 cm in Zagreb, and the Continental Cup 2010 in my native Split… All these moments are the peak of my career. But Berlin was emotionally the most difficult, so it is something special for me
Who was your favourite athlete when you were a kid?
Tennis player Goran Ivanišević. I have watched his matches with great interest because it wasn’t just tennis, it was fun, thriller… I liked how he never hid his emotions, whether positive or negative, and this was not left indifferent for nobody
What is your favourite stadium that you have jumped at in the world?
My Poljud stadium in Split. As a little girl I dreamed that I would jump there, in front of full stands. But there was little chance of that because the last big competition occurred there in 1990. And then came the Continental Cup in Split 2010! Running the honorary circle in front of my fans was the most touching moment in my life
Do you get nervous before big meetings?
Of course, it’s never easy for me when I’m going to the competitions. They tend to be very stressful because you have whole year preparing for this single day. But over time I learned to deal with pressure and turn it to your advantage. All these different emotions are spices without whom all this would be bland
Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you jump?
I do not believe in rituals, nor am superstitious. With confidence I believe in God and His will
How do you relax?
I feel the best when I’m in a small chapel where I can find peace in a hectic day. Cooking and spiritual reading also can relax me
Beefsteak. Medium roasted : – )
White wine, but lately only on special occasions
Most admired Croatian athlete of all time?
Basketball player Dražen Petrović
A million times – Split
Favourite city in the world?
Split, of course
If you were not an athlete what would you be doing?
Probably would have been a pharmacist, since I graduated high school in pharmacy. But in this moment I wouldn’t be helpful as an assistant in pharmacy : -)