It all begins with the arrival at the Olympic village. That is the moment when every athlete realises that he is in a special place, and that is probably for the majority the most important moment in their career. The very fact that you are among the best athletes in the world, and share with them the same environment and conditions gives the Olympic Games that true, and additional value. That is why the Olympic Games are so special to every athlete, and naturally to me as well. There is a lot of attention and discussion how do things look, is the food good, rooms etc… I do not care too much for those things, although I have to notice that the Olympic village is more beautiful than in Beijing or London. The accommodation is always similar at the Olympics, food too. Brazilians are maybe a bit less organised than their predecessors, but I am not here because of comfort and pleasures.
We are all here for competition, and the Olympic water polo tournament will be long and physically demanding. There will be 8 games in 15 days, one more comparing to other big competitions (Water Polo World Championships, Water Polo European Championships). Beside physical challenges, there is also a psychological aspect. Every game requires special preparation, and along the way, it can be exhausting. The goal is always to spend the least energy during the group stage but, although that sounds reasonable and normal, that it is almost never the case. Simply some games require more physically and mentally. That is not something that you can control, and it often happens that teams are worn out already during the group stage.
Great conditions for playing water polo
Venues for water polo made a great impression on me. The Maria Lenk pool, where we are scheduled to play 4 games and Aquatics Centre where the second part of the tournament will take place. The Aquatics Centre is one of the most beautiful pools that I have seen, and it will be a pleasure to play in such a venue. It means a lot to me when water polo is played in these conditions, and it adds a lot to the game and sport. Settling is finished, and while we are talking about the matches, they are starting, and that is the most important.