Simply in the previous year, she’s visited the absolute most excellent places on Earth, climbing snow-covered mountains in Slovakia, riding ponies in South Africa, and going scuba making a plunge the Adriatic Sea off the shore of Croatia. Furthermore, a couple a long time before the COVID-19 pandemic showed up, she went surfing in Indonesia.
Presently, Irena Gillarova ’17 is prepared for her next experience – tossing a stick at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Gillarova starts her journey for an Olympic award Monday when she opens rivalry in the ladies’ spear occasion. The previous double cross public boss in the occasion for the Hokies will vie for her local Czech Republic after she procured a spot from the Czech Olympic Committee toward the beginning of July.
The Olympics address a lifelong achievement for Gillarova. The 29-year-old from Pribam, Czech Republic, a modest community southwest of Prague, begun contemplating the Olympics after she watched Cool Runnings, a 1993 film about the Jamaican toboggan group contending at the Winter Olympics, when she was 7.
“This is something colossal for me,” Gillarova said of her Olympic experience. “It resembles, ‘alright, I’ve satisfied my greatest objective and presently I can simply zero in on what’s to come. I realize my profession has been acceptable. There will be no second thoughts in light of the fact that I’ve made the Olympics.'”
Gillarova mulled over a quest for an Olympic bid in 2016, however an Achilles injury everything except ran those expectations. That, however she likewise wound up submerged more in her university profession than the pursuing of a worldwide one.
In 2015, contending as Irena Sediva — more on the name change in a piece — she won Virginia Tech’s first public title in the lance, conquering the opposition with a school-record throw on her last endeavor at the NCAA Championships. Her Achilles injury kept her from protecting her title, however as a senior, she won it again at her last university occasion, joining Queen Harrison as the lone two Virginia Tech female understudy competitors to succeed somewhere around two public crowns.
“In 2016, I was harmed, so it wasn’t a major amazement of me not making it [the Czech Olympic team],” Gillarova said. “I think I was living in an air pocket of my school profession, and I was exceptionally centered around that. In this way, the Olympics were something major for me, however more essential to me at the time was the NCAA Championship and things like that. I most likely ought to have had greater objectives, yet everything worked out how it should turn out.”
In the wake of moving on from Virginia Tech with a degree in worldwide relations, Gillarova got back to the Czech Republic. She kept preparing, with the Olympics and 2020 as the objective. She additionally started pursue a graduate degree in global relations at a college there in her nation of origin.
She has been adjusting classes and her job as a full-time competitor in the course of recent years. When her track vocation closes, she needs to work for a charitable association or nongovernment association that spotlights on youngster care strategy.
“I’m extremely inspired by youngster care,” Gillarova said. “I’d prefer to go global, not simply neighborhood or in the Czech Republic. It is incredible to be a piece of some global association. I was expecting to get a temporary position in New York, yet I’m somewhat old for temporary jobs, so we will see where it goes.”
Life hasn’t been all classes and olympic style sports, however, since she left Tech. Following a two-decade relationship, her folks at long last marry in the fall of 2019.
How that marriage came about is a fairly intriguing story, and it prompted Gillarova taking her dad’s last name. The vast majority expected that she had gotten hitched, so she needed to put any misinformation to rest.
“My father proposed to my mother 20 years prior, however by one way or another it didn’t occur,” she said. “At the point when I was contending at the European Championships in 2018, my father revealed to me that If I would make it to the finals, then, at that point he planned to propose once more.
“Then, at that point I went to the correspondents and writers [after competing], and the woman was asking me, ‘Along these lines, you’re holding a chocolate. Is that something your folks provide for you when you have an effective rivalry?’ I resembled, ‘In reality no, however my dad guaranteed me a certain something — that he will wed my mother.’
“It was all around the papers, and my mother began getting congrats once again the wedding, and she had no clue about what was happening. We needed to mention to her what occurred, and they were somewhat compelled to get hitched. They got hitched, and my mother is 64 and my father is 66. Then, at that point, I guaranteed my father that I planned to change my last name to his name. Truly, I didn’t plan to impart that to the columnist. It simply occurred.”
With her expert profession and private life heading in certain ways, Gillarova enters the Olympics loose, refreshed, and cheerful. Jan Zelezny, a three-time Olympic gold medalist for the Czech Republic and the men’s reality record holder in the lance, fills in as GIllarova’s mentor, and keeping in mind that Gillarova will not say that she’s tossing great because of a paranoid fear of cursing herself, she says that preparation has been working out in a good way.
She needs to proceed with her country’s rich practice in the occasion. Another Czech local, Barbora Spotakova, holds the ladies’ reality record and is a double cross Olympic gold medalist.
“In my past huge contests, despite the fact that I would battle during the season before the opposition, with regards to the pivotal turning points, by one way or another I’m ready to perform,” Gillarova said. “Thus, I’m hoping to have the option to make a valiant effort. That is my assumption and we’ll see where it brings me. I simply trust I’ll have been glad for the exhibition.”
Despite the consequences of his previous understudy competitors, Dave Cianelli will be pleased. The longest-tenured mentor at Virginia Tech, Cianelli, who began running the olympic style events groups for the Hokies in 2001, has trained almost 20 Olympic and World Championship contenders, remembering three for the current year’s Olympics.
Cianelli knows the measure of work and penance that all that’s needed is to make an Olympic group, considerably less to acquire an award. He likes those endeavors, which he said shocks no one considering character of his previous competitors in Tokyo.
“They’re extraordinary individuals. That is the thing,” Cianelli said. “They’re gifted competitors, however they’re great individuals, and they truly love Virginia Tech. It’s something that they’ve taken with them back home, and they’re continually discussing their encounters. They’re incredible ministers for our college and our program, and that is extraordinary to see.
“I’m simply glad that they all think back on their Virginia Tech encounters as being positive and something that impelled them to what in particular they’re doing now.”
After the Olympics, Gillarova’s schedule comprises of downtime and afterward most likely seriously preparing and really voyaging. Her quest for experience never is by all accounts very fulfilled.
However of all the delightful spots she has been, the unassuming community of Blacksburg positions close or at the top.
“Since I had the option to go the U.S. what’s more, experience everything there and gain a degree, I feel harmony in my life,” Gillarova said. “I’m exceptionally pleased with the four years that I spent there. I’m currently experiencing the fantasy, however this is on the grounds that I had the option to achieve some extraordinary stuff at Virginia Tech.”