Paralympic champion Pevec: ‘I was afraid I was the worst’Slovenia’s Veselka Pevec had a hard road to Rio 2016, but despite her fears she left with a gold medal. 20 Feb 2017
“This medal was a big payback for all I survived in my life.”
Slovenia’s shooting Paralympic champion Veselka Pevec has spoken of how she turned despair into triumph at the Rio 2016 Paralympics after a series of problems with her rifle plagued her preparations.
Pevec won gold in R4 (mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2) with a new finals Paralympic record on her Games debut. It was her country’s only gold and a career best performance at a major event.
But it was not all plain sailing. Pevec was deeply worried in the months before her win:
“I practiced a lot, maybe more than all the competitors in Rio. I was afraid that I was the worst.
“I spent eight hours per day in the sports hall. I had so many problems with my air rifle.”
The turning point came for Pevec when her trainer, Polona Sladic, found the problem and managed to make some repairs.
“Fortunately my coach Polona Sladic fixed my sights. This was the key moment. Then I started shooting very well and more accurately.”
The 51-year-old’s attention has now turned to the 2017 World Cup season, where she will take the time to come down from the excitement of the Paralympics.
“This is a season without big events and competitions. It is a season for recovery and good preparations,” she said, unsurprisingly stating that she will also buy a new rifle.
As a result of her Paralympic title, Pevec is now able to see her future in a more positive light.
“I was very happy. I could not believe what I achieved. This medal was a big payback for all I survived in my life. There is no easy way for me. Life tests me a lot. But God helps me.”
The opening World Para Sport World Cup will take place in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, from 22-27 February.
There will be a further edition in Szczecin, Poland, between 24-29 April.
Live results will be available at World Shooting Para Sport’s website.