Athlete Of The Week - Greta Streimikyte
We are pleased and honored to announce this weeks athlete of the week; our very own Greta Streimikyte. Gretas story is one of pure dedication and love for the sport, she recently fulfilled a huge personal goal which was to win a gold medal at the European paraathletic championships - an achievement which we felt could not go unrecognized. Her character, persistence and talent have taken her to the top of her field, Greta is an outstanding athlete with wonderful personality and an incredible role model for any aspiring athlete.
G: My the most memorable race probably would be the 1500m Paralympic final in Rio 2016. As it was not only my first Paralympic Games as I was lucky enough to make the final, but I also came 4th got a PB and most importantly represent Ireland on the biggest stage.
FB: What got you into athletics in the first place, were you always sporty as a child or was athletics something you took up a bit later on?
G: Well, I have to admit that my parents have always been into sports, I suppose especially my dad. So we have always been an active family and loved gym workouts!
But if I’ll look back specificity to athletics and how my journey began, it all started when I moved to Ireland and when I ran an 800m in the community race for my school. As I remember I came second and my PE teacher said to me, 'Greta you could run in the Paralympic Games'. At that time I wasn’t familiar with the Paralympics but bit by bit I joined athletics club Clonliffe Harriers and started training.
When I look back I wouldn’t call it a serious training back then as I believe it was more a process of learning about athletics in a new country.
Everything changed when I came to study at DCU and started working with my current coach Enda Fitzpatrick.
In my second year of college, I got my Irish citizenship which allowed me to compete at that summer’s European championship's and represent Ireland in 2016 Rio Paralympic Games that summer.
FB: How did you find it making that change from running as a hobby to suddenly with this huge prospect and goal? What was the training like - can you describe a weeks training?
G: The change from running as a hobby in trying to run as best as I can at the international level I wouldn’t call it to be hard or challenging probably because I loved athletics and I was determined to do what it takes.
The amazing group of athletes I've been training and continue to train with as well as people’s endless support and believe in me which I received during my preparations and which have grown since then have and is the best motivation that the athlete could ever ask for, it thought me to always move forward, challenge my limits and never stop trying.
training back then would be Monday 45m run and gym same on Wednesday as well. On Tuesday and Thursdays track sessions Friday rest day. Saturday tempo run and Sunday long run and light gym session.
FB: Amazing, so really your love for athletics kept you going⭐️ Would you have to adhere to a specific diet to get the best results for your training or is it completely up to you how you chose to fuel yourself?
G: The right food is essential in order for your body to perform in its full capacity.
I believe I was lucky as from my childhood or maybe it’s becomes of Lithuania culture but since I Was growing up healthy and good quality food was always the key in our family. so when I started athletics I didn’t really had to make any big changes in my diet.
For me it’s always important to have home cooked meals, balance and variety In choosing my meals in order
to make sure I fuel my body with what it needs.
I suppose the key aspect that I did learned was the time when I eat. For instance, after training to fuel our body is the key to recovery. that is why after any training you would always see me with the protein shake or a big protein bar.
FB: Thanks Greta great advice for all athletes really, lastly as obviously you recently competed in the European para athletics championship, could you explain what it felt to come away win a gold medal, the whole experience of competing, is there differences from the paralympics and to tie up the interview what is your next goal?
G: To win the gold medal in Berlin European Para athletics championships was always the main goal. However, as we know you can never predict a
championship race. Nonetheless I was able and lucky enough to keep up with the race plan which allowed me to cross the finish line first and bring a gold medal home.
I suppose at the start i didn’t really know how to feel about it. But when I stood on the podium and the national anthem was playing I was so very proud and happy in knowing that finally I’m bringing my very first gold medal home. in that way saying big thank you to coaches for all their hard work, family, friends and to all people who been so supportive, without them I would not be standing on that podium.
It is hard to compare the European championships with Paralympic Games since there is this feeling and incredible atmosphere which can no other major championships have only Paralympic Games.
My main goals at present would be to continue training as hard as I can. finish my masters and make the team for world para athletics championships hosted in Dubai November 2019, as well as to make the team for Tokyo 2020!!! it also would be nice to smash some PBs along the way..
FB: Thank you so much Greta it means so much to have you on board, you deserve every recognition your achievements are phenomenal ️