Great achievements in sport are almost always backed up by parental support, maternal care. We have interviewed Ajna Késely, one of the biggest medal hopes of the Hungarian delegation of swimmers for the World Championships, as well as water polo players Edina Gangl and Krisztián Manhercz, the mother of the diver, Villő Kormos, synchronised swimmers Szofi Kiss and Juli Kiss and the mother of Olympic bronze medallist swimmer, Boglárka Kapos on Mother’s Day.
Ajna Késely one of the most talented swimmers of Hungary, the youngest participant in swimming at the World Championships wishes to do her best in the Danube Arena. As usual, the 16-year-old four-time junior European champion (and medal holder of European championships for adults, too), all smiles all the time, celebrates her mother humbly, with a short poem to express her gratitude for all the help she got from her throughout her life and career so far:
"She is the one who is always there for me when I need help. She is the one who wakes me up every morning by her warm kisses. She is the one who serves me the meal fresh and warm whatever the time is. She cheers me up, no matter how far we are. I love to fall into her arms
at the end of the day. She is the one I can tell honestly every minute of the day: I love you. She is my mother."
Edina Gangl, the goalkeeper of the European champion women’s water polo team always gets emotional when it comes to her mother. Because of the distance they can rarely meet each other. Although the little girl has grown up, she still misses her mother’s daily kisses.
“I have chosen this photo because it shows that I first got my wings in her arms. My mother took me to the swimming pool for first when I was 4. She drove many miles every single day to take me there and spent hours waiting for me while I was training. She did it all in spite of all the difficulties and crying it entailed. She cried whenever we had to say goodbye, cried when we won and cried when we were acting a bit naughty. She is a mother who sacrificed it all so that I could reach for the stars and cry with her from the podium while singing the anthem. My family lives in the countryside so my mum watches all my matches on TV. This time it will be different. For months she has been planning to cheer for me by the pool at the World Championships in Budapest. I hope we will cry together about our victory this summer.”
Krisztián Manhercz, member of the men’s water polo team talked about how important it is for him to have his mother (and father) on the grandstands while he is playing.
“My parents have attended all tournaments and matches since I started doing sport. They accompanied me everywhere and supported by through their presence. They were sitting in the arena during my tournaments of different age groups as well as matches I played with the national team. Perhaps there was only one occasion they missed, they could not make it to Perth in 2012. The World Championships were held in winter, both of them had to work and it turned out that I would go in the very last moment. I got used to their presence and honestly I actually need them to be there. It would feel strange not to see my mother when I look at the grandstands. Her presence inspires me; I can draw strength from her. I owe her and my father a lot. I am happy that we go through the different stations of my career together.”
Villő Kormos, three-time European Championships bronze medallist diver finds it important even at this age to discuss her things with her parents. She always asks for her mother’s advice and it makes her feel good to know that she can share everything with her. Villő’s passion for diving has impacted her parents so much that they will enter the Masters Championships in Budapest this summer, what is more, they hope to win some medals, as well. Her mother, Lívia Kormos-Tóth, whom Villő did not manage to dissuade from diving (similarly to the case of her father who started diving at the age of 50) says there is always great secrecy prior to Mother’s Day. The kids always organise some celebration:
“As children all three girls used to do folk dancing. Creativity has always been an essential element of our family life, nothing compares to the feeling of doing or creating something ourselves. That’s why I have always asked them not to buy anything but make gifts by the hand. When she was a small child Villő’s nickname was ‘mouse’. We often baked ‘mouse-eaten’ cheese cakes together. Nowadays we are not so foolish anymore but we still bake cakes for guests together. What are they going to do this Mother’s Day? Probably all of them will make something different. Nowadays Villő is into painting so I think she might paint a picture for me. The girls are very close to each other and I am so happy that they usually ask for our opinion. We can’t wait for summer when we can cheer Villő first and then she will cheer us.”
Szofi Kiss is the most experienced member of the Hungarian synchronised swimmer team. She is expected to enter the World Championships this summer in solo, duet and group, also. After the London Olympics she gave up competing but then she returned to the sport. Her parents had a major role in her doing so, as they did not want all her years of hard work to be wasted. The dot was joined by her mum:
“In my childhood there were several moments when I wanted to give up competing. It was my mother who never let me do so. She always reminded me of all the hard work and efforts I had put into it and told me that she did not want me to regret stopping it and not exploiting my full potential. She is convinced that I should not waste the talent I have in this discipline. Now I understand her, I know she was right and I am so thankful for her.”
Juli Kiss entered the European Championships of 2010 in Budapest as a secondary school student. Her synchronised swimming team will reunite after 11 years and they will participate in the Masters World Championships to experience once again those beautiful moments. Just like back then, her mother’s support means a lot to her now:
“She always put me first to serve my best. When I moved to Canada for a year to play in a club there she did not do anything to stop me. She supported and encouraged me although it must have been rather hard for her to let her youngest daughter go so far. I hope I will be as caring and supporting to my kids as she has been to me. Although I am a grown-up I need my mother to cheer and encourage me at the World Championships and I want to make her proud of me. After all, I wouldn’t be the same person if it was not for her.”
Boglárka Kapás. Gabi Pány, mother of Olympic bronze medallist, five-time European champion, two-time youth Olympic champion, World Championships bronze medallist swimmer said the followings about her daughter earlier:
“I raised her to the best of my knowledge: I supported her in anything she wanted desperately. I never forced her to do anything but I told her that whatever she does, she must put all efforts into it. It did pay off. She is also good at her studies; she is preparing to go to university. I have achieved my goal long ago: I gave up controlling in exchange for supporting her.”