Austria? Mozart, the Alps, Wiener schnitzel…
The last thing coming to my mind is Taekwondo, and it’s understandable.
“Unfortunately, Taekwondo isn’t that popular. Austrians love skiing and playing football” — explains Carmina, the only girl representing this sport on behalf of the University of Vienna.
There are a lot of clubs in Austria where you can do Taekwondo. The main thing is that visiting such centres is usually considered as a leisure activity and only a few people take this sport seriously. There’s only one club in Vienna for Poomsae and about three for the Kyorugi discipline.
Carmina’s story connected with Taekwondo began only when she was 15. She spontaneously joined a free training opened for everyone. What is more, Carmina wasn’t really interested in doing that, it was her friend who wanted some company.
“I stayed, and trained, and trained, and trained” — concludes Carmina.
Before starting Taekwondo, the girl from Vienna was practising karate but had to abandon it because studying at school took too much time. Taekwondo brings more joy to Carmina as there are more kicks and dynamics in it.
Carmina has a little ritual before each performance. She closes her eyes, breathes deeply and imagines all techniques she’s going to show.
In the University of Vienna, Carmina studies physical education and history, and she would like to become a teacher later. Taekwondo will also be a part of her life as Carmina is going to become a coach, but that would be an extra activity for her.
The University of Innsbruck, in contrast to the University of Vienna, is presented by many athletes, and EUSA Combat Championships brought all students together.
Daniel studies “Wirtschaftingeniuerwesen” in Innsbruck. If this word made you panic just like me, I’ll translate. It means Industrial Engineering and Business Studies.
Taekwondo came to his life 19 years ago. Daniel’s father was doing kickboxing and boxing himself, so he wanted his son to try martial arts. In Daniel’s native city the only opportunity was to join Taekwondo, and that’s what he did. Later he also practised judo for a couple of years, but Taekwondo has always been the most fascinating sport for Daniel.
Athletes from both Austrian universities came here, to Zagreb, not only to improve themselves, but also gain more experience and to win several medals. They are here to celebrate friendship.