The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Samsung Diamond League Ambassador Barbora Spotakova’s warm-weather winter training with her new coach, triple Olympic champion Jan Zelezny, and his group in Lanzarote hit an early problem as she had to take to her bed because of a flu-type virus. But things picked up from there…
“I had not felt well in Prague before travelling to Lanzarote, and I had to spend the first day in bed because I felt so ill. I felt very tired, I don’t know if it was a virus. But it was good in a way because I was able to relax in a way I can’t back home, and I spent 24 hours just lying down. It felt like a luxury, and afterwards I felt much better!
“Conditions were very nice in Lanzarote for the two weeks we were there, with temperatures between 23-25 degrees. And when we heard it was minus 10 in Prague we felt even better!
“I am still very much enjoying the type of training I am doing with the group and there are great facilities here with the gym and the stadium so close. Occasionally the wind blows quite hard, but otherwise it’s perfect.
“Today I have just finished my final day’s training, and I am sure I have given it 100 per cent because I don’t have any energy left.
“My troublesome elbow is still going to need some management. I still need to find ways of strengthening it because after straining the ligaments it is too loose.
“Maybe I will have to work on throwing the javelin in a different way.
“I am looking forward to Christmas back home in Jablonec, where my parents live. I always look forward to seeing my friends and family, and eating some of the sweets and pastries they make at this time of the year.
“One special meal we always have is potato salad with carp. It is a local speciality, and it’s delicious.
“But we don’t just eat when we get home – I will be doing some downhill and cross-country skiing in the mountains there.
“On New Year’s Eve I will go to my local sports club and take part in a crazy decathlon event they hold each year. Our team is called Biercelona. We don’t always fight for the top place, but we enjoy ourselves. There are events like running under a flight of hurdles, or running with a medicine ball. And you get to drink quite a bit of beer! There are games like running a basketball down the hall and then having a bottle of beer, or five people drinking a bottle of beer in a relay.
“But two days afterwards I will be back to work, because that is when we have our next training camp. I am really looking forward to competing in next year’s IAAF Samsung Diamond League events, and at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu. I am sure the schedule will allow me to do both.
“I don’t want to say too much about my chances now, but I have been feeling really good in training. I don’t want to say too much in December, but if I still feel the same way after training in South Africa in March I will be very happy.”