Lukas KRPALEKS’ (CZE) sporting records are well known: 2-time Olympic champion, 2-time world champion and 3-time European champion, a total of 14 medals at top major events, Sportsman of the Year in the Czech Republic, Judoka of the Year, etc. Here in Mittersill, at the Olympic Training Camp, the 33-year-old also holds a record among all 949 athletes from 58 nations: “I think it’s my 17th participation here in Mittersill. We, as Team Czech Republic, always live outside Mittersill, 10, 15 minutes by car, on the mountain, in a place called Bamerhof. The view is unbeatable. You get up in the morning and see the panorama. WE LOVE IT!” The Czech will stay in Mittersill until Saturday and will then have completed five training sessions. During a training break, Lukas gave us a short interview.
How is your preparation for the Olympic season going? How satisfied are you with your current form?
Lukas Krpalek: “Mittersill was always tough. You come back from the Christmas and New Year holidays, i.e. a break, and then you meet the top elite and everyone wants to do randori sessions with you. It feels like the training camp gets harder every year – that’s less down to the training camp and more down to my age…”
When do you start the season?
Krpalek: “We’ll decide at short notice. I will definitely be in Paris and would love to fight. But only if I feel well prepared and 100 per cent in shape. I’ll definitely do the training camp after the Grand Slam. Monday to Wednesday.”
How much are you looking forward to your third Olympic Games?
Krpalek: “Very much. The Summer Games in Paris will be the first with my family. We already have tickets and accommodation. Most likely Paris will also be my final Olympics as an athlete. So of course I want to get the maximum out of it and try to be at my best on day X. The most important thing will be to stay injury-free.”
Author: EJU Media