Blanka Vlasic, photo by PhotoRun.net
The picture above is Blanka Vlasic circa 2011. For the past three years, Blanka Vlasic, the high jump goddess, has withstood the Trials of injuries. “It has been three years since I have been healthy. It has only been since January that I have jumped with no pain. Last year, I jumped with pain. I have missed much.”
Blanka Vlasic, Empire State Building, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net
In May 2013, when Blanka Vlasic surprised even herself in the adidas Grand Prix in New York, Vlasic was experiencing much pain. It has only been since January 2014 that Vlasic has jumped with no pain. But there are, the scars.
Some scars are physical. Some, for Blanka Vlasic are mental, and just as real. ” I jumped 1.98m this year. I hope for two meters soon. But, I must be patient. I am missing fitness and I am missing competition.”
Where queried by this writer, whether her missing fitness is commensurate with her missing competitive experience, she nodded in agreement. ” I compete differently each time. My right leg is not as strong as my left. That is a problem. It is progressing, but not there. When one is very fit, it seems easy, but, it is not. For me to return to my old fitness will take much time. I hope you are patient with me.”
Blanka Vlasic is much more introspective now. Her recent surgery, a second or third we believe, has finally got her to no longer experiencing pain. ” Right now, I am progressing. I am no longer experiencing pain, so I want to keep this and stay healthy. My focus in the European Championships this year, so I have to compete. I will be in Paris, Glasgow and Monaco. “
At 1.90 meters, Blanka Vlasic is slight of build, which belies her phenomenal speed and vertical jump. Vlasic has cleared 2.08 meters outdoors and 2.06 meters indoors! At 1.94 meters (6 foot, five) and 75 kilos (165 pounds), Vlasic has reached the levels of the stars.
After reaching a level in the stars, can an athlete reach it again. Frank Shorter the American gold and silver Olympic medalist once noted, that after having reached the highest level, it is hard to get back.
Blanka Vlasic, 2013 adidas Grand Prix, photo by PhotoRun.net
Blanka Vlasic has experienced it. She has admitted the psychological scars and the physical scars as well. But, this introspective Blanka Vlasic, a true student of the sport, should, in my world, make a return to the highest levels.
For Blanka Vlasic, the new challenges only make her more focused in reaching two meters and more…
and much more!