Sandra Perkovic is one of the finest discus throwers in the world. In her long career, she has had great days, good days and yes, bad days. Stuart Weir discovered that she makes a mean pizza, and that she was elected to the Croatian Parliament.
She is also aiming for Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Stuart Weir will provide us some coverage on this fine athlete while she is in Tokyo.
Sandra PerkoviÄ‡ won the discus at the Florence Diamond League. She won it twice! Her 68.31m was the longest throw of the competition and then she won the silly sixth-round throw-off. I have said before, I understand the idea of wanting an exciting short climax but do that for a bonus prize, not in such a way that you can have the biggest throw of the night and not win. Fascinating comment by Tomas Walsh – who won the shoot-out but was third on distance: “I’d much rather throw further and come third than what happened tonight”.
It is good to see Sandra, double Olympic and World Champion back in business. Her assessment of Florence 2021 was: “This is my fourth competition in a row. In 2020 I was able to do only one competition. Doha was ok, but in France and in the Netherlands I could not find my rhythm. Today is the last competition for me before my preparation for Tokyo and I really wanted to show what I can. This new rule for the sixth attempt puts big pressure on the leading athlete. But I spent two weeks in Tuscany with my family in 2019, also in Florence, and today I told myself ‘It is now or never in this beautiful city. I have so much in my arms – and I showed it. Now I can start preparing for Tokyo. Thank you for this great stage, Italy”.
At a previous Golden Gala, Sandra and some other athletes took part in the Master Chef competition. She told me that she makes a mean pizza.
In a previous interview with her I discovered more about what drives her and also that while discus throwing is important to her, there is a lot more to Sandra than just athletics. She told me: “I am one of the best discus throwers in the world and I have so many titles but I’m never satisfied and I just want to continue what I’m doing. I have opportunities to spend my life doing what I do best – discus throwing. It’s very nice when you come to the stadium and people recognize you and know you are the best. And you want to show them that you are even better than you were before.
“Track and field is my life and I’m never happier than when I come to a stadium and win a title. That’s what inspires me. Sandra PerkoviÄ‡ is a discus thrower. That is what defines me as a person. After winning all the titles, I want more and more and to become one of the greatest discus throwers ever. And I’m in a very good way to manage that”.
Through sport and beyond sport, she is passionate about influencing young people. “It’s very important for me that I am a role model for young athletes and young people. I want to show them that with hard work and a lot of love for your job, you can achieve everything in life that you wish. That’s the way I did it, the way I became a champion and won the titles. It’s very nice when you’re inspiring people. I think my purpose in this world is competing and inspiring people to show them that everything is possible and that you can be whatever you want”.
She also served as a member of the Croatian parliament.”I became a member of parliament because it’s very important that young people are involved in politics. I think it’s important to have people with a lot of experience. I am one of them and I just want to show and explain how I became the best in the world – at what doesn’t matter because all jobs are similar. If you are giving all your heart and doing your best every single day -not just some days -you can accomplish a lot of good things especially in politics”.
A great athlete and a special person.