Tuğba Karademir is a world class figure skater from Ankara, Turkey who lives and trains in Barrie, Canada. In 2006, she became the first figure skater to represent Turkey at the Olympic games and was also Turkey’s flag bearer. Now, Tuğba is Olympic bound again and aiming for a top 10 finish in Vancouver. Despite her crazy schedule (she just finished skating at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia) she granted an interview to She Takes on the World.
Natalie: What does it mean to you to be an Olympic athlete and represent your country, Turkey?
Tuğba: It means the world to an athlete. It’s truly a dream come true to be able to get to such a level where you are going head to head with the best. Everything you have worked for, sacrificed and dreamed about is on the line and making it to the Olympics makes it all worth it.
Natalie: Speaking of dreams, what advice do you have for other women about setting goals and having a dream?
Tuğba: I am also a coach as well as an athlete so I see a lot of young, talented women who just don’t set their sights high enough and stick to their goals. It is more comfortable to be mediocre and fit in with the crowd than to take that extra step and do something for yourself in order to reach your dream. The path to success is often lonely and a lot harder. This is a trap. I feel that if I want to achieve something than I will do everything in my control to get it done because anything less will result in “what ifs” and regrets and I don’t think I could live with that.
Natalie: That’s great advice. Last, what is a day like for you?
Tuğba: My days vary depending on the time of year. In the summer we put in a lot more hours at the rink but in the winter, which is competitive season, we go for higher quality than quantity. A typical day would be training three hours on the ice with breaks between each hour session then off-ice work out classes. At the end of the day, I also coach for a few hours to help with my expenses.
Natalie: Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview and best of luck in Vancouver!
Show Tuğba your support by leaving her a message here. She is also a featured athlete at Panasonic’s One Winter, Five Dreams Athletes’ Blog where you can follow her Olympic journey.