Shooting might not be the most obvious sport for a young girl to pick up. But when your father is an Olympic medal-winning marksman, your mother is proficient in the sport and even your younger brother knows how to handle a gun, it is really little wonder that you could be driven to take up shooting at an early age. “I started to shoot when I was eleven, my whole family is in the sport,’ Team Serbia Olympic shooter Ivana Maksimović told Wild Rooster. “As a child, I used to play tennis but shooting was, and still is, my first love.
Speaking at the London 2012 Olympic Village, Ivana said: “I grow up in a family where sport is very important. My mum and dad are both shooters, so I heard a lot from them. They showed me what shooting is about. I fell in love with it and now shooting is my life. My younger brother Marko is a shooter too. My whole family is in the sport. But that isn’t all I do, I also like to dance. Shooting is my first love but dancing is my passion.”
The London 2012 Olympic Games are only a matter of days away. Venues have been unveiled, athletes are set up in the Olympic Village, and London has been spruced up in readiness for the attention of the thousands of excited tourists who have already descended on the capital.
Finally the excitement and anticipation can be released after such a lengthy run up. For the first time, many of the athletes have social media profiles and it is interesting to see how many have taken up the habit of having the Olympic rings tattooed on their bodies.
As a permanent souvenir and recognisable symbol of the ultimate members club, this is a sign that they deserve to carry with honour. These athletes have reached the peak in their discipline. They wear their badge with pride.
The Olympic torch has been lit in a quaint mock-traditional ceremony in Greece, marking the start of the final countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The torch will now travel to Britain to begin its tour around our cities, towns and villages. Finally, the Games are almost upon us, after what seems like an endless build up that has already seen many people jaded about the whole event. Although I can sympathise with that feeling, I am still quite excited about the Games. That is despite not having been lucky in the lottery to buy tickets. Like most people, I will have to content myself with an armchair view of proceedings. Knowing that it is all going on just a few miles from my home will make events a little unreal, but I will be cheering on Team GB, enjoying the national fervour, and probably complaining about the inevitable traffic chaos across London.
Olympic fever has taken hold and athletes lucky enough to qualify for a place in London are putting the finishing touches to their lengthy training programmes. With less than one hundred days until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, we have become used to hearing the medal dreams of household names. The stories of Paralympians and the spirit of inspiration they embody are not heard so widely.
One such tale of coming back from defeat and committing to succeed regardless of what others say comes from Serbia’s Paralympic medal hope in women’s javelin, Tanja Dragić. When Tanja takes to the field in London’s Olympic Stadium, she will be battling memories of a trouncing in Beijing to prove her right to a Paralympic medal. Hers is one story among many of people who can inspire a generation.