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article imageChatting with Dorina Szekeres: General Manager of Team Iron Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 14, 2020 in Sports
Dorina Szekeres, the General Manager of Team Iron, chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about ISL Season 2, and her plans for the future with Iron.
"I loved how diverse our team was this season," she said. "It was a very interesting dynamic with so many different personalities, nationalities, and languages. There was just so much to learn from each other. I loved watching how they got closer as the season went on and how they developed into a real team."
"Watching the swimmers support each other and getting behind each other is always one of my favorite parts of the whole experience," she added.
She opened up about working with four-time Olympic medalist and world champion Katinka Hosszu, who is affectionately known as "The Iron Lady." "I have been working with Katinka for a few years now. We have a very similar mindset and I think we have built a kind of trust and respect for each other over the years that makes working together pretty easy," she said.
"At this point in her career, she is so much more than just a swimmer, she has a lot of things to balance in her life, so I try to support her wherever I can. She had an instrumental role in bringing ISL to Budapest," Szekeres added.
Dorina Szekeres of Team Iron
Dorina Szekeres of Team Iron
Mike Lewis, Photo Courtesy of ISL
On her daily motivations as an ISL team General Manager, she said, "2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone around the world, but sports and swimming specifically is the area where we can make a difference for the people involved. So the motivation was very clear: even in these difficult circumstances with the pandemic we wanted to give our best to provide the opportunity to the swimmers to train in a safe environment and to race in high-level competitions. An added benefit was the valuable time spent together on a beautiful island in Budapest."
"A lot of people worked tirelessly to make this season happen against all the odds so I want to give a shout out to some of the people involved. First of all Katinka and Konstantin, without whom we for sure wouldn’t have had a season in Hungary. The ISL management team for their continued effort and support, Semmelweis University for keeping us safe in the bubble, and the Hungarian organizers for putting together the pieces and successfully managing everything on the ground for six weeks," she elaborated.
Dorina Szekeres  General Manager of Team Iron
Dorina Szekeres, General Manager of Team Iron
Mine Kasapoglu, Photo Courtesy of ISL
She described the ISL Solidary Program as a "very powerful initiative." "The Solidarity program has been a very powerful initiative from ISL and Konstantin. Every swimmer getting the same amount of salary definitely affected the recruiting landscape for this season, but it's a great help for a lot of swimmers who would have struggled to keep going with their carriers after the Olympics got postponed. And the opportunity to train and race in an amazing facility like Duna Arena with the best swimmers in the world is priceless," she explained.
On her future plans with Team Iron, Szekeres said, "This is the second season that we were just one place away from the final, but this only makes us hungrier to get in that top four next season. The goal is to keep improving every aspect of the team so we can provide better support to our swimmers which should result in better performance as a team."
Regarding the commonalities that she sees among champions, she said, "From the mindset point of view, they just seem to enjoy the journey and the process rather than being super fixated on winning. They have the confidence that if they follow their routine and do the little things right, they will get the results they expect. And if it doesn’t happen, they bounce back very quickly, learn from the mistakes and start focusing on the next step."
Szekeres defined the word success as "enjoying what you do, who you do it with and having results along the way of course." "I feel most successful when I can create something valuable that I can be proud of," she said.
She concluded about Team Iron, "As you could see from our matches this season, Team Iron is here to fight and never gives up until the last second. People can expect the same attitude and fighting spirit from the team in the following seasons as well. We will battle our way up on the rankings."
Dorina Szekeres  General Manager of Team Iron
Dorina Szekeres, General Manager of Team Iron
Mine Kasapoglu, Photo Courtesy of ISL
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