“An offer like this from Team Iron really motivated me, especially in a pandemic period like this,” he said. “The ISL experience that followed was an unforgettable opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
On competing for Team Iron, he said, “The offer to swim for Team Iron really honored me. Dorina was really sincere to me and my trainer Türker Oktay, supported us during our time in Hungary and encouraged me as a part of the team after the first time we contacted her.”
“I am happy to meet and work with Dorina [Szekeres],” he said about his team’s General Manager. “I would like to thank her for her friendship from here.
Sakçı complimented Team Iron’s co-captains Katinka Hosszu and Robert Glinta. “Both Katinka and Robert were very friendly towards me since the first day I joined the team. I did not know anybody personally on the team, therefore their friendship was very special for me and our friendship grew with time. I would like to thank them for their sportsmanlike behavior and what they shared with me,” he said.
Regarding his daily motivations, he said, “Every new day is a new opportunity. We have responsibilities as people. We are meshed with water and water is life itself. I become really impatient after I wake up until I go to the pool and enter the water.”
“My biggest motivations in life are to show how strong human beings are and to show how we can exceed limits in the right conditions. Being in the water, which is the essential source of life, gives my existence a different meaning,” he added.
For young and aspiring swimmers, he said, “I believe everyone should do what they love. We must do everything to contribute to humanity. We can exceed our limits. I believe they should continue to swim with aiming for this.”
On his plans for the future, he said, “I like to go step by step. I have many drafts about my plans for the future but I like to keep my focus on my short term goals. Foremost among those is the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.”
“The delay boosted my ambition and I believe everyone will train with more performance after the ISL races. I hope you will watch unique and exciting races in the Olympics and this thought really excites me,” he added.
Regarding his proudest moments this ISL season in Budapest, Hungary, he said, “My city, Izmir, was hit by a horrible earthquake disaster. It was really hard for me to watch the condition of the city that all my loved ones lived from far away. It was really honorary for me to dedicate my victory to my city and to crown the result with a European record.”
“I had a chance to swim for my country afterward on the anniversary of the death of the glorious leader of my country, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and I gifted my new European record to my country that day. Medals and records are always in the life of an athlete, but they are only meaningful if you’re able to add meaning to them. I am really happy to have achieved this,” Sakçı elaborated.
When asked about which stroke in swimming is his favorite, he responded, “I love all styles of swimming. I just have some problems with the backstroke.”
Sakçı defined the word success as follows: “Your ability to add meaning to your life and lives of the people around you, being an inspiration for others. There are many swimmers and people that I follow in this aspect.”
For his fans and supporters, he said, “Their presence and comments make me proud. I want to do better things with their positive energy. I want to thank them back by getting good results and performing well in races worth watching. I feel their good energy in my heart, I’m glad to have them.”
To learn more about Turkish swimmer Emre Sakçi, follow him on Instagram.