30 June 1986 |
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
When I set my eyes on the gold at the world championships, I was able to maintain that focus that whole day. That's what I aim to do in Rio – my focus is gold, so I can keep in that good state; I can't get too complacent. I can't relax; I can't be content. I need to be 100 per cent switched on.
I'm told that I look like a nice girl. But, yes, I do a full contact sport, and when people ask what I do, they are a bit surprised when I say, 'A martial art, a full contact sport.'
I could live on fresh bread. My parents, who are Polish, have brought us up on varieties of bread from European bakeries, and I love rye, caraway seed, dark rye… throw in some butter and cheese, and I'm set.
So far in my career, I've achieved what I've achieved because I've believed that I could do it. And I've never believed that anyone's better than me, because I think when you start doing that, you've already lost the fight.
I can feel my body is starting to get tired, all that training, which I've been doing three or four times a week since I was eight, and recovery is taking longer.
Oh, there's a lot of breaks in our sport. Strained muscles, breaks, tears. I've seen teeth fly out before mouth guards were compulsory. Feet fractures are quite common, cheeks, faces, jaws, legs.