B&H Multiple Champion Is Youngest Coach in Austria

PlivanjeThe multiple champion of B&H in swimming at 50, 100 and 200 meters freestyle Maja Mastikosa (20) became one of the youngest trainers in Austria, where the best swimmers are prepared for competition.

Since she was 12, Maja held the top position in swimming freestyle of 50 and 200 meters, and then enrolled in the Faculty of law in Austria and studied and worked at the same time. She speaks two languages fluently.

‘’I could not continue training, because that takes up at least five or six hours a day. Together with studying at the same time, it was difficult. Thus, due to my qualifications and quality, two years ago I got the opportunity to train swimmers. I think that I merged business with pleasure, and I make every effort to be in contact with B&H athletes at the same time’’, said Maja.

Her success is more impressive due to the circumstances of her life. Her parents Željko and Olivera Mastikosa both have disabilities and suffer from various forms of muscular dystrophy.

‘’Our love story unfolded quickly. In that period, it was rare for a woman with such a serious disability to find a husband who is not the same to some extent, and especially if they decide to have children. At the beginning of 1992, our decision waited for the approval from the Institute for Mother and Child in Belgrade’’, said Olivera.

Nine months later, she gave birth to Maja, and the energy and strength of the family fascinated the medical staff, friends and family, which are a source of huge support today.

“Since I gave birth, we have been proud of her. The love that we exchange, that strength that is renewed. We also have difficult periods. Due to illness, I could not hold her hand at one point and this was one of the most difficult periods in my life, but that was one stage’’, said Olivera.

Željko and Olivera, in addition to their own education, and then investing in Maja’s education, dedicated their entire lives to working in understanding people with disabilities in B&H communities and achieving a better status for this group of people.

‘’In our country, the problem is that society does not accept anything that is not perfect, and everything is hidden. It is difficult for me that in medical schools students are not taught how to raise people with disabilities. I was sick towards the end of college, but after that I continued to work on myself. Today, we are all happy’’, said Olivera, whose energy was crucial for the positive spirit of the family.

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