Next Sunday, the qualification process for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 begins, at the European Games, Krakow, Poland
They take a shooting position and aim their arrow at the Olympic Gamesto be held in Paris in 2024.
The leading archer of our country, with six participations in the Olympic Games, Evangelia Psarra, and her daughter, a member of the national archery team, Maria Nasoula, share the same anxieties, but also their love for this particular sport as, as they explain in the Athenian/Macedonian News Agency, archery for them, especially coached by the family man, husband and father, is purely a family affair.
Next Sunday, the qualification process for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 begins, at the European Games, Krakow, Poland. In Lilleshal, England, cards for the European Games 2023 will be awarded after a qualification match and a long and difficult follow-up will follow, with world and pan-European championships. A difficult effort, which is worth it, since if she succeeds in her seventh participation in the Olympic games, Evangelia Psarra will become the first archer in the world and the first Greek woman in all sports to achieve such a feat. And she wishes that this would take place with her daughter, a fellow athlete, by her side.
“Already, Greece has a women’s card for participation in the European Games, which Maria and I won at the Pan-European Championship in Munich 2022, and now we will try for the team, that is, three participations”, explains to APE-MPE, Mrs. Psarra, stressing that “participating in the Olympic Games is not something simple and does not end immediately. It’s been almost two years, you have to be alert and certainly with the level of athletes worldwide it’s not easy to achieve it.”
No matter what happens I will always keep fighting because that’s what I love
But this is sport, as he says, and this “is our goal and we will do everything possible to achieve it. However, it should be understood that even if I don’t succeed – either individually or as a team with Maria – my attitude towards life is such that I won’t say it ends here. I will never call it a failure after all these years.”
For her part, Maria Nasoula says that participating in the Olympic Games in Paris is something she really wants and will try her best, however, she jokingly adds that her main goal is “participating in eight Olympiads, as many as she will I need it to beat my mom’s record!’
Evangelia Psarra managed to be the fourth athlete, at the world level, in archery, who has already competed six times in the Olympic Games. As she points out, speaking to APE-MPE, her love for archery and the way she and her husband and coach Alexandros Nasoula managed to work in such a way that it works alongside their family, is the strength that keeps her on top. After all, as he explains, this was a one-way street because, “if I had to choose to leave something behind, I don’t think it would be possible.”
In my relationship with Maria, the role of the mother prevails
In this difficult journey, Evangelia Psarra is not alone, as in addition to her husband and coach, she also has her daughter by her side, who chose to follow in her footsteps. “Maria and I train together. There are difficulties, which are more related to the time management of both of us so that we can match our schedules”, explains Evangelia Psarra, pointing out that “it is not easy for a mother to try to balance it!”. However, she made it clear that for her the role of the mother prevails in this relationship.
“It was almost self-evident for me to take up archery,” confides Maria Nasoula. After all, as he says, “everywhere in the house we had bows! My parents (both) are involved in archery, so it’s hard to escape… The truth is that I tried other sports at the same time, but archery finally won me over.”
I feel safer fighting with my mother, but I don’t have autonomy
Commenting on the joint journey with her mother, Maria Nasioula underlines that, “sometimes it’s good, for example in a match last year when I passed out on the field, the fact that my mother was there helped me a lot. I felt more secure and confident. But on the other hand, being with my mother at matches does not allow me to have the autonomy I would like.”
Referring to the difficulties she has faced all these years in the championship, Ms. Psarra notes that “in sports, for me, no matter how many difficulties you go through, there comes a single good moment and erases all the others. But the biggest difficulty I keep facing is that every time I compete, I have to prove that I deserve to be where I am, regardless of my age.”
Archery for the two women, for this special mother and daughter duo, it’s not just a sport, it’s their very life. As they say, surely participating in the Paris Olympic Games is a dream, a life goal – especially for Evangelia Psarra – but whatever the development is, it doesn’t really matter, as both of them say, they will continue to compete because that’s what they love to do and because there will always be a goal in front of them, defiantly asking them to achieve it!
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