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M.Tepavcevic
Mladen Tepavcevic
S w i m   S t a r   W e b   P o r t a l - S w i m m i n g   I n t e r v i e w 
Mladen Tepavcevic
Serbian Breaststroke Legend

The most successful breastroke swimmer in SR of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro and finally Serbia in the last eight years, the Olympian (Athents 2004), still actual national record holder, now swim coach of the Icelandic Swimming Club Hafnarfjordur, accepted to talk exclusively for the SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL. As this great swim personality may be the model on the devotion to the swimming at all, this interview might have an interest not only among the domestic visitors of our portal, but also others in the wide region of the Balkans and thorough the world. 

15 great answers on the swimming sport, life and the future...
I.Rasula
Arranged by 
Igor Rasula
Editor-in-Chief
The Swim Star
Web Portal 
Technical design by
B.Avramovic
Comments:
igorrasula@gmail.com

The complete interview has been arranged via web link between Denmark and Iceland on Sept 21, 2008

.Zapocinjuci novi temat u segmentu o prezentaciji plivackog sporta nordijskih zemalja Evrope, nezaobilazan pocetak posvetili smo sa velikim zadovoljstvom Srpskoj plivackoj legendi Mladenu Tepavcevicu. Ne samo zbog postovanja za sve sto je ovaj istinski sportista  dao u okvirima Jugoslavije, Srbije i Crne Gore i konacno Srbije, vec svakako i Islanda, gde je zapoceo sa svojim ozbiljnim  trenerskim radom. Neka i ovaj razgovor bude zabelezen kao jedan od malih doprinosa zelji da plivanje u nasoj zemlji, ali i svuda na svetu dobije mnogo znacajniju medijsku paznju...  Starting with the new theme in the corner of the presentations of the swimming sport in the domain of the Nordic Euro countries, the very first topic we proudly dedicate to the Serbian swim legend Mladen Tepavcevic... And not only because of our respect for all that sincere sportsman has done in the frames of FR Yugoslavia, Serbia & Montenegro and finally Serbia, but also the Iceland where he already started with his serious swim coach engagement. Let this interview be recorded as our genuine contribution to the higher media promotion of the swimming in our country and the world... 
   
Author: Igor Rasula, Denmark, Sept. 22, 2008....

  Our words of welcome...  
Neposredno po dolasku u Kopenhagen proslog meseca i  razmisljanja o tome kako zapoceti izvestavanje o plivackom sportu Nordijskih zemalja, nisam  smeo da zaobidjem Srpskog rekordera i Olimpijca Mladena Tepavcevica, sada plivackog trenera na Islandu... Dobrodosao na Swim Star Web Portal !   Upon landing Copenhagen last month and some thoughts on how to start reporting about the swimming from the Nordic countries, I must not neglect the Serbian record holder and the Olympian Mladen Tepavcevic, who is now in Iceland as a swim coach. Hi Mladen... Welcome to the Swim Star Web Portal !
     
Tepavcevic:  Pozdrav Igore tebi, kao i svim plivacima, roditeljima i postovaocima plivanja vaseg portala. Drago mi je da si mi se javio i nadam se da cu moci da ti odgovorim na pitanja kao i da pruzim nesto vise informacija o plivanju u ovom delu Evrope. Tepavcevic:  Igor, Hi to you and all swimmers, parents  and swim friends that are reading this. I'm glad that you've contacted me and hope that  I'll be able to give you good answers and also to give some more informations about swimming in this Nordic part of Europe.
 
About the present Tepavcevic's swimming engagement...  
Pre svega reci nam gde si u ovom trenutku sto se tice tvog plivackog angazovanja. Siguran sam da ce mnogi nasi posetioci to zeleti da znaju... 
 
Tepavcevic:  Trenutno zivim i radim u Hafnarfjordoru, gradicu u blizini Rejkjavika, glavnog grada Islanda. Iako grad sa svega nekih petnaestak hiljada stanovnika, Hafnarfjordur ima novi tek nedavno otvoreni 50m zatvoreni bazen kao i jos 3-4 mala 25m otvorena i zatvorena bazena tako da je plivanje sastavni deo svakodnevnice gotovo svih ljudi ovde. Posto se za grejanje koristi geotermalna energija, topla voda nikad nije problem kao u bazenima u Srbiji. Naprotiv cesto je problem da je voda pretopla, nekih 29-30 stepeni, ali na to se bar nije tako tesko navici narocito ako se pliva stalno napolju.
 
  First of all, tell us where are you now exactly considering your residing and the swim engagement, I'm sure many visitors would like to know.
 
Tepavcevic:  I live and work in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, a small town nearby Reykjavik the capital. Although a town of 15,000 people, we have a brand new 50-m indoor pool and 3-4 outdoor and indoor 25-m pools so swimming is a part of everyday life of almost every man. Because  we are using a geothermal energy hot water is never a problem like it is in Serbia. Very often we have the problem of water being too hot for training 29-30 centigrades but it is not too hard to get used to train in those conditions, specially if you are swimming outdoor. 
SH new head team
Mladen Tepavcevic with the new pool and new coaching stuff of the SC Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
 
  About his achievements in the last season prior to the Beijing 2008...   
Tvoju 'borbu' da uhvatis voz za Olimpijadu u Pekingu, sa paznjom smo pratili od trenutka kad si ispunio 'B' normu medju prvim srpskim plivacima, jos tokom 2007 godine. Medjutim Caba Siladji je imao bolje isplivano vreme u disciplini 100 prsno. Da li bi bio u stanju da prognoziras sa ove tacke tvoje eventualni uspeh u Pekingu, nakon sto su igre okoncane?   Your 'struggle' to get onto the train for the Olympics in Beijing we watched out since you have overcome the B cut among the first Serbian swimmers in the course of  2007. However, Caba Siladji set a better entry time then you in 100 breast. Could you predict now from this point of view, your potential achievement in Beijing, after the Games are over?
     
Tepavcevic:  Iako sam bio jedan od prvih plivaca iz Srbije sa ostvarenom B normom na zalost za mene to nije bilo dovoljno da putujem za Peking. Moram da priznam da je prosla sezona za mene bila prilicno dobra, izjednacio sam drzavni rekord na 50 prsno i zauzeo 8 mesto na Evropskom prvenstvu, zatim plivao sam samo desetinku sporije od najboljeg vremena na 100 m prsno u velikom bazenu, a takodje plivao sam prilicno dobro i u malom. Zato ne mogu bas previse da se zalim na proslu sezonu. Caba je bio bolji od mene na kraju i zasluzio je da ide. Mislim da je on stvarno sjajan plivac i sportista, protekle dve sezone su mu bile izuzetne i stvarno mislim da ima jako svetlu buducnost ispred sebe. Jedino mora da se pripazi povreda da bi mogao da ponovi uspeh koji je imao kao junior i na seniorskim takmicenjima sto mu nece biti nimalo lako. Tepavcevic:  Well, I was one of the first Serbian swimmers to achieve that Olympic B cut, but unfortunately for me that wasn't enough. I have to say also that I've had a pretty good swim season, equaling a national record on 50 breaststroke and being 8th at the European Championships. I also swam out  1/10 of second slower than my best on 100 breaststroke LC ever and did pretty good in the SCM events. So I cannot be unhappy about the last season. Caba Siladji was better than me and he deserved to take part in the Beijing 2008 Olympiad. He is a great athlete, his last two seasons were amassing and I think that the bright future is in front of him. He just need to take care of himself to prevent injuries that can enable him to repeat previous successes in the junior swimming also in the senior competitions which is not an easy job. 
 
  On the Tepavcevic's latest swimming activities...  
U redu. Poslednje dve godine ulozio si veoma mnogo napora, kao i sredstava u ozbiljne pripreme za ucesce na Olimpijskim igrama u Pekingu, zajedno sa tvojim trenerom Nenadom Milosem. Kao veliki sportsmen i osoba sa dugogodisnjim iskustvom u ovom sportu, kako se osecas nakon svega?
 
Tepavcevic:  Kao sto sam rekao, imao sam san da se takmicim na olimpijskim igrama i san mi se nije ostvario. Ostaje gorak ukus u ustima jer poslednje 3 godine sam naporno radio da uskladim 2 do 3 treninga dnevno sa jos 2 posla kao i puno takmicenja. Samo da napomenem da mi je radni dan pocinjao u 5.45 i zavrsavao oko 10 navece. Nije bilo ni lako a ni jeftino ali takvi su snovi, nije ih bas lako ostvariti. Nakon svega, nije mi ni malo zao zbog svega sto sam ulozio u plivanje do sada. Ove olimpijske igre su bile do sada najbrze pa iako sam na osnovu ovogodisnjih rezultata ocekivao jako dobre rezultate, stvarno sam bio iznenadjen. Ja sam se nadao da mogu da plivam ove godine ispod 1.02 i sve sto smo radili je ukazivalo da ce tako i da bude ali cak i sa tim rezultatom bi bio daleko od polufinala. Moj cilj stvarno nije bio samo da ucestvujem vec da se takmicim sa najboljim a ja sam ionako vec bio na jednim Igrama. Zato mislim da je bolje sto je Caba Siladji bio tamo i video kako sve izgleda tako da ce znati sta ga ocekuje u Londonu 2012. 
 
  All right. Last two years you inlayed many efforts as well as the funds in the serious preparations for the Olympic Games together with your coach Nenad Milos. As a sportsman and a person with so many years of experiences in this sport, how do you fill after all?
 
Tepavcevic:  As I said before, I had a dream of competing at the Olympics and my dream didn't come true. I have a bitter taste in my mouth because last three years I worked really hard to combine 2-3 trainings a day with 2 jobs and a lot of traveling. Lets just say that my working day started at 5.45 and ended around 22. It wasn't easy and it wasn't cheap but dreams are never easy to reach. After all I'm not sorry about anything that I've put in my swimming so far. Those Olympic games were fastest and even I was expecting some fast swimming this was beyond my imagination. I was hoping to swim under 1.02 last season and everything we did in the pool were showing that I'm on a good track but even with that result I would be far away from semis. My goal was never just to participate but to compete  and as I've been already at the Olympics, it is better for Serbian swimming that Caba Siladji was there to see how everything look like and be ready for the London 2012.
Belgrade Trophy 2008
Mladen Tepavcevic - as a participant of the latest Belgrade Trophy 2008 (Tasmajdan pool, Belgrade)
 
Tepavcevic with Coach Milos
Mladen Tepavcevic with his coach Nenad Milos - one of the latest images set in their engagement with the SC Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
 
  On the FINA rule regarding the B standard...
Da li mislis da su FINA pravila vezana za ispunjene B norme za ucesce na Olimpijadi, pravilna ili ne?   Is the FINA rule on the participation in the Games regarding the B standards, right or not?
     
Tepavcevic:  Mislim da je apsolutno dobro pravilo. Ljudi mozda i ne znaju ali ove godine je bilo preko 50 plivaca sa A normom i preko 300 sa B samo na 100 m prsno. Bilo bi nemoguce zavrsiti takmicenje za 7 dana kada bi se dozvolilo svima koji imaju norme da plivaju. Zamislite  takmicenje sa samo 5000 plivaca. A i bilo bi jako jako skupo. Tepavcevic:  It is absolutely right. People probably don't know but there were more than 50 competitors with A cut and more than 300 with B just in 100 breaststroke. Competition would be impossible to finish in 7 days if they allow everybody to swim. Can you imagine competition with just 5,000 swimmers? And it would be very expensive, too.
 
  On the potential Serbian breastrokers - candidates for the next Olympics...  
'A' standard ce sada, nakon Pekinga biti snizen, 'B' standard takodje. Ko ce biti sposoban da to ispuni u Srbiji, sa uslovima koji sada postoje. Kakvo je tvoje misljenje o tome?   The A cut in the men's 100 breast will be lowered now, the B cut, too. Who can be able to over jump them in Serbia with the 'conditions' that exist in Serbia? What do you think about that?   
     
Tepavcevic:  A i B kvalifikacione norme su jace svaki olimpijski ciklus i to je normalna stvar. Plivaci jednostavno iz godine u godinu plivaju sve brze. Na primer, za polufinale u Atini na 100m prsno je trebalo 1:02.1 a medalja je bila 1.00.8 sada je za ulazak u polufinale trebalo 1:00.7... Svet jednostavno pliva brze i ako zelimo da idemo u korak sa svetom onda ce i nasi plivaci morati da budu jednako brzi. To znaci da ce morati da plivaju oniliko jako koliko i drugi plivaju kao i da imaju jednako dobru tehniku. U tom slucaju nebi trebalo da bude problema da se takmice sa njima. Iako su norme za Peking bile najjace do sada nas plivacki tim je bio brojniji nego ikada. Ja isto tako mislim da uslovi za plivanje u Srbiji nisu tako losi kao sto mi mislimo. Ima mnogo neiskoriscenih bazena i mora se naci nacina za njihovo koristenje. Takodje, mislim da moramo imati vise plivaca u bazenima. Pritom ne mislim na vise klubova i vise skolica plivanja vec vise plivaca u takmicarskim kategorijama. Svestan sam da skolice donose clanarinu ali klubovi bi trebalo da nadju nacina da zadrze plivace i nakon zavrsetka osnovne i srednje skole. Postalo je i vrlo uobicajeno da ako neko nije zadovoljan sa klubom ili trenerom jednostavno osnuje novi klub. To unosi puno negativne energije u plivace i roditelje koji su najvazniji deo svakog kluba a samim tim i Srpskog plivanja. A negativna energija jednostavno ne doprinosi boljitku plivanja. Tepavcevic:  The A and B cuts are stronger every Olympic Cycle and thats the way it should be. Swimmers are faster from year to year, for example 1:02.1 semifinal in Athens and 1.00.8 bronze medal on 100 breast and we saw 1:00.7 semis in Beijing. The world is just swimming faster and if we want to compete with them our swimmers need to be fast as well. That means that we need to train as hard as they are, to technically prepare as best as we can and than it shouldn't be a problem to compete with them. Those Olympic cuts for 2008 were strongest so far but still our swimming team has more members than ever. Also I don't think that Serbia has such a bad conditions for swimming as we are thinking . There are a lot of pools that are not in use and we need to find a way to use them. Also we need more swimmers in the pools and by that I don't mean more clubs and schools for swimming but more competitive swimmers. I know that schools are bringing monthly fee but clubs need to find the way to keep kids in the pool even after finishing primary or secondary school. And it become very common that if someone is not happy with a club or coach than he found a new club. That brings negative energy between swimmers and parents which are two the most important parts of every club and by that also the most important part in Serbian swimming. The bad energy is not moving our swimming forward. 
 
  On the future and the Tepavcevic's engagement as a coach in the Iceland swimming...  
Kako vidis svoju buducnost u takmicarskom delu? Ti si sad profesionalni trener mladjih kategorija u plivackom klubu Hafnarfjordur, zar ne?
 
Tepavcevic:   Ja bih voleo da se takmicim jos godinu dana i zavrsim plivacku karijeru 2009. Ali, kao sto sam vec rekao ja ne zelim samo da ucestvujem na takmicenjima. Ako ne mogu da se spremim da plivam bar polufinale na evropskom ili svetskom prvenstvu onda ne zelim ni da idem. Jednostavno, imao sam u svojoj plivackoj karijeri do sada dovoljno polufinala i finala na velikim takmicenjima da bi mi cilj bio samo da se pojavim. Verovatno cu da se spremam samo za 50. Sa 32 godine koliko imam sada nije vise tako lako plivati 10-12 km svaki dan, ali jos uvek imam brzinu tako da mislim da za 50 nece biti problem.
Moja trenutna pozicija je glavni trener plivackog kluba SH. Cekamo novog trenera da dodje iz Luksemburga pocetkom oktobra i nakon toga cu nastaviti posao sa 2 grupe mladjih plivaca. Jedna grupa je plivaci od 10 do 12 godina, a drugu grupu cine plivaci od 13 do 15. Takodje cu biti asistent glavnom treneru u klubu i raditi sa najstarijom takmicarskom grupom i plivacima starijim od 16 godina. To je odlicna prilika za mene da ucim od izvrsnog trenera i razvijem dalje trenersko znanje. Moram da kazem da sam jako zadovoljan svojim plivacima i prosle sezone sam imao 5 njih u mladjim selekcijama Islanda sto je jako veliki uspeh za mene kao mladog trenera. 
 
  How do you see your future in the competitive swimming? You are a coach of the younger category swimmers in Hafnarfjordur Swim Club, don't you? 
 
Tepavcevic:  My wish is to compete for one more year and finish my career as a swimmer in 2009. But as I said before just to participate was never my goal. If I can't prepare to swim in at least semis of European and the  World Championships than I won't go. Simply I had enough big competitions in my career and a lot of semis and finals. Probably I'm going to prepare just for 50. I'm 32 years old man now and it is not easy any more to swim 10-12 k per day, but I still have a speed so 50 shouldn't be a problem for me.
Currently my position is the Head Coach of SH swimming club. We are waiting for new head coach to come from Luxembourg in the beginning of October and after that I will work with 2 groups of younger swimmers, one group of kids age 10-12 and one 13-15 and also I will assist head coach with our most competitive group 16 year and older. That is a great opportunity for me to learn from a great coach and develop my coaching skills more. I have to say that I'm happy with my swimmers and last year I had 5 of them in age group team of Iceland which is a great success for me as a young coach. 
Tepavcevic as a Coach
M. Tepavcevic with the stopwatch as a Coach - asistent in the last season (SC Hafnarfjordur)
 
  Info about Mr. Nenad Milos, former Coach of the SC Hafnarfjordur and the Iceland Swim Federation...  
Sta se dogodilo sa Nenadom Milosem, bivsim sefom struke kluba Hafnarfjordur i njegovim angazmanom u Plivackom savezu Islanda? Da li cete nastaviti vasu saradnju i nadalje?   What was going on with Nenad Milos at the head coach position in the same club and the Iceland swimming federation? Would you continue your previous closely cooperation?
     
Tepavcevic:  Nenad je imao neke nesuglasice sa plivackim savezom Islanda, jednostavno receno, njegovi rezultati nisu cenjeni na pravi nacin, posle se to odrazilo i na klub tako da je podneo ostavku i otisao u Peking kao trener Nedima Nisica Bosanskog plivaca koji je trenirao sa nama i pre Atine 2004 kao i sad pred ove olimpijske igre. Tepavcevic:  Nenad has some arguing with a swimming federation, his results were not appreciated enough and that went on the club also so he quit working for the club and went to Olympics as a coach of Nedim Nisic Bosnian swimmer who was with us before Olympics in 2004 and also now before Beijing.
Pored relacije plivac trener, ja i Nenad smo jako dobri prijatelji i to ce tako i da ostane. Na zalost nece me vise trenirati zbog toga sto ceka novi angazman, ali smo redovno u kontaktu i njegovo znanje o plivanju, kao i njegovi saveti mi pomazu puno i kao plivacu i kao treneru. Beside relationship coach swimmer, me and Nenad are very good friends and it will be like that no matter what. He is not going to coach me any more because he is waiting for a new contract but we are in touch all the time and his knowledge of swimming and his advices are helping me a lot as a swimmer and even more as a coach. 
 
  About the Serbian Swim Squad in Beijing, Mike Cavic's 1/100 of second in 100 Fly, etc... 
Siguran sam da si pratio aktivnost Srpske reprezentacije na Olimpijadi u Pekingu, posebno Caviceve uspehe. Kako ti ocenjujes "problem" sa  jednim stotim delom sekunde, koji je omogucio Felpsu da dosegne do njegove 8-me zlatne medalje osvojene bas u disciplini 100 delfin?   I'm sure you followed up the activities of the Serbian swim squad at the Beijing 2008, especially the Cavic's achievements. How did you see the 'problem' of 1/100 of seconds that has provided Phelps to catch his 8th Olympic Gold medal in the men's 100 fly?
     
Tepavcevic:  Naravno da sam pratio plivanje naseg tima u Pekingu i vecina je stvarno sjajno otplivala, Rasa, Caba, Djele, Milica i Marica. Ocekivao sam malo vise od Nadje jer je imala zaista dobru sezonu, a Minja je bila bolesna tako da realno nije mogla bolje. Vlada je otplivao uobicajeno za svoje nastupe na velikim takmicenjima, a Cavke je stvarno bio neverovatan. Obe njegove trke su bile izvanredne, a 100 delfin je bila definitivno najzanimljivija na celom takmicenju. Gledao sam je bar 50-tak puta iznova jer nisam mogao da verujem sta se desilo. Cavke je vodio sve do kraja i stvarno je zasluzio zlato i svetski rekord koje je izgubio na kraju.  Po mom misljenju imao je par gresaka koje je skupo platio. Mislim da je podvodni posle okreta skratio za jedan udarac i sa tim ekstra udarcem nogama delfin u podvodnom bi sad bio u legendi. I naravno zadnji zaveslaj koji je bio kakav je bio, sa glavom prerano podignutom i bez udarca nogu koji bi ga gurnuli u zid. Naravno i Felps je napravio najbrzi zadnji zaveslaj koji sam ikada video i tako pobedio. Mislim da su sve price koje su posle pokrenute oko Omege, FINA-e i td., bile neosnovane jer na zalost  Cavke je pobedio sam sebe. Verovatno je razlika bila jos i manja od jedne stotinke, ali Fina ne priznaje hiljadite delove sekunde i zaokruzuje rezultate na stotinke. Stvarno sam bio tuzan kao uostalom i svi koji su pratili plivanje sto je tako ispalo, ali to je deo sporta i siguran sam da ima vremena za revans i novi svetski rekord. Mislim da je on jedini koji to moze da uradi sada. Ali, da jos na kraju citiram Cavketa: "Moj san je bio da uzmem medalju i to sam i uradio. Dosao sam sa 4 vremenom u Peking i na kraju izgubio samo od Majkla Felpsa. Mozda cu za neko vreme da se kajem zbog toga, ali sad sam srecan". Zato i mi treba da budemo srecni zbog njega. Tepavcevic:  Of course I was following the participation  of the Serbian swim team at the Beijing Olympics and I think that most of them did pretty good job like Rasa, Caba, Djele, Milica and Marica. I  expected more of Nadja because she had a good season while Minja was sick so she couldn't perform better. Vlada did his usual on a big competition and Cavke was unbelievable. Both of his races were just great.  That race of the men's 100 fly final was really for the nerve breaking. I've been watching it probably 50 times again and again because I couldn't believe what  had happened. Cavke was in lead all the time and he really deserved that Gold medal and the World record,  unfortunately he lost it at the end. To my opinion he made a few mistakes. I think he cut his underwater after turn by 1 kick. With that one extra underwater kick after turn he would be in a legend now. Also last stroke was not perfect, his head was too high too early and he didn't do extra kick to push him stronger into the wall. Phelps had a fastest last stroke I've ever seen and he beat him. All the talking about FINA and Omega workings for Michael Phelps are just stupid because unfortunately Cavke alone beats himself with those mistakes. Probably the difference between two butterflyers was even less than 1/100 of second but FINA is not counting 1/1000s. I was really sad because he lost the gold on that way but that is a sport and I know that the next time he will beat Phepls with a new WR. He is the only one who can do that right now. Look what Cavke already said: "My dream was to win a medal and I did it. I'm happy now and probably once in a future I will be sorry but I came as a 4th seeded swimmer and lost just from Michael Phelps". That's why we should be happy for him as well.
 
  On the swimming colleagues and friends in Serbia and wide Region of the ex-YU Republics... 
Tvoje plivacko iskustvo je ogromno. Poznajes mnoge evropske prsase i druge plivace. Emil Tahirovic, Matijaz Markic i dr. slovenacki i hrvatski plivaci u istoj disciplini imaju vredne rezultate. Da li vidis neko od najvisih mesta u svetskom plivanju nekog od plivaca u regionu bivsih jugoslovenskih republika? 
 
Tepavcevic:   U poslednjih 8 godina mog takmicarskog plivanja upoznao sam stvarno jako puno dobrih plivaca i prsasa iz celog sveta. Svi gore navedeni plivaci su jako brzi i imaju buducnjost ali ne samo oni. Ako pogledate rezultate sa juniorskih prvenstava Slovenije, Hrvatske i Srbije odmah vidite potencijal. Problem je sta raditi nakon juniorskog plivanja? Dosta plivaca iz regiona se odluci za studiranje i plivanje u Amerci. Mozda je to resenje a mozda i ne. Vecina njih prestaje sa plivanjem nakon zavrsetka skole i jako mali broj onih koji su otisli je postigao neke zapazenije rezultate. Ono sto mi moramo da uradimo je da nadjemo nacin da zadrzimo te juniore i posle toga seniore u bazenima. Mislim da je ocigledno smanjivanje broja seniora u regionu. Verovatno je jedan od razloga i nedostatak takmicenja na kojima bi plivali. Nekada smo imali prvenstvo Balkana i plivaci koji nisu bili dovoljno dobri za Evropska ili Svetska prvenstva su imali sansu da plivaju za nacionalni tim. Sada kad znas da nisi dovoljno dobar za velika takmicenja znas i da nemas sanse za nacionalni tim. Pa zasto onda nastavljati sa plivanjem. Takodje mislim da je veliki broj mladih plivaca olako ulazio u juniorsku reprezentaciju i nakon toga su prestajali da plivaju jer nisu mogli da budu zvezde i u seniorskoj. Mnoge generacije su tako izgubljene za plivanje. Plivanje ne cini samo par ekstra talentovanih pojedinaca. To bi trebalo da bude tim od 20tak seniora i cak i vise juniora i kadeta tako da deca znaju da imaju buducnost u plivanju cak i ako nisu najbolji. Tim nisu samo Cavke, Lendjer, Caba, Minja ili Mladen. Tim cine i Beretic, Djikanovic, Brkic i mnogi drugi plivaci.
   
  Your 'swimming knowledge' is huge. You know many European breaststrokes and other swimmers. Emil Tahirovic, Matjaz Markic and other Slovenian and Croatian swimmers in the same discipline have worthy times. Could you see any high future positions for the breastokers in the Region of the former YU countries?
 
Tepavcevic:  In last 8 years of my competitive swimming I met a lot of fast breastrokers and swimmers from all over the world. And all of those guys you've mentioned are fast and have a future in swimming and not just them. Every generation is just faster than one before and there are many talented swimmers in our region. If you check results from junior championships of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia you can see potential. Problem is what after junior swimming? Many swimmers from those countries are going to USA. Maybe that is the solution and maybe not. Many of them just quit swimming after that and very few of those that are left did something of a greater value. We just need to find solution to keep junior and senior swimmers in the pools. It is so obvious that senior swimming in region is going down. Just the number of those swimmers in the pools are rapidly decreasing. Probably one of the problems is that there are not enough competitions for them. Once we had a Balkan championships and a swimmers that weren't good enough for the European or World championships had opportunity to be in the national team and go to this competition. Now you know that there isn't anything for you if you can't go to a big competition so why to swim more. And also too many younger swimmers came to national team easily and they quit after that because they couldn't handle the situation that they are not stars in older category and they can't travel any more with a team. Lots of generations were lost like that. I think that swimming is not just a few extra talented individuals. It should be complete team of 20 senior  and even more junior or age group swimmers. So kids should know that they have a future in swimming even if they are not the best. One team is not just Cavke, Lendjer, Caba, Minja or Mladen. It is also Beretic, Djikanovic, Brkic and many other swimmers. 
Tepavcevic and Tahirovic
Emil Tahirovic (SLO) and Mladen Tepavcevic, the best breastrokers in the Region of the SE Europe 
   
Tepavcevic and Nisic
Tepavcevic with Nedim Nisic, the best BIH swimmer, National Rec holder and the Olympian...
 
  The opinion on the Swimming Sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina... 
Ti i tvoj brat ste se doselili u Beograd iz Sarajeva, kasnih '90, kada su tragicni dogadjaji tamo poceli. Nakon toga vi ste proveli obojica jedan sjajan period u Plivackom Klubu Beograd. Imate obojica velike prijatelje u Banjaluci, Trebinju i td... Kako vidis situaciju u plivackom sportu Bosne i Hercegovine u prethodnom Olimpijskom ciklusu? Da li plivacki sport Bosne i Hercegovine ima svoju buducnost?   You and your brother have moved to Belgrade from Sarajevo (BiH) in the late '90 when the tragedies had started there? After that, you both have shined the time spent at the Swimming Club Beograd? You have good friends in Banjaluka, Trebinje, etc. .... How do you see the swimming in Bosnia & Herzegovina in the previous Olympic cycle? Does the swimming sport have its future there?
     
Tepavcevic:  Plivanje ima buducnost tamo gde su ljudi zainteresovani za to. U Bosni ne postoji puno bazena ali skoro je otvoren novi plivacki kompleks u Sarajevu i mislim da je to dobar pocetak. Takodje treba im pomoc u edukaciji trenera i veca saradnja sa zemljama u okruzenju. Seminari za trenere su odlicno resenje ne samo za njih vec i za nase trenere koji zele da nauce nove stvari i podele svoje znanje sa drugim mozda manje iskusnim trenerima. Stvari se ubrzano razvijaju u plivanju i krecu prema napred i ako kasnimo za njima onda ce i nasi plivaci da kasne u bazenu. Verovatno je i engleski jezik problem za neke starije trenere ali onda treba organizovati seminare sa gostima iz Slovenije, Hrvatske i Bosne... Tepavcevic:  Swimming has a future in towns where people are interested in that. Bosnia doesn't have that many pools but recently they've got brand new swimming complex in Sarajevo and I think that is a good beginning. They need more help in education of coaches and more cooperation between countries in the region. Coaching clinics would be great solution not just for them but also for our coaches to learn something new and share their knowledge to coaches that are less experienced. Things in a swimming world a moving fast forward and if you are late with the knowledge your swimmers will be late in the pool. Maybe the English language is problem for some older coaches but than they could organize coaching clinic with guests from Slovenia Croatia and Bosnia...
 
  About the abuses on the organization of the latest Euro Swim event in Belgrade... 
Ovog leta, uprkos tome sto sam imao sjajan posao u Americi, vratio sam se u Beograd da ispratim Evropsko juniorsko prvenstvo. Nazalost, kao profesionalni novinar bio sam terorisan od strane PSS sluzbenika. Ali, primetio sam da je organizacija plivanja na EYOF-u 2007 bila neuporedivo bolja nego na EJC 2008. Ti si bio tamo ukljucen. Cak smo napravili i jedan intervju uzivo... Zar ne mislis da sadasnji i bivsi plivaci, dobro obrazovani i sa puno iskustava mogu jako puno da doprinesu u organizaciji velikih manifestacija, umesto amatera kakve sam video na Evropskom juniorskom prvenstvu u Beogradu?   This past summer, in spite I've had a good job in the USA, I came back to Belgrade to cover the Euro Junior Championships. Unfortunately, as a professional journalist I've been terrorized by the PSS officials maybe you've read about that. But, I saw that the swimming at the EYOF 2007 was enormously better organized then EJC 2008. You have been seriously involved in the EYOF last year. We've made the live interview. Could you think that the present and the former swimmers, well educated and experienced, can contribute in the organization, better then the amateurs I've seen at the European Junior Champs 2008? 
     
Tepavcevic:  Hvala ti na svemu sto si rekao o organizaciji EYOF-a. I ja sam cuo od mnogih o razlici u organizaciji EYOF-a i EJC-a ali nisam bio u Beogradu u to vreme tako da nisam mogao to i sam da vidim. Ne da nisam zeleo da budem deo svega, jednostavno niko me nije pitao ni za pomoc ni za misljenje ili savet oko organizacije kad sam dosao u Beograd pre toga i pitao za takmicenje. Ja sam se potrudio da ulozim znanje i iskustvo sa velikih takmicenja u organizaciju EYOF-a i ucinim takmicenje boljim. Naravno ja sam bio samo deo u masini koja je  znala kad, sta i kako da radi da bi takmicenje bilo uspesno i mislim da je to najvaznija stvar. Upravo zbog toga sto smo radili kao tim uspeli smo sve da odradimo na vreme i na pravi nacin. Naravno, i mi smo imali puno problema i mnoge stvari nisu isle kako treba ali na kraju su plivaci i timovi bili zadovoljni. Bar tako sam cuo od prijatelja iz raznih plivackih federacija. Da zaokruzim ovo, mislim da tako velike stvari mogu biti organizovane samo ako se njima bavi tim strucnih ljudi koji su zainteresovani da rade na pravi nacin. Slicna stvar je i sa vodjenjem kompanija, klubova ili saveza. Tepavcevic:  Well, thank you for saying that about organization of EYOF. I've heard also from many people that it was difference between EYOF an EJC but I wasn't in Belgrade during the European Championship so I couldn't see difference for myself. Not that I didn't want to be involved in EJC 2008, just nobody asked me for help or my opinion, when I came to Belgrade a few weeks before that and asked about competition. I really gave my best with knowledge and experience of a big competitions to make EYOF a good one. But I was just a small wheel in a big machine and we all new what to do and when to do it and I think that is the most important thing. Just by working as a team we managed to organize everything on time and on the right way. Off course we had a problems and many things were not perfect but at the end swimmers and delegations were happy. At least that is what I've heard from my friends from different swimming federations. To  summarize this, I think that such a big things can only be successful if team of people who are interesting in doing the things on a right way take care of them. Similar is with a running of companies or clubs or organizations.
Procitao sam na forumu sta ti se desilo za vreme EJC-a i stvarno mi je zao zbog toga. Prema medijima bi se trebalo ophoditi sa postovanjem bez obzira sta prenose jer svako ima pravo da izrazi svoje misljenje. And I'm sorry about what happened to you. All media should be treated with respect no matter what they are saying because everyone has a right to express his opinion. 
 
  On the future of the Serbian Swimming Association in the present and the next period...  
Kad dotakosmo srpsko plivanje, siguran sam da pratis Plivacki Forum na nasem Web portalu, imajuci u vidu da si se i licno javljao i bavio se problemima, nudeci svoju pomoc i iskustvo. Kako vidis buducnost Plivackog saveza Srbije i ovom trenutku i u narednom periodu?
 
Tepavcevic:   Ovo je stvarno tesko pitanje. Ocigledno je da u PSS neke stvari ne stimaju. Mnogi ljudi ukljuceni u plivacki sport u Srbiji nisu zadovoljni sa trenutnom situacijom i zele promene. Ali kao sto sam rekao, ako zelis da vodis uspesnu kompaniju moras da znas sta hoces i kako do toga da dodjes. Smatram da samo tim ljudi moze da postigne upravo to. A u Srpskom plivanju ne postoje timovi vec pojedinci koji nisu zainteresovani za promenu sistema. Ono sto moze da se vidi na forumu je sledece: jedni  raspravljaju o rukovodstvu PSS a drugi se svadjaju oko plivaca i  trenera i to mi se ne svidja bas puno. Plivace i trenere treba ostaviti na miru da rade i u bazenu pokazu koliko ko vredi. Ima i vaznijih stvari od toga ko je kako plivao i ciji je trener bolji, kao kad se deca svadjaju ciji je tata jaci. Te svadje ne doprinose boljitku srpskog plivanja. Samo tim ljudi sa zacrtanim ciljevima moze da pomogne. Tako da ako zelimo promene moramo delovati kao tim.
 
  When we touched Serbian swimming, I'm sure you are reading the popular Swim Forum of our Swim Star Web Portal, because few time you have been writing there offering your help and experiences to the swimming audience in Serbia. How do you see the future of the Serbian swimming association in the present and the next period? 
 
Tepavcevic:  This is a hard question. Obviously some things are not in a right place. Many people involved in swimming are not happy with a current situation and want some changes. But as I said before you must know what to do and how to do it if you want to run a successful company. Just a team of people can do that. And in Serbian swimming there are no teams. Just individuals with no interest in changing a things. What I see in those forums are few things: some people are complaining about current leaders of PSS and others are arguing about swimmers and coaches which I really don't like. They should be left alone to work hard and show in the pool what they can do. There are more important things to discuss than what swimmers did so far and what they didn't do and whose coach is better. That reminds me of fight between kids, like, who's dad is stronger. And those fights won't do any good for swimming. Just team with a goals can do it. So if they want changes they must act as a team.
Tepavcevic and I.Rasula
Mladen Tepavcevic with Igor Rasula, the author of this interview, at the Tasmajdan pool in Belgrade, in the period of the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF 2007, organized in Serbia...
 
  About the news in the Swimming of the Nordic European countries, etc... 
Nakon sto smo culi o tvom angazovanju u plivackom sportu Islanda, zamolio bih te da nas uputis na plivace i klubove ne samo tamo na Islandu, vec i u Svedskoj, Norveskoj, Finskoj, Farskim ostrvima i td. sto bi nam pomoglo da malo blize upoznamo posetioce iz jugo-istocne Evrope sa plivackim  aktivnostima iz tih zemalja? Pa, predlozi nam neke.   After we reach info about your engagement in Iceland, we would like to ask you to send us to the clubs and swimmers not only there, but also in Sweden, Norway, Faeroe Island, Finland, etc, that might be touched considering my wish to present this region for the audience in the SE Europe. So, suggest us some of them.
     
Tepavcevic:  Plivanje u ovom regionu je na zavidnom stepenu organizacije i sve plivacke federacije i vecina klubova imaju web i info stranice i najbolji je direktan kontakt sa njima. Za pocetak mozete pratiti informacije o Nordijskom prvenstvu u Masters plivanju koje ce biti odrzano ovde kod nas na novom bazenu u Hafnarfjorduru prvog vikenda u Oktobru a preko web stranica naseg kluba www.sh.is ili stranici plivackog saveza Islanda www.sundsamband.is . Takodje ce biti odrzana 9. Nordijska konferencije o plivanju od 23. do 26. Oktobra, seminar trenera o elementarnim tehnikama ucenja itd. Predavaci ce da budu iz USA, nordijskih zemalja kao i sa Islanda. Vecina web stranica je i na domacem i na engleskom jeziku. Znam da je jezik uvek problem, cak i nakon 3 godine ovde moj islandski je jos uvek veoma slab. Tepavcevic:  Swimming in this region is really well organized and all swimming federations and most of the clubs has web pages and info pages so I think that the best thing is just to contact them. To start with, you can follow informations about Nordic masters championship, that is going to be held in our new pool here in Hafnarfjordur on 1st weekend in October, on our website www.sh.is or Icelandic federation's site at www.sundsamband.is. It is going to be also 9th Nordic Conference on 23rd  - 26th October, a coaching clinic about elementary teaching techniques etc. with lecturers  from USA, Nordic countries and Iceland. Most of the websites are on both native and English language because I know that language is a huge problem. Even after more than 3 years here my Icelandic is still very pore.
 
  Instead of conclusion, thanks, regards, etc... 
Hvala puno, a mi svi iz Swim Star Web Portala ocekujemo puno interesantnih novosti iz plivackog sporta iz i okoline Rejkjavika !!   Thanks a lot, and we all from the Swim Star Web Portal expect many interesting news from you and the swimming sport in and nearby Reykjavik. 
     
Tepavcevic:  Hvala i vama sto ste mi se javili i nadam se da necu biti pogresno shvacen, na kraju ovo je samo moje misljenje. Izvinjavam se ako sam malo skrenuo sa teme u nekom od pitanja ali jedna stvar je vodila ka drugoj. Plivanje je jako vazan deo u mom zivotu i volim da pricam o njemu. Veliki sportski pozdrav svim plivacima, trenerima, roditeljima i ljudima u Srbiji koje interesuje plivanje. Budite jaki i fokusirani na ciljeve kakvi god da su. Tepavcevic:  Thank you for contacting me, hope that my words won't be misinterpreted by people who may not like what I said but this is my opinion and I'm standing behind it. Also I apology for talking more on some of your questions but one thing was leading to another. Swimming is very important part of my life and I can talk a lot about it. Big sport salute to all swimmers, coaches, parents and people interested in swimming in Serbia. Stay strong and focused toward your goals whatever they are.
    

  Mladen Tepavcevic in the swimming and other actions:
At the Belgrade Trophy 2003
Ante Lambasa Memorial 2004
With his coach Nenad Milos
At the Serbian Open 2008

Want to get into touch with Mladen Tepavcevic, try via - m_tepavcevic@yahoo.com

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