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I.Rasula
Igor Rasula
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 
Igor Rasula, Journalist

The most successful swimmer of the Swim Star 2000 swimming club, Belgrade, since 1999, also the founder and Co-editor-in-chief of this SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL, has successfully concluded the Olivet College, Michigan, USA (earning the BA degree in the Journalism and Mass Communication). This exclusive interview is dedicated to all visitors, swim friends, his former coaches, colleagues,etc., in Serbia and worldwide.. 

The Swimming Development in Serbia has a Bright Future...
D.Mihajlovic
Arranged by 
D.Mihajlovic
Executive Secretary
of the Swim Star
Web Portal 

The complete interview has been arranged via web link between Belgrade and Houston (USA) on May 21, 2008

.Nakon uspesno okoncanih studija zurnalizma na Olivet koledzu u Americi, Igor Rasula, najbolji plivac i bivsi kapiten PK Swim Star 2000, kao i jedan od njegovih osnivaca, udovoljio je molbi urednistva naseg SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL-a za kraci intervju, u kojem se na skroman nacin zahvaljuje mnogim ljudima koji su mu pomogli, ali i podstakli da i u Americi kako na studijama tako i u plivackom sportu napravi svoje izvanredno cenjene uspehe. Uz obecanje da cemo razgovore nastaviti po njegovom povratu iz Amerike, zivi kontakt ostvaren je preko Skypa na relaciji Hjuston (Texas), gde se Igor trenutno nalazi i Beograda - 19. maja 2008.god. Intervju je uradjen dvojezicno za sve posetioce. 

  Words of welcome...
Zdravo Igore, pre tvoga povratka nazad za Beograd, zelimo da ti izrazimo prvi dobrodoslicu..
 
Igor:  Hvala vam, ja zaista veoma cenim vas ljubazni poziv za 'chat' sa najpopularnijim plivackim web sajtom jugo-istocne Evrope - SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL
 
Kako se osecas u ovom trenutku, od kada si napravio jos jedan veliki licni uspeh?
 
Igor:  Osecam se fantasticno i zaista sam ponosan i zadovoljan da sam konacno diplomirao. Naravno da sam zahvalan i mnogim ljudima koji su mi pomogli. Stekao sam Diplomu novinarstva i masovnih komunikacija na jednom od najstarijih i respektabilnih visokoskolskih insitucija u drzavi Micigen i Americi - na Olivet Koledzu (osnovanom jos 1844.). Nakon 121 kredita, za samo 3 kalendarske godine uspeo sam da okoncam 4-voro godisnje studije sa srednjom ocenom u toku studija od 3.65 (na US skali 1-4). Da, slazem se da je ovo jedan veliki zivotni uspeh, ali ovo je ujedno bilo i veliko obrazovno i svako drugo iskustvo. Amerika je zemlja sa puno mogucnosti i ako se angazujes i posvetis u pravcu dostizanja ciljeva - ti ces uspeti. Upoznao sam dosta neverovatnih ljudi, stekao mnoga respektabilna prijateljstva, i jos vise, otvorio mnoga vrata, ne samo za sebe, vec i druge mlade ljude iz Srbije koji bi zeleli da studije provedu upravo u Americi.
Hi Igor, we would like to welcome you back prior to your arrival home in Belgrade...
 
Igor:  Thanks, I really appreciate your invitation to have an online chat with the most popular SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL in the South Eastern Europe.
 
How do you feel in this moment, since you've just recently made another great personal success?
 
Igor:  I feel fantastic, I'm proud and glad that I finally graduated. Of course, I'm thankful to many people that have helped me so far. I earned the Diploma of Journalism and Mass Communication at one of the oldest and most respectable school in Michigan and the USA - the Olivet College (founded in 1844). After 121 credits and only three years, I succeeded to conclude the four year Bachelors of Arts program with the career GPA (grade point average) of 3.65 (on the scale 1-4). Yes, I agree, this could be considered as a great life success, but it was also the great educational and life experience. United States is a country of opportunities and if you work really hard and devoted toward your goal you will succeed it. I've met many incredible people, earned many respectable friendships, and what's more important, opened many doors, not only for myself, but also to all other young people from Serbia who would like to find themselves in the United States....
 
  About the swim achievements in the USA...
Vise od cetiri godine u Sjedinjenim Drzavama, ukljucujuci i dve sjajne godine u plivackom sportu u Americi. Mozes li nam reci nesto o tim trenucima?
 
Igor:  Veliko iskustvo, zaista. Stigao sam u Ameriku u leto 2004 kao ucenik 4-te godine srednje skole. Imao sam srecu da dodjem 'u ruke' jednog od najvecih trenera sa kojima sam ikad radio, Dzejms Centera (profesora na Western Michigan Univerzitetu), koji je te sezone 2004-2005 okupio zaista sjajnu generaciju plivaca u Portage Northern skoli (drzava Micigen). Da pomenem neke od plivaca: Kyle Austin, Marble Barrett, Drew Greenman, John Meilinger i dr. Da budem iskren, upravo ti ljudi su me i opredelili, pored porodice Meilinger (koja je brinula o mom boravku), da nastavim svoje dalje skolovanje na nekom od fakulteta u Americi. Sa trenerom Centerom sam uspeo da prevazidjem mnoge "plivacke cake" oko dobrog starta, okreta, broja zaveslaja, disanja i td.. Ovaj muski tim uspeo je da donese mnoge rekorde skoli PNHS, a moje ime je jos uvek istaknuto na tabli rekordera na njihovom bazenu. Na prvenstvu Jugo-Zapadnog Micigena osvojio sam 4 zlata iz 4 discipline, dok je tim uzeo srebro, za samo 2 boda manje od pobednika. Na prvenstvu srednjih skola Micigena 2004. na Oaklend Univerziteru (u gradu Rochester), isplivao sam 2 svoja licna rekorda, usao dva puta u Top-10 (od preko 120 timova) i pomogao skoli da ostvari svoja najbolja dostignuca ikad. 
 
Za vreme angazmana u plivanju na fakultetu imao sam za trenera takodje velikog strucnjaka i coveka G-dina Dave Stubbs-a, koji je formirao jednu sjajnu ekipu na Olivetu. Ovaj web portal je prikazao postignute uspehe na MIAA konferenciji 2006.god (prvenstvu koje je odrzano u Jenison Aquatic Centru - u Micigenu), ali i dual-meceve tokom cele sezone. Ovo je bila prva MIAA titula jednog od 17 sportova na fakultetu, ostvarenih u poslednjih 25 godina. Dakle, bio sam izuzetno ponosan, jer sam opet isplivao svoja najbolja vremena, bio ucesnik 4 finala i oborio 3 rekorda fakulteta.
More then four years in the United States including two great years within the swimming sport there are behind you. Could you tell us few thoughts on that?
 
Igor:   Great experiences, really. I came to the USA in summer of 2004 as the K-12 student (last year of my high school education). I had luck to get under patronage of one of the greatest coaches I worked with - James Center (also professor at the Western Michigan University) who led extraordinary group of swimmers at the Portage Northern High School, Michigan in the season 2004-2005. Id like to mention few of them: Kyle Austin, Marble Barrett, Drew Greenman, John Meilinger, etc......  To be honest, those people oriented me in and out the pool, beside the Meilinger family (who looked after me and supported my staying there), to continue my higher education in the United States. With coach Center, I succeeded to implement many "swim tips" he gave me: good start, flip turns, number of pulls, breathing, etc... So, this generation brought many records to the Portage, and my name is still at the records board there. In the regional SMAC championship I won 4 first places out of 4 races but at the end we lost by only 2 points team wise. In the MHSAA Champs 2004 at the Oakland University (Michigan High School Athletic Association Championships), I set 2 personal records, entering into the Top-10 which helped the team to earn the best place ever. 
 
In my college swimming, I had another great swim coach and person Mr. Dave Stubbs. Stubbs was driving out fantastic group of swimmers at the Olivet College swim team. This Web Portal presented our successes at the MIAA Championships in 2006 (at the Jenison Aquatic Center) and throughout the whole season. That was the first title won in this respectable conference for the Olivet sport teams that had been captured in last 25-year period (of all 17 sports that are active at the faculty). So, I was really proud, because I swam out the LBTs, also came into 4 finals and set 3 school records.
 
  Messages to the swimmers in Serbia... 
Imas li neku poruku za plivace u Srbiji i sirem regionu Balkana, posebno one koje "pogledaju" na odlazak u Ameriku?
 
Igor:  Pa zaista nije nimalo lako biti izabran u tzv. univerzitetski sport na americkim fakultetima. kao i da se stekne adekvatna sportska stipendija. Preko 700 fakulteta je aktivno u muskom plivackom pogonu.  Selekcija je rigorozna i samo najbolji budu izabrani. Ali zapitajte neke od bivsih ili sadasnjih srpskih studenata - plivaca: Vasica, Stojadinovica, Cerovica, Filipovica, Sevu, Erhartica, Zgombu, Milenkovica, Goranicevu i dr., pri cemu ce vam svi reci istovetnu stvar -'ovo je bilo iskustvo za zivota'. Niko, nazalost, nije nastavio svoj angazman u plivanju nakon zavrsetka studija, prenoseci iskustva (osim Miodraga Vasica). Zamislite sta bi se desilo kada bi neko od njih bio involviran u razvoj plivackog sporta u Srbiji, cak samo za veoma mali vremenski period. To bi mogao biti osnovni korak perspektivnog razvoja, kako u domenu nacionalnog, ali isto tako i na individualnom planu.. Zamislite mogucnost da recimo Milorad Cavic dodje u Srbiju, postane vodja Plivackog saveza Srbije ili direkotor nacionalnih selekcija. Pomislite samo o iskustvima koje bi Cavic mogao da donese iz angazmana sa Majk Botomom.
Do you have any message to send swimmers in Serbia and the Balkan region who "look to the west", especially the United States?
 
Igor:  Well, it is very difficult to be selected for the intercollegiate sports at the US universities and receive the adequate scholarships. There are somewhere around 700 colleges with swimming teams total. The selection is for most of the time rigorous, and usually the best ones are admitted. You should also ask few former and active student-swimmers Vasic, Stojadinovic, Cerovic, Filipovic, Sevo, Erhartic, Zgomba, Milenkovic, Goranic and others, and all of them will say the same thing - the  experiences of a lifetime. Unfortunately, none of them continued their swimming careers after they graduated (except for Miodrag Vasic). I can even think what could have happened if just few of them were involved in the future development of the swimming sport in Serbia, even for some short period of time. That would be a fundamental step for the perspective national and individual swimming rising. Thinks about the possibility for Mike Cavic to come to Serbia, and to become a leader of Serbian National Federation or a director for national team. Just think of the experiences Cavic would bring from his own work and his Coach Mike Bottom.
 
  On the swim situation in the home land...
U redu, nego pomozi nam da se za kratko vratimo u plivanje pre nego sto si se preselio u Sjedinjene Drzave. To bi moglo da interesuje mnoge mlade talente starosti 15-16-17 godina. Sta je glavni razlog da mnogi mladi plivaci napustaju plivacki sport u Srbiji?
 
Igor:  Pre svega uslovi za svakodnevni trenazni proces i pohadjanje skole je veoma problematicno. Pogledajte samo kakva je situacija u Beogradu, glavnom gradu Srbije sa preko 2 miliona stanovnika. Umesto da on bude lider razvoja plivanja, da ima jedan ili dva bazena namenjena samo plivackom sportu, gotovo jedino PK "Partizan" moze da racuna na "kakve-takve" uslove u terminima koje deli sa PK Beograd na bazenu Tasmajdan. Ostali plivacki klubovi su u ocajnoj situaciji. Na primer, ako imate 3 razlicita kluba u hladnom 25-m bazenu sa 5 staza, to izvesno ne predstavlja okruzenje za bilo kakav buduci razvoj. Drugi klubovi u Srbiji, posebno u pokrajini Vojvodini imaju bolju situaciju i sa bazenskim prostorom, ali sa terminima za trening,
 
Drugi veliki problem moze se videti u nedostatku nacionalne plivacke strategije,  sredstava, kao i obrazovanja i iskustava rukovodstva Plivackog saveza. S druge strane, Srbija ima znatan broj dobrih plivackih trenera, skolovanih na fakultima i sa velikim plivackim iskustvom. Za moj plivacki razvoj, pomenucu sledece trenere kojima cu uvek biti zahvalan: Prof. Maja Sarac (sada trener u Sloveniji), Srdjan Filipovic (2 godine trener u Italiji i 2 godine u Portugaliji, sada trener nacionalne juniorske selekcije), Dejan Ilic (trenutno trener u PK Beogradu),  Slavko Pamucina (3 godine trener u Italiji), isto tako i Prof. Aleksandar Skanata (Srpska i ex-YU trenerska legenda).
All right, but lets go back for a while to your swimming career prior to your moving to United States. That might be interesting for all those who are now in the age of 15-16-17. What is the main reason for many young swimmers to leave this great sport in Serbia?
 
Igor: First of all, the conditions for everyday training and school are very difficult. Take a look at the situation in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia with the population of 2 million people. Instead of being the leader of the national swimming development, to have one or two pools dedicated to the swimming sport, only swimming club Partizan has to some extent good conditions at the Tasmajdan pool (which they also share it with “Belgrade” swim club). Other clubs are in terrible situation. For example, if you have 3 different teams in the cold 25m pool with 5 lanes than that is certainly not the environment for any future development. Other clubs in Serbia, especially in the Vojvodina province have better option with the pool space and the time for practice. 
 
Another big problem could be seen in the lack of the national Serbian strategy, budgets, education and experiences of the leaders of national association. On the other side, Serbia has many great swim coaches, well educated and experienced. For my swimming rise, I have to mention and always be thankful to Prof. Maja Sarac (now coach in Slovenia), Sergio Filipovic (ex-coach of Rari Nantes Ascoli, ITA and Braga SC, POR, now coach of the Serbian Youth National Team), Dejan Ilic (now coach of SC Beograd), Slavko Pamucina (now head-coach of the SC Agrigento, ITA) as well as to Prof. Aleksandar Skanata (Serbian and ex-YU coach legend). 
 
Olivet College, Michigan
Igor Rasula is sending the greetings to all friends in Serbia on the commencement day at the Cuttler sport center in Olivet (USA)
 
  On the engagement as a journalist in swimming...
Prosle godine, kao ko-urednik, napravio si spektakularni web-blog i ispratio EYOF 2007. Vise od 1,600 pisanih poruka je pristiglo u inbox naseg SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL-a. Mnogi roditelji, plivaci, treneri, bili su zahvalni za instant slike, rezultate, prezentacije sa dogadjaja iz plivackog sporta na Evropskom Olimpijskom Festivalu mladih odrzanom u Beogradu.
 
Igor:  Da, to sam ostvario sa malim timom ljudi, ali sam na tome izuzetno zahvalan G-dji Oliveri Mladenovic i Swim Star 2000 Agenciji koji su omogucili da odradim profesionalni internships, sve u domenu edukativnog programa za fakultet. Ja bih ovde zeleo da izrazim svoju zahvalnost obrazovnom bordu departmana za novinarstvo Olivet Koledza, i posebno direktorici prof. Joanne Williams. Ja se nadam da cemo ove godine biti u poziciji da formiramo jedan novi ekskluzivni web-blog namenjen predstojecem Juniorskom prvenstvu Evrope, koje se odrzava takodje u Beogradu, krajem jula 2008.god.
Last year, as editor-in-chief, you have made spectacular Web coverage of the EYOF 2007. More then 1,600 messages have been received in the inbox of the Swim Star Web Portal.... Many parents, swimmers, coaches, from the European countries were thankful for the pictures, results, presentation of the swimming at this European Youth Olympic Festival held in Belgrade.
 
Igor:  Yes, I did it with a small team of people, but I’m also thankful to Mrs. Olivera Mladenovic and the Swim Star 2000 Agency who enabled me to do the professional internships as part of my college credit. Also, I would like to express my gratitude to the Educational board of the Department of Journalism at the Olivet College, and its director Prof. Joanne Williams. I hope, this year, we should get into position to establish one exclusive web-blog dedicated to the upcoming European Junior Championships being held in Belgrade at the end of July 2008.
 
  Promises for the continuing of the touched stories...
Posto smo iskoristili Skype vezu za ovaj nas intervju, a ti si ovog trenutka u Hjustonu u Teksasu, hoces li nam obecati da cemo imati jedan zivi razgovor nakon sto stignes u Beograd (pocetkom juna), koji bi se bavio novim plivackim i dr. temama?
 
Igor:  Da, naravno... Sta vise, tehnicki tim SWIM STAR WEB PORTALa ce imati moju punu podrsku za sve naredne plivacke dogadjaje u Srbiji. Zeleo bih da napravim jednu sasvim novu modernu prezentaciju svakog srpskog kandidata za Olimpijadu u Pekingu 2008. Niko ne zna o njihovim mukama u bazenu, ne samo na 100 dana pred pocetak Olimpijade, vec i mnogo duzeg vremena kroz koje su oni prosli...
As we use Skype for this interview, and you are in this moment in Houston, Texas, would you promise us some live talk upon your landing Belgrade, covering more new swim and other themes then this moment?
 
Igor:  Yes, of course... What's more, the technical team of the SWIM STAR WEB PORTAL will have my full engagement for the upcoming swim events in Serbia. I would like to make some fresh presentation of each Serbian candidate for the Beijing 2008. Nobody knows about their struggles in the pool not only in the last 100 day prior the Olympics started, but also the time behind they went through.
 
  Instead of conclusion...
Hvala ti puno i evo, uputi nekoliko pozdrva nasim posetiocima.
 
Igor:  Pozdrav svim posetiocima najboljeg plivackog web sajta u ovom delu naseg kontinenta. Zelja mi je da vas sve, a posebo prijatelje iz Slovenije, Austrije, Italije, Hrvatske, BiH, Republike Srpske, Crne Gore, Rumunije, Bugarske, Makedonije, Grcke i td., spojim jednog dana u Beogradu na dogadjaju za plivacko pamcenje, a koji ce postati stvarnost u jednom veoma kratkom periodu. Bog vas blagoslovio.
Thanks a lot, and please send some regards to all our visitors.
 
Igor:  Greetings to all visitors of the BEST web swimming place in this part of the continent. My wish and plan to gathered all of you and especially friends from Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Croatia, BiH, Republic of Srpska, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, etc. one day in Belgrade in the event for the swimming memory, that will become reality in very short period of time. God bless you all.

  Igor Rasula in action - at his SRB and USA swimming times:
With Nicola Bolzonello (ITA) at the 
LEN Meeting  Belgrade Trophy 2003 
With Stevan Sosic - as the members of the 
SCG National Junior Team (Balkan 2004)
At the 2005 MHSAA Championships (Oakland, Michigan, USA)
At the podium of the MIAA Champs 2006 (Jenison, Michigan, USA)

Translated (ENG - SRB), arranged and designed by Branimir Avramovic, Swim Star 2000 Agency, Belgrade
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