“My childhood was far from the nicest ones. There was a time when I had nothing to eat and did not know what will happen in an hour,” said Eglė Balčiūnaitė, a Lithuanian track and field athlete.
The runner’s story has attracted the attention of the television giants and they sent their creative team to Šiauliai from as far as Argentine. The aim of the project “ESPN Woman” is to demonstrate to the girls of the whole world that sports may be a way to a better life.
“I received an email from the Project Manager of the “ESPN Woman” and I thought that I do have an interesting and inspiring story to share with other young women of the world. I am not aware if she had known something more about me, but nevertheless she was surprised to hear my story,” Eglė Balčiūnaitė said.
The video recording of two parts about the Lithuanian participant of the Beijing and Rio de Janeiro Olympics should reach and audience of millions worldwide.
“My story starts with my childhood when I got “hooked” on sports, and with the difficulties I encountered. The creative team was especially interested in how it all started, they wanted to learn about the recollections that come back to my mind when returning to certain places. I spent lots of time in the street, where I could forget the happenings at home. I needed adrenaline, I wanted to use up my energy, therefore I liked fighting with the boys. My story is about a girl from the Southern district who has reached the Olympic Stadium,” Eglė Balčiūnaitė smiled.
Sports became the key to success for the Lithuanian woman, it has helped her grow into a mature personality. Through sharing her experience, Eglė Balčiūnaitė hopes to become an example for the young women experiencing an identical situation to hers.
“It doesn’t matter where you live, which part of the world you come from, and no matter if you are an Olympic or world champion – every sportswoman has her unique story and knows what opportunities sports has given her. Hunger, fear, violence, uncertainty had almost become an integral part of my life, but I always knew what I wanted to achieve,” Eglė Balčiūnaitė said. “No one saw my tears, they only saw me smile, radiate positivity and laugh. However, in order to create a better life, one can’t forget the human touch. I was always surrounded by people who inspired and supported me, and I hope that I can now do the same and help others.”
Eglė Balčiūnaitė is a multiple Lithuanian champion of 800 meter running events who competed in the semi-finals of all major championships: the Beijing Olympics (22nd place), the 2017 World Championship in London (15th place) and the 2018 European Championship in Berlin (15th place).