Translation provided by Daniela Kapser.
As the synchronized swimming competition gets underway in Baku for the 2015 European Games, thoughts are with the three Austrian athletes who were injured when struck by a bus on June 11th. Vanessa Sahinovic, Luna Pajer and Verena Breit, swimmers on the Austrian synchronized team, all suffered injuries as a result of the accident, with Sahinovic , as of publication, still stable in a medically induced coma.
The video gives a sense of the somber veil that is currently over the discipline’s competition, as athletes take to the pool keeping the athletes’ well-being in mind. Speaking in German, Christoph Sieber, Mission Chief for the Austrian team in Baku says, “I think everyone understands that the girls are performing today. They are doing this for Vanessa and for themselves to distract from the highly dramatic pictures they have in mind.”
Dr. Karl Stross, President of the Austrian Olympic Committee echoed this statement, expressing within the video, “This is an incredible performance in consideration of what happened yesterday and with the enormous psychological pressure on the whole team. The girls showed a great athletic performance and also a tremendous mental achievement.” Secretary General of the Austrian Olympic Committee, Dr. Peter Mennel, recognizes the tremendous mental fortitude of the competing athletes, saying, “I am very impressed by the girls how they cope with the situation but of course we notice that they are very affected.”