Olympic Stories: Filip Jurisic

Flip, could you share with us what initially drew you to sailing, and especially to
competing in the ILCA 7 class?
All my family is very connected to the sea. As a kid, I showed a lot of interest in boats and in the sea. As my parents brought me straight to the sailing club Mornar, there was no doubt for me. With all the big names around me, the pathway to the ILCA7 was clearly in front of me.  
What does qualifying for the Olympic Games mean to you personally and professionally?
Qualifying for the Games for me means something special. As a younger colleague of Tonci Stipanovic, it was not an easy task to beat such a great sailor. I put so much effort into it, I hardly believe I managed to achieve that. Personally, I am the proudest and happiest guy, having such a good friendship with Tonci and winning such a big and long fight. At the same time, professionally it was a great and fair teamwork through the last fourteen years that taught me a lot of important things for the rest of my life. Just an incredible experience!
How has your training regimen evolved as you've prepared for the Olympics? Are there any specific areas you've focused on more intensively?
Hm, it was a very complex and long journey. As all top teams we were focused a lot on techniques, strength and endurance. Vakaros definitely helps in some segments. During the last ten months of trials, intensity grew and it all came only to a mental game.
Sailing is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. How do you prepare mentally for major competitions like the Olympics?
Exactly, really small details make a difference. To prepare on mentally for the major competitions you need to build your confidence through the hours of training. At the same time, mental training is very, very important. Work with professionals is necessary.
-You've been involved in the class for quite some time now. How has the iLCA 7 class evolved and what do we need to expect from the Games?
ILCA 7 is just an incredible competitive class. With other older sailors from the class, we always agree that level is just growing all the time. From this summer Matt and Miki showed some incredible performances, especially during the past period, I am sure there will be surprises and the fight will be very uncertain until the end.
-Croatia has a solid background in sailing and over the years has seen many medallists passing by. How do you see the sailing situation evolving in your country?
To be honest, the situation is not the best at the moment. I hardly believe it will change soon. There is always young talents and potentials. We just miss developing systems on a higher level. Until now it was just functioning inside of a few individual teams/clubs.
-What's a message you would tell to your younger self?
Love to the sport, hard work and commitment is the key which will open you all doors!