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Slovenia's Golob Balances Medical Studies, Gymnastics
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For Slovenian Olympian Saša Golob, success in gymnastics is literally academic. The 23-year-old Golob, who placed 18th on floor exercise at the European Games in Baku in June, is entering her sixth year of medical studies.

Although Golob spends less time in the gym because of her study schedule, she has become more efficient and fulfilled following her Olympic Games debut at the 2012 Games in London.

"I said I'd be done with gymnastics after the Olympics, and that was my first year of medical school," Golob said. "But then I just couldn't quit gymnastics."

Golob, who studied 11 hours a day for a neurology exam while preparing for a competition in Portugal prior to Baku, said her academic obligations do not interfere with her gymnastics pursuits.

"I'm not under pressure to achieve my goal because I achieved it already," Golob said. "Whatever comes now, I enjoy it and that's it. I didn't enjoy gymnastics before as much as I enjoy it now. I enjoy every practice and competition. I love being on the floor."

Golob's studies require her to be more organized and flexible than earlier in her career. She recently bought a motorized scooter, which makes commuting from lectures to training easier.

When she sees a break between lectures and study time, she sends an SMS message to her coach, Lyudmila Korolenko, who meets her at their Ljubljana gymnastics club a few minutes later.

"I really appreciate Saša's discipline and hard work style," said Korolenko, a Ukrainian native who coached Ukrainian Olympic all-around finalists Lyubov Sheremeta and Galina Tyryk. "She understands what she has to do. She shows that you can be at a high level in gymnastics and studies."

Golob, who spent July volunteering at hospitals in England, said gymnastics may remain on her professional agenda even after she retires from competition.

"I'd be really happy if I could find a match between sport and medicine," Golob said. "I've been doing gymnastics for 17 years, and 85 per cent of my personality is as a gymnast. So when I'm done with gymnastics, what am I going to do? I'll figure it out."

IG’s John Crumlish was a Games News Service reporter at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Read on-scene coverage of the Games in the July/August 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

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