But, historical past was made in Tokyo on Sunday.
The 53 individuals within the girls’s 10m air pistol had been oblivious to the truth that the 8 was fired by a shooter who was current when the occasion was launched on the 1988 Olympics. She had received a silver at Seoul.
With that shot on the Tokyo Video games on Sunday, Georgia’s Nino turned the one lady athlete to compete at her ninth Olympics. For a 52-year-old, it’s greater than half her life. She surpassed Canada’s Lesley Thompson-Willie and Sweden’s Kerstin Palm, who’ve each participated in eight Olympics every.
Nino made her Olympics debut within the Seoul Video games as a 19-year-old and has received a gold, a silver and a bronze, thus far.
However greater than her medals, Nino’s Olympic voyage is the winner.
“I really feel it’s a proof of the onerous work and wrestle that I’ve been doing for nearly all my life,” Nino advised TOI in an unique interview after her match.
Whereas Nino has lived a considerable a part of her life making ready for the Video games, the remainder of it has been spent on crossing extra critical hurdles.
“Being born in Georgia, I’ve seen wars after wars. It hasn’t been simple to dwell in a rustic all the time troubled by wars. I really feel the Olympics have given me the energy to face the challenges. After every participation, I’ve emerged a wiser individual,” she mentioned.
Nino began collaborating in worldwide tournaments when she was 15. Within the early Nineteen Eighties Georgia wasn’t doing properly economically. Like a lot of pals, she had the choice to maneuver in a foreign country and settle in any developed European nation. She selected in any other case.
“My father advised me that his coronary heart and soul belongs to Georgia and he could be completely satisfied if I stayed right here,” mentioned Nino, who’s coached by her father Vakhtang.
Issues didn’t enhance again house, they worsened. “The Soviet Union collapsed and Georgia went right into a monetary disaster. The nation suffered additional due to back-to-back wars. I don’t perceive why wars occur, even within the twenty first century. In wars, no one wins,” mentioned Nino, who works as vice-president on the Georgian Olympic Affiliation.
The monetary disaster made Nino take into consideration her future however she bought immense assist from her pals from different international locations. “Many pals from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria all the time assist me prepare of their nation, take part in varied tournaments internationally,” she recalled.
Even then, she by no means needed to go away her nation. “I had teaching presents from varied international locations, together with India. However what is going to occur to the youngsters I’m educating in Georgia? I prepare them, take part with them and educate them issues. If I go away, they are going to be shattered,” Nino, who participated on the Rio Video games together with her pistol shooter son Tsotne Machavariani, mentioned.
Wars have upset her however she just isn’t bitter. On the Beijing Video games, when Georgia was engaged in a conflict with Russia, Nino received bronze, whereas the silver went to Russia’s Natalia Paderina. On the podium, Nino hugged the Russian and confirmed the world that sports activities is the most important leveller.
“There isn’t any place of politics in sports activities. Sports activities teaches us to like, to not hate,” she mentioned.