C1/K1 - water slalom / whitewater downhill

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Czech Republic 🇨🇿

Martina Satková

Best results:

1st place MEJ in slalom Macedonia 2014

2nd place MSJ in slalom Australia 2014

6th place in the 2014 Deep Creek slalom adult WC

2nd place YOG Nanjing 2014

5 gold medals from the 2015 Junior WC in white water skiing

4th place MSJ in slalom Krakow 2016

1st place at the European Championships U23 in slalom C1 teams Hohenlimburg 2017

2nd place WC adult sprint Pau 2017

4 gold medals from the adult WC in whitewater skiing Switzerland 2018

5 gold medals from the EC U23 in whitewater skiing Macedonia 2018

6th place at the European Championship U23 in slalom Bratislava 2018

Where and when did you start riding?

I started paddling in the Brno section of KK Spoj Brno when I was about 8. I trained and competed there until I was 19 and now I ride for the Dukla Brandýs nad Labem section. I train, live and study in Prague.

I used to dance as a kid and I was pretty good at it. My older brother Adam once signed up for the canoeing club and with him I started spending my free time by the water. After a year of running around the river, I also got into a kayak, and that was how my paddling career began. Later, our younger sister Gabča joined us, and we thus formed the family clan of the Satk siblings. I am incredibly glad that I stuck to canoeing because it is very fulfilling for me, every day is different, new and interesting. It gives me motivation to be good, better or the best.

Why do you ride on water?

I ride on the water because it's my hobby, my joy and I just enjoy it. I've been an athlete since I was little, sometimes too hyperactive and restless. Canoeing helped me find my potential, experience adrenaline, adventure, hard work, joy and pleasure. In addition, I support my health, fitness, mental balance and well-being. It is also a school of life for me. I met hundreds of friends around the water from all over the world, with whom we have a lot in common. We all ride on the water, it's our life and we go all out.

Which is your favorite track?

My favorite places in the Czech Republic are Lipno and Špindlerův Mlýn. Natural water flows on these tracks and that is always an absolute joy for me. Abroad, I like the slalom course in Australia (probably because it's on the other side of the world and I won my first major medal here), Ivrea (the Italians have beautiful rivers and maybe even better ice cream) and one of my favorite courses is in Liptovský Mikuláš, where I attended my very first training camp in my life.

The greatest water experience?

My top sports career started in 2014, when I won silver at the MSJ and became European Junior Champion, went to the YOG in China and was part of the adult national team. Since then, I put myself 200% into paddling and canoeing has become an essential part of my life. The greatest experiences are the medals won at the world and European championships and all the training sessions, because I am always absolutely thrilled with them and leave full of impressions, joy and experiences. At the moment, the greatest sporting experience is probably the golden downhill season of 2018.

Overall, however, the biggest experience is that I started canoeing. Every concentration and every race writes a new page of my life. I'm never bored with my friends around the water, and we're actually always having fun.

But I will definitely remember when in 2008 C2 Olympian Jaroslav Volf together with Ondra Štěpánek (who is now my coach) presented me with a medal at the MČR pre-schoolers and I received a kiss, or when I received my first autograph from Štěpánka Hilgertová and when Vávra Hradilek winked at me :)

What are your plans and goals for the future?

Personally, I would like to be an inspiration to others in my life and I would definitely like to take canoeing as a sport to a much higher level. My dream is to win individual medals at the WC and ME for adults and also to get to the Olympics. These are not small goals, but I believe they are realistic.

Other hobbies and interests?

Running, swimming, cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, if the mood is right, cooking, reading and hiking.

What is the best and worst part of training?

I really like endurance training. In general, I feel that every training session is great in the end, but in the winter, when it's freezing, I sometimes struggle. I like it best when we do a lot of work, but also laugh at the same time. The most important thing is to have a good coach and a good training group. After that, everything runs fine. The best training sessions are probably when we are on a new channel and getting to know it. The absolute worst thing for me is when I train alone and I don't enjoy it. Luckily, that doesn't happen to me that often, so I actually still enjoy it.

Is it an advantage to compete in multiple disciplines?

I think it's great to compete in multiple categories and disciplines. I take a bit of experience from each category and then use it elsewhere. I have a feeling for the water from many angles and every moment spent on the water is important. I compete in two categories and in two disciplines. Switching between slalom and downhill boats is sometimes quite challenging, but I've been doing it since I was little and I'm used to it. Slalom training is probably a bit more fun. I'm always with a trainer and have a different track every day. On the downhill boat, we train mostly without a coach, and to be honest, we all probably prefer wild water. Thanks to slalom, I have good agility, stability and explosive power. I have great physical endurance from the downhill again, so I am not deterred by the length of the course or the number of races per day. The fact that I save disciplines helps me to be more flexible and sometimes I also need to rest my head from the slalom. What I like about white water skiing is that during the race I can usually show my strength and how honestly I trained. In slalom, dozens of other influencing factors such as weather, wind, track, referee, luck...

Thanks to the combination of two disciplines, I also have many friends from all over the world. It always makes me very happy when my friends from slalom come to cheer me on the downhill and vice versa,

Who influenced you the most in paddling?

In the first place is my older brother, because thanks to him I started riding on the water and I was able to get to where I am and the Brno coach "Shaman", who treated me even as a little girl with adults and because I was afraid of him to contradict, there was no time for fear and excuses, which I greatly appreciated in the future. I certainly have to mention the Australian competitor Jess Fox, who constantly shows us how much work we, her rivals, still have ahead of us, but also how useful the process we undergo is. She also alternates between two categories (K1 and C1), which motivates me to be as great as her.

Who is the best kayaker in the world and why? / Who do you like to follow on Instagram and why?

I think the best women are Australian Jess Fox and German Ricardo Funk. Both are incredibly fast and I love their energetic paddling style. In the men's category, I like our top four Czechs Vavřinec Hradilk, Jiří Prskavac, Vítek Přindiš and Ondra Tunka. It's great how incredibly pedaled they are and I love their paddling style in each and also the fact that they are great out of the water. From abroad, Mike Dawson (NZ), Peter Kauzer (SLO) and Matěj Benuš (SVK). My favorite is Matěj Benuš. I like the way he paddles, and especially the fact that he sometimes rides a downhill boat like me. He managed to win a medal in both slalom and downhill at one championship.

And about Instagram…

Again I mention Jess Fox who has fun posts. It adds everyday moments of her life from sports, school, cooking, free days, exploring, references to interesting athletes, and also her attempts at coffee art, for example. I enjoy Mike Dawson adding posts from his travels and training sessions which are quite interesting. But overall, I follow a lot of people around the water and I could write for a long time before mentioning all my favorites.