World Games took place in Taiwan, Kaosiung. I remember the heat, enervating, and the food was very often fried. We can adapt when travel:different countries, different customs. I remember a lot of people work for this event, happy to know us, to look us, to take pictures with us. They gave me so much warm like no foreign public had done before.

I remember that I did not feel anything for the race: It didn’t seem I was there to compete for World games. I felt empty, without goals. And the coach saw it, so much so that the day before he said:
“I don’t see the eye of the tiger.”
I was sorry because I have trained so much time, riding out any obstacles of the university, apprenticeship in the hospital, family problems. But it was not enough to encourage me to change my mind.
But luckly there are rivals.. One of them could wake me up from my bad state of mind with a few words.
He said: “there will be many athletes to swim under 3 minutes in the 400 this year” …
This simple idea broke in me in a very strong reaction, but made me answer calmly “we will see” ..
Actually inside me the blood was boiling only thinking about someone could steal my record of my favorite race. The Race day did not look anyone in pre-start, no greetings to anyone, I felt a lot of anger, which usually tend to control. When I felt that at 300mt was the first, I didn’t feel better, I wanted overdo it, I wanted to go over…
I felt that my legs were burning and didn’t push anymore, but I still swam. When I touched the plate


and saw 2,58,64 was sudden emotion, surprise, satisfaction and joy.
Immense joy to have found myself, to having exceeded again.

That day was not over yet because another surprise waited for me. Unforgettable and unique.
The organization took me to a place, a square crowded with people. I didn’t know how many they were, seemed to be 10 thousand, were all there for a concert. They took me backstage and told me that I would have gone on the stage for an awards ceremony.
“In front of all those people?” ..
They also told me “countdown, countdown ..!!”… I did not understand why I should do this and especially when countdown. I went up on stage and after the awards they began to count, they gave me the microphone and I continued with many emotions.. 4…3 … 2 … As soon as I said “one” in the sky of Kaohsiung exploded one thousand fireworks.
They were for me.
Nothing could be more thrilling surprise, I was open-mouthed staring at them, stunned and surprised.
And secretly thanked my rival to have encouraged me and let me live this unique moment.