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Triathlon racer Alberto Casillas Garcia was born in Spain, but he wants to become Lithuanian and represent our country in the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. Last week we had a wonderful chance to meet him and to hear his exciting story. Alberto not only shared his memories but also told us his future plans, which we are now sharing with you. Enjoy!
This time I came here mainly for the Lithuanian triathlon championship in Panevėžys. But I also wanted to come here to finally visit your office and meet the Baltic Tours team.
The race for me was good, and my colleague Tautvydas Kopūstas did well. But later, there was a problem. We were disqualified because of one missing lap. From my point of view: it might be that we missed that one lap in biking or running, but it wasn’t on purpose because we were following the instructions of referees and numbers from the blackboard. So, at this point, I really don’t know if I missed the lap or not; it’s impossible to double-check it right now. But I’m not angry, and I’m not blaming anyone; it’s just a misunderstanding. But, of course, it’s a pity to be disqualified.
No, I have visited Kaunas, Klaipėda, Palanga, Nida, Šiauliai, Pakruojis, and other cities. Everything started when I met a Lithuanian girl while being on Erasmus in the Czech Republic. Since then, we have been a couple for 5 years, but we are not together anymore. Although, she was that person who brought me to Lithuania. I started spending more and more time here, and later I got in touch with the Lithuanian triathlon federation.
Definitely Vilnius because of its punk lifestyle. The lively city center and historic old town are just marvelous. I like that there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and streets are full of active and happy people. This is a really modern city that cannot be related to any other city in Europe. The only problem for me is the time between November and April because it’s soooo cold! (Laughing)
I really liked the Lithuanian seaside, especially Nida. Also, I have been visiting Dubingiai; I was impressed by its beautiful hills and lakes.
I have tried cepelinai, bulviniai blynai, kibinai, and many more. I like Lithuanian food, but you don’t have such a big variety of dishes as we have in Spain. But all in all, everyone should come to Vilnius for a few days and try your national food. It’s great!
We can eat everything. But of course, as healthy as possible. We are trying to avoid fast and precooked food like in McDonald’s.
Every day. Week after week. We have a schedule for every day, and we do different trainings of swimming, running, and biking daily.
Sometimes I go out to eat pizza, but I can’t go out for a party. It would be too difficult to wake up the next morning and recover, to be energetic or active. People think it’s tough to live a life like that, not going out, living healthy, etc., but it’s not hard when you do what you like. I’m lucky that I have good genetics, a supporting family, and everything else that helps to reach my goal – to compete, travel, and just be happy. It is a privilege.
My family always had an active lifestyle, and my father knew some people from the local triathlon team. So he brought me and my sister there just to try, and we really enjoyed it.
I had another option – to join the swimming team, but as an 11-year-old kid, I didn’t want to spend 2 hours in a swimming pool every day. Triathlon was a totally different thing, one day swimming, the other day running than biking – it was more like a game for me.
Right now I have to work hard and show my best results. I have to compete in many races around the world and be at least in the top 70. What else, I need to be not only fit and prepared physically but also to be smart and to have good technique.
Also, with the help of the Olympic committee, I’m working on getting Lithuanian citizenship. Moreover, step by step, I’m learning the Lithuanian language, but it’s not easy. More or less, I can understand what people are saying; I can read a little bit, but it’s too soon to create sentences by myself (laughing).
I respect those people who have a strong patriotic mind; unfortunately, I don’t have one as a Spanish citizen. I have been living in a lot of different places, not only in Spain but in other countries as well. Here, in Lithuania, I feel that I have strong support.
For example, last year I was participating in the Baltic championship, and I won first place. That time the President of the Federation cried. And that was an amazing feeling because no one in Spain has ever felt like this because of me. And that made me feel like I really belong here. I wasn’t born here, but I have a strong connection with this country. I have a lot of friends here; I have a good relationship with the Federation, and I feel like I am a part of the Lithuanian family. I feel proud of having a chance to represent this amazing country. People are joking that after I become Lithuanian my name will be Albertas Kasijauskas (Alberto Casillas) (laughing).
I’m traveling a lot because of competitions in different locations. It might sound funny, but even in my leisure time, I like running, swimming, and riding a bike, but totally easy, just for my own pleasure. Also, like every normal person, I like to go home and just relax, spend some time with my family and friends.
Australia and New Zealand. They have a lovely culture, people are really open-minded and friendly there. I was impressed by the landscape and cities like Sydney, which is on a whole other level. That is definitely the most exclusive place that I have ever visited.
Also, I liked Kazakhstan; maybe it’s not the most beautiful country, but it’s totally different from what I have seen elsewhere. Everything in Kazakhstan is diverse.
The Federation doesn’t have a lot of money, and they can’t sponsor all of my trips, so to have a relationship with Baltic Tours is an amazing opportunity for me. What is more, other companies can give me equipment and other materialistic stuff, but that’s it. With Baltic Tours, I have a different connection because I feel your interest and support in an emotional way. And I am proud to wear not only the Lithuanian flag but also your company’s name too.
We are happy to be a part of Alberto‘s journey to success. We wish him all the best in his sports career and in Tokyo too!