BOOK & TOUR

Alberto Casillas Garcia is happy to represent Lithuania

Posted by Karolina Tuminauskaitė  |  July 24, 2017

Triathlon racer ALBERTO CASILLAS GARCIA is born is Spain, but he wants to become Lithuanian and represent our country in Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. Last week BALTIC TOURS had a wonderful chance to meet him and to hear his exciting story. Alberto not only shared his memories but told his future plans too. He shared all of this with us, now we want to share it with YOU.
Enjoy!

What brought you to Lithuania?

This time I came here mainly for Lithuanian triathlon championship, in Panevėžys. But I also wanted to come here to finally visit your office and meet Baltic Tours team.

How did you succeed in the championship?

The race for me was good, also 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.

Alberto-next-to-his-bike

Is it your first time in our country?

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 Czech Republic. Since than 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 Lithuanian triathlon federation.

Which city in Lithuania do you like the most and why?

Definitely Vilnius, because of its punk lifestyle. Lively city center and historic old town is 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 really modern city that cannot be related to any other city in Europe. The only problem for me is time between November and April, because it’s soooo cold! (Laughing)

I really liked Lithuanian seaside, especially Nida. Also I have been visiting Dubingiai, I was impressed by its beautiful hills and lakes.

You know Lithuania pretty well, what about Lithuanian food, have you tried our traditional dishes?

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 than 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!

As a sportsman, can you eat everything?

We can eat everything. But of course as healthy as possible. We are trying to avoid fast and precooked food like in McDonalds.

Alberto-close-up

How long and how often do you have to train to keep in a good shape?

Everyday. Week after week. We have a schedule for every day and we do different trainings of swimming, running and biking daily.

What about cheat days?

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, supporting family and everything else that helps to reach my goal – to compete, travel and just be happy. It is a privilege.

Why did you choose triathlon and not other sport?

My family always had an active lifestyle and my father knew some people from triathlon local team. So he brought me and my sister there just to try and we really enjoyed it.

I had other option – to join 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 totally different thing, one day swimming, other day running than biking – it was more like a game for me.

Alberto-from-back

One of your biggest dreams is to represent Lithuania in Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. In what position you are right now? What kind of steps do you need to take to make this possible?

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 top 70. What else, I need to be not only fit and prepared physically, but also to be smart and to have a good technique.

Also, with the help of Olympic committee I’m working on getting Lithuanian citizenship. Moreover, step by step, I’m learning 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).

If you get an opportunity to become a real Lithuanian, what it means to you as a person?

I respect those people who have a strong patriotic mind, unfortunately I don’t have one as 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 a strong support.

For example, last year I was participating in Baltic championship and I won first place. That time President of the Federation cried. And that was an amazing feeling, because no one in Spain have never 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 good relationship with Federation and I feel like I am a part of 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).

Alberto-giving-interview

What about your leisure time? What you like to do when you are not training?

I’m travelling 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.

As you travel a lot, which country is your favorite and why?

Australia and New Zealand. They have lovely culture, people are really open minded and friendly there. I was impressed by the landscape and cities like Sydney, which is the whole other level. That is definitely the most exclusive places 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.

How do you feel about your cooperation with Baltic Tours?

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 different connection, because I feel your interest and support in an emotional way. And I am proud to wear not only Lithuanian flag, but your company’s name too.

Alberto-with-Baltic-Tours

We are happy to be a part of Alberto‘s journey to success. We wish him all the best in his sport career and in Tokyo too!