To Travel 3340 Kilometers For Practice

I want to introduce you one special person, Gorazd Lazorik, whose commitment to the great sport of American football and his country, is unchallengeable.

Three thousand three hundred and forty km, that’s the exact distance from London, England to Nove Zamky, Slovakia and back. Nove Zamky is where the Slovak national team of American football holds its weekend training camps.

Gorazd is a 25 years old video editor, living in London. He plays as a wide receiver for the UK’s Maidstone Pumas. When the Slovak national team “called for duty,” Gorazd’s answer was strong:

“I found out about a game in Belgium well before the idea of playing on our national team even crossed my mind. It stuck and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I decided to find a way to make it happen. I did some math, then I looked at the logistics and once I found out that it was not impossible to do, I knew there is nothing in the world that could stop me. I mean, other than my boss. Luckily, even he has been very supportive and understood quickly, how important it’s been for me.”

Flying back and forth between London and Slovakia is not just very time consuming, it can became also quite expensive and exhausting.

“I have a half-day at work on Friday and from there I always go straight to the airport and I don’t get to Kosice (the closest airport) until 8pm. After a whole weekend of hard work I go through more than 12 hours of traveling to get back to my home in England, just so I can repeat the same drill on a Friday again. Is that, what you call dedication?”

Yes, Gorazd, you defined the word pretty well. As Gorazd says, to represent his country is matter of pride and honor.

“They all thought that I am crazy, which I might be, but representing your country is a very special thing to do. I know that once I put that jersey on, I will represent also my football team from England, my family, my friends and everything I worked so hard for. Everybody has shown me a great amount of support and I would not be here without them. Players and coaches on my home team in England are very proud and hoping for their first international touchdown (so do I).“

Gorazd, just made it through the first cut, before the friendly game with Belgium. Three more national team camps and one LAST CUT is ahead of him, to make the final roster, before the IFAF European Championship Qualification game between Slovakia and Switzerland on 26th of September in Basel.

We wish him good luck and I bet after you read this, you you’ll cross your fingers for him too.

Juraj Sopkuliak
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