BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia is known for its team sports, and girls are encouraged to play basketball and handball in the summer and ice hockey in winter. But lacking the height and physical prowess, Metka Lobnik chose judo as her sport and it changed her life.
"I was just nine or maybe 10 at the time, but I wasn't very confident in myself," said the Slovenian girl, who won a bronze medal in the women's 78kg category at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
"I was chubby and I wasn't good at any of the sports the other girls played because I was short and I had little legs, so I couldn't run as fast as them. Because of that I wasn't very sociable, and it didn't feel good."
Then one day Lobnik heard about a talk in school, promoting judo classes at a local club. She decided to join, mainly in the hope that it would help her make new friends.
"I was hoping it would allow me to do some sport, to improve my physical condition and also to try and socialize more. There were many reasons why I started, but I quickly fell in love with it, and judo changed everything for me. Not just my weight, but how I saw myself."
She is convinced that the sport not only changed the way she perceived herself, but how others saw her. "It gives you respect," she said. "Because judo is not just a sport, it teaches you about many things. What you do in judo, you should do in life. You should fight, respect, work, and you should meet your limits and push to go over them," she added.