Nastassia Hamor has a quiet confidence about her. She is a third year student at California State University in Psychology. One of her dreams is to become a sports pyschologist to help athletes maximize their performances. She has also been keeping a journal of her experiences of this trip to the World Championships. She is one of those bedrock teammates.
BL: What were your expectations when you got to ODN?
N: I don't go into races with super high expectations. But, I did train this year a lot harder than last year so I felt strong and hopeful.
BL: Tell me about your family.
N: I am an only child and I live with my mom. It was my dad that made me skate as a kid. I didn't even like it at first. I guess I have him to thank for my skating success.
BL: What are your impressions of Korea?
N: It's my first time here. Yeosu seems comprised of a lot of neighborhoods. I am really surprised by the green mountains and trees everywhere. Other worlds I have been to, the track/road have been in more central city environments. This is really beautiful. One can really see a mix of cultures between the older (traditional) and the younger (westernized) people.
BL: How have you felt about the racing at Worlds?
N: I was kind of nervous coming to worlds because I had only placed fourth in two of the long races at ODN. I wasn't banking on getting any races. But, I got to skate in the 10k points elimination and ended up 24th out of 31 skaters. I felt strong the whole race. There was a lot of fighting in the first 10 laps. Then, I found Annette and we were able to skate together for about 5 laps. I felt really comfortable and confident in that race. It was way better the second time here. When I was here the first time in 2009 I felt like I was thrown in to sink or swim. I guess that's the only way to learn how to do it at this level.
BL: What word of advice would you offer other World Team hopefuls?
N: Work hard; know that when you're not training, someone else is! Always work harder than you think you should.
BL: What is your philosophy of training?
N: Have a positive attitude. Focus on your strengths.
[Subsequent to this interview, Nas also skated the Sr. Ladies 20k Elimination on the road.]