66 | Tokio » Tokyo SPORT / SPORT ularly achieved success in Japan, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t also now,” says the Setter of our volleyball national team at the start of her interview for Elevate, adding that the connection between herself, volleyball and Japan is strong and, we would say, fruitful. “I’ve stated numerous times that I’m privileged to have had so many opportunities to visit Japan. Our team is one of the few that has spent time in this wonderful country practically every year. We were regular guests from 2006 to 2018, and the Japanese have always received us as they would their own. As for Japan as a country, as a culture, I really have no words. I personally love this country very much and when I’m in Japan I feel like I’m in another world, in another dimension.” Athletes are fated to regularly, from day to day, change hotels, cities, countries and even continents. “I love to travel, to get acquainted with new places, people, to discover something new. That’s a beautiful experience. However, it can also happen that we sometimes only see airports, sports halls and hotel rooms. We struggle with time zones and jet lag, and all of that has an impact on our bodies. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s harder, but travel always has its positive sides. If that weren’t the case, I’d never have been able to visit all the places I’ve seen. I’m happy about that.” For those of us who view sport from the outside, it is fascinating how much passion and desire there is to compete in major competitions. “It is difficult for me to explain with words howwe athletes feel. We’re all impatient at the beginning of our careers, “hungry” for trophies. We want to achieve everything immediately, to skip the development steps and reach the top. That often isn’t possible. The years pass, and the hunger remains. New generations are coming, volleyball is changing and then you seek a motive to continue fighting.” The process of natural selection in sport is for older players to give way to younger ones. Maja, who will celebrate her 37th birthday on 6th August, is not considering concluding her career.The 2024Olympics will be in Paris... “Why not? Paris is a nice place to conclude a career!” U Japanu se osećam kao da sam u nekom drugom svetu, u nekoj drugoj dimenziji When I’m in Japan I feel like I’m in another world, in another dimension FOTO: MARKOMETLAŠ Er Srbija jemoja kuća Maja Ognjenović je i redovan gost u avionima Er Srbije, a letela je, kaže, gotovo svim kompanijama na svetu. – Kada mogu da biram, uvek se odlučim za Er Srbiju. Volim što je zadržala stari duh i osećam se kao što sam se osećala kao dete kada sam putovala avionima Jata. Volim da mi je prijatno kada letim i zato se redovno vraćam našoj avio-kompaniji. Nigde ne može da ti bude lepše nego kod kuće. AIR SERBIA ISMY HOUSE Maja Ognjenović is also a regular guest on the planes of Air Serbia, and she says that she’s also flown with almost all of the world’s airlines. “When I’m able to choose, I always opt for Air Serbia. I love that it has preserved that old spirit and I feel like I felt as a child, when I travelled on JAT planes. I like to be comfortable when flying and that’s why I regularly return to our airline. Nowhere can be more beautiful for you than being at home.”