Ankle injury does not undermine Eda's good mood and Olympic dream
Turkey are celebrating their first Olympic appearance at Earls Court and Eda feels she is very proud for what this group has accomplished. “We actually claimed our Olympic ticket by winning the European qualifying event, so quite early, and this way we definitely contributed a piece of history for team sports in Turkey. I am very proud of being here in London, and I can only say that everything looks amazing: the venue, the Olympic village, the city”. This nice feeling was not taken away by the injury she sustained on Wednesday: “Of course it makes me sad but I am still very young and if I can’t join the next matches, I have already set my primary goal which is to qualify for the next edition of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro”.
Today’s match with Korea would have been very special for Eda since Kim Yeon-Koung was standing on the other side of the net. The two have spent the last season together playing for Fenerbahce and eventually winning the CEV Volleyball Champions League this past March in Baku. “Kim is a great personality apart from being an outstanding player. I think she definitely belongs to the elitist group of the world’s finest volleyball players out there. She will spend the next couple of years with Fenerbahce as well and we all love her for her friendly demeanour. She needed just one month to get adjusted to our routine and ended up by understanding our language pretty well and she even loves Turkish food. She is my friend and also my roommate as we travel the world with our club, and I can only wish her the best of luck for this Olympic campaign, although I hope that Turkey will win this match”.
Eda was a die-hard fan of Fenerbahce well before she started playing for the so-called “yellow angels” and she explains why she is sometimes (wrongly) listed as Eda Erdem Dündar: “I got married one year ago and my husband’s family name is Erdem. He is a delivery manager for Hewlett Packard, used to play basketball at high school but luckily was never involved in my sport, so this is a good excuse to talk about something else than volleyball as we spend our time together. He still remains my first supporter” she says with a bright smile.
Volleyball is enjoying more and more popularity in Turkey and quite significantly a lady and volleyball player, Neslihan Darnel, was chosen as Turkey’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. “Neslihan is a great volleyball player, a good friend, a wonderful person and an FIVB hero as well. As we were marching in the Olympic stadium and saw her on the big screen while she was carrying the Turkish flag, I felt very emotional. This was an important acknowledgement for our sport, our team and also for all of Turkey’s women. Neslihan presented the right image of our country to the world”.