Estonia's Kristin Tattar is currently the best women's disc golfer in the world. Speaking on radio show "Vikerhommik," Tattar said that disc golf has led her on a journey of self-discovery, along which she has also learned the importance of asking for help.
For the second consecutive year, Kristin Tattar was named the Disc Golf Pro Tour's best female disc golfer of the year. For the Estonian, 2023 has been described in no uncertain terms as a dream season.
"Disc golf is the sport I have put my heart and soul into for the last ten years," said Tattar.
"The joy of the game itself already gave me so much pleasure, but now I've been awarded several more world titles and won plenty of Disc Golf Pro Tour events. Then, finally winning a European Championship medal on home soil, was an amazing achievement," she said, referring to her victory at Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) earlier in the year.
Now, Tattar hopes she can be a positive role model for her daughter.
Tattar said that one of the biggest downsides of being on the road so much during the disc golf tour, is the amount of catching up she has to do, whenever she does get chance to spend time with her family. "I haven't been able to take part in many family events. The lack of time I have spent with my daughter is what makes my heart ache, but I console myself with the thought that maybe I have set a good example for her."
"It's quite a rarity that we, with a population of just over one million, are anywhere near the top of in any sport and performing well. Comparing athletes is difficult," said Tattar, commenting on the choices for Estonia's Athlete of the Year award. "I am really happy about my own good season and about all the other Estonian athletes, who have put their hearts into their work and achieved success in their fields."
Disc golf does not necessarily have to be an Olympic sport
"As a child, even through the screen, I used to feel the bittersweet pain of being an athlete, as I watched our athletes on TV," Tattar said.
"Sport is inevitably a demanding sphere to be in, but everything you get back from it is sweet. When I was younger, I also thought that being an Olympic athlete was the ultimate achievement for an athlete. Today, however, I feel that my world view is so much broader and I no longer see things from such a narrow perspective."
"I don't think disc golf necessarily has to reach the Olympics and [if it doesn't], that doesn't diminish my value as an athlete. But it would be great if it ever did," she added.
According to Tattar, disc golf has led her on a journey of self-discovery. "I've had to dig around in the inner rooms or corners of my internal world and break down some of my beliefs and fears in order for me to actually be able to put my skills to good use. It has been really difficult at times. It was very difficult for me to play in the last round of the European Championship this year, and I also had some challenges related to mental health during the World Championships. It's all part and parcel of being an athlete."
Asking for help a sign of strength
"I myself grew up in a school where asking for help was not very popular and it was sometimes seen as a sign of weakness or that there was something wrong with me if I asked for help," Tattar said.
"Particularly asking for help regarding the spiritual aspect. However, today I've come to understand that it's actually a sign of strength, that I dare to admit my weaknesses and my mistakes or errors that come up to the surface. Bringing in some help or getting another person's perspective is actually really necessary."
"Disc golf is a very accessible sport and also a really fun, simple sport," said Tattar, when asked why she thinks the sport is so popular among Estonians. "You don't need to have a lot of equipment or any basic training, anyone can go and play. For me, too, it all began one time when I went with friends to throw some discs around in the woods."
Editor: Michael Cole