Why did you start climbing?
Climbing is interesting and exciting. Before that, I swam for a few years, but it didn’t appeal to me. My mum insisted on a new passion because she thinks physical activity is important. Rock climbing, as opposed to climbing in a gym, is a challenge for me.
How long have you been climbing?
I’ve been climbing for six years. For the first year I only trained at weekends. After my first coach left, I acted on my own and started going to competitions. At first I didn’t know much about my new coach, but over time he became a friend to me as well.
Why do you climb?
I used to climb for fun, it gave me pleasure. Two years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. I spent four days in the intensive care unit and had to learn to live again over time. Insulin, diets, sugar spikes and doctors who didn’t want to take responsibility and didn’t agree with professional training. I remember all my club mates visiting me in hospital to support me. My mum then asked just one question – do I want to continue training and I said ‘I do’. She went with me to training, monitored my sugar levels and looked for the right doctor. At times I lost hope, I didn’t want to climb or live, but my mum and my coach literally cheered me on to keep fighting.
What do you love about climbing?
For me, climbing is first and foremost a challenge because of my diabetes. Every victory (even if I don’t make it to the final) is a victory over myself, over the disease and another argument for the doctors.
What is your biggest climbing success?
I don’t have many significant victories to my credit, basically all in Ukraine. Last year – 1st place in the Ukrainian bouldering championships, 2nd place on difficulty and 1st place in the multi-pitch.
What are your climbing goals?
What I want to achieve in climbing is, of course, results in major championships, but that requires work, which I try to do. and for that you have to work, and I am working.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is for my dad to come home (he’s in the army). I’d like to finish school and still have a pizza with friends in Kharkov one day.