Why did you start climbing?
I started climbing at a very early age. Unlike many other athletes, I don’t have any climbers in my family and no rocks nearby. My first coach found me in the playground climbing trees, so she took me to the wall. I tried it and liked it.
How long have you been climbing?
I’ve been a climber for 10 years: 2/3 of my life. Back in childhood it was other sports – just to make sure I made the right choice. Football, swimming, martial arts… But climbing was always there. Plus, my coach, a very ambitious lady, used to come up to coaches of other sports and warned them: he’s with me. Don’t even think to make a swimmer/ footballer out of him!
Why do you climb?
I guess everyone knows that feeling: the hobby simply becomes part of you. I never ask myself why. It’s obvious, just like walking, talking or breathing. It’s my nature.
What do you like/love most about climbing?
The feeling of victory when you get to the top. And also, climbing community all around the world is very supportive. Plus, it’s a sport you can do all your life. Hardly any gymnast or figure skater goes back to the gym/ice after their professional career is over.
Your biggest climbing success?
I was very successful at an earlier age: I won international kids festivals at Arco, Imst. At the age of 13 I got badly injured when I fell off a rock in Turkey. 4 weeks in a Turkish hospital, 6 more weeks in cast afterwards. Lots of people said I might never climb again, like I’d be afraid. As soon as my rehabilitation was over, I won the nationals in Lead. So, getting back to climbing was probably my biggest success. This year my biggest success was getting into finals at Youth European Cup. I have never ended up in top 3, it doesn’t seem easy with all the competition of climbers in the countries where they’re born on the rocks. Top 3 is yet to come.
What are your climbing goals?
It’s a medal at a major international event. I have some goals in outdoor climbing, too, but so far IFSC
events are in the focus.
Your biggest dream?
Right now my biggest dream is to see my dad again. To see my best friend Igor, who is still in our native Kharkiv. To see my school and my climbing gym restored. I so much hope the war will finish soon with our victory.