admin May 20, 2015

Question: How did you turn to gymnastics? Why did you choose this sport?

Answer: I was in kindergarten when gymnastics coaches came and distributed invitations. My parents then to take me to the gym and everything changed from that point on. But it was my choice really. The first day we were jumping on a trampoline, hanging on the bars – I really enjoyed it.

Q.: Have you tried other sports? Did you display talent in other disciplines?

A: I had a dream about trying my hand out trampoline gymnastics or diving.

Q.: How do you deal with your emotions during competitions? Do you have any special tricks or techniques to help you stay in control?

A: There are no secrets, I just try to calm down. I try not to think about the spectators and fans in the stands. I see only the apparatus. At least my coach always taught me to do it this way.

Q.: What is the key to success in any sport?

A: Never give up. Even if there is failure or a fall, the main thing is never giving up.

Q.: How dangerous is it to be engaged in professional sports, or does it depend on the sport?

A: Sure, it depends on the sport. This kind of sport, in my opinion, is dangerous, as we fall down of the apparatus. Of course, we are trained to fall correctly to avoid injury.

Q.: Do you have a sport’s idol?

A: In artistic gymnastics my idol was Svetlana Khorkina, but now I can mention Aliya Mustafina, Simone Biles and Larisa Iordache.

Q.: Tell us about your plans for the near future

A: This week we will compete in the World Challenge Cup to be held in Portugal. And of course the European Games are ahead. The plan is to perform with dignity and not let anyone down.

Q.: What do the European Games mean for you and how do you prepare for them?

A: I cannot even describe what they actually mean to me. The thought of them gives me the chills. The World Championships was the biggest sporting event for me; there were such emotions, so many people. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time, there was some panic. I don’t know what it will be like at the European Games, even more so since they are being held in Azerbaijan … But I think it will be easier because there will be strong support.

Q.: If we move a little bit away from sport – do you have any aspirations or dreams that you want to achieve?

A: Not yet. Actually, I wanted to go to medical school, but first I have to finish my sport profession, and then we will see what happen – maybe I will change my mind (laughing).

Q.: Are you able to combine sport with normal life?

A: It is possible when there is no competitions, but during events, I get tired, watch movies and do nothing else.

Q.: Tell us about your family.

A: My family is not athletic, but my little brother is engaged in gymnastics. My parents are always very supportive. My mother is always worried about me. My dad too, although he does not show it. They always cheer me. I was never forced to do anything I didn’t feel like doing.

It is impossible to reach any result forcing oneself. Maybe because of that I’ve been in the sport for such a long time.

Q.: Do you have a loved one?

A: Maybe there are some ‘variants’ (laughing), but as long as I am in the big sports, I will not be able to build a serious relationship. Of course, I would like him to be an athlete, an unusual person.

Q.: What do your fans usually shout, and what do you want to hear from them?

A: At the last championships [Open Azerbaijan’s Championship] everyone was shouting “Yuliya, come on!” Especially before the floor exercises, which is performed to folks music.

Q.: What would you like to tell them?

A: Many thanks for their support and I hope that during the Games they will support me as well. We will try hard!