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"There will be strong support at the European Games", Yuliya Inshina

22 May 2015

Women's Artistic Gymnastics, an Olympic sport - one of the gymnastics disciplines to be represented at the European Games in Baku this summer. The three gymnasts, who will compete for six sets of medals - in the team competition, individual all-around and individual finals in the exercises on the balance beam, uneven bars, floor and vault, will represent Azerbaijan at this competition.  

By tradition, we have talked to the Azerbaijani gymnast Yuliya Inshina, one of the possible participants of the Games, and learned about how she came to the sport and how she is preparing for the most serious competition in her life.

Tell us how you got involved in gymnastics. Why did you choose this sport?
I went to the nursery when young coaches came and distributed invitations. The parents decided to take me to the gym and it all started. However, it was my choice. The first day we were jumping on a trampoline, hanging on the bars - I really enjoyed it.

How do you think, could you perform in any other sport?
I had a dream to go to a section of trampoline gymnastics or diving.

How do you deal with your emotions on the day of competition? Have you any special secrets of self-control?
There are no secrets, I just trying 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.

What do you think is the most important aspect in any sport?
Never give up. Even if there is any failure, fall - the main thing is not to give up.

How dangerous is to be engaged in professional sports, or does it depend on the sport?
Sure, it depends on sport. Our sport, in my opinion, is dangerous every day, as we fall down of the apparatus. Of course, we are trained to fall correctly to avoid injury.

Do you have an idol in the sport?
If we talk about artistic gymnastics - before it was Svetlana Khorkina, and now I can mention Aliya Mustafina, Simone Biles and Larisa Iordache.

Tell us about your sports plans for the near future.
This week we go to the World Challenge Cup to be held in Portugal. Moreover, there will be the European Games. The plans are to perform with dignity and not to let down anyone.

What do the European Games mean for you and how do you prepare for them?
I cannot even describe what they do mean for me, the thought of them gives me the creeps. 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 they are being held in Azerbaijan ... But I think it will be easier because there will be strong support.

If we move a little bit away from sport - do you have any aspirations or dreams that you want to achieve?
Not yet. Actually, I wanted to go to medical school, but first I have to finish a sports profession, and then we will see what happen – maybe I will change my mind (laughing).

Are you able to combine sport with normal life?
It is possible when there is no competitions, but during the events, I get tired, watch movies and do nothing else.

Tell us about your family.
My family is not athletic, but my little brother is engaged in gymnastics. Parents are supportive of me, my mother is worried about me, and my dad, though he does not show it, but always cheers. I was not forced at all and if I do not want to do anything, nobody was against it. It is impossible to reach any result forcing oneself. Maybe because of that I've been in the sport for so long time.

Do you have a loved one?
Maybe there are some ‘variants’ (laughing), but as long as I am in the big sports, I will not able to build a serious relationship. Of course, I would like it to be an athlete, an unusual person.

What do your fans usually shout, and want do you want to hear from them?
At the last championships [Open Azerbaijan’s Championship] everyone was shouting "Yuliya, come on!" Especially before the floor exercises, which is performed to the folk music.

What would you like to tell them?
Many thanks for their support and I hope that during the Games their support will be the same. We will try hard!