Young Athletes Jump at the Chance for Olympics
More than a hundred young athletes gathered in Kyiv for a trampolining championship. All aged 9 to 12 years old, they competed in individual and pair programs.
Both of the kids are trained by four-time World and European Champion Olena Movchan. At the 2008 Olympics, she missed the bronze medal by only 0.3 points. Now, as a coach, she wants to train Ukraine’s future Olympic champions.
“I performed with Yurii Nikitin through all of the Olympic games, so I know something about it and I am trying to pass on my experience to my athletes, teach them how to do some things better and maybe prepare better. Not even so much in technique, but from the psychological standpoint, how to prepare psychologically for the championships, because my trainees are still young and anxious,” Movchan said.
Judges evaluate technique, trampoline movement, and synchronicity during the championships. Time spent in the air and complexity are also taken into account. Solovey and Yelchanynov managed to complete only nine out of ten necessary elements, so they could not compete for medals.
“We were worried. It is the Ukrainian championship, how can you not worry here!” Solovey said.
The boys say that trampolining is their kind of sport and they are planning to become world champions, they will not settle with anything less.
“You gain altitude really fast, you feel the air, the feeling of flight. You feel like you are a bird,” Yelchanynov said.
“It is a rare sport for me. Karate and stuff like that. Trampolining is really rare,” Solovey said.
Trampolining can be a traumatic sport. Yelchanynov shows the scars on his arm. A few years ago he fell and shattered his arm in four places. He had to undergo three surgeries. But he never considered abandoning this sport.
“My mom and dad said that if you break anything you are leaving this sport. I said, no way! I am never ditching this sport!” Yelchanynov said.
Tomorrow the two boys will compete for medals in individual events. Later, Yelchanynov will go on an excursion through Kyiv, while Solovey will go to the seaside for some rest. Athletes also need vacations.