Social Media Handle: @swimsiberia
When did you first start swimming?
I started swimming at 4 years old, and was invited to join the swim team at the age of 6 in snowy Siberian city of Novosibirsk. Loved it since day 1!How do you like living in LA and how is it different from the other places you've lived?
Los Angeles is an interesting city. It feels like so many important events happen here, I also really love the diversity. I had a feeling this is where I needed to be. The city can either make you or break you, but as long as you are working hard, keep your short-term and long-term goals well-planned things will work out.What is your favorite stroke?
Although I used to be an IM-er for majority of my career, my favorite stroke at the moment is Freestyle.
Do you have a pre-race routine? What gets you pumped up?
My pre-race routine is slightly complicated. I like to put on my headphones and stretch with a very catchy song on repeat. Once I feel warm and ready, I rest my feet up the wall, close my eyes, and visualize the race. I dedicate about 10 minutes to myself, and then I am good to go! Smile, greet my competitors, and get excited to race!What was the inspiration behind your signature collection?
My collection represents Tokyo Summer 2020 Olympic Spirit. The Olympic Games is an international event where thousands of athletes from all over the world gather to compete. This historic event unites countries and people, is a symbol for peace, and strengthens the bond between nations. As a citizen of two countries, it is very important to me that they are at peace and that there is an organic relationship between the people.
My college friend moved from Siberia to Moscow to work at the Basketball Academy with young athletes and he once told me: “When moving to a new city, count 3 years. Your first year you need to work your hardest, may that be 3 jobs or more, volunteer, and communicate with people. Your second year you can slow down a bit and start selecting your support system and tightening your friendship circle. It is in your third year where you will start seeing results, content, and happiness”.
What do you do for fun in your free time, and do you have any other hobbies besides swimming?
I really enjoy spending time with my friends and my recently-reunited family. We participate in all kinds of activities, but it changes day-to-day. One day it might be a quiet social time, another - it’s a road trip around Southern California, or maybe it is learning a new skill! I am an only child, so recharging my batteries on my own, is a must. I enjoy reading Psychology books while having Big Bang Theory playing in the background and playing mobile video games in my free time.What does your average day look like?
I was working three jobs last spring and I was so busy! I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and finish work at 7:30 p.m. Right now, however, I am focusing on training and swimming projects and cannot be any happier! I swim at 7:45am and I am coached by Dave at the USC Trojan Elites. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I lift. Tuesdays, I work out with pro boxing coach who is teaching me how to box and condition on land. Wednesdays, are for yoga. In between all that though, I try to squeeze in some recovery. Since I’ve started training after a 6-year break, I recover using ice baths, hot tubs, saunas, compression wear, K-tape, muscle rubs, ice-packs and sleep- these are all of the tools necessary in order to get to my peak as soon as possible. Bedtime is no later than 10p.m.
What does your future look like- what goals do you have (short or long-term) and how do you plan to achieve them?
My dream has always been to go to the Olympics. Over the years I feel as if I let a lot of things get in the way of my happiness and my dreams, however, I am now determined to turn things around. My goal is to compete in the Olympic Trials, and make the team. I love representing my hometown in Siberia and I always actively try to build bridges between these nations and promote Olympic movement. I am currently training with a group of incredibly talented and successful swimmers from all over the world at the Trojan Elite Club, and I believe in the magic of Coach Dave and his amazing staff.
In the future, I plan to work with teens. I am interested in creating programs for young athletes that educate and assist them and their families with athletic scholarships and provide mental health services and counseling. In addition, I would like to develop anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs. These programs I plan to start were not available to me when I was a teen and I would find myself trapped in situations without any help, guidance, or resources.
It wasn’t until I was coaching that I learned that this sort of information is now provided. It is more available for coaches, but athletes themselves still do not have the resources at hand to overcome difficult life hurdles. I would love to change that.