Ukrainian opened a rhythmic gymnastics school in Miami and is raising a new generation of champions
Lucia Borja, a Latin American by birth, carefully polishes the Ukrainian hopak in class. Her trainer says that the 14-year-old has exactly the temperament and emotionality to fully embody the spirit of this folk dance. How the Ukrainian woman opened her gymnastics school in the USA, told the publication Voice of America.
“When you train a gymnast, you need to choose a character and a path to her. When you train 50 girls and they are all different, you have to borrow someone, someone to lean on, to whom you can just talk, ”says Irina Kobets, the owner of the rhythmic gymnastics school.
The champion of Ukraine and Europe opened a gymnastics school in Miami (Florida) in 2010, immediately after moving to the United States.
“We take all children. Not all of them will be included in the team that performs, but I believe that if children want to do professional rhythmic gymnastics, then they need to go to classes, ”says Irina.
Today, the school has more than 200 students, and almost everyone dreams of becoming champions. This year, five pupils of the school were included in the US junior team. And recently, the girls won silver medals at the Pan American Championships in Guatemala.
“This is the first time for us, it's like the European Championship,” the coach explains.
Stefania Misztal, 11-year-old US champion in her category, was born in the year the school was founded. Her mother says that while still pregnant she dreamed of giving her daughter here. And when the girl was 4 years old, she brought her to this school.
In 2023, Stephanie dreams of representing her school at the children's world championship. This level requires self-sacrifice from both children and their families.
“We have two weeks a year when we can afford to rest. When we go somewhere, we must always stretch, monitor the diet, we must fully develop a schedule, ”says the mother of the gymnast Yanina Kuptsova.
The gym for the girls is like a native home - they spend most of their lives here, like Irina's own children.
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With the coach's little daughter Kira, who is 2,5 years old, they all play together. Soon she will start training. Her 15-year-old brother Alexei also grew up in this room. Now he helps his mother in business.
“I hope that my children will follow in my footsteps, help and experience the same emotions as I do,” suggests Irina.
She is convinced that thanks to their fighting spirit and hard work, her students will achieve success not only in sports, but in life in general.
“Sports character is tempered by trials, sports difficulties, and hard work. I always teach children: do not be afraid of difficulties, they must go forward and never give up, ”sums up the Ukrainian woman.
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