Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Little Ukrainian...


(Flanked by beam royalty)

I haven't heard a great deal about the little Ukrainian, Yana Demyanchuk, who whisked the European beam title out from under the Romanians noses a couple of months ago.  So i thought I'd go a'hunting.  Of course there has been a fair bit of notice in the Ukrainian press on their new worlds hope.  
The speedy little beam worker told a Ukrainian newspaper that she could not believe she won the gold medal.  In fact, her coaches had simplified her routine a little to ensure a steady performance.  This is surprising, considering it was already quite a complex routine.  I wonder what the full beam set might have looked like!  These alterations worked out for the best, though.  
According to fifteen-year-old Yana, there had been no real discussion of her taking a medal at the championships- hence her disbelief and her confusion (noted by the reporters) in dealing with the press.

(On floor in qualifications)

When asked if she was looking toward the World Championships, she told the reporters, "This is undoubtedly the highest level.  There will be American women.  There will be Chinese women.  But I do not fear.  I now believe in myself."
Yana was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, but has been at the training school in Kiev since she was eleven.  She trains six hours a day. In her spare time she likes to draw and listen to music.  

On their return to the Kiev training center from Milan, the other girls had made posters to display and verses to sing to the returning Ukrainian team.  Yana's mother apparently cried with happiness when she won her gold medal.  "This success, probably nobody expected," Yana said.

(On a complete aside, one of my favorite things about having to run so many articles through babelfish (in fact the only thing- those translations are still so hard to read) is working out the name for the apparatus.  The translation of the floor in Romanian is sometimes "soil" and beam is "barna" or something.  But the Ukrainian for beam is "log" !!!!!)


  1. Waheyyyy that last picture is mine! In fact I cropped myself out of it to put it on wikipedia, haha! Yana is adorable, I loved her and the other 2 Ukrainians who came to the WOGA Classic and Nadia Comaneci invitational - Nataliya Kononenko and Yevheniya Cherniy, they are both wonderful!

  2. Oh Amy, sorry I used yr pic! You know when you get something from image search, and you don't look where? I thought it was from the Ukes site. I can take it down if you like. But yeah, Yana is such a cutie!

  3. I love that you used to be in the pic though! That's hilarious!