Tatyana stopped walking at the age of eleven. In the summer of 2010, her back suddenly hurt, and within a few days she developed weakness in her legs, which turned into paralysis. Tatyana was hospitalized, she spent two weeks in intensive care and more than two months in the neurosurgical department of the hospital. Doctors could not make an accurate diagnosis. It was only possible to identify changes in the thoracic spine, which led to an acute violation of spinal circulation and, as a result, paralysis and disability.
- In 2012, I lived in Omsk, studied at home and attended hippotherapy (a rehabilitation method based on horseback riding. - Note.Ed. ). At one of the classes, I was advised to start swimming and was given the contact of a coach.
In the pool, my eyes lit up.
I kept well on the water, the coach liked my determination. I began to often go to classes, I wanted to swim to the result. My first official start was the championship and the championship of the Omsk region. The coach held my hand before the start, I was terribly worried.
But despite this, she won first place, improving her result by 20 seconds. It was an incredible feeling: I was proud of myself and was completely happy. I started a serious sports career.
I swim without legs, using only the strength of my hands and body. There are no special tricks.
Water gives freedom of movement, so I swim in all styles: crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, on the back.
My coach and I often came to Moscow to compete. I really liked the city, so I decided to go to a Moscow university. The summer of 2016 became very stressful for me: I spoke at the Russian Championship, prepared for exams and passed the exam, flew to apply to Moscow.
I entered the RANEPA, the faculty of psychology, moved to the capital and soon entered the Moscow swimming team.
Now I live alone in the hostel of the Academy, it is very well adapted for people with disabilities. Just a day before departure for study, I got a car license. My stepfather helped me move to Moscow, here we bought a hand-operated car together. I consider myself a brave person, therefore I am always ready for changes and challenges that make me better. Difficulties only temper me.
Without a car, I’m nowhere: the metro is not suitable for wheelchair access, ground transportation and streets too. I can walk along the street only with friends, they help me overcome borders and other obstacles. Although now I see that work is underway to create a more comfortable environment for people with disabilities.
At the competitions in France in 2014 during the international reclassification, I was replaced by a sports class from fourth to fifth. The trainer believes that this was unfair due to doping problems with Russia.
Due to the change in class, I could not take part in international starts. I was very upset, but decided not to give up and focus on Russian competitions. In 2015, she became the champion of Russia, won gold in four distances.
I believe that any action is better than inaction.
Movement is really life.
While you lie and relax, give yourself a treat, your opponent works. He is getting stronger, and you are getting weaker. But when you pull yourself together, cope with laziness and go to training, you are proud of yourself, because you are moving forward.
Now I am preparing for the championship and the championship of Moscow. Every day I go to the pool for evening workouts, do one and a half hours, swim 2,500 meters.
Sometimes morning workouts are added when there is time. In addition to working in water, we perform stretching and general physical training in the gym to strengthen muscles.
My dream is to become an Olympic champion. I want the Russian flag to be hoisted at the Olympics and I stood on the podium under the anthem of my country. For this I train.
I would really like to take part in the Tokyo Olympics next year. I believe that everything is possible if you work hard. I do not give up and will try to get to the games. In total, we have been allocated about 30 places for Paralympic swimmers, I will be able to fight for being one of them if I manage to restore my sports class. After graduation, I want to continue swimming and someday try my hand at politics, like Valuev or Rodnina.
I defended the rights of Russian paratlets after our removal from international competitions in 2014, spoke at the youth forum in the State Duma and was not afraid to express my position and ask questions.
Each athlete lives in a world of strict discipline, a strict schedule of training and competition. Therefore, for us, as for all people, it is important sometimes to relax and switch. Two years ago, I discovered wakeboarding. For people who don’t go, they came up with a separate discipline: adaptive wakeboarding.
A small chair is attached to the board, the athlete performs tricks while sitting. This is an amazing sport. When the winch spins me on the board on the water, I make turns - and I feel free. Wakeboarding is not like any other sport. Skating takes place in the fresh air, under the sun; all you need is a pond and a winch.
I am sure that adaptive wakeboarding has great potential for helping people with disabilities - thanks to this sport you can find friends, escape from problems and enjoy the feeling of flying.
Sport is my life, I cannot imagine myself without daily training. After all, difficulties are only the conditions that life sets for us. If desired, you can adapt to them. I do what I love, every day I get a little better.
I’m sure that if you believe in yourself, everything is possible.