- I got into freestyle wrestling by chance - as often happens, the coach played a big role here. When my mother and brother came to the gym for training, the trainers drew attention to me and invited me to work on my team. I agreed, and it all happened.
Yes, a good coach always sees a promising athlete.
I myself understood that wrestling is, to put it mildly, not a female sport.
But I was so interested, I was so drawn to training! In general, I never paid attention to what others said. In addition, trips, training camps, competitions and medals further strengthened the belief that this is my sport.
Being a fighter is really cool, even if you're a girl. It will not be an exaggeration if I say that I really found myself in the wrestling hall. And yes, they never joked at me at school.
- Freedom for me is an opportunity to do what I love. When I received a severe knee injury, I heard different opinions. "Lera will never be able to return to big sport," "Lera will never perform at the same level," "Lera will never be able to take a medal." But I returned to the big sport and took a medal at the Olympics in Rio.
I'm not used to listening to other people's opinions, I'm used to doing it.
Whenever there is no desire to go to training, I remember why I started all this, how much has already passed, how much work and strength invested to be in this very place at this very time. After such thoughts, the brains somehow fall into place themselves. And if they don’t get up, then I go for a run in the forest. Usually, nature and my family give me strength.
And injuries are an indispensable companion of any professional athlete.
I spoke at two Olympic Games, and this, for a minute, as many as 12 years of complete submission to the regime and purpose. When in London I was left without a pedestal, it was incredibly difficult for me. A real blow! But over time, everything passes. I survived this, “digested” and realized that even such a defeat is a useful experience, and it is useful both in sports and in life.
I think I’m forever connected with sports. And all my dreams are also about him: I would like to share my experience with novice athletes. I think it is important to be able to inspire a new generation of athletes to seek and develop their talent. The fact that in no case did not give up the struggle for a dream.
- Do what you love and don’t look back at anyone!