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Our final story on ISFGirlPower series takes us to Ukraine, where 18-year-old Oksana Bazeiluk started her athletic career twelve years ago. Since then, she has been constantly practicing karate. Her parents were surprised about her choice of hobby, but in vain did they try to distract Oksana with such alternatives as drawing, dancing, swimming. At the end of the day only karate gave her full freedom and satisfaction after training.
She says that karate gave her a way to release a lot of energy,
“I was a very active in my childhood. Sometimes my parents did not know what to do with this energy. I tried to dance, to draw and so on... but it wasn’t mine. Also my mom wanted me to become a swimmer, I felt that it was not mine. My parents also supported me because they wanted (and still want) me to do what I want to do.”
Choosing a career of an athlete for Oksana did not come as an easy decision, and her key to success lies in mental strength,
“Sometimes I started to feel that I couldn't anymore. I felt like nobody believed in me. I wanted to live normal life. To have parties, to spend a lot of time with my friends and family, or to be at home. But something did not stop me and does not stop until now. But the most difficult challenge in my life is to overcome myself and my thoughts. “
She believes that in sport struggle paves the way for a long-awaited success,
“Unfortunately, not all workouts go well. Sometimes it depends on your mood. If the tasks are interesting, then I am ready to continue to train. But there are days when you are completely tired, and train with all your strength, after this kind of training you want to take a shower and sleep sweetly. In sports there are only two ways. Either you are lazy but dream a lot, or you work and win. I belong to the second type of people. To work hard for my dream. Why is nothing stopping me? Because I like the feeling when you are standing on a pedestal, and your team proudly applaudes .. You feel this happiness and pleasure. You do not feel that you are tired or you do not have enough power for this. Because you did it. At that moment you understand that you want to feel it every time, therefore you continue to work even harder.”
For her sport and life are the two things that naturally come together, “I think when you are doing sports you feel alive. You realize that you can do something that others can’t. It is a good chance for challenge yourself. Sport it is not only about exercising and challenges. It is also about friends. About how you spend your free time. How you live your life.”
Two successful Ukrainian athletes in karate have had an impact on Oksana’s way as an athlete.
Anita Seregina won her first medal on European Championships when I was 13. From that time I wanted to be at least a member of national team. She gave me this energy. When I was losing, I remembered all her interviews in which she told about her life. I am happy that I had a chance to have a lot of sparring sessions with Anita.
Also, Olga Kharlan. She is a fencer. She is an Olympic Champion. I have not met her in real life, but her interviews and her lifestyle are amazing. She has a lot of energy, always in a good mood. She is real fighter. She doesn't fight just with her hands. She fights with her heart and mind.”
Oksana talked about her ISF experience as she won Silver at ISF Combat Games in Budapest last year,
“It was a very cool experience for me, because the atmosphere and competition were on the top level. I met a lot of new friends from different countries and spent a lot of time with my teammates and coaches. Also I won 2nd place (female 16-17 -59kg) and fought with girls from the USA, China, Brazil, and Hungry. My best memory from ISF is when we had a closing ceremony, and we could see all countries, their representatives, traditions, food and so on. I met a lot of good people there and now we continue to communicate.”
When addressing other young women like herself, she encourages them to set the goals and go for them,
“If a person wholeheartedly strives for a goal, he will surely achieve it, even if at first glance it seems impossible, and others do not believe in his success.” Her motto is, “If there was no tomorrow, how hard would you play today?”
And yes, Oksana herself dreams big and sets big goals.
“I want my country and my parents to be proud of me. I want to represent my country at the World and European Championships.”
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