Today, I’d like to tell about Olympic Champion in Artistic Gymnastics Lilia Podkopayeva who lives in Donetsk. In the history of Donetsk sport, she remains to be the last person, so far, who was able to reach the highest step of the podium.
She was born in Donetsk. Lilia was enrolled in gymnastics classes in early childhood. It’s not enough of the sheet of paper to list all the Lilia’s titles. Due to the exceptional talent and hard work Podkopayeva became the owner of 45 gold, 21 silver and 14 bronze medals in international competitions only, not including the national championships. In 1995 in Japan, she became world all-around champion; in 1996 – all-around champion of Europe, and in 1996 – Olympic all-around champion in Atlanta. It should be added, Lilia Podkopayeva was only seventeen when she held the top titles at every level of competition. As a result, she became the first Ukrainian athlete ever who won multiple medals.
Having finished her career, Podkopayeva began an active public life. She founded the International Charitable Foundation “Health of Generations” and annual sports festival “Golden Lily”. There were written a lot of books about the life and sports achievements of this fascinating woman. Various films were made about her in many countries around the world. Her admirers from around the world devote to her poems and songs. Podkopaeva’s element “vault and a double front half-out salto” hasn’t been repeated by anyone yet. Admiring her talent, skill, hard work, and charm, fans call her Lady Pod in different parts of the world.
Lilia Podkopayeva continues to take the heights even after stepping out of the sport. She is not only the Olympic champion, a great mom, but as well, she is the most famous Ukrainian woman who has publicly engaged in the problem of children adoption. When she adopted her son Vadim, adoption has tripled in Ukraine! The same year, she gave a birth to her daughter Carolina.
Podkopayeva belongs to the people whose mottos is “life is a movement”. She opens the gymnastic schools in Ukraine. Every summer she is invited to the U.S. for training American children. She is a judge of international category. But most of her strength, energy, talent, kindness of her heart and warmth, she gives the younger generation of her homeland Ukraine.
Tags: adoption Ukraine, all-around champion, all-around champion of Europe, Atlanta, Donetsk, Golden Lily, Health of Generations, International Charitable Foundation, Lady Pod, Lilia Podkopayeva, Olympic all-around champion, Olympic champion, Olympic Champion in Artistic Gymnastics, Podkopaeva’s element, vault and a double front half-out salto