Yulia Stupak (Belorukova) is not just one of the world’s top skiers – unlike quite a few (many, alas), a 26 year old Russian is actively and consciously trying to expand the appeal of cross country skiing beyond the tight circle of hard-core fans.
Be it through her marquee dancing on podiums or talking openly about childbearing & rearing for active international athlete.
This is Part 1 of our recent conversation with Ms.Stupak:
“..I’ve achieved quite a bit, won several important medals at a young age. After that I felt it’s time to start a family. My husband is 8 years older than me, he probably felt it even stronger. He told me: ” You are very talented and you are only at the beginning of your sporting career. You should come back to the trails , I will take care of practical aspects of life”. And he does. We are not just a couple – we are a team.
After pregnancy and giving birth you don’t recognize your own body that served you so well thus far – suddenly it’s like “Why am I such a softy, when can’t I do anything? Why can’t I even keep pace with skiers who had a problem holding behind me just a year ago?! ” The comeback is not all that immediate either – when you can’t do weighted dips with, say 15kg, while you used to do with over 40gh – that’s when you start doubting yourself. And then, quite suddenly, it all comes back. But it’s not your old body you get back – it’s a new one, better fit, more happy one, somehow.
The childbirth gave me extra psychological stability and confidence as well. Yes, it includes photos in bikini on my Instagram. Of course, you get a dose of hate mail along the lines of “you’ve got no breasts, you’ve got no butt…” but I really don’t care in the slightest. I know how much work, how much effort took to shape that body . Some will like it , other won’t – but I am happy with it, live in harmony with it – and don’t mind demonstrating it once in a while!
Social networks affect different people differently. Me? It’s a form of relaxation for me, helps to unwind at the end of a long training day. I don’t employ professional SMMs – nobody can write for me better than myself. No other person can feel my energy, my emotions to relay them…”
PART 2 TO FOLLOW
- Federico Pellegrino: Why I Chose To Train With Russians
- Ustiugov Tells His Fans He’s Got Severe Case Of Coronavirus, Faces Slow Recovery
- Five Skiers Born In XXI Century Who Kicked Some Ass In First Races Of Season
- Yulia Stupak: There are girls on World Cup circuit who always hit you poles, always aggressive
- Olli Ohtonen, Iivo Niskanen’s Coach, On Modern Training Methods Of Top Athletes