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I always wanted to take part in European Championships but I never thought I would go in such circumstances. ()

IFA European Armwrestling Championship - Rumia, Poland 2022
28 — 29.05.2022.

Seniors category, left arm – bronze; right arm – silver. Meet this wonderful Ukrainian athlete.

PeSzy: How did you stumble upon armwrestling and what were your beginnings in the sport like?

BOHDANA: I first tried armwrestling at university in 2014. I won a competition and I fell in love with the sport. Ever since then I’ve been slowly training armwrestling. In 2015 I met my future husband at a competition and we started training together. In 2016 during Ukrainian Junior Armwrestling Championships I won gold with my left arm and silver with my right. In 2017 I was third with my right arm in seniors. Between 2018 and 2020 I didn’t train at all, then I tried to get back in shape gradually. I trained  irregularly, my progress was minimal. It was thanks to Olena Kuzmych and the Kyiv Open Cup organized by her that I was able to start in a competition, in my hometown – we couldn’t travel then [due to Covid]. I started training for the European Championships in February 2022.

Before that, I missed two more years of training because of my pregnancy and the following motherhood. I’ve only been training regularly again since February 2022.

PeSzy: What do you think of your performance in Rumia?

Bogdana: I always wanted to take part in European Championships but I never thought I would go in such circumstances. The silver and bronze are currently my most precious achievements. I’m a little annoyed that I lost the fight with my left arm so quickly, without putting up a fight. But I managed to get myself together with my right arm, I fought with all I had, I won in the finals but lost the super-final. I really liked my opponents – strong and beautiful. I don’t know if you could see that but after the second final I accidentally punched the referee in the nose while trying to hug my rival, and I was so emotional after the fight that I didn’t even apologize. Then, after I left, I found their facebook and apologized.

I really liked how other teams supported one another, cheered, gave advice – I felt that our team is not enough. My mom and daughter also supported me from the stands. And, of course, I really cared about competitors from other countries. While living in Poland, I’ve met some phenomenal sportspeople and that’s why I was happy for them and their achievements, and our Ukrainian medals too. You know, recently I’ve been feeling like the border between Poland and Ukraine doesn’t exist anymore, like we’re actually one country. We’re really touched by your support and help.

PeSzy: Where do you live and train now?

Bogdana: I live in Cracow with my mother and daughter now. I work and study in a post-graduate school, in IKiFP PAN. My superiors and colleagues are also great people and I’m really thankful to God for giving me a chance to meet people like them. I train in ENERGYM with coach Dariusz Groch. But Serhiy Gonenko writes my training program.
It seems like everythig is fine... But it’s not! War. It’s hard to say anything. We all suffer and we all fight. I have many friends and relatives in Ukraine, there’s always someone to worry about. I’m awaiting Ukraine’s victory and I wish to see our full team at the upcoming World Championships.

PeSzy: Thanks for the interview. I hope we can meet in France at the World Championships.

Bogdana: Of course! I’ve already started training. Thank you for the warm conversation.

Elena Kuzmych:

Bohdana is one of the strongest and titled armwrestlers in Ukraine! She’s a great example of a true Ukrainian. I’m really proud of her beauty, intelligence and strength!

Dariusz Groch:

I’ve known Bohdana since the beginning of this year. I had the pleasure to wrestle with her, too. She’s very strong and kind. I’m sure she hoped for gold because she did great during sparings in Orawa or at competitions in Cracow. The European Championships verified her current shape and now we know that we still have things to work on.

All the best!

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