Read interview with the Ukrainian canoeist Pavlo Altukhov!
Titles, achievements in sports
- 4 times European Junior Champion
- U23 European champion
- Multiple winner of the World and European Championships in all age categories
- 4th place at the Olympic Games in Rio
How old did you start? Why choose a canoe?
I started canoe at the age of 11, probably there was no other choice in my life since my mom was a coach and she put me in a boat and trained till 15 . Then handed over to grandpa.
As a child I was a fan of mountain bike, but mom said no, I didn’t sweat so much and tried canoeing. And in parallel, I still painted and went to art school, but when it started to stop me from going to workouts every day, I quit. I was more fun of sports, and I think creativity always lives in me in different forms of its manifestation.
What is the most memorable race for you, can you tell about it?
The race that I remember is not the Olympian race and not even the world championship, it is an instructive race. Even as a child I went to the semifinal 500 meters race at the Ukrainian Championship. As a child I was weak and I could only dream about big final, so the goal was the second final. Up to half the distance I went last, and then start to the finish with all my might. Seeing that I mixed up with the crowd and calmly go through to the final B. I gave up rowing. Then, after race of my mother, hearing that if I had not quit, I would have been in the big final. Then I realized that you should always fight to the last.
Where are you now? From what date is training camps, where will be next and in what time frame. Are you train with a group? Do you have a friendly team?
Now I am at home, and from the 5th I am going to Kherson (Ukraine) where I will spend about a month. I will work with my training partner Oleksandr Sivkov, and my coach Zhiliaiev Sergey. We have been working in this tandem for several years now and we are satisfied with everything, between us there is a very good energy, Sasha has already become like our family with a coach. In October, I was in the sanatorium where I did light workouts and plus there was a number of health procedures, I liked it.
Do you need motivation to love canoe and want to train further? Are you tired of canoe? What do you like most about our sport?
I believe that motivation lives inside me. I think that in life, in sports and etc, nothing from outside can motivate. Since the work is long and difficult and not the fact that there will be a result. So you like it, you wanna it, or no.
I like the lifestyle in sports, I have the opportunity to explore the world, learn new activities, interesting people, have time for my own development, while still doing my favorite job. Athlete status is cool, you need to appreciate it. Of course, this is not easy, but success is not easy.
What is your favorite workout? If training on the water, then what kind of task do you like the most? (for example, minute after minute, with brake, etc.)
My favorite training is when a short but intense, but this rarely happens. I work a lot =)
Tell me you are worried before the start? How do you fight with anxiety?
Before the start, I always worry, always in different ways, but in appearance I am always calm. I have no recipe how not to worry unfortunately. There is only a work on himself, perhaps working with a psychologist. False fear, if you imagine that this is your last race and tomorrow you die, then anyone will answer that there is nothing to fear. So in the race, if you are not afraid to lose, then you are not afraid to race.
At one time you performed very successfully on the world area, but then something happened and you disappeared for a while. What happened?
My loss from the world top is connected with injury, at the beginning of 2017 started problems with my shoulder, in the summer I couldn’t continue to paddle and train, but at the same time I won the U23 Europe and take a part at the world championship. Then I put off the paddle, it was a difficult and hard point in career and in life. In the autumn I started again, but everything was already very hard and when the races came the losses started which are very unusual for me. And the 2018 season was the most unsuccessful in my professional career, 15th place in the world championship. The benefit is bronze on U23 world. I hope that everything will get better and it is a matter of time, I am ready to work!
Do you have a hobby? In your free time at the training camp, what are you doing? When you come home, what are you doing?
I am a multi-faceted person and I like to discover something new for myself. But if we talk about hobbies, surfing, when I'm at home it’s SAP surfing, in my city I develop SUP, I am the creator of the school in this direction and we are working hard to attract people to this. I love a skateboard, travel and shoot a video. Always in search of yourself. I watch a lot, read, teach, interest.
What are your goals? What are your future plans? Can you tell what distance you will be racing this year, C1, C2?
Of the plans for the season is a license for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The fact that I am going to race alone is not even discussed, maybe I will try myself in C2.
The goal is a medal at the Olympics.
What do you think is your most important achievement in life today?
I consider my main achievement to be part of the Rio Olympics. This is something that will be remembered forever.
Wish something to young athletes. And to everyone you want to say hello and wishes!
I want to wish young people not to turn away from their goals, not to bathe in losses. After all, it is important whether you are better than yesterday’s, this is an indicator of development, and not better than somebody.
And I want to say thank you for the interview!
Pavlo Altukhov for CanoeSport.