[ Q ] How did you become an IFBB Pro Figure competitor?
A: I won my pro card last August at the
2005 Team Universe by winning my class, class C. I have already done 2 pro shows, the
Arnold and the
San Francisco Pro, where I placed in the top five, getting 4th place.
[ Q ] Where are you originally from and how many years have you trained?
A: I was born in the Ukraine and moved to the United States eleven years ago. I have trained since I was 3 years old. First I was involved in
gymnastics, and then in
ballroom dancing competitively for 8 years. I also ran
track in my Junior and High
schools. When I was 17 years old, I fell in love with weights, and kept that loving relationship ever since.
[ Q ] What is your goal when you leave the competition stage once and for all?
A: I would like to become a business owner in the fitness industry and keep promoting healthy lifestyle to people all over the world.
[ Q ] What do you think would be the best way to promote Pro Figure to ensure more prize money for the ladies?
A: I think that it is extremely important for the
sport of figure to keep that clean, wholesome image and for the
ladies to keep projecting themselves as the hard working and determined athletes that we are. To get respect and admiration from the general public and mainstream
media, we have to give that respect to ourselves first.
We have to steer clear from being viewed as sex objects. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being sexy and having a nice body and being admired for all the hard work we do, but there is a thin line between that and reducing ourselves to just sex objects.
Figure is a beautiful sport and has a lot of untapped potential; we just have to make sure that we streamline all of that potential into the right direction.
Women around the world find figure to be very attractive, so we have to make an effort to act as ambassadors of our sport by promoting the healthy and fit lifestyle, and that can only be done by keeping our image clean and respectful as one of a hard working and beautiful athlete.
Once we achieve more respect and admiration from the general public, more people are going to come see us compete, more tickets are gong to be sold, and then the promoters will be able to increase the prize money because we will make more money for them.
Also, figure girls should try to raise awareness about the sport by organizing all sorts of wellness seminars, and trying to get more mainstream attention - for example, trying to get on a National talk show, etc.
[ Q ] Who out of all the women physiques that have ever graced an IFBB stage would you like to model yourself after as a competitor - past or present?
A: There are a lot of amazing physiques in Pro Figure right now, but I would have to go with the classic
Monica Brant. It does not get any better than that. She is everything I ever wanted to be in all respects. She is sweet and nice, yet firm, she is beautiful and has an amazing physique, yet she is a very smart business woman.
She is the reason why I started competing in the first place. When I was 17 years old, I saw her picture in one of the magazines, and decided that I wanted to look just like her. I was amazed by her hard yet feminine lines, and by her body's overall completeness.
Later I got to know her as a fan, and now as a fellow competitor. Monica is a beautiful woman inside and out, and she is definitely my role model!