Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Albina Aliyeva: Uncrushable Dreams

Albina Aliyeva has been training numerous weeks for the Ukrainian Cheerleading Championship when the basketball came, crushing her pinky. As it turned out, her muscles were torn, but she did not let it affect her goal; she continued practicing. However, the worse was still ahead. One day before the national competition, Albina broke her finger again while practicing for the tournament. "My mom was really upset about my finger and my coach told me that I can stay home, but then I realized how hard I tried and I decided to go," she recalled. Her finger was crushed more than once in a period of only two weeks, but her dream remained solid.

Although Albina might seem like a regular sophomore at KIS, her choices prove the opposite. She is a person who sets concrete goals and achieves them no matter what challanges come in the way. Her effort rewarded with prestigous awards sets a great example for people in need of inspiration. Some of her awards include:

  • 1st place at the European Cheer Union European Championship 2010 in Paris for Team Jazz, Albina being the captain
  • 3rd place at the International Cheer Union (ICU) World Championship 2010 in Orlando, Florida for Team Jazz
  • 5th place at the ICU World Championship 2010 in Orlando, Florida for Freestyle
  • 1st place at the Fourth World Dance Olympiad 2012 in Moscow for Individual Dance

To add to her list of victories, Albina traveled all night by train, ignoring the need for sleep and the pain of her finger, to participate in the Ukrainian Cheerleading Championship in Kharkiv the next morning. There, she met her old friends from the other teams, including the National Team of Ukraine. Although the girls were well prepared and expected to win, Albina did not allow that to distrupt her attitude. "My dad came to the championship and he told me that he is very proud of me... My parents believed in me and my friends texted me which made me feel much better and more confident," she said.

The announcement of the results began with the 3rd place leading up to the 1st place winner. "When I didn't hear myself for the 3rd or 2nd place, I became very upset because I understood that there was a small chance of me getting the 1st place," she explained, "but then it turned out that I got the 1st place! I looked at my dad and he was jumping! It was a very happy moment and it made me cry."

In order to achieve such results, Albina has been training from her early childhood. For ten years, starting at the age of only three, she practiced gymnastics. When she was twelve years old, she also began doing cheerleading, which quickly became her main specialization. At first, she was a part of the Junior Team in Lugansk, her town in Ukraine. As previously mentioned, Albina was the team captain. Later, the Ukrainian National Team in Kyiv invited her to join them, so she moved to the capital. Almost every single day Albina practices for three hours in a row.

Her schedule is very intense, especially with the loads of school work assigned everyday. It might seem like it's impossible to balance out training, school, and social life, but she manages. "I have been training my whole life so I am probably just used to this rhythm. Sometimes I feel sorry that I can't go out with my friends as often as I would like to, but training and school are more important."

Next year, Albina is planning to move to a boarding school in the USA. When making a request, she specifically asked for a school with a cheerleading team, so she would be able to continue her training. Although she does not have any career plans tied with cheerleading, she is thinking about practicing in university and even just for her own good.

"Sport makes your personality stronger and teaches you to never give up," Albina sums up. Follow this link to view her winning performance at the Ukrainian Cheerleading Championship - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IavNuuzxYE

By Olexandra Rovinska