”I wish to raise the Azerbaijani flag at the European Games,” Oleg Piunov says

By: Amina Nazarli

Late last year, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation launched a project named “Interview with a gymnast”. The federation has interviewed those gymnasts who will represent Azerbaijan at the upcoming European Games to be held in June this year, and learned a lot about their life, as well as how they are preparing for this great event.

As time fast approaches, the Games promise to be a sports event Azerbaijan and the world will never forget. The fact that Baku has had the honor to host the first Games is of great importance, and this means that the Azerbaijani athletes will perform with special, incomparable determination.

Among the twenty sports, including non-Olympic, gymnastic disciplines will be presented at the competitions. These are rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic and aerobic gymnastics, trampoline gymnastics, as well as women’s and men’s artistic gymnastics.

Four gymnasts will represent the country in trampoline events – following the format of the competitions, they will perform both individually and in synchronized events. Today’s guest will be one of the possible participants of the Games, Oleg Piunov, who together with Ilya Grishunin won “bronze” of the 2014 World Cup, held in Portugal.

Question: How did you turn to gymnastics? Why did you choose this sport?

Oleg: Trampoline gymnastics’ section, not far from my house was opened in 2000. Since I was a vigorous child, my parents decided to take me to the training sessions, so that I could be engaged in something. I was seven years old at the time.

Q: Have you tried other sports? Did you display talent in other disciplines?

A.: I think, yes. Since childhood, I love football and table tennis. I remember I was running to football workouts, doing trampoline gymnastics in parallel.

Q.: How do you deal with your emotions during competitions? Do you have any special tricks or techniques to help you stay in control?

A.: Yes, but this is a secret (laughing).

Q.: What is the key to success in any sport?

A.: Words as “important” and “not important” are not appropriate in professional sports. Each detail is important. You need to pay attention to everything.

Q.: How dangerous is it to be engaged in professional sports, or does it depend on the sport?

A.: Each sport is dangerous, so one must be very careful. A wrong push or landing may affect the athlete’s health.

Q.: Do you have a sport’s idol?

A.: Yes, I have. Alexander Moskalenko and Irina Karaeva [first Olympic champions in Trampoline Gymnastics].

Q.: Tell us about your plans for the near future

A.: My plans for the future are the European Games. Enhanced trainings, everything is being done for the result. I would like to get up on a pedestal, raise the flag and hear the national anthem of the country. In turn, I will do everything to reach that goal.

Q.: What do the European Games mean for you and how do you prepare for them?

A.: The European Games are always in my mind. What is more it will be held in our country.

Q.: If we move a little bit away from sport – do you have any aspirations or dreams that you want to achieve?

A.: Like any human being, I have dreams. I dream of a large, loving family. To spend every hard working evening with my wife and children in a quiet, beautiful place in a lovely house. It’s all I need for happiness.

Q.: Are you able to combine sport with normal life?

A.: Unfortunately, not always.

Q.: Tell us about your family.

A.: I love my parents madly. And I thank them for everything.

Q.: Do you have a loved one?

A.: Yes, I do.

Q.: What do your fans usually shout, and what do you want to hear from them?

A.: I would like to hear their cries of support – it’s very helpful.

Q.: What would you like to tell them?

A.: Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank them for believing in me and their support. I will try not to fail, because they worry about me.

SOURCE: Azer News