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Tatyana Navka: “You are very sportive and beautiful! Thanks for your courage!”

Today, on February 5, the Olympic champion in figure skating and ambassador of the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 Tatyana Navka gave a master class at the Sports Palace ice arena in Kazan.

The event was attended by the figure skaters from the Sverdlovsk and Smolensk oblasts, Tatarstan, and Saint Petersburg, who came to Kazan for the Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games.

The Olympic champion demonstrated how to execute simple and complex skating movements correctly and helped each attendee to repeat them enhancing their technique. Although the athletes were of different ages and fitness levels, Tatyana Navka managed to find a common language with everyone and make the lesson as inspiring as possible. Everyone got many impressions and new skills – from the youngest athlete Alina from Tatarstan aged 10 to the grown-up 43-year-old figure skater Roman Zinurov from Saint Petersburg.

At the end of the master class, Tatyana Navka expresses her sincere gratitude to the athletes uttering, “I'm very impressed! You are very sportive and beautiful! Thank you for your courage. It is so delightful to see that young people are also skating, since there are not so many of them in the national figure skating today. Special Olympics 2022 is ahead. This is a momentous international competition, and it is a great joy and honor to participate in them.”

Afterward, Olga Slutsker President of Special Olympics Russia joined Tatyana Navka and the skaters to talk with the journalists.

Anna Yakovleva, a skater from Saint Petersburg: “We liked it a lot. We performed the elements that are necessary to skate to a high standard, sharpened them up together with Tatyana. Having memorized our weak sports, in the future we will try to do them right to have a much better result.” Anna and her partner Roman Zinurov are the only Russian pair of figure skaters participating in the Special Olympics movement.

“I am astonished at the athletes’ training level. Physical fitness, stamina, and gracefulness are essential in this sport. Today they skated rather professionally, doing complex elements. These guys have dreams and goals they pursue, thus supporting them is very important. Each region can join in these activities and find a way to organize sports clubs. As a Special Olympics ambassador my goal is to promote the principle that both ordinary people and people with disabilities should have equal opportunities to learn, compete, set goals and achieve them,” said Tatyana Navka. “In the near future, I’m planning to start working on developing the classes with such children in my figure skating school to help them reach the same level as our other pupils.”

“As of today, Special Olympics Russia accounts for 128 thousand athletes; throughout the year we deliver about 5 thousand events across the whole country. Join our movement! Although it is absolutely free it gives an excellent opportunity for your loved one to become a part of society, learn sports skills, and you will see which truly marvelous changes will happen to him or her!” Olga Slutsker emphasized.