Yuliia Dzhima: Biathlete and... Painter
For many athletes, a hobby is an activity that gives an opportunity to have a good time, relax or just take a break from hard training and competitions. But it also happens that it is your favorite amusement that helps you start doing sports.
Looking for Talents
Future Olympic champion Yuliia Dzhima grew up in a biathlon family: her father and mother were professional athletes, so it is no surprise that the Ukrainian also became a biathlete, but... she did not come to biathlon at once, and at first did not aspire to become an athlete at all. "When I was about 5 years, parents bought me a Lego. I was very fond of making models; I even said that when I grow up, I will build houses."
Dzhima remembers that her mother was always looking for talents in her, she wanted the child to develop. "At first she took me to the dance class, but I did not stay there for long, after a few lessons the teacher said, "Your child dances like a bear, do not waste time in vain, nothing will come out." After that, I went to a music school. But I did not succeed in being a singer as well. And in general, it is difficult to sing when there is no voice or hearing. Then I tried a clay sculpture, but it did not last for a long time as well... However, my work was noticed, because, in addition to what we molded, we also painted it. That is when I was invited to art school, and I began to draw."
Dzhima has always liked to draw, and the paints on her desk were almost never closed; she even had two tables at home, one was for doing homework, the second one – for drawing. The girl took part in many exhibitions, one of which was in her school. "You come inside, and at the entrance, there was my picture and drawings in frames hung from the first to the third floors." In addition to sports medals, in her trophy case, there is also a silver medal from the Olympiad in drawing. The Ukrainian remembers that she did not find her favorite technique and style at once. "I learned to draw in watercolors, but it was "not mine". And when I tried gouache and, in particular, worked in the Petrykivka painting style, I liked it a lot. In the spring, we usually painted "pysanky", the Easter eggs - it was the most favorite thing to do." No wonder, it is the elements of Petrykivka, a traditional Ukrainian decorative painting style, the distinctive features of which are its flower patterns, later beautified her rifle butt.
From Drawing to Biathlon
It turned out that it was the favorite hobby that led Dzhima into biathlon. "Since I loved drawing, I was constantly with colors and in colors. My mom began to worry about my health, she said that I often get sick, and therefore I need to go in for sports. Back then I was about 13-14 years old. The first six months or a year I was simply "packed off" to the training. And then I got used to it, it became interesting, I found new friends." Despite the fact that Dzhima began seriously doing sports, drawing remained her favorite hobby. At home, the biathlete has many of her own paintings and folders with drawings; and once, on the occasion of apartment repair, the Ukrainian decided to repaint the white refrigerator in black color. In general, she has painted always and everywhere, deciding to even decorate her own rifle. It turned out so well and beautifully that Semerenko sisters asked Dzhima to draw something on their rifle butts as well.
Namely with the rifle butt, which Dzhima painted, Vita Semerenko spent more than one season, winning not only the World Cup awards but also the World Championships and the Olympic medals. The drawing on Vita’s rifle was done in 2010; she admitted, "It seemed to me boring, and since Yuliia gets beautiful drawings, I asked her to think of something for me. The artist gave ideas, and together we decided what should be depicted. This rifle butt is still with me, only the drawings are worn out, so I had to repaint it." With a smile on her face, Semerenko added, "I do not know if the drawings affect the result, but the fact that this rifle butt went through fire and water with me, that's for sure."
Not Enough Time
Now, sports and training take up all the basic time of the biathlete. But Dzhima admits that if there is an idea and an opportunity, she tries to implement it, although recently she gets a chance to draw extremely rare. "Unfortunately, I do not have enough time for the favorite amusement. But when there is a free minute, I will definitely dedicate it to my hobby."