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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Latin American dancing on… wheelchairs

25 November, 2010 - 00:00

The Wheelchair Dance Sport World Championship in Ha­nover, Germany, gathered sportsmen from all over the world. Ivan and Nadia Sivak danced in the the Duo Latin category, brilliantly outperforming 11 other pairs, and became world champions.

It is not the first victory for the two sportspersons: two years ago they won the World Cup in the Netherlands, and then went on to win the World Championship, but the latest medal is no less precious for this couple.

“Every dance is a small life story. For example, the samba is a meeting of two people, the rumba is flirtation, and the paso doble is passion,” Nadia explains. “We performed in the Duo Latin event, and, dancing five program items, we retold all those stories.”

Both Ivan and Nadia worried very much before the performance. They say that when they rolled out on the parquet, they seemed to see and hear nothing. Moreover, Ivan had forgotten to put on a little cross, his amulet, and was therefore in anguish. They were also afraid of the fierce competition, and only after the performance, when the Anthem of Ukraine was playing, did they give way to their emotions.

Ivan has been practicing wheel­chair dancing since 2006, when he learned about it through the Internet. He found the right people in Kyiv and came to see them. They helped Ivan to find both the coach, Vladyslava Kostak, who is still training the sportsman, and a female partner. “This proved to be not so easy, but it was possible. First I danced with a girl who was not wheelchair-bound (these pairs dance in the Combi event), then I met Nadia,” Ivan says.

Ivan met his future wife and partner at a camp where he worked as wheelchair driving instructor. She was his pupil. Later the girl agreed to move from Makiivka, Donetsk oblast, to the Rivne region, where Ivan lived. They have been together ever since.

They worked very hard for the championship. They trained two or three times a week under the coach’s guidance at Invasport, a Rivne-based regional center for disabled athletes, and every day at home. Specialists had made special, lighter wheelchairs for them, so as to enhance their performance. The sportspersons’ coach Vladyslava Kostak is proud of the pair and is convinced that they would achieve still more successes.

“The result of the last world championship in Belarus was our daughter Darynka, so this time we went to win a medal for her,” Nadia says with a smile.

By Tetiana ILNYTSKA, Rivne