8th Children of Asia International Sports Games Directorate; Office 17, 38 Kalandarishvili St., Yakutsk, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russian Federation, 677008

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Lilia Akhaimova: about the union, victories, and belief in oneself

Lilia Akhaimova: about the union, victories, and belief in oneself

The Children of Asia Games Alumni Union, established in 2023, is now headed by the Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics, Ms. Lilia Akhaimova. The Children of Asia International Committee held the first meeting of the Union in an online format. The meeting was attended by the President of the Children of Asia International Committee, Mr. Vladimir Maksimov; Vice-Presidents of the Committee, Mr. Azat Muradov and Mr. Rodion Plitukhin; Director General of the Committee, Mr. Gavril Tsypandin; and Head of International Relations Department of the Committee Ms. Sardaana Zhendrinskaya, as well as graduates of the Children of Asia Games of different years.

After the election, we talked with Ms. Lilia Akhaimova about participation in the Children of Asia Games, the Council's short-term work plans, and how future champions can and should be supported on the journey to their dreams.


In 2008, I participated in the Children of Asia Games and became a champion. The memories are still very vivid, although 16 years have passed. What I remember most of all, of course, was the scale of the competition and the inner feeling of one big international sports family. Later, I experienced such sensations only at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It was at the Children of Asia Games that I started dreaming of attending the Olympics. And I have overwhelming memories of Yakutia itself! I saw “Midnight Sun” for the first time – it was incredible. An excursion to the Mammoth Museum became genuinely memorable for a lifetime.


The idea of uniting alumni of the Children of Asia Games has excellent prospects, and it is a great honor for me to lead such a large alumni union as a chair. I hope and believe that we can promote a healthy lifestyle and support children's sports through joint efforts. In addition, it is crucial that the Children of Asia International Sports Games are not only a colorful celebration of sports but also a big step in establishing international cooperation. I am still learning and immersing myself in the work of the Union. I communicate a lot and learn from people who have already traveled some career paths and worked in the sports development domain after completing their sports career. I am ready to strive for concrete results using my experience and new knowledge.

We are currently working on the Future Champion project, which is aimed at the psychological and behavioral education of young athletes who have started to compete internationally. There is a shared understanding that little time is devoted to such topics as psychology and the education of a young athlete. Coaching work is challenging - a coach is responsible for a lot, and often, it is physically impossible for a coach to pay attention to everything. Therefore, our educational projects aim to help athletes, while still in their teens, to clearly understand that they will encounter various situations in their careers and how to behave in those cases. Young champions must be prepared for different scenarios in competitions and everyday life. They must have a clear understanding of how to act to ensure success! We launched the project with an event in Yakutsk in February at the Muus Ustar Youth Festival. Next, we will have an event in Bangkok in March, and we plan another one in the summer at the Children of Asia Games.


All members of the Union are athletes - active or retired. They have come a long way in sports and have vast experience. Each has a great story and a vision of working with young athletes. We summarize this practical experience, advice, and opinions to develop our projects, which will provide support and opportunity for the younger generation to achieve maximum results in sports and life in the future. I am happy that all members of the Union are active; some even already have their own strategy and vision of how to act. We really appreciate people like this who care about sports!        


MOVIE. I like watching films about sports; they are very motivating. Some of my favorites: “Going Vertical”, “The Champions”.

ICONS. As a child, I looked up to Svetlana Khorkina and Alexei Nemov. Their stories are extraordinary! I don't have any idols now, but I want to be an example for the younger generation.

MUSIC. It is always according to my mood, but most often, it is something calm and pleasant to listen to. Lately, I've started listening to music that was popular when my parents were young. The old songs are somehow soulful and never get boring.

BOOK. There is one book that I read during a difficult period for me in sports. There were injuries, fatigue, pain, loss of motivation. But then I read “Life Without Limits” by Nick Vujicic, which greatly inspired me. I realized that the impossible is possible; the main thing is to have the desire. Years later, I was convinced of this when we won team gold in the women's all-round at the Olympics for the first time in 28 years.

RELAXING. The ideal vacation for me is traveling. But the type of trip depends on my mood. Sometimes, I fly to the islands, where I sunbathe and swim. I love various activities - scuba diving, flying, bungee jumping, and everything related to extreme sports. Sometimes, it's great to get out of town with my family for a couple of days and stay in a tent with a bonfire, a forest, and relatives nearby.

BEST BREAKFAST. Toast spread with curd cheese, topped with tomatoes, salmon, and a poached egg.

SPORT. If not artistic gymnastics, then I don't even know what... Maybe figure skating, or maybe not, but I would have definitely chosen some sport.

WISH. I wish future participants of the Games good preparation and confidence in their abilities! They have already chosen a sport, which means they are not like everyone else - extraordinary, strong, and brave. I hope you do not lose this confidence; you need to see an opportunity in any situation and understand that this priceless life experience only makes you stronger! The main thing is to challenge yourself daily, don't give up, and keep going until you achieve what you want!


Source: Children of Asia International Committee https://www.cagic.org/

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