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YURI KISIL


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Sport: Swimming
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Nickname: "The Missile"

MY ASTRA STORY

Besides being tired and sore all the time the only other inevitable aspect of being a competitive swimmer that I’ve come to realize is that you will get injured. It seems like all my swimming career milestones have been related to, or intertwined with, injuries. The funny thing is that I have never beaten myself up over my injuries. I’ve always made a conscious effort to use my recovery time to refocus the negative energy created by my misfortune into positive motivation. In 2012, I qualified for the London Olympic Trials as a backstroker but broke my elbow at a meet in Medicine Hat seven weeks before the competition and wasn’t able to compete. I spent every one of the next 35 days by myself on the pool deck stretching and riding a stationary bicycle watching my teammates in the pool prepared to embrace their dreams. At the time I realized that every athlete has setbacks like injuries or losses. This fact strengthened my resolve to meet my misfortune as a learning opportunity and not a setback. Although, my short-term plans were derailed, I became more focused and determined than ever to compete at the very highest level.

The same is true when confronting the unexpected non-sport related issues in my life. Instead of being down about my situation I look at unexpected problems as an opportunity to get stronger and better; and work on the details necessary to avoid these issues reoccurring in the future. This is the really hard work of being an athlete and it should also be your motivation to come back from all of life’s setbacks stronger and better. 


WHAT DRIVES ME

 My goals are what get me up in the morning for those chilly 5 a.m. practices when I’d rather be staying in my cozy warm bed. My goals are to be the best sprint freestyler in the world and to win an Olympic medal. Not only for myself but for all the people who have followed and supported me on this amazing journey: my family, friends, coaches, competitors, trainers, doctors, therapists, clinicians and all the nice people who send me messages of encouragement and support.


 HOW YOUR FUNDING WILL HELP

Buy food, besides always being tired I’m always hungry and can never get enough good healthy food!