‘If you can’t do it in training, you won’t be able to do it in competition.’ Anjelika Reznik Olympic athletes interviewed Episode 43

Christian:  Today I’m joined by Anjelika Reznik. Anjelica is a rhythmic gymnast from Canada. She is a 2012 Olympian, bronze medalist at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and five-time Pan Am Games medalist.

Welcome, Anjelika.

Anjelika: Thank you for having me.

What is Rhythmic Gymnastics 

Christian:  Angelica can you explain in a few words what your sport is about?

Anjelika:  Rhythmic gymnastics is a very unique sport, that incorporates apparatus work, which means the ball, the ribbon, the hoop, the clubs and the rope. There are two different categories, the individuals and the group. Most of my athletic career, I did the group category competing for Canada.

Rhythmic gymnastics is a very unique sport, that incorporates apparatus work, there’s a dance component and a very big artistic expression.

It consists of five to six gymnasts who compete at the same time. The individual is a shorter program. The group routine has a little bit more time and has two routines. Individual athletes would have four apparatuses, that they would do and the group would just have two, but they would be a little longer as well.

It incorporates flexibility, elements, throws and catches. There’s a dance component and a very big artistic expression. So you have to showcase your music and you could do that through your leotard that you wear, your costume, your makeup and the whole color scheme. The theme of your routine is also very important.

Christian:  From my research, I found your last result was 2015, so you’re not active anymore. That’s what I can assume, right?

Anjelika:  Yes and no. I don’t do rhythmic gymnastics anymore, but I do a slightly different sport called aesthetic group gymnastics. This sport is not as popular, as I think not many people know it. It is not in the Olympic Games, but it has World Championships and the World Cups.

It’s actually quite similar to rhythmic gymnastics when it comes to the movement and the elements. What’s different about it is, it just has the group component and you can have from six and up to ten girls competing at the same time and it doesn’t have apparatus. It’s kind of like freehand.

What’s really important, is the dance aspect and then incorporating gymnastics into that. It’s actually a very good sport. Rhythmic gymnastics can be very strenuous on the body, because it does require extreme flexibility and longer hours in the gym.

With this sport, you could still continue training but not as intensely. The reason I like doing it is, because I can still compete for Canada and travel the world.

Christian: Is that also the reason why you switch sports, so that you can compete a bit longer than in the original sports of rhythmic gymnastics?

Anjelika: Yes, that is the main reason, because personally in my situation, I started training at a very late age of 10 years old. So my theory is, I’m just not sick of it yet.

I started training at a very late age, so my theory is, I’m just not sick of it yet.

I still want to train and compete and do gymnastics. I don’t really have an excuse not to do it. I’m not injured and I’m still in shape and I still have the passion and drive for it.

Her darkest moment 

Christian: In your life as an athlete, what was your darkest moment?

Anjelika: Yes, I thought about this one a lot. It was a little difficult to answer, because I feel like personally, I was just very lucky. I didn’t have anything that was too dark. But I’m trying to think of one to give you an example.

I would say back in 2015, when we were trying to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics, but we didn’t. That was a pretty sad moment. The worst part of it is, because we worked really hard and our qualifications were the World Championships and we did really good routines.

I’m really proud of my team. We gave it our all, but unfortunately, at the end of the day, our sport is based on judging and it does come down to politics. We just had to be first in our continent and the American team beat us only by a little bit. Even though they made mistakes, they got a slightly higher score which was unfair.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, our sport is based on judging and it does come down to politics.

Personally, I think we were on the same level skill-wise. So it was very disappointing. I just learned that things are not fair in life and you just got to accept it, because there’s nothing you can do to change it.

Christian:  How did you recover from that moment?

Anjelika: It was tough. For me, I already competed at the Olympics, so I was okay. At least I have that. But it was just a little more upsetting for the teammates, who didn’t get that chance to. It would have been nice to give them that chance as well.

Christian: Were you the first team from Canada to qualify for the Olympics in 2012?

Anjelika: Yes. For the group category, until my team and I showed up, Canada never represented a group in rhythmic gymnastics, ever. Until now, we’re the only ones.

So I was really hoping that that would set Canada on a path. But it is really challenging because there are so many teams and so much competition, and again, politics.

Her best moment

Christian: What was your best moment?

Anjelika: My best moment was when my team and I qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This happened at the World Championships in France in 2011. But this was actually an interesting moment for me.

We have two routines that we perform. I started out as a substitute, so this was my first year as a senior athlete. Before that, I was junior so when you reach a certain age you become senior levels.

I tried out for the Canadian national team too, for the group and I made it. Usually, the younger girls are the substitute. So there are two of us; me and my other teammate from the Youth Olympic Games.

We are both a substitute and a month before the World Championships, one of my teammates ended up getting injured. Since we have two routines, I compete only in one of them and the other substitute compete in the other one, so we kind of alternate.

But the other girls do both of the routines. As a substitute, you have a really important role. If a gymnast gets injured, it’s your job to know every part and be able to step in and substitute. That’s the main reason.

That’s what I had to do, except in my case, it was a little bit more pressure. I had to be put in a new routine, that I’ve never competed in in my life. Well I knew it, but it’s different when you’re practicing on your own on the side and when you’re actually doing it with your team with music.

I only had a month to prepare with my team and I felt a lot of pressure. M y coach would have this notebook where she would write down the mistakes. At the end of practice, you would work on whatever you need to work on and you have to do each skill a certain amount of times.

Eventually, the goal would be for no athletes to have any mistakes so you can visually see your progress. I remember what really helped me to get through a moment is to look at that notebook at the end of the day and not see my name written down.

That would be my motivation to not let the team down just because I had this really huge disadvantage. And, of course, we all want to go to the Olympics. I didn’t want to be the person who lets down the team because in a group atmosphere, if one person does a mistake, the judges don’t count it for everyone. It’s very strict.

We all want to go to the Olympics. I didn’t want to be the person who lets down the team.

So, all five girls have to do it perfectly and that’s the really challenging part about group. Well, luckily I’ve performed really well and I was so glad that I didn’t let my team down. It was mentally very hard for me. I didn’t even realize I was stressing out so much until it was over and the team was over and I knew that we did great.

I remember I was crying. I couldn’t believe it and there was just this intense relief that it is over and we did good and made Canada proud. I think that would be one of my best and memorable moment.

Christian: What do you think was the reason that you performed very well?

Anjelika: Well personally, I think to have a successful performance, what you put in in the gym, that’s the kind of result you’re going to get on the competition carpet. So for me, it comes down to hard work and consistency.

What you put in in the gym, that’s the result you’re going to get on the competition carpet. For me, it comes down to hard work and consistency.

If you keep making mistakes at training, you will make mistakes at competition. That’s the only way. It’s kind of simple, but I really live by it and it has been working for me.

Christian: What did you learn from that best moment for the life following?

Anjelika: I learned that I’m stronger than I thought I was. Now looking back, I am very proud of myself. And especially since I was young at that time, I was 15 or 16 years old and just mentally having to deal with that. Yes, it is a useful skill because now to this day, I can proudly say that I’ve overcome this extreme obstacle.

Her advice to a younger Anjelika Reznik

Christian: If you could go back in time 10-15 years, what advice would you give a younger Anjelika?

Anjelika: Yes, I also thought a while about this one. I’m a very competitive person, so when I wouldn’t win, I would get really upset. I would just tell myself don’t take your defeats too personally or too seriously. They will happen a lot and if you get so upset at every little setback that you get, you will have a tough time.

Don’t take your defeats too personally or too seriously.

Over the years, I’m trying to learn how to manage that. Of course, no one likes losing, but if you can’t change the outcome, don’t let it affect you too personally. Just move on and hope next time it will get better.

Christian: Would you say it is a balancing act between being ambitious and letting go?

Anjelika: Yes, for sure. Especially in a sport where you’re competing and in rhythmic gymnastics, every second counts. You have to throw. You got to think. You can’t let the pressure get to you. But at the same time, you can’t be too nervous that you can’t even compete or you can’t be shaking out at the carpet with your nerves.

You also got to learn how to relax. It’s still a serious competition, but don’t overdo it. Don’t overstress it. Yes, it is a quite challenging to balance and a lot of athletes struggle with it.

Her passion for youth sports

Christian: I read that you have a passion for youth sports and you want to give back to sports. Is that something related to your story and your past?

Anjelika: It is mostly related to it. I realize that I do like public speaking a lot. I especially love children. I love coaching children, mentoring them and inspiring them.

If public speaking is one way I could reach to them, not just through coaching and not just gymnasts, like other regular girls or boys who want to pursue sports or anything in life really, I would love to help them out in any way that I can.

I especially love children. I love coaching children, mentoring them and inspiring them. I love to help them out in any way that I can.

Christian: How does it look? Do you go to clubs or to schools to speak?

Anjelika: I used to work with different programs before, I don’t do it so much anymore, because I am living in Europe for a little bit, and it’s a little hard just being away from Canada.

But I did work with several programs, such as Fast and Female. I’m not sure if you’re aware of these programs, but some of them, especially Fast and Female, their target is inspiring young girls to stay active and healthy. So, I would go to different schools and present about this.

There’s another one called Fits Spared. I would go to different elementary schools, as well public speaking, empowering girls to stay active. Then at the end of the year the organization organizes a big marathon, where the girls could learn the skills from the presentations and little workshops and put the skills to the test.

So, there’s lots of different situations where I got to do public speaking. Sometimes the Canadian Olympic Committee contacts you, not as much anymore. I did get this was really nice opportunity, where I actually got to do public speaking at a Citizenship ceremony.

As a two-time immigrant myself, it was actually a special moment for me, especially because when you’re under 18 years old, you don’t get to attend the ceremony, so I never got to attend it. But it was really nice to get that opportunity and see what it was really like and what my parents went through to give me this Canadian citizenship that lets me compete for Canada.

Her story as a two-time immigrant

Christian: Yes, that’s an interesting one and it fits very well here. You said or I’ve read you are a two-time immigrant. You’re originally from Kazakhstan, you went to Israel, and then to Canada. Can you just outline the milestones?

Anjelika: I was born in Kazakhstan, that’s where my parents were born, but both my parents are Russian. When I was 2 years old, we immigrated to Israel and that’s mainly because it was post-Soviet Union. The life circumstances weren’t that good. My parents just wanted a better life for me and my twin sister.

My parents just wanted a better life for me and my twin sister.

So, me and my twin and my parents, moved to Israel. I lived there for eight years. But then again, my parents decided to immigrate, because even if you’re a girl or a boy, once you turn 18 years old, you have to join the army.

So, my parents thought that was very dangerous. It is and I’m glad that they did that. We emigrated to Canada, and ever since we’ve been there.

How she got into Rhythmic Gymnastics

Christian: You immigrated by the age of 10 and you also said you took up sports by the age of ten? Did you start in Canada?

Anjelika: I was about 9 when we left Israel, and when we were 10 years old my mom put me and my twin into rhythmic gymnastics. Actually, my mom did rhythmic gymnastics back in Kazakhstan when she was young.

She was very skeptical about putting me and my twin sister into rhythmic gymnastics. But it came to the point where my mom told us that we have too much free time. She said she wanted us to pick up a hobby, an after-school activity or something, that we could do to keep us busy.

My mom told us that we have too much free time. She said she wanted us to pick up a hobby, an after-school activity or something, that we could keep us busy.

So, my mom decided to put us into ballet. She was really worried that rhythmic gymnastics would be too strenuous and she didn’t want to have that life on us. It is quite a difficult sport, especially on the body.

My twin and I thought ballet was a little boring. So my mom agreed that we could try rhythmic gymnastics. We went to training when we were 10 and we just never left the gym because we just fell in love with the sport.

Christian: That’s awesome.

Her success habits

Christian: What are the habits that make you a successful person or athlete?

Anjelika: My habits? I’m a competitive person and I think that’s what really drives me to want to reach the success. Especially in gymnastics, you have to work really hard. Without hard work, there’s no way you’re going to learn a skill.

It’s not just learning a skill, but you got to have the consistency and the patience to keep practicing the skill until its perfected. I think this is also very helpful in life, because you can’t just give up. You got to always be motivated and no one’s going to do it for you.

It’s not just learning a skill, you got to have the consistency and the patience to keep practicing the skill until its perfected. This is also very helpful in life, because you can’t just give up.

You just got to find the energy inside yourself and just push yourself. So, yes, it comes down to hard work. I think also, when I was a gymnast, I also was a full-time student, so time management was really key.

It was really hard at times. Even I was training and attending university, I didn’t want to take time off like most students do or be a part-time student. I decided to really just get to it and finish school, but still be able to compete at a high level.

When I was a gymnast, I also was a full-time student. It was really hard at times, because I didn’t want to take time off like most students do or be a part-time student. I decided to really just get to it and finish school, but still be able to compete at a high level.

I’m proud that I’ve accomplished this. It’s not something easy, but I’m glad I graduated school, and I’ve managed to accomplish that.

How she managed to complete her university study, whilst being a full time rhythmic gymnast 

Christian: Actually, I’ve written that down as a later question, that you did rhythmic gymnastics, which to the best of my knowledge is very labor work training intensive, in terms of hours. Also there’s a lot of rehearsing and stuff like it going in, right?

Anjelika: Yes.

Christian: You studied politics and governance and completed with a Bachelor degree. You just mentioned a little bit on that, but how did you balance it? Did you go to university in the morning and then training in the afternoon?

Anjelika: Yes, so pretty much, most of my life, the way it worked is, I went to school, at 8:00 or 9:00 am in the morning. You finish school at 3:00 or 4:00 pm and then from whatever time you have left from school, you’re at the gym.

Then after training and sleep, you’ve got to find time to squeeze in homework. That was pretty much my life for many years.

Christian: Cool. Coming back to the habits that make you successful, there’s something that caught my interest. You have written in your LinkedIn profile that being a two-time immigrant you have very ambitious goals to take advantage of the great opportunity Canada has to offer. Can you elaborate on that?

Anjelika: I think Canada does have a lot of opportunities to offer, especially because there is a movement where there’s organizations trying to help those who need the help, like the organizations I was working with, like Girls in Sport, The Youth, I think these are different opportunities that I could be part of and participate in.

I think they’re crucial, because especially the children, they’re the future of our world. If we don’t spend time with them, inspiring them, then our future is not going to be inspired. We’re not going to see as much results.

Children are the future of our world. If we don’t spend time with them, inspiring them, then our future is not going to be inspired.

Kids especially love when athletes or their mentors can take the time to talk to them. It’s just inspirational. Personally, I think if I had that growing up, it would have been very useful to me now.

Christian: I’m sorry to dig a little bit deeper into that, but how do you see the connection between a two-time immigrant and being very ambitious?

Anjelika: So I think with immigration, there comes with that, a drive for a better life. I think personally, my parents would have done and will do anything to give me and all my siblings the best life that they could offer. I think it really rubs off on the children or especially me, but I would want to do the same.

With immigration, there comes with that, a drive for a better life. My parents would have done and will do anything to give me and all my siblings the best life that they could offer. I think it really rubs off on the children or especially me.

I want to continue what they started. I want to find the best opportunities for myself and even for my kids and provide them everything I could, just the best living standards too. I think that would lead to achieving the best results and the best version of yourself.

Christian: Okay, that’s cool. Thanks for the answer.

Her morning routine

Christian: Do you have a morning routine?

Anjelika: That one made me laugh, because I am not a morning person. Usually, I would try to just sleep as much as I can. Then in the last moment, I quickly dress, eat breakfast and head out the door and just go to school or the gym.

One thing I remember just being an athlete is the lack of sleep. You wouldn’t catch me usually waking up early in the morning to do something just because I would still be wanting to sleep. Even to this day, that hasn’t changed.

One thing I remember just being an athlete is the lack of sleep.

Christian: It’s actually not that uncommon. I’ve interviewed quite a few people who say they are not morning persons. Who comes to my mind? Christian Taylor, the triple jumper, double Olympic champion, Celeste Plak, volleyball player and Olympian 2016, and one of my athletes, Niek Kimmann. So there are quite a few who say they are not morning person, so nothing to laugh about.

How to prepare for important moments

Christian: How do you prepare for important moments?

Anjelika: Well I don’t have anything specific, but as I said, training is key. If you don’t practice well, you won’t have the success that you want.

Training is key, if you don’t practice well, you won’t have the success that you want.

Later on in my life, I realized that also a proper diet is really important. Being young, I never really took it seriously or thought about it. But now that I’m older and I can do my own research, I realize that’s also very important. Now, I do eat much healthier and I think it does make a difference in my performances.

Also, I think in general, just having a positive attitude, positive thoughts, and especially being in a group, a team sport, when somebody is feeling down or tired, it really does affect everybody around them. So, when I was a gymnast, I was in a team.

When I was older, if I see someone being really tired, feeling down, I would try to motivate them because at the end of the day, if that one person keeps making mistakes in the routine, we’re not going to get to go home.

So, we had to do clean. The coach wouldn’t really have mercy on us. We had to figure out ways to really bring ourselves together and have positive thoughts and be determined that we can do a clean routine. We just have to have the right mental state for it.

The coach wouldn’t really have mercy on us. We had to figure out ways to really bring ourselves together and have positive thoughts and be determined that we can do a clean routine.

How to maintain a positive attitude

Christian: You said a positive attitude and positive thoughts. So I think it’s very normal for every human being that at some point, negative thoughts are creeping in your mind. How do you stay positive?

Anjelika: That’s a good question. Back then, I used to meditate a lot. It’s kind of difficult to answer because it’s the way you look at things.

For example, you’re eight hours in the gym, it’s 40 degrees outside, we don’t have air conditioning and it’s hot. You could either cry about it and keep on making mistakes. Or you could look at the situation and tell yourself that you only have one routine to go. You tell yourself that you can do a clean routine.

For example, if we’re in Spain, I’ll just think that I could get to go to the beach. You just find a way to change your thinking and motivate others. That has worked for me.

It’s the way you look at things. You just find a way to change your thinking and motivate others. That has worked for me.

I try to teach others how to do that. It took a while, but I think they also understood that eventually, that helped us get through the tough days of trainings for sure.

How to overcome setacks

Christian: How do you overcome setbacks?

Anjelika: How do I? It is challenging. I think it comes down to the way you react to the setbacks. I think you just got to think about it, analyze the situation, see what you could have done better and how you could have changed it.

If it’s out of your control, then don’t really get too bothered by it. Just move on basically. I know it’s difficult sometimes, but you just assess the situation, see if you can change yourself or change something.

Think about it, analyze the situation, see what you could have done better and how you could have changed it. If it’s out of your control, then don’t really get too bothered by it. Just move on basically.

But if you can’t, don’t get caught up with it and just move on and make sure, either it doesn’t happen again, or if it does, how would you change to how you react to it or if you’ll do the same thing.

Christian: I think that was a really good answer.

Her role model

Christian: Who’s your role model and why?

Anjelika: I actually get this question a lot. I don’t know why I’m that type of person that just never really had a role model. But when I was little, I went on the internet and looked up the older girls that are competing internationally for other countries.

I don’t know why I’m that type of person that just never really had a role model.

I would look at their routines and, of course, I was really fascinated by it because they were doing things that I never even dreamed of or knew existed. So it was very interesting because it was a little learning lesson. So, I would look at it and try to see what I’m supposed to look like and what a proper technique looked like.

In my sport, the Russians are very dominant. If you Google any Russian gymnast and you watch their video, they’re just amazing. In Russia, if you’re a little girl, at some point of your life you did rhythmic gymnastics. That’s how popular it is because they just achieve such great results.

So, for me, it was looking at their choreographies, how they train and how they do their warm-ups. I would try to watch their interviews to see how do they think and what a typical day for them was like. So to me, that was what I would look up to.

The best advice she has ever received

Christian:  What is the best advice you received and who gave it to you?

Anjelika: I think it would be my coach and she would repeat this a lot. She would say that if we’re not going to work hard in the gym, we won’t get success. As you could probably tell, I did say that a lot.

It did really rub off on me and I do think it is very true, especially speaking from personal experience. I think if I didn’t have this drive to work hard, I would not be where I am today. I would not achieve any of the results.

If I didn’t have this drive to work hard, I would not be where I am today.

Taking this to outside of the gym, everything I do I try to give it my all. If I’m doing an assignment, I wouldn’t just do just kind of lazy, half work. I would give it my all.

I would try my best. I would try to get the best grade that I possibly could. I think it just comes down to working hard, no matter what you do and then you will see results.

Christian: You said initially there was not that drive for, let’s say excellence, or to put the hard work in and now you say that’s something you truly believe in and something you practice. At what age did this switch happen or what event in time triggered this?

Anjelika: Now that I think about it, I think I had it inside me ever since I started gymnastics. I think that’s how I did achieve the results so quickly because in the beginning, I didn’t have that coach. I only started training with her when I was 13 years old.

I think I had it inside me ever since I started gymnastics.

To get from that point where I started training at 10 years old and when I was 13 years old, I competed at the Youth Olympics in Singapore and won a medal for Canada. This was insane because my competitors were girls who’ve been doing gymnastics for many more years than me.

So I had to quickly learn everything and try to literally be at the same level as them, even though I had this huge disadvantage. The fact that I was able to achieve this is like mind-blowing to me right now. But I think I always had that inside me, but my coach repeating it, made me realize it.

So for example, if I was struggling, maybe before I didn’t know this; the fact that if you work hard, you’ll achieve results. Maybe if I had a point in my training career where I struggled, I would repeat to myself that if I just keep working hard, I would get the results. My coach would repeat that and that would actually motivate me.

Christian: Interesting. Your coach, just out of interest, was it more a directive that you have to work hard or was it more a motivational style?

Anjelika: Well, we did have Russian coaches, so they’re a little more direct and stricter. I realized that for me the strict approach does work better. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’m also Russian and I just relate, I don’t know.

But I did like her coaching style. She would just say it as it is and she wouldn’t beat around the bush. She will tell you what she wants. She will tell you she’s upset and who needs to fix something.

Some coaches keep it very general. Sometimes you have to go up to the person, you have to say the name and tell them that they need to fix something. They need to know that the judges are not going to count it. In that case, she was really good.

Sometimes you have to go up to the person, you have to say the name and tell them that they need to fix something.

Sometimes coaches try to be nice and keep it very general. In a group setting, if you don’t call out a name personally, they do not always think that they’re the ones making the mistake. They may not notice or they’re not paying attention. So I think sometimes the strict, more direct approach does help in the long run.

A typical training day in the life of a Rhythmic Gymnast

Christian: How does a typical training day look like?

Anjelika: It depends. If I would have school in the morning, we would have a training for about 4 hours and we’ll train 6 times a week with Sundays off. Then if we didn’t have school, for example, a training camp, we would train 8 hours a day, 6 times a week.

Christian: How many hours? What did you just say? 8 hours a day?

Anjelika: Yes so we do 4 hours, then lunch break and then like another 4 hours. So those were definitely the tougher days. Usually, the way our training starts is for about one hour, we have a warm-up, but this includes a lot of things.

If I would have school in the morning, we would have a training for about 4 hours and we’ll train 6 times a week with Sundays off. Then if we didn’t have school, for example, a training camp, we would train 8 hours a day, 6 times a week.

This would include a warm-up on the floor, where we incorporate stretching and conditioning and then we go to do splits, we do kicks together and then we would do lines. For lines, we basically go across the carpet doing either jumps, balances or different skills.

Then after that, you would get your apparatus and you would warm up the apparatus. So in the group, you have exchanges, where you throw the apparatus to each other. We would have a certain amount of them and we would practice each exchange. We maybe would do it five times clean and we could keep doing it until you achieve a clean exchange.

Then we would go to collaborations and collaborations is when we collaborate together, either throwing or doing skills and interchanging. We would do that several times and then after we complete that, we would start doing routines with music. Sometimes we can start with just parts.

We divide the routine into two or three and work on perfecting the parts and then towards the end we would do the full routine. Our coach would tell us that she wants to see five clean routines. We would do as many routines it takes to achieve these five clean routines, but it all depends on the point of where we are at our training.

So, before a competition obviously, she wants to see more clean routines, but if it’s a new routine, they’re not as strict. She’ll maybe want one clean routine. So it all depends. And then at the end, we would do conditioning sometimes, if we have time or if we’re not too dead.

Does she and her twin sister support each other as rhythmic gymnasts or are they rivals

Christian: I have an extra question. You already mentioned your twin sister. Both of you competed in the same sport and from what I’ve seen, you seem to be a bit more successful than her in terms of results. Was it a rivalry or did you support each other?

Anjelika: Yes, we actually support each other. We do fight at times, but when it comes down to competitions, we obviously want both of us to do the best we can. So, we started out training together and we did individuals separately and at first, we would kind of interchange podiums.

We do fight at times, but when it comes down to competitions, we obviously want both of us to do the best we can.

So I get first, she gets first and we keep interchanging and then the following year, my mom put us at different levels. We started out in provincial. In provincials, it’s possible to change up the levels.

She was another level, so she could win her own category. I was in a different level, so I could win my own category.  We did that, which was nice, so we weren’t even competing against each other.

But then we decided to try out for the junior group to represent Canada at the Youth Olympics and we both made it. So, we’re actually on the same team together, which was really nice. But right after that ended, we were senior level and we had to try out for the senior team.

Unfortunately, she didn’t make that team and I did. So, while I was training for those two years, she did her own thing. She did individuals, but then she retired for a little bit, but then she came back to it.

As soon as I finished competing with the Olympics, we both tried out again for the group. Every year you basically have to retry outs. Even though I went to Olympics, I still had to try out. She tried out as well and she made it.

Again, we were reunited and we were competing together. We competed together for about two more years as senior athletes, and that’s when we competed at the 2015 Pan American Games together and got two bronze medals. Then after that, we both decided to do individuals for one year.

So, just kind of to finish off in the way we started doing individuals, finished with individuals and then from there we joined the Aesthetic Group gymnastics because we didn’t want to really retire, but still wanted to compete. So that’s we do now.

Her interview nomination

Christian: Do you want to nominate someone to be interviewed?

Anjelika: Yes, I was thinking. How do you feel about artistic gymnast because you wrote that you wanted someone from a different sport?

Christian: Well, I’m open to anything. I have certainly no objections against a rhythmic gymnast, I had female friends in school who did it, and I know it’s a difficult sport, especially when it comes to the time you have to put in and the physical demands you have to go through. So I’m definitely open to anything with artistic gymnastics.

Anjelika: Yes, because I do know two girls personally that competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games for artistic gymnastics and one of them also competed for Rio 2016 Olympics, so I could nominate them.

Christian: You could. What are their names?

Anjelika: Victoria Morris and Ellie Black. I don’t know if they’re available to do this, but maybe if one of them accepts.

Christian: If you can make an introduction, we can see how it turns out.

Anjelika: Okay sure, I can do that.

Christian:  Cool.

Where can you find Anjelika Reznik

Christian: Where can people find you?

Anjelika: Well, I have Instagram and my Instagram name is Twinyrez, but it’s T-W-I-N-Y-R-E-Z—

Christian: I’ll link it up. Don’t worry. I’II make sure that it’s going to be spelled correctly and linked to.

Anjelika: Okay. I also have Snapchat, I have LinkedIn and also my Aesthetic Group Gymnastics team (AGG Team Canada) has their own Instagram page that I also help to run and post, so that would be nice.

Anjelika Reznik’s Social Profiles

Instagram

Facebook profile

Facebook athlete page

LinkedIn

Twitter

AGG Team Canada

Christian: And you said you like public speaking. Is that something you want to get into and do want to do more of that?

Anjelika: Yes, I actually do, which is surprising, because when I was younger I hated public speaking. I was terrified. But I think the main reason for that was that language barrier.

English is not my native language and just having to speak in front of people who you’re not very comfortable in speaking English to was a little scary. But now that my English is obviously better and at Ryerson University, I took several professional communication courses and a whole course on presentations, I learned a lot.

I definitely got more comfortable through practicing there and I have worked with many different organizations and companies. I realized that I do enjoy it and I think it’s hard for many people, so the fact that I like it, I think it means a lot.

Christian: And if someone wanted to hire you for some public speaking gig, where should they go to?

Anjelika: Well, you could message me on any of my social media or I do have an email or my phone number.

Christian: You said you are in Europe currently. Is that private or business?

Anjelika: No, it’s private. my boyfriend is studying there, so I’m with him here right now.

Christian: Okay, cool. Anjelika, thank you for your time. I really enjoyed this one.

Anjelika: Thanks for having me.

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