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The World Games Athlete of the Year 2018

Dmitry Zharkov & Olga Kulikova - DanceSport

Dmitry and Olga started their career together 15 years ago, in 2003. Their first big title was the 2011 World Cup in Vancouver, Canada, and they took it home by
winning all five dances in the final. That title was the beginning of something great - greater than anyone in WDSF Standard dancing has ever achieved.

Since May 2013 Dmitry and Olga have been under the top 3 in every single competition they have particpated. Before winning the silver medal at The World Games in 2017 the couple had two World Championship titles two European Championship titles.

Their most emotional year may well have been 2018. After three World Championship titles and three European Championship titles the couple is at their home ground in Moscow at the last qualifying leg of the GrandSlam Series. During the last dance of the final, solo quickstep, Dmitry feels something on his foot. He bites his lip, ignores the pain and finishes the last dance and the competition successfully. They win again. The crowd is blown away of the couple’s performance, and the Dance of Honour, a beautiful waltz, ends in tears. Emotions are running high for these two, it has been magical.

After the competition he can’t walk. He is told rest for minimum of two months, without any kind of sport and is supposed to use crutches for three weeks.
But that would mean to lose his and her opportunity to be at the World Standard... Three weeks later they manage to take part in the World Championships Standard. Dmitry has found help and overcomes the pain. They are sliding on the dance floor like feathers in the wind. They are smiling and seemingly enjoying it. All the difficulties are in the past and they are showing their best, their magic. After the last dance of the final, solo Viennese Waltz, Dmitry and Olga receive a standing ovation. They stay on the dance floor, thanking the crowd longer than usual. Applause is continuing longer than ever. They know what has just happened. After the scores are shown it is true. Dmitry and Olga have secured their fourth World Championship title. A moment that will be remembered. A moment in history.

13 December, 2018




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