There are very few born performers in this world. Oksana Grishina is one of them. Oksana’s journey hasn’t been an easy one, but when you mix, hard work with persistence, creativity and talent, you inevitably have a winner. As a former rhythmic gymnast, she is the reigning Fitness International champion, a champion with her eye on being the 2014 Fitness Olympia Champion.
Oksana, thank you for speaking with us today.
Oksana, 2014 Fitness International Champion, music to your ears I am sure, but I am sure your biggest hit would be hearing “ Fitness Olympia Champion”….what is going through your mind right now as we count down to the Olympia?
Of course, it’s the dream of every competitor to be an Olympia champion, so there’s no secret about why we compete. But, honestly, when I prep, I try not to think about these things and focus on my training. My goal is to do my best. If I do that, even if I don’t win, I am proud of myself. I leave it to the fans to talk about how I will place. I just have to focus and work hard to do my best.
It was my very first Pro contest, and my first experience living and prepping in the US. As always, I put all my energy into that show. The prep wasn’t easy. I had nothing—no job, no money, no friends, no language. All I knew was how to train, and perform on stage. The goal was for my coach to see me around the Pros and know if I had a chance to compete at this level. Would people accept me? Would I have a future in this sport? I was pleased that he thought I did have what it takes to compete and have a future in Fitness. Even with a 16th place finish, I was happy to receive the Best Performance award. This was like a breath of fresh air. The competition was a great experience and gave me hope, opportunity, and confidence to go forward.
You have been part of this Fitness triangle between Adela Garcia and Tanji Johnson. What do you have in store to take the Olympia win?
Being included with these incredible women, in your question, already makes me proud. I’m not a judge. I’ll bring my best and let the judges make their decision. I am just proud and happy to compete with such amazing athletes.
What improvements have you made to your physique and routine since the Arnold?
Like all the athletes, I have strengths and weaknesses in my physique. I keep trying to improve, and my goal is to bring my best physique to the stage. I wanted to do my Pole Fitness routine at the Olympia. Unfortunately, the stage configuration makes that impossible, but I did not give up on this routine and chose to do the second part with a chair as my prop. I’ll be doing the Pole Fitness routine at the Arnold Classic Europe, so I’m been prepping two routines at the same time. This has been a real challenge for me, but I’m excited to use the chair prop because it takes me back to my 2007 routine where I also used a chair. It brings back nice memories, and it will be interesting for me to do, and I hope, also, for the audience to watch.
Watching your fitness routines is like watching a Broadway performance, they are theatrical, animated and moving, from “Avatar,” to: the Joker”, the audience is absorbed into your world for the time you step on stage. Where do you get the inspiration for your routines?
I don’t try to seek out ideas, but I make myself open to everything around me. I’m focused on sport, but I also play music, take acting classes, like classical music... Ideas come to me when I don’t expect it. The challenge is how to translate a good idea into an entertaining performance. This is where the real work is. My goal is to make it look effortless on stage, so that people can enjoy it. But I have to work hard on every element of my routine—costume, choreography, hair, makeup—to make it look real. Even a small mistake can make the magic disappear. I want to make my performance feel alive and authentic for my audience.
Tell us about Oksana, the person off stage?
I’m a very kind person, yes, but I’m also very tough. I am strict with myself, and with the people who are close to me. So, all my friends are stronger and better than I am. I don’t like when people feel sorry for me and, honestly, I still don’t always know how to be sorry for others. I want to support people, but not enable them to be less than their best. I don’t like when people complain, maybe because I complain a lotJ.
Where can we find you on line?
So many places, lol…
SAN Nutrition: http://sann.net/category/oksana-grishina/
Six Pack Bags: http://www.sixpackbags.com/team/oksana-grishina
Okay, now let’s get up close and personal with you Oksana…the fans want to know!
Oksana is happiest when…?
I’m happy a lot. Simple things make me happy. Sunny days or rainy days, seeing friends, new plans, new ideas and, of course, having my family close. All these things make me happy.
Something interesting people don’t know about me is …?
Everything that people should know, they probably already know…my piano playing, my acting, my adorable hamsters…
My biggest pet peeve is…?
I hate when I allow my weaknesses to get the better of me, so I am always fighting with myself to be a stronger person.
My most embarrassing moment?
Because of my poor English, all my life in the US has been embarrassing.
My most memorable moment?
There is one moment that I will always remember. I had qualified for the 2007 Olympia at the All Star Pro show that year, with my first routine, using music by Lara Fabian, Je tiame. At the Olympia athlete’s meeting, the DJ gave me back my CD and told me that the music was too slow for Fitness, and I must have given him the wrong CD by mistake. I was confused. My English wasn’t good, and I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and why he was giving back my CD. Thank God, Adela was standing close to me. She saw this and came to help. Adela knew my routine from our earlier competition, and helped me to correct the DJ, explaining that this was my music for my performance, and that I was special. I was blessed to take first place in the performance round of my very first Olympia that 2007.
When I grow up I want to be…?
I want to talk like an American.
Thank you, Oksana. We look forward to seeing you on stage. - FLEX