Maria, thank you for finding time for us in your busy schedule during the competitions. We want to ask you a few questions. Tell us, please, about yourself: what do you do, what are your hobbies.
My name is Maria, I'm 18 years old, I was born in Kazakhstan in Almaty. I'm studying at the dental college on a dental technician. In addition to studying a lot of time, take regular training in rock climbing and I have little time for other hobbies. Well, if there is a free minute, then I just meet and go out with friends.
Can you please tell a few words about how and when you lost your hearing?
I do not remember exactly how I lost my hearing - my grandmother told me that he gradually deteriorated and at 5 I was diagnosed with "fourth-degree sensorineural hearing loss". Then the world of sounds ceased to exist for me.
It was very difficult to communicate with peers. I did not pronounce full sentences, but only single words. Since the hearing aids did not bring the desired result, I had to learn to read on the lips. During this period, the grandmother spent most of my time with me, who was engaged with me and tried to teach me to read, write and communicate with the world around me.
Then my parents decided on cochlear implantation and I was operated in 2007, at the age of 8 years.
How has your life changed and your family's life after the operation?
I immediately after the connection heard the sounds, and thanks to relatives, the rehabilitation was quick and successful. Soon I was able to enter a regular school. Gradually, I had a new circle of friends, there were new hobbies. As I now think, I quickly got used to it.
How and when did you start your interest in rock climbing?
I had a birthday, I was 7 years old. My parents and I decided to mark it on the climbing wall. To look good before friends, I wanted to practice a little before the holiday. I really enjoyed it and from that moment on I started amateur climbing. At first I only went to training once or twice a week. After the operation, I noticed an improvement in the balance, and accordingly the technique began to improve. Then I decided to do it professionally.
What do your training look like?
5 times a week, from Monday to Friday. In different ways, there are two hours, three, and sometimes even four hours a day. It happens, of course, that I'm very tired, because the training is difficult and go beyond studying in college. They give me certain tasks, how to climb, and if it does not work out, then we are discussing with the coach - why it did not happen, what needs to be corrected, wh ere it is necessary to make more efforts or work on the technique. In addition, I do strength exercises - push-ups, pull-ups, work on triceps. The coach monitors the performance of the exercises and if something does not work out, then you have to do the whole exercise again. I prefer not to train alone, but with a friend or with other members of our team.
What does climbing mean to you?
The cochlear implant returned me to the world of sounds. When I started climbing, I became even more open and confident.
I like the competitive spirit, every day I try to learn something new both in sports and in college. This is a challenge not only to my academic performance, but also to my body. But most of all I like that climbing competitions give me the opportunity to travel a lot, get acquainted and communicate with new people.
What is this feeling, to participate in competitions of such a high level?
In Innsbruck, this is not the first international competition in which I take part. Twice I participated in cups, and four times in Asian competitions. Thanks to rock climbing, I was in many countries: Malaysia, Norway, Austria, Indonesia.
So, no one notices that you're wearing a processor?
No, no one notices, I always cover it with my hair. It is practically invisible. Even during training I fix the RONDO for the hair, it keeps very well and never falls off.
What are your plans for the future?
Soon there will be competitions in Japan, the Asian Championships and I really want to get there. And then I want to go to the dental department at the Medical University of St. Petersburg. I'm ready for all obstacles and I'm not afraid to try new things!
Can you give advice to other young people with hearing loss?
That they lead an active lifestyle! It's also very important to be open, develop self-confidence and find a job for your liking. Well, those who can help CI, I would advise not hesitating to agree to the operation!