(Story Credit: IAN GUSTAFSON) (Photo Credit: Phil Matusiewicz / Canada Winter Games)
Team Alberta’s Artur Troyan had a Canada Winter Games to remember.
The 19-year-old gymnast claimed the bronze medal alongside teammate Cody Cyman in the men’s synchronized trampoline event after combining for 42.110 points in their final routine.
However, that wasn’t the only thing on the young man’s mind recently.
Troyan, who’s originally from Mykolaiv, Ukraine, moved to Canada nine years ago with his father and mother Dmytro and Anzhelika, who also were high-level gymnasts.
Last Friday, Feb. 24 marked one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. A day that weighs heavily on Troyan.
“It has been a year since the full-scale invasion of the Russian federation and I think as a community we all were quite down [on Friday],” he said.
“For me, being from there and seeing my friends, family, and my fellow people suffer from this… as a human being there is now mercy towards that.
“I have no respect for the Russian federation and I have no respect for the athletes and the people that support the regime. We want democracy as a country. We want to be like Canada where everything is fair and where there is peace.”
He and his family moved to Canada so his father and mother could pursue coaching opportunities in Calgary. Once they moved to Red Deer his mother and father took him under their wing and started coaching him.
“I love my country and where I am from but I love Canada because it has made me the person and athlete I am today,” he said.
He still has plenty of family and friends in his home country, many of which he hasn’t been able to visit in quite some time. They’re all also without water, electricity, and many essential needs needed to survive.
“It is quite hard but I think we will be strong and overcome this war,” he added.
Troyan became a gymnast to follow in his family’s footsteps. His father competed for Ukraine and his mother did not represent her country nationally but competed at a high level for many years.
“When I was five months old that’s the first time I touched a trampoline. [My parents] won medals, won world championships, and world cups. For me, I had no choice you know when your whole family is so involved in it that’s the sport they introduced me to,” he said.
“I fell in love with it and still love it as much as I did when I first started.”
He trains at the Exelta Gymnastics Club and competes for the club at a provincial level. His younger brother, who’s 11 years old, also competes carrying on the generational tradition of athletes. Last year he competed in his first junior world championship and Troyan hopes to inspire his younger brother.
Winning the bronze medal he explained was emotional with the year anniversary of the war in Ukraine during the same week.
“I haven’t even had a moment to sit down and fully indulge in all the emotions. I wasn’t planning on medaling but to me just making these games and finishing all my routines that was my number one goal,” he said.