The Artek International Children’s Center has held its first competition in planking, one of the most popular fitness exercises. Artek campers accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. The most resilient, tough and persevering won the champion title, setting the record at 20 minutes.
Artek Director Alexei Kasprzhak believes that everyone has to overcome themselves and set their own small records. He said he does this exercise every day. “It shows more than others that you are capable of more than you think. It is important not only in sports, but in life in general, to know that you can do it,” he said, adding that the plank can be part of the everyday Artek morning routine: “There are things you should get accustomed to, to think about your health and understand its value. I believe the plank can help here. It takes just a few minutes if you can make an effort. When you wake up in the morning and know that you have to make a small feat, it is a very good beginning of the day. You should live with such an attitude.”
The planking competition involved all members of the session, and after the qualifying round, the 50 most resilient boys and girls were selected in each camp. Thus, 450 children took park in the finals at Artek’s stadium. After warming up, they began the exercise. One minute, three, five…Some participants get tired and leave the competition, and after 10 minutes only the brave ones remain, those who were able to keep their strength and nerve. The more people leave the competition, the louder the others cheer for their mates.
Finally, the winners are announced. Anir Yerkenov from Karachai-Cherkessia (Camp Yantarny) is the champion among the boys. He held a plank for 14 minutes 39 seconds. Yegor Yurov from Camp Khrustalny came in second with 13 minutes 55 seconds. The bronze medal went to Pavel Sukharev from Camp Rechnoi with 13 minutes 43 seconds. Among the girls, Maria Pavlova from Camp Khrustalny won bronze with 12 minutes 1 second; Maria Sergeyeva from Camp Rechnoi came in second with 16 minutes 52 seconds. The absolute record for Artek – 20 minutes – was set by Anastasia Lukmanova from Bashkortostan (Camp Rechnoi).
According to the winner, she keeps in good shape due to rhythmic gymnastics, which she has been doing for several years. But setting the record was not easy. “It seems easy in the beginning, but it gradually becomes more difficult. I looked around from time to time and saw that many children gave up and joined the spectators. After the 10th minute, there were only a few competitors left, and the two things that helped me were my willpower and the support of others. At one point, they began chanting my name, and this sound was the loudest for me. I would have given up much earlier without them. But when you see that people believe in you, you get a second wind. So I would like to thank them; it was our shared victory,” she said.
The support of friends helped other Rechnoi members as well: they won the group competition, taking all three medals. In any case, each Artek camper overcame themselves on that day, and it was truly a common victory of Artek. Good job guys, keep it up!