12-year-old Ukrainian girl Varya Akulova is capable of lifting up to 350 kg, while she herself weighs only 40 kg.
At the age of three she managed to lift her first “hundred”; a year later, Varya earned her first adult trophy. This youngster has tremendous will-power, translucent body and thread-like tendons.
Her muscles are barely visible. It is quite difficult to grow any on day-to-day spaghetti diet. Thing is, there is nothing else for her to eat. The reason is simple: lack of money. Despite her age, this young weight-lifter already supports her entire family. Varya strongly believes that one day she will definitely become an Olympic champion.
Ms. Akulova is the strongest girl on the planet. This fact has already been confirmed twice by Guinness Book of World Records. She lives in the Ukrainian miner’s town of Krivoy Rog. Life appears to be quite gloomy for the entire Akulov’s family.
The town’s administration has filed a law suit against the little girl. Local press follows Varya everywhere. Her parents have been accused for torturing their daughter. Vary in turn has been prophesized disability. For 12 long years the Akulov’s family has been fighting the town. In the end, they came out as ultimate winners. Doctors expressed them their apologies; the town's administration along with the local police left the poor family alone.
Nowadays, Varya is a “caryatid”: during her performances she effortlessly lifts a dozen men on her shoulders. The entire Akulov's family used to inhabit an 8-meter room in a dormitory designated especially for miners. A 5-meter storage room was her “training premises”. Girl's late night performances in local night clubs paid the rent.
For her 10th anniversary, Varya Akulova decided to put herself together, try herself together and save enough money to purchase a flat. She managed to get a job at a circus. Although she did indeed prove to be the strongest there, due to the fact that she was a minor, her wage was less than $10 per performance. Finally, all the efforts, sleepless nights and hunger all paid up. After about six months, the Akulov’s had enough money to buy a two-room apartment. This very apartment in fact Varya's pride.
Varya's dad and coach Yuri Akulov says he has always known his daughter will be a “heavy weight athlete.” It took him a long time to find the “right” kind of woman who will be able to give birth to a female Hercules. Big Boy Yura, who’s been having nothing else on his mind but heavy weights since he was 15, could not really qualify as the right kind of guy for his well-educated girlfriend. It did not take her long to adopt Yura's lifestyle. Several weeks into their serious relationship she began lifting weights. Not even pregnancy discouraged her from daily training. “I used to jog, do boxing even when I was nine months pregnant. People would exclaim in disbelief “How can you do this?!” Well, I just could. That is why our Varya has started her training long before her birth.”
Fragile Varya tells us, as though she really remembers it: “I had my first workout when I was just 4 days old. I was taken home from the hospital. My dad stayed with me at home that day. He tied heavy bolts to my arms and legs…Those were my first heavy weights. My mom did not even yell at my dad for that. Perhaps, she decided I enjoyed it.”
Vary loves her parents and weightlifting. She works out daily for 7 hours. “We have a system without a system, meaning everything is up to you. If you feel like it, you go and workout; if you don’t feel like it, you simply sleep, read or something.” Such system is based on a Hercules' genome. According to Yuri Akulov, he along with his daughter possesses certain gene that is missing in most people.
Despite the daily workouts, Varya is a top student in her class. Currently, she is in 7th grade. She learnt to read at 3. Varya was also the one to chose a Russian-speaking school in Ukraine. “Even though it is not the most popular school in town, says Varya, I just like Russian language.”
Today, the girl also attends local Olympic reserve school. This will enable her to acquire professional sport education as well. “I do not steroids; I only take multi vitamins. I wish I could be big, really big: 190 cm tall and weight more than 100 kg, like my dad."
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