Vladyslava Kravchenko: ‘Time travel? 19th century, to experience an era without technology’

Paralympian Vladyslava Kravchenko tells all in our Q&A

Photo credit: Annabel Zammit
Photo credit: Annabel Zammit

Paralympian Vladyslava Kravchenko is the current Chairperson of Malta Paralympic Athletes’ Council and the first female swimmer to represent Malta at the Paralympic Games since 1980. She represented the island at Rio de Janeiro in 2017. In 2013 Vladyslava was named Malta’s para-athlete of the year and in 2017 she was awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders Award in recognition of her work to promote disability sports

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Turn off my alarm.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To remain humble.

What do you never leave the house without?

My house keys.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Inquisitive. Intellectual. Optimistic.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Being the first female swimmer to represent Malta at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?


What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Not to take no for an answer if you really believe in something and want to achieve it.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Sports equipment.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That afternoon naps at the kindergarten (which everyone hated) would be dearly missed later on in life.

Who’s your inspiration?

I have a collective image of an inspiring individual. Paralympic champions like Jessica Long and Mallory Weggemann, as well as leaders like Nelson Mandela are at the top of the list.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Recovering after injuries.

If you weren’t an athlete what would you be doing?

I would be a painter.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in a universal mind... some of us call it God.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Leonardo Da Vinci.

What’s your worst habit?

Giving my opinion, when it is not necessarily sought.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Alcoholic drinks are not my favourite.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Kirsten Dunst – some people say we look alike.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My books.

What is your earliest memory?

Probably when I was around five. I clearly remember the episode when my mom brought me to our local sports centre and asked me which sport I wanted to do. I wanted to learn how to do a split, so I picked rhythmic gymnastics.

When did you last cry, and why?

Two weeks ago. I watched a very touching movie on my flight to Denver – ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’.

Who would you most like to meet?

Sergey Bubka.

What’s your favourite food?

Ukrainian cuisine.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Irina Hakamada.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Early 19th Century. I would love to experience the era without technology.

What book are you reading right now?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A superpower that finally brings peace and equality to all humanity.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Learn how to live.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Blues compilation.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I like listening to interviews with interesting personalities (sports persons, political leaders, artists, authors, etc.)