Elena Gatilova

Fabulous People: Elena Gatilova 

On Oct. 12, Teatro ZinZanni opens its newest show, taking place at Lotte Hotel Seattle’s grand ballroom in The Sanctuary. One of its stars, Elena Gatilova, is a former World Champion rhythmic gymnast who has performed in more than 2,500 shows with Cirque du Soleil. Learn about Elena Gatilova…

Follow at: @_elenagatilova_

Hometown: Simferopol, Crimea

First job: After growing up in the gym, my career as a professional gymnast began at 14 when I joined the national Ukrainian team to compete for five years in the biggest international tournaments. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I’m in LOVE with the Pacific Northwest! I landed in Seattle in the summer of 2014 and the natural beauty of this region has kept me as a hostage ever since. I’m a hiker, a climber (summited four of Washington’s five volcanos), a sailor, a biker and a foodie.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Reinventing myself throughout my life. It’s very unsettling to push beyond your skills/abilities in the moment, but very rewarding when you find yourself on the side of success. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Gaining citizenship in the United States was a profound journey that required more determination than I could have ever anticipated.

Someone who inspires you and why: My grandmother. She lived to 101! Full of stories, always loving, she’d overcome greatest challenges in her life. She was and still my hero. The matriarch of my family.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Take care of your body! 

Favorite quote: “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”- Leonard Bernstein

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: My partner says that I surprise him every day. He’s so sweet.

What makes someone fabulous: Be kind.

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