Athlete in Focus: Nikita Kriukov
Through a new series "Athlete in Focus," we would like to introduce selected top athletes from a different, ‘insider' perspective. Today, we would like to start with the Olympic sprint champion Nikita Kriukov from Russia.
25-year-old Kriukov from Dzerjinskiy (RUS) was one of the newcomers last season. The classical sprinter made the World Cup podium three times, took one World Cup Final stage win and used his chance at the Olympics in an exciting sprint competition to claim the title.
Kriukov started skiing at elementary school level in 1993. His World Cup debut was in November 2006 in Kuusamo. Since then, he has been competing in sprint and team sprint and has been approaching the top ranks step by step until he claimed his first podium finish in third in Kuusamo, which is also his favorite World Cup venue, last season.
After his success at the Games, Kriukov became a Sochi 2014 Ambassador and wants now to win the Sprint World Cup: "To win the World Cup sprint ranking would be a great honor, maybe even bigger than my victory at the Olympic Games. I have already said that the Olympics are about one start, one race. Winning the World Cup ranking is about fighting and growing over your opponents throughout the season. However, this winter it will be very difficult."
His coach, Yury Kaminski who was already his school teacher at the age of 8, will support the student of the Moscow police academy (majoring in law) towards this goal.
Kriukov, who has German roots as his mother is a German native and was a track and field athlete as a student, is learning English and French in his free time and loves cars as well as enjoying cycling.
For more information on Nikita Kriukov, click HERE.