When I decided that the 2019 European Championship IFBB would be the place where I would choose the winner of the first Black Swan Trophy, I knew that I was facing an exciting challenge. For myself and for the prestige of this award it was important to choose the winner well, and although it was a great responsibility to evaluate the 100 best bikini fitness athletes in Europe, I trusted 100% in my opinion, because when I see a special athlete On stage, I just feel a special emotion. I do not act as if I were a judge, but I am passionate about my work and I knew that the moment that athlete appeared on stage, I would know.
The European Championship is one of the best competitions (I would say the best) that can be seen in a bikini fitness at IFBB, because the best athletes compete there and there is always a special atmosphere. I had to watch many finals and many athletes, so to choose only 1 among so many excellent competitors I had to establish a criterion, since I was also working and recording the finals with my camera, but this allowed me to have a better perspective when I saw them more details.
When I knew the order of the categories I saw that all bikini fitness finals would be Sunday, junior and master in the morning and senior in the afternoon, a total of 16 finals and approximately 96 finalists. Then I put the list of competitors near me and I decided to mark the best presentation of each category; That would be my reference.
Fortunately I have a photographic memory and I am able to remember things in great detail, especially if I am passionate as in this case, so I had the best presentation in my head at all times. I would decide which would be the best presentation in junior, then in master, and between these two I would choose one that would be my reference to compare with bikini finals in the afternoon.
The detailed process occurred in the following way and these were my references.
First the junior category was disputed, and these were the athletes that I chose in each category:
Bikini fitness junior 16-20 years :
Vanessa Skibinska (Poland)
Bikini fitness junior 21-23 years up to 160 :
Alina Voronova (Russia)
Bikini fitness junior 21-23 years up to 166 :
Oleksandra Sumanieieva (Ukraine)
Bikini fitness junior 21-23 years over 166 :
Yulia Goloborodko (Russia)
Among all the winners of the junior category I decided that the best presentation so far was that of Oleksandra Sumanieieva from Ukraine, a presentation full of elegance, harmony and femininity, really excellent.
Then the finals of the master category began and the best presentations in my opinion were the following:
Bikini fitness master 35-39 years up to 164:
Katarzyna Dmochewicz (Poland)
Bikini fitness master 35-39 years over 164:
Elena Temnikova (Russia)
Bikini fitness master 40-44 years:
Elena Punina (Russia)
Bikini fitness master over 45 years:
Alla Petrova (Spain)
After seeing the presentations of the master category the best for me was Elena Temnikova from Russia, her presentation was really special, technically fantastic and full of elegance, femininity and harmony.
After finishing all the junior and master categories, my choice was Elena Temnikova as the best presentation of the morning and she would be my reference to compare with the bikini finals of the afternoon.
It was time for the last 8 finals with excellent athletes and it was really exciting. These were the athletes that I chose in each category:
Bikini fitness up to 158:
Irina Agadzhanova (Russia)
Bikini fitness up to 160:
Alina Voronova (Russia)
Bikini fitness up to 162:
Polyna Rybakova (Russia)
Bikini fitness up to 164:
Oleksandra Sumanieieva (Ukraine)
After the first 4 finals of the afternoon my decision had not changed and the best presentation so far was that of Elena Temnikova, but there were still 4 more finals …
Bikini fitness up to 166:
Maria Evgenieva (Russia)
Well, when I saw Maria Evgenieva’s presentation my decision changed. Maria has an incredible naturalness and transmits an energy and joy on stage that is not usually seen, she is a different athlete. Each of her movements is so natural and elegant that it seems as if she has done this all her life. From that moment she would be my new reference and there were only 3 more finals…
Bikini fitness up to 169:
Agne Kiviselg (Estonia)
Yes, I have to do a special mention for Agne Kiviselg… When I saw her presentation I felt that I had just seen the winner of the trophy ¿Why? When I saw her I-Walk I felt something that I feel very rarely during the year, a feeling that I only have when I see a special athlete like her.It was the first time I saw Agne live and her presentation was like a crush that made me feel that special feeling. For that reason I trust my criteria so much, because when an athlete does magic, I simply feel it.
What does she have?
Agne Kiviselg has an overwhelming personality on stage, a great strength in her looks and the emotions she transmits, she involves the judges in her performance with each of her movements, with each sweep of her eyelashes. It is difficult to explain but it is easy to feel, Agne is a true queen on stage, she is a real BLACK SWAN.
Bikini fitness up to 172:
Elena Temníkova (Russia)
I knew Elena was competing again in the final, and like when I chose her as the winner of the morning finals, her performance was spectacular again, her elegance and naturalness on stage are incredible, but my decision did not change and Agne Kiviselg continued being my reference.
Bikini fitness over 172:
Galina Maslovskaya (Russia)
And the last final of the day arrived, it was almost 10 o’clock at night and the bikini fitness Overall winner was about to be decided. It was the last competition and the one that closed the European Championship. When I saw Galina Maslovskaya in the elimination round of her category I thought the day had come when Galina would be the Overall champion of Europe, she shined in a special way and I thought her day had arrived, HER GREAT DAY.
When I saw Galina’s presentation in the final I thought it was really perfect, an example of coordination and elegance to put the girls who start and want to learn what is bikini fitness in IFBB, and really she made me doubt. While I was filming the final of over 172 cm I was thinking who should be the winner of the black swan trophy, so I asked myself …
What was the reason you created the black swan trophy?
And my answer was very clear…
I created this trophy for those athletes who stand out for being special and different on stage, who have a personality that makes them different from other athletes. My doubts disappeared, the winner was without a doubt Agne Kiviselg, because only she made me feel what I feel when I see a special athlete on stage and represents 100% that spirit, the spirit of the black swan.
When the championship was over it was very late and my concern was to be able to tell Agne that she had been the winner and give her the trophy at her hotel, because she would probably return to her country the next day. Fortunately, I managed to locate her, and although it was almost 12 o’clock at night, I was able to make a small award ceremony at her hotel.
There was one more surprise for Agne and it was that the trophy was going to be delivered by Melina Keltaniemi, the historic first world champion Elite PRO bikini fitness IFBB, but because the championship ended so late she could not be with me. I have to thank her publicly for wanting to help me and support me in this idea from the first moment I proposed it to her.
I want to thank above all to Agne Kiviselg for her kindness and for helping me that this special story had the best ending. After a long day of competition she had not yet dined and she waited for me to do this. I would have done anything to give her the trophy before she left, although I would have had to wait for her at the door of her hotel until dawn to fulfill what I promised.
I want to say that this experience is something I will never forget, everything was perfect and Agne without looking for it was the protagonist of this beautiful story that I hope will have many more chapters. Agne perfectly represents the spirit of my idea and I am very very happy that she has this special award.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.