Olena Pidhrushna (Ukrainian: Олена Михайлівна Підгрушна, Olena Myxajlivna Pidhrušna; born 9 January 1987, in Legnica, Poland) is a Ukrainian biathlete. She is Olympic and World champion, multiple medalist of different high-level competitions. Pidhrushna is considered to be one of the most successful winter sports athlete in Ukraine. She lives in Ternopil.
Pidhrushna in 2014
|Born||9 January 1987|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|World Cup debut||2 March 2007|
|Teams||2 (2010, 2014)|
|Medals||1 (1 gold)|
|Teams||5 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017)|
|Medals||4 (1 gold)|
|Seasons||9 (2006/07, 2008/09–2013/14, 2015/16-2016/17)|
|Individual podiums||8 (2 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze)|
|All podiums||25 (6 gold, 12 silver, 7 bronze)|
Her first international competition were 2005 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Monthey, Switzerland, where she won two bronze medals, and 2005 Biathlon Junior World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. Next season she missed internationally, but on March 2, 2007, she debuted in Biathlon World Cup by finishing 44th in sprint in Lahti, Finland. She was enrolled in national team for all three last World Cup stages that season but she didn't gain any point. She didn't manage to get a quota in national team in 2007-08 season. That time she spent competing at Biathlon European Championships and junior competitions.
2012-13 season became one of her most successful. In the first sprint race of that season on December 1, 2012, Olena finished third in Östersund, Sweden, and was second in pursuit in Italian Antholz-Anterselva in January 2013. Later on Pidhrushna took a hat-trick of medals at the 2013 Biathlon World Championships, where she won the gold in the sprint, was part of the women's relay team which won silver, and secured a bronze in the pursuit. For these achievements she was named as Ukraine's best sportswoman of 2013. That season she ended ranking 8th in World Cup general classification.
2013-14 season started for her quite successfully with one podium in January. Together with Juliya Dzhyma, Valj Semerenko and Vita Semerenko she won the gold medal in the Women's relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi, Russia. Pidhrushna took a break in her sport career at the end of the 2013-14 season, and was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports in the Ukrainian government. But on November 30, 2014, she gave an interview for biathlon.com.ua, in which she stated: "I took break in my sport career for a decree only. I can't do anything before the time the child will be born... so I must do something... I want fans to understand my decision and wait. I hope to be back in future, after the child will be born..." So she returned in November 2015. Unfortunately her attempts to have a child were then unsuccessful. Later she divorced with her husband.
She returned in 2015-16 season which she started with two bronze medals in sprint and individual race in Swedish Östersund. In mid-February she won sprint in Canmore, Canada. That year she achieved her best World Cup ranking - 7. Next season Pidhrushna didn't have plenty of good results and she missed all races in March.
She qualified to represent Ukraine at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pidhrushna carried the Ukrainian flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Due to poor physical conditions she didn't compete in any race.
She graduated from Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatyuk National Pedagogical University where she studied physical training and sports. Now she is PhD student at Lviv State University of Physical Culture.
Pidhrushna married Oleksiy Kayda on 26 May 2013. Kayda is a member of Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) for the party Svoboda. According to Pidhrushna her husband was attacked in December 2013 by "provocateurs" during the Euromaidan demonstrations. In October 2016 she declared that they divorced.
During the awarding ceremony after her victory in women's relay in Hochfilzen on 8 December 2013, she and other Ukrainian biathletes shouted "For Maidan". Pidhrushna gained at a news conference after her women's relay victory at the 2014 Winter Olympics a minute's silence in memory of the people who died in Kiev in the February 2014 Euromaidan riots.
- "Olena Pidhrushna, Biathlon". Vancouver 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- "Retiring from Biathlon; Part 2, the Women". International Biathlon Union. 29 April 2014. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- biathlon.com.ua (30 November 2014). "Olena Pidhrushna. Our sportsmen showed their character".
- "Ukrainian squad for the 2018 Winter Olympics". Ukrainian Biathlon Federation. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- (in Ukrainian) 5 facts about Olena Pidhrushna (January 9, 2017)
- (in Ukrainian) "Свободівець" Кайда повінчався з біатлоністкою Підгрушною , Tablo ID (27 May 2013)
- Кайда, Олексій Петрович, Civil movement "Chesno"
- (in Ukrainian) "За Майдан" – біатлоністки підтримали українців на врученні золотих медалей, gazeta.ua (08/12/2013)
- (in Ukrainian) Biathlete Olena Pidhrushna confirmed that she is divorced, (October 30, 2016)
- Minute's silence respected at Ukraine news conference, Reuters (21 February 2014)