Valentina Shevchenko needs no introduction in the world of Muaythai. She has won 8 IFMA world Championships, first as a junior in 2003, then she went on to win the titles consecutively from 2006 to 2010, 2012, and 2014. Valentina hails from a martial arts family; her mother a dedicated martial artist, part of the IFMA Female Commission, and even her sister Antonia, is a three-time winner of the IFMA World Championshi. Valentina is also a two-time winner of the SportAccord World Combat Games, under patronage of the IOC, winning in the 2010 games in Beijing, and again in 2013 in St. Petersburg.
Valentina is the representative of the Athlete’s Commission, being the highest decorated competitor (male and female) and she says that for her, Muaythai is more than just a combat sport; it’s a way of life, a cultural art form. The pillars of Muaythai are built on respect, honour, tradition, excellence, and fair play which, in her opinion, are the pillars of life. That’s makes Muaythai different and from the early age, it’s been taught from generation to generation and you can see it and feel it as much in the gym as in the competition. There is so much respect for one another, performing the traditional homage dance is a must and regardless of culture, religion, or social background, we do it to show respect to each other, to the art, and to everyone involved in the sport.
Valentina stated that she just finished the World Championship in Malaysia in which over 100 countries participated, and if you witness the junior competition, you truly can see that the sport is safe for generations to come both on the cultural, sportive and most importantly, social level.
“Giving back is part of the art and we all are involved in social projects. We have a saying in Muaythai; we never look down on anybody, rather, we help them back on their feet. Myself, I immigrated to Peru years ago, and I am competing proudly for the country of Peru, but I am also the Sport is Your Gang ambassador in Peru, in which we take kids from the street to show them that there is a better world out there, building character, self-respect and respect for others, and it was a proud moment for Peru when our association was awarded the 2014 Muaythai Spirit of Sport award for our national project, and also for us as a federation. It was also an honour for us to be involved in the overall achievement of IFMA to be the winner of the 2014 SportAccord, Spirit of Sport award. Sport can make a difference, and after my career, I would certainly continue to be involved in the sport through social projects and as mentioned youth and female development. For myself, I hope to have many more years left on top of the competing field, and we are all very proud that Muaythai has become a member of IWGA and personally, I am very excited for 2017 as it is my goal to still compete and I hope that I proudly will walk in the stadium under the World Games, IFMA, and Peru flag. I would like to thank World Games for making me the Athlete of the Month; it is truly an honour for me, for Muaythai, my family and my country.”