Doing squats with her 90kg husband on her shoulders is no problem for triple jumper Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko. But spiders are.

1. I’m a cat-person

“Since childhood I’ve always loved animals. I especially love cats and dogs but living in an apartment cats are much easier to keep than dogs.

“My cat, Misha, is a part of the family. He is a black and white coloured cat and I would describe his personality as fat and lazy. Yet we love him and he is the baby of the house. If I was a type of cat, I would definitely be both a fast and athletic cat.”

2. I squat with my husband on my shoulders

“Yes, it is true, it was a technique first suggested by my coach. At the time Anatoly [Hanna’s husband, a decathlete] was holding the gym ladder and could vary the load when needed.

“My coach told me this was the best way of squatting because the two bodies could move in tandem. The first time I tried it I was afraid but I managed to move my husband and now I do it easily.

“Thankfully he has never fallen off my back, and although he weighs 90kg I can lift him a maximum of 15 times.”     

3. I’m scared of spiders

“Although I love animals I have a real fear of spiders. I don’t remember when this dislike started but I have never liked them. Now when I see a spider my usual response is to move away quickly.

“I don’t kill it and I definitely don’t yell. The relief is I have never seen a spider on the triple jump runway or on the pit. If I did see one, I am not sure how I would react.”