Svetlana KHORKINA, Russian gymnast, two-time Olympic champion, 9-time world champion, 13-time European champion, Honored Master of Sports of Russia, gives an interview about dreams of being the first gymnast in space and other things in the "SPACE. STARS. OPINIONS" festival section.

Did you dream of becoming a cosmonaut as a child?

"Of course, I dreamed of becoming a cosmonaut. As a child, I wanted, just as I do now, to go into space. Now and then, I have considered the professions of an cosmonaut, a doctor, and a teacher to be excellent. Cosmonauts were great because they flew to the unknown. There are a lot of mysteries out there, and I have always been attracted to mysterious and unrevealed things."

What is space and Tsiolkovsky's role in its study for you?

"Space for me is a dream, it’s beauty, mystery, limitless possibilities. What’s more, it has strategic importance for humanity. The riches and opportunities that have not yet been explored by mankind, scientific tests conducted in zero gravity - all these have a huge impact on the lives of people on Earth. There is the present and the future beyond space.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky created fundamental works for the further study and cognition of the distant and near space. It seems to me that Tsiolkovsky brought outer space closer and gave humanity the opportunity to feel it and unravel its secrets."

Would you like to star in a movie related to space flights and adventures in space?

"I would like to star in a space-related film. It remains my dream. It would be great to have a film made in space about athletes, about my sport - gymnastics. In general, I would like to be the first athlete to fly into space!"

The Tsiolkovsky International Space Film Festival will be held in Kaluga on April 12-16, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, the Roscosmos State Corporation, the Kaluga Region Government and the Ministry of Culture, Rossotrudnichestvo, the K.E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the Association of Planetariums of Russia and other public and commercial organizations.