11-year-old CODA jumps Glamis canal with UTV
[Transcript] We have a rising star in our community. A CODA, Ruslan Yankilevich, 11, is a professional off road racer. He goes by the nicknames, “Kid without Brakes” and “Certified Fearless.”
A little more than a month ago, Ruslan posted a video of him driving a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) and jumping over a 20 feet deep canal in Glamis, one of the largest sand dunes in USA.
That video went viral on Instagram and Facebook. Ruslan was contacted by a lot of sponsors, organizations, and even a Hollywood stuntman. They asked him to become a spokesperson for young people, to star in commercials, and even appear in movies.
The Daily Moth reached out to Ruslan and his deaf parents, Arthur and Amanda, for an interview.
I wanted to ask you about the viral video of you jumping over a canal. I’m curious, how did you get it to that point? You just felt like going there or did you plan ahead? Would you mind sharing your story?
So, we went there 2 days before, so we planned it out. We talked about doing it just for fun. In the morning I wanted to go there for just an hour once my parents agreed to it. While we were on our way there, I showed my dad the video of this one guy who jumped over a small canal. I told dad that maybe I want to try that myself.
When we arrived, we were stunned because the canal looked like it was two times bigger than we thought. I looked at my son for his response. He just shook his head like I thought he would. I walked away, but I saw that my son was still standing there unfazed. I asked Ruslan what was up and he said he was just planning it all out in his head. Then later Ruslan looked to me asking me, “Do you believe in me?”
I said, “Of course, I believe in you!”
But I urged Ruslan to back out because there was too much risk and it was so big! I really didn’t think that my son could make it. Then Ruslan looked at me and asked again, “Do you believe in me or do you have doubt in me?”
I told him that I believed in him.
“Then let me do it,” he said. I was speechless. I tried to give him more time so he would eventually forget, but he was very insistent. We kept arguing for 30 minutes until I gave in. I decided to think of another way to prepare for the worst-case scenario. I decided to wait for him on the other side of the canal. He agreed to this condition.
As soon as I reached for my camera, he took off! He made the jump after only the first try!
Before the jump, I was sitting in my car because when it’s on, I can feel the vibration of the engine. Then I turned it off to wait for my dad to give the signal. Then I threw a signal like I always do before my jumps. Then I turned on the car and backed it up a bit so I could get more speed in my jump. But I hit the gas pedal too hard and my foot slipped off it. I wasn’t thinking at that moment, but I made sure to go as fast as I could. I was so nervous! But I jumped and when I landed, it shook the car and myself around violently. It felt like I hit a brink roll. But I made the landing then I started crying because it was too scary for me. I cried afterwards; I was just so nervous! After we were finished, I was so happy! I started to drive in circles in excitement and made donut holes.
I told him to please not text me before the jump because I would start imaging the worst. I would rather wake up, enjoy my coffee and forget what was happening. I didn’t want to think about anything at the moment. Then he texted me saying he had done it and had made it. I was actually…
My body just dropped, it felt like a heart attack to me! I just wanted to collapse and thank God.
We asked if there are any comments that the parents want to share about Ruslan’s journey.
As a mom, many people have told me that they cannot imagine allowing their kids do something like this. I do understand how mothers feel. I remember, looking back, I would’ve said the same thing!
You would cry and cry.
Yes, I would cry. I’ve already been there before where I always focused on the negative. These two had to tell me to stop being so negative. Then I started to see improvement in this area.
You want to make sure you’re letting kids experience a lot of things. Try to not say “no” all the time. I know that there might be risks involved, it might be unsafe or anything like that. But let them have these experiences. The more experiences they get, the more learning opportunities they will get. If they don’t get these experiences, then they won’t learn.
So now Ruslan, what’s your advice for some of these young people watching you right now? Is there any input that you’d like to share with them?
Um, don’t always talk it down. “What if?”
We’re always imaging the worse, what I crash or what if something bad happens?
What if, what if? We need to stop doing that and just let it happen rather than dwelling on the negative. It is not going to help you.
When you go to a gas station, you know the small computer box for you to swipe your card and choose a pump? Right now a lot of gas stations across the USA have a clip of Ruslan’s driving.
Arthur, the father, mentioned that Chevron will have a commercial released soon and Ruslan will be part of it. There are other upcoming ones too.
The Yankilevich family made it clear that people should not try the same stunts at home unless you are a professional and you have medics and other crew members with you.
You can follow Ruslan and his journey on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
(Usernames with a picture of Ruslan)
Ruslan, we wish you the best of luck on your journey.
VIRAL VIDEO ON BEN PHILLIPS’ PAGE
SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]