Evgenia Kanaeva: I am a rhythmic gymnast because of my grandmother

Originally written in Russian by Nastenko George, published on 1 October 2009. English text is translated and edited by catts.

Russian gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva won all 6 gold medals in the World Championship in Japan. The correspondent of «Труда-7» had the chance to talk with this unique 19-year-old sportswoman whose outstanding achievement should be included in the Book of Guinness Records.

Q: I heard that the reason why you are in gymnastics is because of your grandmother. And why is it not because of your mum?
A: Honestly speaking, I don’t usually think about it much. Generally, at that sport school where I used to attend training, almost all my friends in gymnastics were there because of their grandmothers. Probably, our mothers had been so much occupied by work and thus simply could not bring the children to attend training at the RG school.

Q: Is it true that your mum was against you doing RG?
A: For sure you were mistaken! Your colleagues-journalists have exaggerated it. Actually my mum never opposed it, but at the beginning she was rather skeptical concerning my prospects in RG. After all, during her time as a gymnast she was not bad, and she even achieved the rank ‘Master of Sports’. However, somehow something prevented her to go further. In Omsk, the competitions were very strong during her time. Anyway, mum did not go to physical training institution after she ended her sporting career. Instead, she went to the institute of foreign languages. Now her work is connected with tourist business and avia-transportations.

Q: Does your mum give her suggestions on your training/performance?
A: Mum watches my performance wherever she is able to. But regarding to the execution of this or that element, as they say, she does not intervene with her suggestions. Yet, sometimes she gives very competent remarks from which I benefit. Well, of course, before and after every competition I would talk with her on the phone, and she is always very supportive to me. Mum is able to find the necessary words to keep me calm.

Q: Does she also teach you English?
A: Yes, it is possible to say that, instead of having a language tutor, my mum teaches me. In general, I am not usually at home but she tries to take every opportunity as much as possible. And sometimes she even gives me individual assignments during my trips. Nevertheless, as my English language is far from perfect, consequently it is more convenient for me to communicate with other competitors and colleagues from the nearby countries – Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine, Baltic. After all, these girls speak in Russian. By the way, the Italian gymnasts know some Russian words. The fact is that they are trained by our countryman Olga Tishin.

Q: Among the competitors, have you established some good friendly relationship with anyone of them?
A: Of course. In our type of sport, rivalry goes hand-in-hand with the composition of a complicated but interesting routine. I take no delight in taking advantage of the mistakes of other gymnasts. And I sincerely wish all rhythmic gymnasts to be successful. Of course, I feel most attached to the sportswomen (gymnasts) in the Russian national team.

Q: Will you take part in any other competitions this year?
A: When the WC in Japan finally finished, I felt so shattered … more than what I had ever experienced in any other previous competitions. I almost was certain that I wanted to stop taking part in future competitions, and even quit training for a few months. I just could not take it anymore. And then, during the gala show in Seoul (South Korea), I could feel the nervous tension previously on me was gone gradually. After all, there was much less pressure in this type of gala shows than in a championship and a World Cup. So, even before my arrival to Moscow, I already had begun to feel much better – first of all, psychologically. And then I had talks with my personal trainer Vera Shtelbaums and the head trainer of the Russian national team Irina Viner. As a result, it has been decided that after my 2-weeks break, I will start preparing for competitions. For this year, I will participate in competitions which will take place in Kazan, Germany and Italy. And before the New Year holiday, I am going to attend the International Memorial of our remarkable Omsk trainer – Galina Gorenkova, which will take place in Omsk.

Q: RG champions such as Kabaeva, Bessonova and Kanaeva often attract a set of fans including men. Is it possible for them to be informed that Kanaeva’s heart is not attached to anyone?
A: At the moment, my heart is really free. But, nevertheless, all my thoughts for the near future are attached to my aspiration to new victories in competitions. It is necessary to hurry up. After all, in our kind of sport our career can only last for a short while. This is what RG is like.

Our file:
Evgenia Kanaeva was born on 2 April 1990 in Omsk. Zhenya was brought up in a sport family. Her father – the Master of Sports in wrestling; her mum – in RG. Zhenya has been engaged in RG since 6. She was included in the Russian national team in 2007, having replaced the injured Alina Kabaeva just before the European Championship. And she immediately won the ribbon competition there. In 2008 Kanaweva has won the gold medals at the Individual All-Around competitions in the European Championship and in the Beijing Olympic Games. In the World championship 2009, Kanaeva won six gold medals.

Evgenia Kanaeva: 因為外婆, 我成為一個RG選手
Chinese Translation by Zoe Wan (zhenya0402)

俄羅斯的RG選手Evgenia Kanaeva 在日本的世錦賽贏得所有個人項目的6面金牌. «Труда-7»的記者跟這位獨一而二的19歲運動員Evgenia Kanaeva的一段訪談, 她的成就可以列入金氏世界記錄.

Q: 我聽說是你的外婆帶你進入RG世界的, 為什麼不是你媽媽.
A: 關於上述問題, 說實話, 我沒經常去想. 通常, 在我以前受訓的那個體操學校, 幾乎所有我的體操朋友都是因為奶奶而去那裡的. 大概是因為很多媽媽們都忙於工作, 因此她們沒辦法帶小孩到RG學校參與訓練.

Q: 你的媽媽反對你學RG, 這是真的嗎?
A: 當然不是. 是你們的記者同事言過其實. 實際上, 我媽媽從來沒有明確的反對. 只是一開始, 她擔心我在RG發展的前途. 媽媽自己在RG的運動生涯發展的相當不錯. 甚至得到了‘Master of Sports’ 的頭銜. 但不知何故,有些事情阻止她走的更遠. 在媽媽那個年代,OMSK的RG比賽競爭就相當激烈了. Anyway, 我媽媽在結束RG生涯後, 她不是去唸體育學院而是選擇語文學院. 現在她的工作是跟旅遊業及航空運輸有關.

Q: 你媽媽會對你的訓練/ 表現給予建議嗎?
A: 媽媽會盡可能看我所有的表演, 但關於這個或那個動作的完成, 如他們所說, 她沒有以她的意見加以干涉. 但有時她會給予很適當的建議, 讓我受益良多. Well, 當然在比賽前後我跟媽媽都會通電話. 她非常地支持我. 媽媽知道如何用適當的話讓我保持平靜.

Q: 你媽媽是否也教你英文?
A: 是的, 可以那麼說, 我沒有語文家教, 媽媽她親自教我. 通常, 我待在家的時間很少, 但媽媽會盡最大可能利用所有機會教我. 有時在我外出旅程時甚至還指派功課給我做. 但我的英文離完美還差的很遠. 所以對我而言, 跟鄰近國家的選手交談是更容易的, 譬如: 烏茲別克, 烏克蘭, 白俄羅斯, 波羅的海地區的國家. 畢竟, 跟這些國家的女孩/ 選手可以用俄語交談. 此外, 義大利RG選手懂一點俄語, 因為他們的教練是我們的同胞Olga Tishin.

Q: 在競爭對手之間, 你有跟他們中的任何一個人建立良好的友誼嗎?
A: 當然. 在我們這項運動, 競爭性是來自於複雜但有趣的成套. 我不會因對手失誤取得優勢而高興. 而且我真心的希望所有RG選手都能成功. 當然我更支持自己國家隊的選手.

Q: 今年你還會再參加比賽嗎?
A: 在日本的世錦賽剛結束時, 我覺得非常疲倦, 這感覺更甚以往我所經歷過的任何一項賽事. 我幾乎確定: 我不想再參加比賽了! 甚至想放棄訓練幾個月. 我就是沒辦法在承受了. 之後, 在韓國首爾的表演活動, 我可以感覺到先前緊繃的張力已經漸漸遠離我. 畢竟, 類似這樣的表演活動, 壓力跟責任是少於世錦賽或世界杯的. 因此甚至在我還沒抵達Moscow時, 我已經感覺好很多了, 尤其是心理方面. 回到家後, 我很平靜的跟自己的教練Shtelbaums還有國家隊的教練Viner談. 然後決定2個禮拜的假期結束後, 就開始為接下來的比賽作準備. 今年我還會參加在Kazan, 德國跟義大利舉行的比賽. 然後在新年假期之前會參加在OMSK舉辦的紀念我們傑出的OMSK教練Galina Gorenkova的比賽.

Q: 像Kabaeva, Bessonova, Kanaeva這樣的冠軍通常會吸引很多fans, 包括男性觀眾. 你可否對這些男性的fans說, Kanaeva的心尚未屬於任何人?
A: 現階段我的心確實是free的, 還沒有心儀的對象. 但對於不遠的未來, 我所想的都是努力在比賽中取得新的勝利. 因為我們這項運動, 生命週期是很短的, 所以必須趕緊把握機會, 這是RG的特性.

Our file:
Evgenia Kanaeva出生於1990年4月2日, OMSK. Evgenia成長於一個運動世家. 她爸爸是摔角大師/ 教練, 媽媽也曾是RG選手. Evgenia 從6歲開始從事這項運動. 2007年, 歐錦賽賽前不久臨時代替受傷的Alina Kabaeva參賽. 並且贏了Ribbon單項冠軍. 2008年Kanaeva贏得了歐錦賽跟北京奧運的個人全能冠軍. 2009年的世錦賽, Kanaeva贏了6面金牌。

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