Originally written in Russian by Mariya Semenova for Eto Sport : September-October 2009.
English text was translated and edited by catts
‘I still have goals. I am not stopping, for example, simply because of the title “absolute world champion”,’ said Zhenya Kanaeva in one of the summer interviews. In fact, the gold medalist of OG 2008 has not only won the AA title from all possible RG medals at the World Champion. She has won all 6 gold medals, and Omsk –with delight – met the Absolute Champion of the Planet.
‘Evgenia Kanaeva has brought the biggest contribution to the saving box’ – as was written in all news reports of the World Championship in Mie, Japan. Her contribution was not only the biggest, it was indeed unique – 6 gold medals in one championship is a record no one had achieved in the past. It is too early to think if anyone can ever repeat this record – perhaps it will remain as a wish. But this joyful wish has come true for Zhenya, for her folks, and of course – for her unique trainer Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums.
Without a doubt, Evgenia Kanaeva’s highest achievement in this sporting season is her AA title in the World Championship, but her ‘gold reserve’ has also been filled up by other competitions. Different stages of the World Cup series and Grand Prix series, European Championship and Russian National Championship, World Games in Taiwan and University Games in Belgrade (in which Zhenya’s 5 gold medals have won the Russian national team first place in the medals list) – she ended them all by standing at the top step of the podium. The admiration is gained not only by the result of her faultless performance, but also by her physical and emotional endurance. It is difficult to continue – especially this fragile girl is met with intense pressure.
The fans in Moscow were eager to welcome back the national team at the airport straight after the RG World Championship. However, to their disappointment, the team returned back to the capital without their favourite – Evgenia Kanaeva accepted the invitation to attend the RG gala show in South Korea. Impatiently, we wondered how much longer we needed to wait for ‘our Zhenechka’ and Vera Efremovna to be in the midst of their native folks?!
Finally, the moment for this long awaited and joyful meeting took place, and we did not hold our questions:
Reporter: Zhenya, is it true that, after such an intense World Championship, you still had the strength to take part in the gala show?
Kanaeva: In the Far East, there is a strong interest in RG, especially in Japan and Korea. In Seoul we were warmly welcomed and thus I performed with pleasure – especially it was not a competition. At the end of the World Championship, I was really happy … because it was finished – it was over. The reason is that it was a long 5-day competition, and I took part in every single event. The AA event began at the last stage and it was very difficult. Thank God, it ended in a successful way.
Reporter: Vera Efremovna, when we met last time, you and Zhenya devoted completely in fine-tuning the routines for the World Championship and were prepared to get the ideal results. Are you satisfied now?
Shtelbaums: I always say, nothing is perfect; but, of course, I am happy. We did what we were supposed to do. But we did not expect to be so tired. This time the competition’s regulations were not so convenient. Very often, the qualifying round took place on the 2 carpets simultaneously, and continued from morning till evening. In the morning we warmed up and performed for the qualification, after 2-3 hours – the final started, and every day was the same. And for the most important medal – the AA event, may I say, it took 5 days in the Olympics; but at the World Championship it took place when there was little strength left. After finishing her last routine – the ball, Zhenya said, ‘I did not know how I got to the seat – I was so tired.’ It was all very difficult, not only physically but psychologically as well. So, it was much harder than in the Olympic Games.
Kanaeva: Correctly speaking, for the Olympics, everything was very special – which was incomparable. And the difficulties were different. I think it is impossible to explain.
Reporter: During this World Championship, new names appeared in the national team – the 2 girls, both named Darya – who performed very well.
Shtelbaums: That’s why I always say to Zhenya , ‘once you step down from the podium, forget everything, all are already gone, and you need to start from anew, and go forward.’ Now, after taking a break, we will think about the new routines as next year all will be different. To go up to the podium is difficult, but it is more difficult to stay there. In RG, it is – in particular – not that simple as there are always new faces showing up. And if she wins in this current year, someone new will be waiting for the chance to rise up and to compete alongside her. Darya Kondakova was in her first World Championship and took second place. She defeated Bessonova – who has already been performing for over 10 years.
Kanaeva: And Dasha Dmitrieva performed exceptionally well, and she is also in her first year.
Shtelbaums: Yes, she is our Siberian girl.
Reporter: We saw this girl at the Siberian Championship during spring time. Elena Nikolaevna Arais paid very special attention on her and commented that she was a very strong gymnast. Do you think there is anything to be afraid of?
Shtelbaums: How? All gymnasts train, and no one is sure of any position. We still have young and good gymnasts with enormous potential. You still have not seen Sasha Ermakova – she should have taken part in the World Championship, but was injured.
Kanaeva: There are girls from other countries who also perform very solidly. Each has her own strengths and specialties. I enjoyed Luba Cherkashina from Belarus, and Ulyana Trofimova from Uzbekistan.
Shtelbaums: Of course, the competition is very hot. As a result, we need to try and do new compositions to cast away any doubt in ourselves.
Kanaeva: And it has been interesting.
Reporter: Zhenya, this year you have performed many times. Which countries have made you feel the most comfortable?
Zhenya: I like Japan very much, and I was there not for the first time. I enjoy performing in Italy, where the World Cup took place; in France, the Grand Prix. The fans there are very good.
Reporter: Vera Efremovna, it is known that there is a plan of building a new RG centre in our (Omsk) region – a big compound which has the capability to host competitions.
Shtelbaums: We are very happy about this. For a long time, Omsk has been outstanding in the RG world. Many people know about us. All the time there are foreigners coming – and judges and trainers. They congratulate and admire Zhenya. For example, at the World Championship, the tickets were sold 6 months in advance – as RG is popular there. We have a lot of foreigners coming to attend our competitions, but at the moment we cannot take them. We very much hope that soon we will have a smart hall. About technical requirements, there are really a lot. You may have known, ribbon is the most ‘artful’ apparatus but it is dependent so much on external factors – which need to be considered. We perform in a big hall, and there are air-conditioners everywhere. If you remember, it costed Ira Tchachina the gold medal at the Olympic Games. This is ribbon. And when we performed at the World Games in Taiwan, because of the air-conditioners, the ribbons practically were not under the control of the gymnasts.
Complications can also happen to other apparatus – for example, the projectors can affect the gymnasts’ toss and catch of apparatus because it can blind the eyes. You may want to try to see a thin rope when a strong light shines into the eyes! By the way, just now, while we were in Korea, I was even surprised by Zhenya.
Reporter: Really? We, what a shame, could not watch this program.
Shtelbaums: The show was organized by the American producers, and many Russians performed, as well as those from America and Canada. Many of them perform in the show ‘Circus du Soley (Цирке дю Солей)’, a very famous show – what they did were so interesting!
There, Zhenya performed almost without light: she walks out, and a beam light shines out of darkness. She tosses the rope, and I think, ‘where does she toss the rope to? I don’t see anything.’ And only at the last moment she suddenly takes action! Zhenya was great, and did everything so accurately, and was admired by many, and was very satisfied – considering the conditions.
At the end of the year Evgenia Kanaeva needs to perform in the final competition of Grand Prix series in Berlin, and afterward – she will be home for the memorial competition of Galina Gorenkova. For Vera Efremovha Shtelbaums, she will be the honourable guest for this tournament at home.
PS. While Zhenya was on holiday – just a short break, the result of the second round of the project ‘Golden Podium (Золотой пьедестал)’ – in which the best athletes of September were selected – was released. Evgenia Kanaeva, for the second time (as in June) became the finalist of the project. Let’s be reminded that the best athletes of each month will be joined by others in competition for victory in the total voting for 2009, which will take place on 30 and 31 December.
Chinese translated by Zoe WAN
「我仍然有目標，我不會停下腳步，譬如，我還不是世界冠軍。」這是Zhenya Kanaeva 在今年夏天某次訪問中說過的話。事實上，這位2008年的奧運冠軍不只在世錦賽的所有可能獎牌裡贏了個人全能冠軍。她贏了所有個人項目(包括團隊競賽) 的6面金牌，OMSK很榮幸的能和這位世界冠軍見面。
如同所有Mie世錦賽的新聞報導所寫的: Evgenia Kanaeva帶來了最大的貢獻。她的貢獻不只是最大，而且是獨特的-在單一屆的世錦賽贏了6面金牌是一個記錄，過去從未有人達成過。現在去想是否有任何人能同樣達成這項紀錄還太早。也許能把這當作一個願望。但這個歡欣的願景是給Zhenya，給她的同鄉人，當然還有她的特別的教練 Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums。
毫無疑問，今年賽季，Evgenia Kanaeva的最高成就就是世界錦標賽的個人全能冠軍，但她的金牌收藏還來自很多其他的比賽。世界杯系列跟大獎賽的各分站賽事，歐洲錦標賽跟俄羅斯國家錦標賽，台灣的世運跟Belgrade的世界大學運動會(世界大學運動會，俄羅斯隊因為Zhenya的5面金牌而在獎牌榜排名第一) 她在各個比賽都站上頒獎台的最高位置。欣賞的不只是她完美無缺的表演，還有她身體跟情緒上的持久力. 要持續下去是很困難的-尤其這個嬌嫩的女孩承受著非常巨大的壓力。
Moscow 的fans在機場翹首期盼國家隊選手從世錦賽凱旋而歸。然而，讓他們失望的是，他們最熱烈期盼的Evgenia Kanaeva沒有隨隊回來-她接受邀請去韓國參加一個Gala Show。 我們非常焦急地想到底還得等多久才能看到我們的Zhenechka 跟 Vera Efremovna回到家鄉人身邊。
記者: Zhenya，經過了這麼激烈的世錦賽後，你還有力氣去韓國參加Gala Show?
記者: Vera Efremovna，我們最後一次碰面的時候，你跟Zhenya全心全意在為世錦賽做準備，為了能獲得好的比賽結果而努力。現在你感到滿意嗎?
Shtelbaums: 我總是說，沒有什麼是完美的; 但，當然，我很高興。我們做到我們該做的。但我們沒想到會這麼累。這次比賽的賽程安排對選手而言不是很方便。資格賽經常是同時在兩個場地進行，且是從早上比到傍晚。早上時先暖身然後進行資格賽，2-3個小時之後，決賽就開始了，每天都一樣。至於最重要的獎牌-個人全能競賽，奧運是比3天 (不知道是Shtelbaums記錯還是記者寫錯，奧運個人全能是比三天)，但世錦賽當個人全能決賽進行時，選手的體力已經所剩無幾。當Zhenya完成她最後一個routine-球操的時候，Zhenya說: 「我不知道我怎麼走到K&C的座位上的-我好累。」(wanwan 讀到這裡覺得好心疼啊 )真的是很艱辛，不只是生理上，心理上也是。所以，這次的比賽比奧運還要困難的多。
Shtelbaums: 這就是為什麼我總是跟Zhenya說: 「當你走下獎台，忘記所有的事，所有的事情都過去了，你必須從新開始。然後持續向前進。」現在，等休息一段時間後，我們會開始想新的成套，因為明年所有的事又不一樣了。RG，不是那麼簡單的，因為總是會有新面孔不斷冒出來。而當她開始贏，就會有另一個新人等待機會被提拔且開始跟在她身邊一起競爭。今年是Darya Kondakova第一次參加世錦賽就拿到第二名。她贏了已經在RG待超過10年的Bessonova。
Zhenya: Dasha Dmitrieva表現的非常好，她也是第一次參加世錦賽。
記者: 我們看過這個女孩在今年春天舉辦的西伯利亞錦標賽。Elena Nikolaevna Arais (Shtelbaums的女兒) 對她特別留意而且說她是個很好的體操選手。你覺得這是否是個威脅?
Shtelbaums: 為什麼? 所有的選手都要接受訓練，沒有人能保證任何的位置。我們仍然有很多具有巨大潛力的年經且好的選手。你還沒看過Sasha Ermakova-本來應該是她參加世錦賽，但卻因傷退出。
Zhenya: 其他國家的選手也表現的很穩定。每個人都有她獨特的優點跟特徵。我很喜歡白俄羅斯的Luba Cherkashina跟烏茲別克的Ulyana Trofimova。
Shtelbaums: 當然，比賽競爭是非常激烈。所以我們必須試著做新的組合編排以便將所以不確定/ 懷疑的因素排除。
Zhenya: 我很喜歡日本，我不是第一次去那裡。我很享受在義大利比賽/ 表演，今年有一個世界杯分站賽在那裡舉辦。在法國舉行的Thiais大獎賽，那裡的fans非常棒。
記者: Vera Efremovna，有個計畫是OMSK地區打算蓋新的RG中心。一個大的複合式中心-可以舉辦RG比賽。
Shtelbaums: 我們對這計畫感到很高興。長久以來，OMSK在RG世界是非常傑出的。很多人知道我們。總是會有外國人來到這-還有裁判跟教練。他們恭賀並欣賞Zhenya。例如，今年的世錦賽的門票在比賽前6個月就開始賣-因為RG在日本很受歡迎。我們有很多外國人來到這參加這裡的比賽，但現階段，我們沒辦法讓他們加入。我們非常希望很快的我們能有個很棒的場館。關於科技的設備，真的是需要具備很多。你也許知道，彩帶是最精巧的器械但它很容易受外在環境因素的影響-那是得被考慮進去的。我們在一個大場館表演，然後那裡到處有空調。如果你記得，這使Ira Tchachina失去奧運金牌。這就是彩帶。今年在台灣舉辦的世運，因為空調的關係，彩帶特別不受選手控制。
記者: 真的嗎? 多麼遺憾，我們無法看到那個表演節目。
Shtelbaums: 這個表演活動是由美國製作公司辦的，很多俄羅斯人參與表演還有美國跟加拿大的選手。很多人是‘Circus du Soley (Цирке дю Солей)’-(一個很有名的Show) 的表演者，他們的表演都很有趣。
在這次的活動，Zhenya幾乎是在沒有燈光的情況下表演，她走出場，然後一束雷射光從黑暗中照射出來。她將繩子拋出，然後我想: 「她把繩子拋到哪裡? 我看不到任何東西。」直到最後一刻，她才突然做出反應! Zhenya太棒太厲害了，每件事都做的如此精準。考量到現場的環境，她的表演很受到讚賞，觀眾對她非常滿意。
今年年終的時候Evgenia Kanaeva還得去參加在柏林舉辦的大獎賽決賽，之後她將會回到家鄉參加紀念Galina Gorenkova的比賽。而Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums將會是比賽的榮譽貴賓。
PS. 當Zhenya在世錦賽後的小休時，Golden Podium計畫的第二階段票選結果出爐-那是票選九月的最佳運動員。Evgenia Kanaeva第二次進入計畫的決賽名單(第一次是在今年六月)。提醒一下，每個月的最佳運動員會跟其他人一起競爭2009年最佳運動員，那是在12月30跟31號舉辦。
今年年終的時候Evgenia Kanaeva還得去參加在柏林舉辦的大獎賽決賽，之後她將會回到家鄉參加紀念Galina Gorenkova的比賽。而Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums將會是比賽的榮譽貴賓。
PS. 當Zhenya在世錦賽後的小休時，Golden Podium計畫的第二階段票選結果出爐–那是票選九月的最佳運動員。Evgenia Kanaeva第二次進入計畫的決賽名單(第一次是在今年六月)。提醒一下，每個月的最佳運動員會跟其他人一起競爭2009年最佳運動員，那是在12月30跟31號舉辦。