Evgenia Kanaeva: “Nerves disturb Rhythmic Gymnastics”
Author: Olga Minailo (Russian)
Translator and editor: catts (English)
Published on 01-12-2010 at http://www.omsk.aif.ru/sport/article/16362
For three years, this fragile-looking but smiling girl from Siberia has set herself apart as the best gymnast in the world. She has won all prestigious competitions which she has taken part in. It seems, for Evgenia Kanaeva, nothing in RG is impossible.
Someone calls her victories a phenomenon, other explains that her medals were won by an unique talent together with luck. However, Zhenya herself does not think so.
‘I don’t have the most ideal natural ability for RG as I don’t have very long legs,’ The OG champion laughed, ‘I just do not know about taking breaks but doing what I madly love doing.’
After the recent WC in Moscow, Evgenia returned to her hometown victoriously. She does not mind the Siberian cold. Cold? Of course, it is winter after all!
With the tournament ‘Galina Gorenkova’ starting on December 2 in the SKK, Blinov – correspondent of the AIF in Omsk – visited the training session of the young “artists” and talked with our champion on the ups and downs durin the WC.
She grew up among the stars
Reporter: Zhneya, endless flights, addresses and changing time zones are indeed a crazy load for a 20-year-old’s body. Have you got used to them already?
Kanaeva: And there is no vacation in our sport. If one does not practice for a month, all ligaments would have become ossified upon returning to the hall. Not all gymnasts have amazing natural ability, such as Amina Zaripova. These people, even ten years with no training, are still able to jump higher than everyone else and do splits perfectly. But these are the exceptions. Therefore, recreation for gymnasts lasts maximum two weeks. Yes, and you have got used to the workloads since early childhood. Practice for a new RG routine usually takes 8-9 hours a day for a month. If everything is rehearsed, then 2-3 hours. But it happens only when everything goes smoothly.
Reporter: What if something goes wrong?
Kanaeva: Then you will stay in the hall and continue. As a child, it had happened that I trained from 6 o’clock onward in the morning. It was in Novogorsk, when Irina Viner somehow selected me for competitions – a permission that was not applied to everyone, and young gymnasts were excluded. I got up early in the morning to practice the elements in order not to disturb the senior girls who were preparing for competitions. There was only Irina Tchachina in the hall. So, I can say, I grew up among the stars.
Reporter: You see, that you eventually become the star of RG. Was it clear at once?
Kanaeva: Generally speaking, I could not have become a gymnast. Mom was against me taking up this sport. She also likes RG but it was difficult (for her to let me do it). My grandmother took me to the first training session when I was 5. And then my mom saw that it was not so terrible – I had the softness in my body, and training was pleasurable. But no one thought about it becoming the work for my life.
Reporter: Didn’t you mind that your childhood was spent in a hall on the carpets?
Kanaeva: No. At the age of 7-10, you are “energiser”. You don’t pay any attention on all these difficult work, such as running, pulling and training. Stretching ligaments is indeed a very painful process. Girls cry, but the stretch is needed. However, after all, not everyone can be “stretched”. Therefore, it is necessary to primarily work with those who have more ability for gymnastics. Having said that, the “hard” girls can do sharp turns better, while not all the “soft” ones can become gymnasts – they are like “sausages” (catts’ comment: means, it takes time to choose). These are the secrets of our sport.
Tears – not because of medals
Reporter: All athletes dream to take part in competitions. How old was the small Zhenya Kanaeva when her dream came true?
Kanaeva: The Russian Championship, for the little girls, could be something absolutely remote and inaccessible. The competition itself, though, is fantastic. I was 11 years old when I took part in the first serious competition. It was the Russian Championship and I took … 45th place. But it was not a bad result as there were more than 100 people and almost all girls were older than me.
Reporter: Now the world seems to think that nothing in RG is impossible for you …
Kanaeva: They are wrong. The hardest thing in this sport is the nerves, which should be made of iron. It is impossible to step onto the carpets without feeling nervous. Therefore, each item should be worked out during training so that the gymnast would feel like a “machine”, capable of completing the entire routine without any error. To learn how to ‘cope-with’ sometimes is more difficult than to learn doing a complicated element.
Reporter: If the nerves of the athletes are so much being kept under control, then does it also refer to the emotions? Do you often cry while standing on the podium?
Kanaeva: Usually, you think, “thank God, it’s over!” But to cry is not because there is a medal hanging around the neck. And it is not even because you have become the best. The important thing is to know that there are people who were close to you giving you their hearts and souls.
Reporter: Zhenya, what about the young gymnasts? Are they chasing after you closely?
Kanaeva: Competition exists even when you are so small. When you are able to perform beautifully, talented and a long-legged girl with the perfect natural ability, of course there are greater opportunities. Competition is necessary for the athletes to learn from each other. However, if, at a professional level, the person above you scored all ten goals, then it is not a competition but a hindrance.
Reporter: However, as not all gymnastics stars are talented and long-legged “swallows”, where do they disappear to?
Kanaeva: If you take the lead for 10 years, this does not mean that you will continue to remain at the same level. You can fly like an arrow, and can also rapidly fall. Coordination will change, there will be injuries … RG, like any sport, is very prone to injury. I also had injuries, but I try not to talk about them. Thank God, I am alive and well.
Reporter: 20, for a gymnast, is a rather solid age. How much longer do you plan to do RG?
Kanaeva: Recently, there was a gymnast who quited RG when she turned 29. I do not know what will happen next. It does not only depend on my desire, but on my health and appearance.
Reporter: Zhenya, what is your feeling after traveling all around the world for competitions? Where do you find the audience most rewarding?
Kanaeva: Usually in Spain, Italy and France. However, at the recent WC in Moscow, when I performed in AA, I saw how packed the stand was … There was no free space. So much applause, it seemed millions of people applauding because of you! It gave me enormous support. Thanks to that I had everything turned out nicely.
Note: The next competition for Evgenia Kanaeva is World Cup Montreal which will be held on January 2011.
(Zoe’s note: It should be Koop Cup-23 Jan, 2011 @Toronto, Canada)
Billion Thanks catts for the translation!!!!
Evgenia Kanaeva: 韻律體操考驗膽量
作者: Olga Minailo (俄文)
中譯: Zoe Wan
原文發表於 01-12-2010 at http://www.omsk.aif.ru/sport/article/16362
三年來, 這個來自西伯利亞, 外表纖弱但愛笑的女孩豎立了自己遙遙領先於世界的地位. 她贏得所有參與過的重大比賽. 似乎, 對Evgenia Kanaeva而言, 韻律體操沒有什麼是不可能的.
有人說她的勝利是種特殊現象, 有人解釋她是因為獨特的天分加上運氣而贏得那些獎牌. 然而Zhenya她自己並不這麼認為.
“我的天生條件並不是最理想的, 因為我沒有一雙很長的腿” 這位奧運冠軍笑著說, “我只是不知道休息, 然後做我瘋狂喜愛的事情”
在最近的莫斯科世錦賽後, Evgenia凱旋的回到自己的家鄉, 她不在乎西伯利亞的寒冷. 冷? 當然, 畢竟現在是冬天.
隨著12月2日在SKK, Blinov舉辦的‘Galina Gorenkova’比賽, Omsk AIF的通信記者參觀了這位年輕藝術家的訓練, 並跟我們的冠軍談論到世錦賽時的起起伏伏.
R: Zhenya, 永無休止的飛行, 轉換地點, 還有更改時差, 對於20歲的身體真的是很誇張的負荷. 你已經習慣這些了嗎?
Kanaeva: 我們這項運動沒有假期, 如果一個月沒有訓練, 一旦回到體操館所有韌帶都會變僵硬. 不是每個體操選手都擁有像Amina Zaripova那麼棒的天生能力. 這 些人即使10年沒訓練依然能夠跳得比其他人高且做出完美的劈腿. 但這是特例. 因此, 對於體操選手而言, 最大限度只能玩樂2個禮拜. 是的, 而且你必須從小就習慣這樣的負荷. 準備一個新成套通常必須一天練8-9小時練一個月. 如果一切都演練的很純熟, 那麼一天只需練2-3小時, 但這只有在每件事都進行的很順利的情況下.
Kanaeva: 那你就必須待在體操館裡繼續練. 小時候, 我曾經在早上六點起就開始訓練. 那是在Novogorsk. 當時是Irina Viner因為比賽而挑選我去那裡訓練. 不是每個人都能去Novogorsk訓練, 通常是不會選進年輕選手的. 為了避免打擾到成年組選手準備比賽, 我得一大早起床練習動作. 當時只有Irina Tchachina在體操館, 因此可以說我是在明星中成長的.
R: 最終你也成為了韻律體操的明星. 這是一開始就很清楚的嗎?
Kanaeva: 其實我有可能不會成為體操選手. 媽媽反對我從事這項運動. 她也喜歡韻律體操, 但是對她而言, 同意我練韻律體操是很難的. 在我五歲的時候, 外婆帶我參加第一次的訓練課. 然後我媽媽看到這並不是那麼可怕 – 我的身體很軟, 訓練是很快樂的. 當時沒有人想到日後我會以此為生.
Kanaeva: 不會, 7-10歲時, 精力充沛, 不會在意那些困難的事情. 像是跑, 拉, 跟訓練. 伸展韌帶的確是很痛苦的過程. 女孩們會哭, 但做伸展是必要的. 然而, 終究不是每個人都能做伸展. 因此跟那些在體操上更有能力的人一起工作是必須的. 但是, 身體硬的女孩做急轉做的比較好, 然而不是所有柔軟的人都能成為體操選手 – 她們就像香腸 (catts’ 譯註: 意旨需要花時間去挑選). 這些是我們這項運動的秘密.
R: 所有運動員都夢想能參加比賽. 小Zhenya Kanaeva的夢想是在幾歲實現?
Kanaeva: 對小女孩來說, 俄羅斯錦標賽, 可以說是某種完全遙不可及的夢想. 這比賽是很美妙的. 我第一次參加重大比賽是在11歲的時候. 那是俄羅斯錦標賽, 我拿到45名. 但這不是不好的成績, 因為比賽有超過一百人參加且幾乎所有的女孩都比我大.
Kanaeva: 他們都錯了. 這項運動最難的事情是膽量, 必須鍛鍊的像鋼鐵一樣. 踏上比賽地毯上而不緊張是不可能的. 因此在訓練的時候每個項目都應該做好, 所以體操選手會覺得好像機器, 能夠完成整套動作而沒有任何失誤. 學習如何應付有時候比學習一個複雜的動作還要難.
R: 如果運動員的膽量如此被保持在控制之下, 那是否表示情感也受到控制? 你在頒獎台上常哭嗎?
Kanaeva: 通常, 你會想, “感謝上帝, 比賽結束了!” 但哭不是因為掛在脖子上的獎牌. 甚至也不是因為你成為最好的. 最重要的是你知道在你身邊有人將他們的全心全靈交給你.
R: Zhenya, 你覺得年輕選手怎麼樣? 她們是否緊追在後?
Kanaeva: 競爭在很小的時候就存在了. 如果你有天分且有一雙長腿及完美的天生能力, 並且能漂亮的展現出來, 當然就會有絕佳的機會. 對運動員來說, 競爭是必要的, 以便於互相學習. 然而在職業的層級, 如果在你上面的人, 拿走所有10個目標. 那就不是競爭而是一種障礙了.
R: 然而, 既然不是所有韻律體操的明星都是有天分且長腿的女孩 (燕子), 她們消失去哪裡了?
Kanaeva: 如果你領先達10年, 這並不表示你會持續保持在相同的水準. 你可以飛得像一枝箭, 也會迅速的掉落. 協調性會改變, 會受傷…韻律體操跟任何運動一樣, 很容易受傷. 我也有傷, 但我試著不談它. 感謝上帝, 我活得很好.
R: 20歲, 對體操選手來說是相當穩固的年紀. 你打算從事韻律體操多久?
Kanaeva: 最近有個體操選手退休時29歲了. 我不知道接下來會發生什麼. 這不僅取決於我的意願, 也得視乎我的健康跟狀態.
R: Zhenya, 因為比賽而全世界到處旅行後, 你的感覺是什麼? 哪裡的觀眾讓你覺得迴響是最大的?
Kanaeva: 通常是西班牙, 義大利跟法國. 然而, 在最近的莫斯科世錦賽, 當我在個人全能決賽表演時, 我看到爆滿的觀眾席…沒有空位了. 那麼多的掌聲, 似乎有百萬人因為你而鼓掌. 這給我巨大的支持. 感謝這些讓我一切能做的很好.
註: Evgenia Kanaeva的下個比賽是明年1月舉行的 World Cup Montreal.
(Zoe’s note: 應該是1月23日在加拿大多倫多舉辦的Koop Cup)