English translated by Gaby (BILLION THANKS!!!)
Skip the introduction of the 2:30 mins in the beginning
2.35 I: Thank you very much for coming to our studio. Welcome to our show.
2.37 EK: Thank you
2.39 I:In the recent Grand Prix, you won the AA and the Individual Competitions. Previously, the World Championship was held in Moscow and you won there too. After so many victories, how did you feel? Did you feel more excited or tired??
2.59 EK: In the 2010 and 2009 World Championships I was very tired. I was tired both physically and mentally, but last year it was the other way around. I was stronger during the final day. The AA finals were on that day and after my last routine I was completely excited, in a good mood, and I was even stronger.
3.30. I: And now, in what mood do you start this year?
3.33 EK: I try to be in a good mood; but it’s difficult because the new season is starting, with new apparatuses, new work, new elements, so I must work very hard.
3.43 I: In previous years, you’ve won almost every competition. Are you used to winning every time? Do you feel the same emotions?
3.57 EK: Well, every athlete wants to win. No one wants to lose. That’s normal. But without defeats there are no victories. In my case, the victories don’t come easily. It requires a huge effort from my coaches and from the entire team working with us.
4.30 I: And yours.
4.32 EK: Yes, especially my personal coaches who spend every day with me in the gym. Irina Viner, the principal coach, pays a lot of attention to our health, so we have the appropriate conditioning; everything. She’s very nice with us.
4.55 I: So, every time is as hard as it was the last time.
5.00 EK: You know, the most important for me is to not disappoint anyone because there are people who put in a huge amount of effort for me, so I don’t want to disappoint them. I love them all and I try to do the best I can.
5.17 I:Are you saying that every competition is full of tension?
5.19 EK: Yes, but to tell you the truth, I try not to think about that. I try to do what I’ve been told and then I’m relieved or saddened.
5.39 I: According to your coaches, you’re a very hard worker. How important is this characteristic? It is enough? Or are there other factors like luck, casuality, destiny?
6.07 EK: The most important characteristic for a gymnast is being a hard worker, and to have it, you must overcome yourself, overcome your own temper. You must control yourself in some situations and enjoy what you’re doing.
6.30 I: But what exactly did you have to overcome? In your specific case, what did you have to learn to achieve the necessary character?
6.40 EK: My temper. For me, it is very difficult to control myself because I’m a very emotional person. I always want to do everything perfectly during training, but unfortunately when I practice a new element, I only do them the right way after a month or a year has passed.
7.05 I: You need to be patient.
7.07 EK: Yes, you need to be patient.
7.09 I: What other characteristics, beside patience, are necessary to achieve? And how did you achieve them?
7.15 EK: I think the most important characteristic of a person is to love everybody around you; every circumstances, no matter what they are. You have to look only on the positive side of it.
7.36 I: Let’s say that you were given the opportunity to draw the path of your career the way you like it. Would you have done it with or without defeats? As you were saying before, the defeats have their plus side too.
7.52 EK: You know, without defeats there are no victories. Because every athlete has to take their own path, the path God gave to us. The fact that God tests us is not in vain. It is something that human beings must work with, overcome and move on from.
8.12 I: But what for?
8.14 EK: Sometimes the defeats.
8.17 I: An example?
8.19 EK: Sometimes the defeats change the vision of a person. They teach you that you don’t need to be obsessed with something and you have to move on, think what is good and not surrender to sadness.
8.31 I: When you moved to Moscow, you trained with the “big stars” of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Irina Viner said it helped you a lot, as an example or motivation to grow up.
8.45 EK: I’ve had so much luck. I had the opportunity to train with an amazing coach, Vera Shtelbaums. I’ve also trained with her daughter, Yelena Arais. Vera Shtelbaums was already training Ira Tchachina by then; she won the silver medal in the Olympic Games. She’s a unique gymnast, an impressive person and I had the great chance to spend practically half of my career with her. The most important thing for a young gymnast is to train along with good gymnasts and acquire strength, virtuosity, everything.
9.39 I: And what did your experience bring to you?
9.45 EK: I have learned new elements watching the girls. That helps a lot because it’s one thing to learn alone and another to watch how the others do it.
9.55 I: You see it from different points of view.
9.57 EK: Yes, but you learn how to behave during trainings, to be nice with people around you. It changes your life.
10.07 I: Of course. In the past Tchachina was your role model, who is your role model now?
1014 EK: Every gymnast has their own qualities. The ones in the top 10th, 20th, 45th or 50th place can do unique difficulties. They are in those places just because they lose in the other aspects. We have a high level of difficulty in Russia and this is good because everything evolves so quickly; the particularities of every movement. This is why it is so interesting to work with advanced gymnasts. You have good gymnasts in Spain. I like them very much, they’re so emotional, and they perform complex movements. In Belarus there are good gymnasts too. I love the way Liubov Charkashina is unique in her own style. The gymnasts are very advanced on our team. The list is endless. Every gymnast is unique. If you watch the competitions, you’ll be able to see the differences between them.
11.24 I: If every gymnast performs at a comparable level of difficulties, why do some of them win or lose? What is your opinion?
11.37 EK: When we perform, at least when I perform, I don’t care about winning. I think about what I do at that moment. As soon as I start to think about the score, I get confused. You must have a powerful character. When you perform, you must think carefully because every movement, every step is very important; for example the ball can go far away, the way it isn’t supposed to go. A gymnast must face the conditions, find the way out of difficult situations. This is very important because the viewers nor the judges can notice something went wrong. You can get confused, there mustn’t be any mistakes.
12.30 I: How does it feel when you perform? How would you describe your feelings at that moment?
12.40 EK: When I start my routines, my heart beats very loudly and I have the sensation that everybody can hear it and see it. I’m nervous. Then I forget that I’m performing at the World or European Championships. Sometimes the audience is so supportive that I want to dedicate my routine, all my love, all that I do to them. For example, when I performed in the last World Championships there were lots of people. The support was overwhelming. I was enjoying it more and more with every routine, and the fact that they were enjoying it too is the most important thing in our sport.
13.34 I: We’ll take a break. Don’t go because we’ll be back soon.
13. 53 I: We’re back with Evgenia Kaneva. What is –in your opinion- the most important task of a coach?
14. 05 EK: The most important task, according to me, is to communicate security to the gymnast, and patience too. A coach must be patient, it is impossible without it. The trainer must teach the gymnast to love the sport, to love what she does, and everything else will come.
14.37 I:And what role does the trainer play in a gymnast’s success?
14.45 EK: Our athletes are very young, so a coach teaches us practically everything, starting with the basics. The coach teaches us everything related to life and with the sport. During the period we’re together, she teaches us everything she knows, and that’s very important.
15. 08 I: The essentials.
15.10 EK: Is like your best friend… without the “like”, is a best friend.
15.15 I: What is your role in the elaboration of the routines? When selecting the music, the choreography…
15. 26 EK: The music and the choreography, we pick them together. We’re 4 people: The principal trainer, Vera Shtelbaums my coach, Irina Zenovka my choreographer. She proposes the music, the images and we try them out. If the principal trainer doesn’t like it, she gives her opinion; we follow her advice and we make all the changes. After that, we show her the final result to see how it turns out.
16.03 I: What criterion do you use? What characteristics must the music have?
16. 09 EK: As I said before, we all have different styles. Not all music harmonizes with our movements. It needs to harmonize with my interior world, but I like to be different and I would like each of my routines to be remembered and to stand out. So people don’t say, ‘well she’s a good gymnast, she’s cute and she always performs the same cute routine’. I want them to be remembered on an emotional level. I used a Spanish song in my rope routine. Very beautiful during the Olympic Games, by the way. I would like to use dramatic music, sexy music; to communicate these feelings to the audience. I would like my routines to be interesting to watch. It’s like a ballet, always with different music; I want my routines to be different too.
17.13 I: Tell us about how you spend your days while training.
17.22 EK: The day comes by with several difficulties. Sometimes it’s good, others not so much. Everything starts with the choreography. It’s the most important, and we spend an hour/hour & half with the choreography. Rhythmic Gymnastics is related to Ballet. We go to the Bolshoi Theatre to watch the performances. Our principal coach invites us and we attend happily. Then our first training starts. We practice 2 or 4 apparatuses. In the ideal scenario – if we can perform all the difficulties- we spend 2 or 3 hrs with our routines. If something goes wrong, we spend more time in the gym training, to perform the elements perfectly. Then we have a break, and after that, the second training takes about 3 hours or more.
18. 30 I: So you spend the entire day there.
18.32 EK: Yes, practically the entire day.
18.34 I: What time do you have to be in bed?
18. 40 EK: We get massages also. We go to the sauna. We have the perfect conditions to train in the Novogorsk Training Center. Everything there is done to meet our needs. We go to bed around 10 – 11 PM. This is very important because in the morning we need our strength to perform the routines. If you don’t sleep well, it can be pretty hard.
19. 17 I: You spend the entire day at the gym. Do you have the chance to do what you want? Do you have free time?
19. 27 EK: Yes, of course. It’s a little difficult in the first period, in January for example. The work load is too much. It is not easy. After 2 or 3 months, the schedule is more flexible and we can have just one training a day just to rehearse the 4 routines. We have more free time then.
19.57 I: But you don’t want to break out of that strict schedule?
20.03 EK: Yes, of course that happens. But not now, that happens when we want to get a little distracted.
20. 11 I: Let’s assume that you’re given the opportunity to do something that you generally can’t. What would be the first thing you chose?
20. 22 EK: I don’t lack anything. I can’t say I need something. The human being builds his own life; he also chooses his own path in life. This is why I’m happy with my life. I don’t lack anything. I’m happy that everything turned out ok in my life. I can’t say that I’m lacking something.
20. 44 I: No, not because you lack something. Simply because there might be something that you like to do, but with a schedule like that, you don’t have the time.
20. 55 EK: In principle, I wouldn’t say that we have such a strict schedule. If we agree with our coach, we can get free time, but there are some periods of time when we ourselves understand that we can’t get distracted, so we don’t even discuss it with our trainer; so later we don’t regret our mistakes.
21. 18 I: Considering all the competitiveness, how are your relationships with other gymnasts?
21. 26 EK: I’m very fond of my rivals, as you can say. But I don’t call them that. I call them teammates, girls with whom I perform, because in our sport the one who goes to the carpet and executes perfectly deserves to win. Even if you’re ahead 10 places, the ones who don’t like you can’t say anything since you performed flawlessly. They can only be amazed. I don’t pay attention to rivalry. It’s good that there is some rivalry. When a gymnast performs better than others, everybody tries to compete between each other. When I watch the other girls, I don’t think they’re my rivals. I don’t think I need to imitate what they do. I simply watch them and learn because I can’t do everything. As the saying goes: “As long as you live, you will learn”.
22. 48 I: But one person wins and the others don’t. That brings some negative emotions.
23. 05 EK: I can only get mad at myself, because I understand if I make a mistake, if I lose, I’m responsible for that. The girl who won deserves that victory. I don’t have any complains about that.
23. 25 I: And the other way around? Have any girls gotten angry with you?
23. 26 EK: No, I don’t feel they have.
23. 30 I: You once said that the Olympic Games are a completely different kind of competition. Why?
23. 40 EK: The atmosphere is completely different. In the Olympic Games, you need to be focused. It’s not like in the World/European Championships. In these tournaments, I would say I show my emotions more, unlike the OG. Of course, you have to express your emotions at the OG, but you need to be careful, focus on your performance without any distractions. They’re very different. I still can’t explain it. It probably has to do with the audience reaction. They feel the pressure too. The OG happens every 4 years, and several athletes train especially for the audience, maybe not all, but many of them. That is the most important moment in an athlete’s life.
24. 45 I: It is said that every athlete dreams to win an Olympic medal, that this is the highest point of their career. In your case, you already won the Olympic Gold at the age of 20. What else can be a challenge?
25. 05 EK: I’m now training. I’m preparing for the new season. I hope everything goes well since the OG will be held next season. These are my plans for now.
25. 18 I: So it’s still a challenge for you? Even if you already won?
25. 23 EK: I’ve participated in the OG at a very young age and I think I still haven’t mastered everything in RG. I enjoy training and I keep doing it because I would like to show to the audience what I can do.
25. 48 I: We’ll be waiting to see your new performances.
25. 51 EK: Thanks.
25. 52 I: Thank you very much for being with us.
我们是一起做。四个人一个团队，我的个人教练 Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums，还有我的编舞教练-Irina Zenovka，排好了之后总教练看，如果有一些不同看法，她会提出来。
Thanks Gaby for the translation (L)
thank you for posting this interview, very interesting 😀