Zhenya’s newest TV interview by Россия 24 (Russia 24), released on 30-Dec-2011
Original link: http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=675858&cid=7
English translated by Tatiana! Billion Billion thankssssssss!!!!!
Gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva became a winner of award “Silver Doe”. This prestigious award of Sport Journalist Federation of Russia she receives for the 4th time. My colleague Nikolay Yakovlev discussed with Evgenia the results of this year.
– Hello, Zhenya!
– I believe that everyone can say that the year 2011 was very successful in your sport career. 3 golds of European Championships in Belarus, 1st place at the Universiade in China, and 6 gold medals of 6 possible in France and you are AA champion. Nevertheless, which one of these achievements was principal for you?
– With no doubt the most important start was World Championship because we had to earn Olympic licenses. I’m happy in general with my performance. After Worlds I was watching all over again my performances and of course I found mistakes. Watching my own routines I can’t say I was filled with joy and proud of myself like some people sometimes when they watch their performances. It happens very often that when I watch my routines I don’t like many things in myself.
– Now I would like to know: what did everything begin from? Your mom and your grandma say that you started rhythmic gymnastics being 6 years old. Were you 6 or younger?
– I started to do gymnastics when I was 6, then I didn’t do it for 6 months. After that I came to school of Vera Efremovna.
– So, since you were 6 years old you were training hard and painstaking; sometimes you stayed at gym even after training was over. It’s extremely interesting to know what was motivating a 6-years old girl to work so hard.
– It’s not just me. Everyone is training the same way. There are many gymnasts who are striving for being part of national team, competing at World Championships, Olympic Games. Myself, I loved doing gymnastics. At the beginning I enjoyed watching others; I was enraptured by gym, by everything what was going on around. When I was coming back home from gym then my grandma asked me: “So, what did you learn today? Come on, show me”. And I tried repeating complete training at home. I think that great desire is the most important in our sport.
– The fact that your mother is master of sports affected you and your goals in some way? Or it was just you, just your own desire to do this sport?
– I can’t say that my mom paid that much attention at the beginning to rhythmic gymnastics. When I started doing this sport, many people were laughing at it because I was girl with many disadvantages: I didn’t have good body shape, I was pigeon-toed. So that when I started rhythmic gymnastics my mom didn’t attach great importance to it. She thought like: fine, let her correct body shape. But later when she saw that I like it so much, she was very positive about it. I can’t say that during trainings I had in my head that my mom was gymnast, and that I want to become master of sports. No. I had different thoughts, I was just training, watching other gymnasts, enjoying. No other thoughts.
– And still, what was your motivation at such a young age?
– I can remember that I had a lot of fun; I loved training even though it was hard sometimes. But it was very interesting to overcome myself. Recently I read my diary and it happened to be that I had a dream (I actually didn’t remember that) to become an Olympic Champion. Then when I was 12-13 I realized that it wasn’t easy to get even to national team, I’m not talking about Europeans or World Championships; and Olympics – I didn’t dare dream about it. But of course I was striving for that, I wanted it. I think that you shouldn’t constantly think: “I must get there; I must do this and that”. It’s just necessary to do your job fairly, with love; to get pleasure of what you are doing.
– Next year won’t be easy: 2012, year of Olympics.
– Great year. (laughing)
– How is your work changed in order to “clear this bar”? (means to achieve goal)
– At this point our goal is to work on new program. It’s very important because we have just 2 licenses for Olympics and there are many gymnasts who would like to go. I think it’s necessary to work really hard, to take care of health, to strive for going there. If I deserve I will perform at Olympics, if I don’t then another gymnast with better abilities, the stronger one will perform.
– You are already 17 times World Champion. It’s a level which is very hard to achieve. Many experts, coaches of RG say that it’s difficult even to repeat what you’ve achieved. So, if you look back at everything you reached, don’t you get feeling that it’s enough?
– Yes, many people say: “Zhenya, why are you still training? You’ve already won Worlds, Europe, Olympics.” You know, If I stay in sport, I stay not because I want to win more (Yes, of course I have this desire as any another gymnast when she competes she wants to win), but more I want to perfect myself. I feel that I didn’t reach the maximum of my abilities yet. I have desire, dream to perform at my second Olympic Games because it’s unexplainable feeling, amazing atmosphere, and completely different feelings when I’m on the Olympic carpet. I can’t say that I see myself as some super gymnast or super sportsman. When I look around I’m amazed by other great gymnasts. So I can’t say that I’m superstar because I see how many imperfections I have.
– My colleagues, camera operators after being here for 30 minutes and watching training told me: “My God, these kids are being tortured”.
– Ohh, it’s nothing. They are training just little. It is light training I can say (laughing).
– Well, but this is the feeling other people get watching from side. Do your internal feelings confirm this thesis that it’s actually looks like a torture?
– No! 1st of all they come to sport because they want to. Here nobody makes us to do anything. If person wants something he works. I’m talking not only about gymnastics; it’s reality of any sphere. If person doesn’t want to do something nobody will be able to make him work. If person has desire he will overcome himself; yes, probably he will cry sometimes, it will be hard, but he will continue moving.
– Our national team is at the stage of upcoming Olympic Games. Can you as sportsman of this team tell us how high the level of Russian national RG team is at the moment? Because you can also see the level of preparation of teams from other countries.
– Well, I say this way: why Russian team always brings medals – it’s because we are given amazing conditions for work, we have great main coach Irina Viner, and each gymnast has her personal coach. Mine is Vera Efremovna Shtelbaums. Moreover, we have many talented people working with us such as Irina Zenovka, Lucy Dimitrova from Bulgary who are art-choreographers and many others. All these talented people are working hard day after day bringing us to perfection. Success is result of this work I think. Well, I can’t say other gymnasts are lack in something. They have great programs, great coaches. I can say a lot of good things about other countries. Each of them has its own school, its style; many positive things. We are trying to take just the best from watching other gymnasts.
– In your opinion, what the philosophy of winner lies in? Because for athlete is not enough just to have good-trained body and great technique in order to win. I think it depends on some kind of internal state.
– Well, I have this idea that if person is good then only good things will come to him. It’s necessary to be honest, thankful, to appreciate what you have, to love life.
– Looking at you I can say you are happy person. Positive energy comes from you.
– I’m the happiest person in the whole world. It’s just I’m surrounded by amazing people that’s why I’m so happy.
– When do you realize that all this hard work, pain, traumas, that all this is worth it?
– It’s worth it. When we are performing we receive great energy from all the people who comes. We are giving them some feelings and they are giving us their smiles, screams, applause. It charges us with positive emotions. So it’s worth it.
– Well, I wish you new victories in New Year. We all are going to support you and our team.
– Thank you. I’ll do my best.