article link: http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/508032
released on 09-Feb-2012
English translated by Tatiana, Big Big Thankssssssssss!!!!!!!!
Kanaeva gives interview very rarely. It takes half of year for journalist to be able to get interview. She seems to be perfect, far too perfect. If she wins she says it’s all thankfully to the work of her coaches. In case of very rare defeats she reproaches herself that she let down her coaches. None a step aside… Is it real or fake?
We will see her Olympic program at the Moscow Grand-Prix Stage in 2 weeks. The program which London will see in half of year.
By now we are talking to Zhenya at the café in Digital October building on Bersenevskaya st. She just had live bridge with USA: brands “Pantene Pro-V” and “Venus” have chosen her to be their “beauty ambassador”. “For representing femininity, success and purposefulness”, – they explained this choice.
“I practically don’t sleep at night”
– Zhenya, please, explain me: your reserve, practically impeccable image… is it your real face or mask?
– Wow, what an unexpected question. I couldn’t imagine that people looking at me could think something like that. I don’t consider myself to be a perfect person. I am as I am. I don’t see necessity to put mask on. I’m trying to make my family happy, and make happy people who watch my performances. I live, I enjoy. Sometimes I have difficult moments of life as anyone else.
– Is it true, that gymnasts get so tired sometimes that they hide themselves from coaches under stairs?
– True. Sometimes it’s way too hard. It can happen we leave training; we are hiding in locker room, even though it’s not good. But nerves begin to snap sometimes, and there is nothing we can do. But later we get back to training. But we bear it, because it’s worth it. Especially, these breakdowns happen at the beginning of year when we train new program and stay at the gym 8 hours.
– Without a break?
– There is a break. We go to doctors, masseurs. Some girls are able to take a nap, but it happens rarely.
– Do you get sleep during break-time?
– Now I don’t even sleep well at night.
– There is half of year to The Olympics and you’ve already lost sleep?
– What does London has to do with it. It’s not about Olympic Games. Do you really think that it’s all about London and that I’m going crazy slowly because of thoughts about my second OG? First of all, I’m still in the selection process. The participants will be known after European Championships. My insomnia is just tiredness.
– I read that Daria Kondakova won Preolympic test even in London. You both won 2 licenses for Russia for OG in Montpellier. But now Daria has her personal license. Why didn’t you do that?
– It’s not like that. Preolympic test event was held for gymnasts who didn’t get licenses at World Championships. It was their second chance. I, Dasha and Aliya Garayeva were invited there to compete out of contest as winners and prize winners. Since my 4 new routines weren’t ready at that moment I rejected invitation. By the way, world champions in group exercises team of Italy didn’t go to London either. It wasn’t such a global competition; it wasn’t even hold in the Olympic hall. But anyway, I’m pleased that I receive invitations, it means I’m still remembered (Zhenya’s laughing). It’s always good to attend different events, especially in the Olympic year. As I know Aliya Garayeva rejected invitation because of the same reason – her program wasn’t ready. So that Dasha was the only who went to London. Probably she felt she was prepared better.
– Are you ready to tell us about your new routines?
– Why would I tell? You’ll see everything at the Moscow Grand-Prix by the end of February. If I start telling now, it won’t be interesting then.
– You see! You withdraw into yourself again. In Montpellier you didn’t want to share what you were going to do at night after AA.
– Probably, I had no idea what I was going to do by that moment. I haven’t decided yet.
– Then everything is simpler than I thought. Anyway, sometimes your answers seem to be too perfect. I can’t believe it’s not a mask. May be it happened you weren’t careful with your answers once, too blunt so that you regretted later?
– Yes, there are questions I don’t like. I don’t like question about my private life and I don’t answer them practically. I decide myself what is needed to be said and what is better to leave unspoken. I always think before saying something. Personally I think that some things are none of public business.
– But what if we try to talk about you private life diplomatically. Do you have time for your personal life?
– Yes, sure I do.
– What is your ideal? To be mentioned, even Pushkin (famous Russian poet) had an ideal.
– I don’t have any ideal. It doesn’t exist for me! It all depends on what we want to see. If we want to see only person’s bad side, if we are set to look and interpret only disadvantages then we will find them. But if you are expecting to see only good initially – then you’ll see it. And everything will be fine!
– Once you mentioned that man must do something unexpected to impress you. What is it exactly?
– That’s the thing… I have no idea.
– Your coach Vera Shtelbaums told me about some young fellow who were leaving flowers for you at the Novogorsk gates. Does he exist yet?
– No, not anymore. There were some episodes which I don’t want to talk about.
– Wikipedia says you are studying computers. Very pragmatically.
– Oh, actually I’m not a big fan of computer and Internet. I prefer live communication. Sure, there are cases when people are far away from each other. For example, one is in USA and another one is in Russia. Then Skype is great solution. But I don’t use social networks. I’m always can be found by the phone. In my opinion social networks are just waste of time.
– Surrogate? There is sugar substitute, and this is life substitute?
– This life substitute didn’t pass me by. There was time I had an account in social network, but using pseudo name.
– What did make you to use another name?
– Clones. There are so many of them and they are not really friendly. When I tried to create account with my real name I started receiving messages like: “You are clone! What the hell are you doing here?”. I was shocked but didn’t argue.
– So what pseudo name did you choose?
– “Just Zhenya”. But I deleted this page. I lived with this simple name about 6 months after which I realized that I don’t want to waste precious time on the Internet. It’s better to read book before going to sleep, or meet friends. But Internet is addictive.
– Did anyone realize that it wasn’t “just Zhenya”?
– Only those ones who knew this secret or our common friends. But with time it wasn’t secret anymore. I had restricted account so that only my friends could write me. But at some point requests to be friend grew to immense number… thousands. I can’t virtually communicate with so many people. Not to offend anybody I left internet. You can’t please everybody. If I don’t reply to someone’s message people might get offended: “So, she is like this! I won’t support her anymore!” Why to hurt kids? Usually, it’s case of little girls who love gymnastics and who want to be friend with Evgenia Kanaeva. I don’t want to disappoint them. Let them better to attend performances and support us!
– What about your clones? You left and they are still there?
– I was told that there’s still clone in “Odnoklassniki”. My friends visited his.. her.. (?) page and said that many people write a lot of good wishes, verses. I was really pleased that so many people like rhythmic gymnastics. I wish there were more and more of them!
– It would be interesting to understand what is it that makes someone to pretend to be Evgenia Kanaeva?
– May be it’s boring and ordinary life, lack of bright and interesting moments and as result the desire to make your life different by being someone else. But it’s my assumption. Reasons can be different.
“Ashamed in ballerina’s presence”
– “Lack of bright and interesting moments…” Were there any events recently which impressed you strongly?
– Yes. It’s ballerina Natalia Osipova. I saw her performance at the stage of Bolshoi Theater before its reconstruction.
– It was kind of long time ago?
– But I’m still under impression of her dance. No one else has ever impressed me this way. Gymnastics begin from ballet. Every morning is begun with choreography lesson. And since I’m not meant to be friend with choreography…
– And why are you so surprised? From choreography point of view I’m not gifted. It’s fact!
– Which way you are not gifted? Don’t you feel music?
– I love music, and I hope I feel it. At least I’m trying to become complete piece of it, to join it. I sincerely believe that when I perform there is no impression that me and music are apart. Feet, knees, feet turnout – this is what I meant talking about choreography. For example, Vera Sesina and Olga Kapranova. What the perfect feet they had, what an amazing releve!
But thanks to my teachers and coaches we are able to hide my imperfections.
Natalia Osipova… she has such an easy take-off (beat). Not all ballerinas are capable of it. Usually, when I watched ballet, I haven’t seen any ballerina taking-off with full strength. It seemed that they barely jumped. But it’s just my personal opinion. But Osipova is different story: her turns, leaps, that ease, pace. And she never shows that she is tired by the end of performance. That’s professionalism not to show your real state! “My God, – I thought. –My performance lasts one and a half minute and ballerinas dance during 1-2 hours. I suddenly felt ashamed… in ballerina’s presence.”
– Impression can change us sometimes. Was there any change in you after you saw Natalia Osipova?
– Yes. I promised myself not to show tiredness ever on the floor or in front of audience. We are actresses on the floor, and everything must look easy. People shouldn’t ever be sighing: “My Good! Poor thing! How hard is it to her, such a difficult element, but she did it.” May be there is a positive side present. But I think is much better to hear: “What a difficulty but she performs it so easily!” It’s more interesting that people see pure beauty without expression of tense on the face. And our coaches work with us on it a lot.
– Natalia Osipova. Anything else that impressed you?
– My favorite book is “Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. I didn’t like movie at all by the way, too twisted. Too many outright scenes. The one who didn’t read book won’t understand my opinion. Movie doesn’t show the main meaning of all what’s going on. Picture is a human soul. Person does something bad, horrible and it changes his soul completely. And with time it will be revealed in his appearance. I believe in it. There are some people who at the first sight look not beautiful. But when you start talking to them and look into their eyes you see their soul. And image is changed; now they are beautiful for you.
– Are there people you know who have that internal beauty?
– The ones who are not beautiful internally I can neither accept nor understand. I appreciate and very thankful to people who surround me for their support no matter the situation; they always stay by my side. For example, I have an amazing friend, who tells me only the truth, the very bitter sometimes…
– Zhenya, do you like bitter truth? You like hearing it?
It’s not easy for me to hear it. But I admire that person has its opinion and says it frankly even though can hurt me by it. Sometimes, it’s really necessary to hear: “Wake up!” and to look at yourself without pink glasses.