Evgenia Kanaeva: trying to perfect myself at every turn

New interview released on 23rd April 2012
English translated by Tatiana, many thanks!!!

New Visa London team was introduced at the press-conference which took place in Moscow on the April 23rd. Its members included Elena Isinbaeva, Daniil Izotov, Olesia Vladykina and Evgenia Kanaeva. By the end of the event the correspondent of “Чемпионат.сom” talked to the RG Olympic champion about Beijing OG, selection to London and about secret of her successful performances.
(note by Zoe Wan: check visa.com.ru sponsorship list here: http://www.visa.com.ru/promo/visa_olympic_2012/sponsorship2.html )   

-Evgenia, your coaches have been talking about your incredible diligence and aspiration for learning new elements since you were a child.  Do you still have this desire of mastering something new?

– Sport is always a hard work of sportsman and coach. This is what should be in the 1st place therefore there are no lazy sportsmen. Desire to learn constantly new elements is a desire to perfect yourself, to stand out, to be remembered. It’s inseparable from our sport.

-When you were a child, could you possibly think that you will reach such a success?

-Sincerely, I couldn’t even dream about participation in OG. Imagine, just Russia Championship is attended by about 200 girls of my age and all of them want to show what are they capable of. Our sport is very unpredictable. I can’t say that when I started doing gymnastics I was sure I’ll be attending any big event. I just liked it therefore I was training. I started having results with time. In my case, a great desire and hard working played a big role, not the talent.

It is also important for sure. But there are many talented girls with no desire to do anything. And there are girls who less gifted but who has desire and works hard: they have more chances to achieve their goals.

-How hard is it to maintain status of leader and be one of the best?

-If you think about it constantly it’s hard then. That’s why when you leave podium you must forget that you have won something. You must put yourself together and work double hard, require maximum of yourself.

-Is it easy to forget about victories, especially significant ones?

– It’s not hard for me. When I win something I’m happy that I managed to perform my routine as I wanted. When I’m competing I’m trying not to think about scores and ranks at all.  We have to manage ourselves and not to give in till tournament is over. You can’t be steady, you must move forward, perfect yourself, and look for something new.

-In synchronized swimming any medal but gold is treated as a failure. What about rhythmic gymnastics?

– Yes, everybody got used to that we win just gold. IfRussiahas gold in hockey or any other sport, it’s treated as some great event. And ifRussiahas 7 gold medals of7 inRG then it’s treated as something ordinary, normal (smiling).  But it is hard actually to maintain this level. Thankfully to our main coach, we are given all necessary conditions, there are plenty of specialists, and doctors work with us. We wouldn’t have had this result without all of them.

-Does any other place except 1st exist for you?

-Performance is what exists for me in the 1st place. I’ve given myself completely to this sport, trying to do my best that people and myself like it. Although I’m quiet rarely pleased with my work (laughing). I can’t watch my performances because it seems to me that everything is wrong. That’s why I’m trying to perfect myself and I hope I succeed.

-You are already Olympic Champion. What are memories you have about this event?

-Olympic Games is type of competition you can compare neither with Worlds nor with European Championships. It is something unpredictable. When I recall it I have feelings like it was a fairy-tale or a dream. Olympic Games give you great emotional animation. But you have to stay focused on what you are doing at this precise moment. Inexpressible feelings. As Elena Isinbaeva said: it’s magical.

-Were you expected to win the gold before competition started?

-Yes, I think so. Olga Kapranova and I, we were representing Russia, people expected a lot from us because we won many competitions before. But there is no sport you can reserve ranks or scores in advance.

-Did you feel responsibility or pressure before the competition?

-In my opinion, you shouldn’t be thinking about responsibility or pressure while you are performing. You should enjoy it. If you are enjoying performance then audience is enjoying too. We must bring them happiness and joy. There are no sportsmen who always win. Everyone has ups and downs. It’s life after all. This is why they always need support but not just when they are at the top.

-There are a few gymnasts who participated more than one time in the OG. Why?

-Yes, it’s true. Alina Kabaeva, for example, participated twice: she was 3rd at her 1st OG, and she won at her 2nd OG. Natalia Lavrova, who died in car accident, and Elena Posevina are the only 2 times Olympic Champions in groups. Career in our sport is very short and big rivalry of course.

-Members of Olympic teams of some other sports are defined by now. When will be chosen members of RG team ?

-Together with Daria Kondakova, we earned 2 licenses for London Games, but they are not nominal. From competition to competition we are trying to prove who deserve to go there. Gymnasts who will be ranking 1st and 2nd will go toLondon. Final team members will be known after EC.

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