London 2012. Rhythmic gymnastics. Interview with Evgenia Kanaeva
Article originally written in Russian, posted on site:
Author: Boris Khodorovsky, translated and edited by catts
After completing the individual all-around competition, now double Olympic champion Evgenia Kanaeva shared her impressions on her victory.
Has become more matured in four years and far more advanced than in her first Olympics, Evgenia Kanaeva is ready to answer to the questions after the gymnastics competition in London 2012. Four years ago, she felt much more constrained but now appears to have already accustomed to the role as the queen of rhythmic gymnastics.
Q: Where did you feel more nervous, in Beijing and here in London?
A: The first Olympics was all new. The spirit of the Games was the most interesting feeling. In London, my primary target was to perform for the audience. The majority of the public in the stands perhaps watched RG for the first time! And the fans in Russia literally bombarded me with calls and text messages.
Q: Were the feelings after the second win the same as after the first?
A: Of course. Before Beijing, I practiced a lot. However, now I have reached the goal that was once in front of me. It was all about reaching the top, which made you feel you wanted to win again.
Q: What has been the most difficult time between Beijing and London?
A: The first year after the first Olympic win as well as the pre-Olympic season. After Beijing, everyone was expecting something new from me, and many were waiting for the new leader of RG to appear. Life does not stand still at one place. It is necessary to look for new images to learn new elements. In short, it is about the process of growing up.
Q: Do you plan to perform in Rio de Janeiro in four years time?
A: I have not had time even to enjoy today’s victory, and I have already been asked about the long-term plans! Let’s wait at least until the end of the holiday, which, after London, I think it seems well deserved.
Q: Compared with Beijing, you have different …
A: Naturally, I have matured and, as noted by all, have become more feminine. My approach toward performing is also different. Previously I focused more on technique, and now I want to show a beautiful move and enjoy each flick of the wrist. Because people do not remember the score evaluation of the champion, but the performance.
Q: How difficult has it been to work on the Olympic program?
A: This season I have made ten routines, but could only come with four. Over one and a half weeks before the European Championships, we changed the ball routine. Yes, besides working this out I also needed to deal with angina. I worked together with a smart director Irina Zenovka, and my coaches Vera Shtelbaums and Irina Viner monitored the process. With such a creative exercise team it is impossible not to become victorious.
Q: What did you need to leave out?
A: At the beginning of the year I came up with a ribbon routine, which sampled the black swan. She evaluated the critical opinions and said that this character did not suit a positive person like me. I thus had to return to use the Chopin music. It turned out, as they say in the well-known advertisement, two in one: all the technical aspects of the ‘swan’ routine were kept, and the routine was accompanied by a piece of winning music.
Q: Are you talking to the apparatus while performing?
A: Certainly I thank my partners after the routines are completed. Just not with words, but kisses.
Q: After completing the AG competition Aliya Mustafina asked to convey her words of gratitud for your support.
A: We met with Aliya at the exhibitions in Belgium and have been friends ever since. We care for each other. I even went to the Round Lake base to cheer her up after the injury. Artistic gymnastics is one of the most difficult olympic sports. I admire our girls performing incredible things on beam, bars or vault.