(photo from: http://www.kp.by/photo/gallery/45301 )
Special Report: How Rhythmic Gymnasts Were Honored in Elite Club
November 23, 2012
Original article: http://sport.tut.by/news/gymnastics/321982.html
English translated by Ekaterina, many many THANKS!!!
Kanaeva’s autograph, a gold medal for Leparskaya, Charkashyna’s tears. Honoring of the retiring Belarusian gymnasts, heroines of the London Olympics was taking place yesterday. Sport.Tut.By documented the event.
On Thursday, November 22nd, a retirement party for the five stars of Belarusian school of gymnastics took place in Elite Sporting Club. The five stars included Anastasiya Ivankova, Alina Tumilovich, Kseniya Sankovich, Maryna Hancharova, and Liubov Charkashyna.
The news that they were about to be told good-bye at first scared the athletes to death. The thing is they are not leaving the sport here and now. And it looked as if they were told: “Good-bye, let’s go!”
But the gymnasts’ “mom” – Irina Leparskaya had thought everything through beforehand. She knows better than anybody else that there may not be another chance to thank the girls for the faithful service after the successful London performance.
– I am not letting any of them go until each of them raises a substitute! – joked Irina Urievna. – And if they decide to continue to represent the national team, the doors are always open!
The guests watched a video. The scenes from the athletes’ performances can be enjoyed time and time again.
As you can see (on one of the pictures), the NOK’s management represented by the general secretary Georgiy Katulin and the first vice-president – Igor Rachkovskiy, could not take their eyes off the plasma screen.
Somewhere, at that moment, the president’s assistant on the issues of sports – Maxim Rizhenkov, was talking to the London 2012 bronze medalist – Lubou Cherkashyna. The athlete intends to devote herself to working in NOK, whose member she has recently become. But for now, she is still a goddess of the sports Olympus!
Numerous gifts and surprises awaited the stars of the evening.
Bicycles, icons, books …
… kisses. For example, here (on that picture) deputy minister of sports and tourism, Sergei Nered is awarding Alina Tumilovich with another diploma for her collection.
The gymnasts all at once claimed that they were not going to leave the sport not only now, but ever! They simply cannot imagine life without it. Free style Olympic champion Aleksei Grishin’s wife – Svetlana Rudalova – is another child in Irina Leparskaya’s family.
Svetlana finished her career a few years ago. Little Sophie, Grishin’s and Rudalova’s daughter, already goes to the gym. Sveta knows what her daughter is going to be when she grows up but is holding it a secret.
– The girls are not telling the truth when they say they don’t want to leave the gymnastics, – reveals Svetlana Rudalova. – Sport is hard work and responsibility. They know it, and also they need rest.
Marina Goncharova is signing posters for Tut.By users.
Soon we are going to draw.
The major surprise of the evening turned out to be the appearance of the two-time RG Olympic champion from Russia – Evgenia Kanaeva.
As soon as Kanaeva appeared, the gymnasts started hugging her one by one. Cherkashyna was first.
Tut.By was last but got an autograph from the honorary athlete.
Irina Urievna called and asked to come to Minsk, for the girls’ party! She said that my appearance would be an incredible gift for them – said Zhenya. – And so I am here. It’s a pity such gymnasts are leaving the sport. They are still young enough to be able to enjoy competitions and victories. But this is life. Someone enters the arena, and someone leaves.
Retiring Ksenia Sankovich in the company of the owners of “Triple” – Uriy Chizh and Vladimir Yaprintsev. Irina Leparskaya revealed once that Uriy Sanich provided a great deal of support to her team before the trip to London. So, we asked Chizh what kind of support exactly we are talking about, and he answers:
– Let Irina Urievna tell you!
So, Irina Urievna tells us:
– Chizh helped with a kind word and faith!
– We also had faith in the girls! – the dialogue continues.
– But Chizh had more faith! – Leparskaya was confident.
Actors entertained the guests. Acrobats and artists, singers and dancers.
A coowner of “Motovelo” – Alexander Muraviev was one of the organizers of the evening. He allowed the Belarusian graces a chance to leave the big sport beautifully into the big life.
The gymnasts also prepared presents for their teachers.
“Sport is life. It is love, passion, hope and faith. It is hard moments of sorrow and happy moments of joy. It is what united us!”
Posters and pictures …
“gold” medal out of clay for the head coach of the national team – Leparskaya. Lubou Cherkashyna was crying.
– May you only cry the tears of happiness! – Irina Uriviena gave a motherly embrace to Lyuba.
The evening continued. Pressball’s chief editor – Vladimir Berezhkov – was as always in the center of events. At the same moment, a popular singer – Pyotr Elfimov – was singing romantic ballads.
Another artist – Anatoliy Dlusskiy seems to have an anthem for every sport. During that evening, for instance, he sang a song “Little gymnast” and energized the audience.
Many of these girls are still single and now free from gymnastics. It is interesting, what is going to happen to these dream brides after the sport?..
related article and photos gallery, and I added photos slideshow to this article (47 photos)