Evgenia Kanaeva: I am Leaving, Dreaming of the Family and Children

Evgenia Kanaeva-Award Ceremony-AA Final-London 2012-from Bosco Sport
(photo from Bosco Sport FB-2048×1550)

Original link: http://sobesednik.ru/sport/20130106-evgeniya-kanaeva-ukhozhu-mechtaya-o-seme-i-detyakh
English translated by Ekaterina, many many Thanks!!! ♥

The best athlete in the history of the world Rhythmic Gymnastics after her victory at the London Olympics, where she became the only two-time Olympic champion in the sport,  by the end of her triumphant year,  unexpectedly announced that … she was leaving the sport for good. “Sobesednik” urgently contacted the champion to try and influence her decision in any way – it won’t do to simply let such young lady go. And Zhenya agreed to give it another thought!

– Who in the world suggested that you say goodbye at the zenith of your career, when you have no equals even at the horizon?
– All key decisions in my life I make myself where possible. Naturally, I discuss them with my loved ones, can draw something relevant from a talk with my coach, but nobody persuaded me, saying, well, Zhenya, it’s time to leave – there is nothing left to strive for.
The decision has been maturing in my mind gradually. Is it year 13th that is coming?  Well, I can give you this many reasons that led me to my decision. First, with age, it is getting more and more difficult for me to stay at the same high level that I have set for myself.  But judges and audience expect from me only perfect routines with most difficult elements.  A small mistake from any other athlete may go unnoticed, but in my case, it would be considered a defeat.  Second, on the surface it may seem that I have no real competitors, but it is not so – even though someone may temporarily be out because of injury, I still have more than enough serious competitors. Third, …

– No need to continue. We do realize all this, but still it is sad. And if you leave for real, where to?
– Luckily, a job for me has already come up. Right on the eve of the New Year, I was elected a vice-president of Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. It means I will be assisting the president -our coach – Irina Viner in her duties. You know, she herself even wanted to leave that position! She seriously offered it to our glorified gymnast – Irina Tchashina, but the latter refused such a grave responsibility. But I agreed to become an assistant; the responsibility is enormous, I hope I’ll manage.
Besides, I have been taking part in numerous charity events: take frequent trips to my home Omsk, hold master classes for young gymnasts. Sometimes, I get involved outside the sport: recently, for instance, I have decorated a Christmas tree in GUM.
Specially for that project, I had designed hoop, ribbon and club ornaments. The tree will be auctioned for at least 50 thousand rubles, and all the money will go to help gravely ill children.

-Zhenya, you are only 22 years old, a wonderful age to start a family. Your personal coach Vera Stehlbaums let it out to us that your wedding with the hockey-player Igor Musatov is set for the coming summer. Isn’t that the main reason for you to leave at the peak of your career?
– I have already named my reasons to you. As for my relationship with anybody, I would like not to talk about anything prematurely. Personal business should stay personal; one should cherish it deep in their heart. However, like any other girl, I dream about having my own family and children. I also dream of true love – as a religious person, I believe that God sees everything and send it to those who really want to live it. I believe God rewards me for my trials that I have had so many of in my life.

– Well, then with God’s help, may everything work out as it is supposed to. Zhenya, in the end, is there any chance that you stay and make us happy with your victories? With 73 gold medals  in your senior career,  you have already become the greatest in rhythmic gymnastics and … (here our reporter could no longer hold her tears. – Edit.)
– Thank you for the kind words! Now, I am not even thinking about medals but of completing my career … I am. I may stay for some time. I am not going to ascertain. Ask me one more time next year.

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2 Responses to Evgenia Kanaeva: I am Leaving, Dreaming of the Family and Children

  1. ZKG-Zoe Wan says:

    @Laura, Thank you for the video link 🙂

  2. Laura says:


    Spanish feature about Zhenya’s retirement. I have found it fun, all they say is exactly and literally what I translated into Spanish from Wikipedia’s information. I feel ZKG has made this report =P

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