Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva: I’ll Do Everything to Come Back

translation from this article, Big Thanks Ekaterina! (the video and this article are similar in content)

Two-time Olympic champion, in an exclusive interview, has told “Soviet Sport” that she will do everything in order to return to gymnastics. At Grand Prix, Zhenya was simply being pulled apart: security had to restrain those eager to get her autograph. 

– Zhenya, does it feel weird to be here as a spectator?

 – Yes, very weird! Not long ago I was standing right here, in a leotard and was awfully nervous…

 – And now you are wearing a dress and stilettos…

 –  But I am still awfully nervous! I come up to the girls, tell them words of support, and critique them a little bit… I try to be gentle about it, just tell them honestly what I liked and what I did not. I think, it is important for them to hear that. But I support them more than critique. Because it is really hard time for them now. Myself, Dasha Kondakova and Dasha Dmitrieva have all left at once. And they had to take on our share. And they are still so young!

 – Irina Viner called Margarita Mamun your heiress. How did you feel about that?

 – I would not say that Rita resembles me. She is a different kind of a gymnast. But there are some common characteristics. We have the same stage director  – Irina Zenovka. So there are some common mannerisms. Well, I am actually flattered that they are calling Rita my heiress. She is a very beautiful girl… I like that Rita is a hard worker: she is silently toiling during practice. Toils and trains. She is a humble girl. Mamun has never tried to attract attention to herself. Rita does everything her coaches tell her to. It is a big advantage. But God sees everything! And it is fair that Rita was first in three events today (hoop, ball, and clubs)…

 – Irina Viner also considers her the leader of the national team.

 – I would not single out Rita only. I also liked Alexandra Merkulova and Dasha Svatkovskaya. Sasha Merkulova is showing such progress: she had not been training for a long time after an injury, and I started to respect her even more for such character. She has performed very very well! But at this point, Rita is stronger – it’s true. Darya Svatkovskaya is also growing, and becoming better and better every day. She also had had a problem, but handled it with dignity. But now it has only been a first competition. When the season gets in full speed, we’ll see who is stronger among them. Now it is too early to draw any far reaching conclusions.

Zhenya, now we know that you have been performing with severe leg injury, and now depending on the outcome of treatment, you’ll either come back or… Don’t even want to talk about the other option because we are waiting for you!

– It is not only the leg. I have general problems with my health. I did my best to take care of it but it is impossible to stay fully healthy under such strains. Which is why I am currently undergoing treatment. But I will do everything in my power to come back. I want to come back. Look at Evgeniy Plushenko. Even with a plastic disc in his spine, he is eager to compete at his 4th Olympics!

So you are officially saying that “I want that too”?

– Yes, I want that too. And maybe not so much for myself… After the Olympics, I have received an unbelievable number of greetings not only in prose, but also in verse… People wrote me such things that it turned my soul upside down. I did not even know words could touch that much! For them, for these people… I am ready. And I’ll be doing everything possible. But I don’t know what the outcome is going to be…

You have become a Vice-President of the Federation…

– So far, I have not been doing anything grand-scale as a vice-president. Big thanks to Irina Aleksandrovna, she does not abandon anyone of us. We know that even when we leave gymnastics, we are not going to be thrown out of the life. Anyone of us can always call her and share our problems, and Irina Aleksandrovna will always help. She is an incredible person… Together with Irina Viner, I have gone to Russian championships in Kazan to select young girls for the national team. So far that is all I have done as a vice-president.

People say you could become a good coach.

– So far I have not been thinking about it. I can come to practice, come up to Rita Mamun, for instance, and tell her: here you are lacking a bit, you need to change it. That’s it. I have not yet thought about coaching…

You are getting married soon, and completely natural things may prevent you from returning to gymnastics…

– I am not pregnant, if that is what you mean!


P.S. this is another video-interview, but I guess the content is similar

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7 Responses to Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva: I’ll Do Everything to Come Back

  1. ZKG-Zoe Wan says:

    @M, I agree with you, Plushenko and also Kabaeva, for me not the good example of returning…

  2. M says:

    Thanks for the translation. I am not sure I want her to return as well. I love Plushenko, he is my favourite male figure skater, but I don’t think he should have come back either, now he has all these problems and it can have long lasting effects.

  3. Mariette Riedell says:

    Thank you for the English translation! Zhenya seems like such a classy young lady! I hope she will be happy no matter what she does in the future.

  4. StretchyLily says:

    Very insightful interview!

    It is also nice to see her so happy and open with the discussion, despite her generally private nature.


  5. ZKG-Zoe Wan says:

    @activschorle, I will ask my friend to translate this long interview, please wait and be patient 🙂
    and well about my part she just said again what I did for her in Montepellier 2011 and in London last year 🙂

    And I am with you. I don’t want that Zhenya come back too.

  6. activschorle says:

    cool,are you going to translate the interview about you? 🙂

    Well,i dont really want that zhenya
    comes back to sport.But.. hmm xD

  7. ZKG-Zoe Wan says:

    Off topic, another long interview of Zhenya, OMG and Zhenya mentioned about me again ♥ hahaha
    In an interview with “F-Sport” the double Olympic champion said about the fan from Taiwan…

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