Original link: http://www.vesti.ru/videos?vid=495459
English translation by Alyona, many many thanks!!!
First time in history Russia is going to host the biggest competition among students – the Universiade. We rely strongly upon rhythmic gymnastics and now here is our guest – the two-time Olympic champion and the Ambassador of the Universiade in Kazan Evgenia Kanaeva.
Host (H): Hello, Evgenia! Now I am going to reveal the impressive number – you have won the Universiade for nine times. Moreover four years ago in Belgrade you performed being already the Olympic champion. Why were you so true to that competition? What’s the importance of it?
Evgenia Kanaeva (EK): Well, the Universiade can be called the mini Olympic Games. It’s almost like the Olympic Games. Many kinds of sports are included. It’s very interesting. There is also an Olympic village where all the sportsmen live and it is great, very supportive and funny in some way.
H: So, the atmosphere reminds the Olympics, doesn’t it?
EK: Yes, everybody supports each other, everybody makes one team and it is really great!
H: You are the Ambassador of the Universiade in Kazan. How do you understand your mission?
EK: Well, first of all well-known sportsmen become ambassadors and this is a great advertisement of sport aiming at attracting people to sport, at attending the Universiade and of course at attracting small kids to sport.
H: What is the usual level of the participants at the Universiade? We have already given your example – you performed being already the Olympic Champion. So is the level comparable to the World Championships or European Championships?
EK: The thing is that the level of the Rhythmic Gymnastics’ competition is always very high at the Universiade. The gymnasts who compete at the Worlds, European Championships and even at the Olympic Games perform there as well.
H: You managed to win 9 gold medals at two Universiades. Could you recall how it was if you still remember?
EK: Of course I remember my first Universiade in Belgrade. It was very unusual; it was for the first time. Of course I was very nervous because after the Olympics many people anchored their hopes upon me. I tried to improve myself so that people wouldn’t say that I stayed at the same level. I always tried to grow professionally, it was mentally hard but in general my performance was successful. The second Universiade was held in China and the organization was splendid. They hosted the Olympic Games in Beijing and all the experience was used in Shenzhen.
H: Did your rivals from other senior competitions compete there as well? Or it was just you?
EK: Well, it’s not only me. Irina Tshachina took part in the Universiade for three times if I am not mistaken. And gymnasts from other countries such as Anna Bessonova always tried to find the possibility to perform there.
H: Do you know anything about the gymnasts who are going to represent Russia in the Universiade in Kazan?
EK: The team is unpredictable. Many gymnasts wish to take the leading positions in the national team. So far they have gone through two competitions and now they are in Thiais, France.
H: There is Margarita Mamun who won three gold and one bronze medals in Moscow Grand Prix. Do you follow the new generation?
EK: Yes, I do. I used to practice at the same carpet with Rita before the Olympics. She is a very talented girl. At the moment I can only wish her good health because without being healthy it is very difficult to reach some high results. Besides there is a world champion Sasha Merkulova, very young girls Masha Titova and Yana Kudryavtseva.
H: What do you mean by saying ‘young’? How old are they?
EK: They are very young. I think they will take part at the Universiade which will follow the one in Kazan. They were born in 1997. There is also Dasha Svatkovskaya. So there are many girls who wish to participate in the Universiade, Worlds and the European Championships.
H: The word ‘Universiade’ comes from the ‘University’. But it’s all very conditionally. Many girls still attend schools, don’t they?
EK: Some of them do. Some are already university students.
H: What do you think about the condition of sport facilities in Kazan? Have you been there recently?
EK: Yes, I have. To tell the truth, I am amazed by the way it goes. Every time I come to Kazan there are new houses, new facilities, it’s even hard to follow the whole progress people make. It is probably the most sportive city of Russia I have ever seen.
H: Using your own example could you evaluate how much the Universiade inspires young people to improve, take part in national teams and perform at the higher level?
EK: Every competition gives you chance to get to the national team. The head coach never misses any competition. She always notices weak and strong points.
H: We have some time to speak about the national team. After London it is renewed. Is there any need to be afraid of the so called ‘generation change’? Aren’t the results going to fall?
EK: I think, due to the head coach, personal coaches and choreographers the national team of Russia is not going to fall. I believe they will continue winning because they are surrounded by such talented people.
H: Will you visit Kazan before July?
EK: I can’t say yet.
H: Well, I wish you all the best. Thanks for coming.
EK: Thank you!