Irina Tchachina: Let’s raise the gymnastics in Altai to a new level

Posted on on 12 May 2013
Originally written in Russian, English edition translated and edited by catts
(Big Big Thanks catts!!!)

Although Irina Tchachina was born in Omsk, she has given her the name as the sports school of rhythmic gymnastics, which opened recently in Barnaul.

During their visit to the regional capital, the well-known gymnast Irina Tchachina and Liubov Charkashyna found a couple of minutes to talk with Altai’s journalists. They spoke not only about their plans of improving gymnastics in the region, but also about how to do the splits.

Q: Irina, we are all very happy to see you again in our city – after the tournament that bears your name. What surprises await us this time?

A: I would not want to reveal all the cards at once, but so be it, I will say, at last we have opened a sports school of rhythmic gymnastics. There, our stars Liubov Charkashyna, Olga Kapranova and Natalia Godunko will be performing. There will host a master-class. Just like always, we will collect notes with questions from the children and try to answer them all. We are setting up the so-called online communication with children.

Q: Why is there so much attention paid to Barnaul? There are tournaments of your name, and now the school opened. Is there anywhere else in Russia like this?

A: When Altai first proposed such projects, I immediately responded because it is very nice. Here is an opportunity to talk with the children, as well as hosting the master-classes. We plan to do this in a constant mode: to bring good trainers and to host seminars – to do anything to raise the gymnastics in Altai to a new level. With God’s help, it will become a tradition. I hope the sport will continue to thrive. It is worth noting that last year there were a lot of kids in the tournament. Unfortunately, this year the number decreased a little because it was simply impossible for the judges to sit from early morning till late in the evening.

Q: Are there someone from the previous years’ performances who can already be distinguished?

A: It is hard to call someone by names. I know that in Barnaul there is a very strong school of gymnastics, and so many girls go to the Russian championships. Now, there is one more new sport school. Hopefully in about half a year time it can host the first master-class. I will try to bring athletes from Moscow. Let’s see if by then there will already be visible results.

Q: What is your role in this sport school?

A: I will conduct seminars, the master classes – as a whole, to lift gymnastics to a new level.

Q: Liubov (Charkashyna), what impressions have you got from what you saw in Barnaul, and about the level of Altai’s gymnastics in particular? What do you remember?

A: I arrived in the morning before the competition started, so I had only got a view of Barnaul from the plane. I saw how the region spreads. As for the gymnastics, I believe that you are doing it right by bringing in experienced athletes to develop gymnastics because there should be some examples for the beginners. When Ira invited me, I was so glad to come. Perhaps, even more, because she wants to do something similar to what I want to do at home in Belarus. At the moment I am here to share the experience and skill, and, of course, I have something to learn too.

Q: In the future do you plan to cooperate with the School of Irina Tchachina?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: Do you yourself now continue to train, or have you moved away from that?

A: In fact, I am slowly winding down my professional career and have started helping with coaching. I have traveled to Europe, where I was invited to give a master-class. Life has been very busy, and my husband has already asked, “well, when can we take a break?” I still have not rested after the London Olympics. Fatigue is still accumulating, I understand that I need to get some rest.

Q: Liubov, you have literally retired from being a competitive gymnast, and are the guest of honor to assess the other girls. What do you say about such a change of role and activity?

A: Very difficult, but interesting. I have never wanted to run away from gymnastics. I love it very much, but nevertheless it is difficult. When I watch the girls performing, I want to put on the leotard and likewise go to the carpet. I think it is a disease for every professional athlete: no matter how tired he is, all the time he wants to perform. But once there comes a moral limit, it is time to stop. Then, not just physically but psychologically too, you cannot overcome yourself.

Q: Now, what have you already given to the young generation? Probably, they have come to ask and seek advice?

A: Yes, they are very interested. Basically, they are, of course, the little kids. They ask, “how can I not cry before training? I’m afraid of the trainer.” Or this, “I want to stretch out on the string.” I have, by the way, one-woman fan. She is a real fan of gymnastics. Unfortunately, I cannot answer her. She asks, “Luba, what muscles do I need to stretch in order to lift up the leg?” And she sends me a bunch of her photos. I just cannot give her any advice, and it takes a long time to explain.

Q: I noticed that, while there were people supporting the performances, there were people literally sitting dead silent in the hall. How does the athlete take it? How do you find it easier to perform?

A: I will tell you about myself. When I stood in silence, there was this feeling: are you doing it coolly, or totally the opposite. Why does no one clap? When there is support, it is easier for the athlete. We must somehow shake the audience that they would take each gymnast, because each gymnast is an individual. She has something that turns out better than the others. It is wrong that if she is from Barnaul, let’s clap; and if she is from Omsk, we do not. This is wrong, unsportsmanlike, because in theory sport wins an equal fight. I can say that, in the Olympic Games there was this Japanese fan cheering for me. He sat on the stand with the Belarusian flag. It was very pleasant.

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1 Response to Irina Tchachina: Let’s raise the gymnastics in Altai to a new level

  1. M says:

    Nice interviews thanks for that. It is nice that Irina has opened a school of gymnastics. I agree with Liubov, they don’t have to cheer as loudly for the others but at least still cheer them because all these athletes work hard to get where they are and it gives them joy when people cheer.

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