Posted on http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/620058 on 29-06-2013
Originally written in Russian by Alexei Nemov
Translated and edited by catts (MANY MANY THANKS catts!!!)
The star of RG, Olympic champion Alina Kabaeva has given an interview to the outstanding AG gymnast – four times Olympic champion – Alexei Nemov, who recently has become the chief editor of the magazine “Great sport.” In the interview published in the latest issue, Kabaeva recalled the Olympic 2000, the doping scandal in 2001, and also talked about her current hobbies and …. a little bit about her private life.
About Irina Viner
‘Oh, I had suffered from Irina Alexandrovna. Outside the hall, we were the best of friends, but at training … As soon as she began to scream, I immediately sat down and stopped moving. “Kabaeva, get up! Are you going to train today or not?” And I said,” you have spoiled my mood, I cannot train today. ” Now I am very grateful for the patience of Irina Alexandrovna. She had a firm grip on us, and today you understand, how important discipline and responsibility are.
‘At the Olympics in Athens, before the start of the all-round competition, I always told Irina Alexandrovna, “No need to shout at me.” And it happened that right before the start, due to some fuss, she raised her voice. However, a moment later she came and hugged me and said, “I love you so much! I ask you to perform for me the way you know how. ” And immediately I was ready to move mountains.’
On the Sydney Olympics
‘In 1998-2000, I was on top form winning all competitions in a row, and everyone was used to it. In Sydney, I think, psychologically I was unable to cope with the implementation of the strange rules, that all of my risk elements were not to be counted. As for the fatal error … The hoop dropped due to no reason: it happened while I jumped according to the music, at the same time twisting the hoop with the hand. It seemed to be a basic movement element, which I had learned for 3 years. And the hoop flew off, ran for itself, and I thought it was a dream. But it was not a dream. It was a nightmare, with whom I had a long time to live. Now I realize it was a lesson and an opportunity to become stronger and wiser. And this is not only in sports …
‘I remember the president of the Technical Committee for Rhythmic Gymnastics, International Gymnastics Federation, Egle Abrutsini then said: “Alina Kabaeva did not become the Olympic champion because I was not in Australia. Even for the drop of the hoop, you, the judge, had to provide her the evaluation so that no one could come close and catch her up. She is ten heads above the rest, and how could you let this happen?”
‘But, on the other hand, I understand that sport is sport. And it was impossible to get the gold medal for this obvious error … regardless of the fact that year I was objectively the best.’
About the doping scandal
‘According to the rules, the test results was supposed to be back in two weeks, and we unsuspectingly went to the Goodwill Games 2001. If the test results were bad, why were we allowed to perform at the World Championships? It was because if there was no Russia, there would be no remarkable and beautiful performance, and the interest in the competition was lost. Then, we were informed that furosemide was found, a diuretic pill that was extracted from the body doping and, of course, a liquid that promoted weight loss. But why was this not said earlier at a time when a positive result became known in the lab? They allowed us to perform at the World Championships specifically, and we gave away the medals that we won. Thus the champions were the Ukrainians.
‘Many said, “Kabaeva, don’t go to the same river twice.” I responded by saying, “I am the water. Thanks to our enemies as they help me go further. ” And I continued to do RG. Regardless of the difficulties and some media reports, I only trained.’
On Literature and Theatre
‘Some may say that this is school program, but I advise you to re-read Jack London and his novel “White Fang.” I recently re-read, and got such great pleasure and had a new look at the work. And I like the Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin. His work is close to me in spirit. While feeling bad, I read “Remark” – which is about the plight of people who were much worse off than me now.
‘Theatres? I enjoy them very much. I try to get out from time to time. From my recent visits I have noticed “The Cherry Orchard” at Lenkom, “Uncle Vanya” at Vakhtangov, “Requiem for Radames” at the Theater of Satire – which is a production of Viktuk, and “The enemies. Love Story “at the “Contemporary”. I liked “Dancing with the teacher” at the Theatre of the Russian Army, in which Vladimir Zeldin plays. I recommend these shows, as you would obtain great enjoyment!’
On private life
‘Life experience has taught me not to let anyone intervene in my private life. Who wants to talk about work, the festival, other professional moments – you are welcomed, but not the personal matters. The only thing that I can say is: I don’t have any children. This is the truth.’
Q: Would you enroll your child in the sports section? If so, what type and for what purpose?’
A: ‘Of course! For a boy, I do not know which. But for a girl, in RG. Sport – this is where the team spirit, responsibility, discipline, communication with others and passion can make you an adult. The faster a child will understand the difficulties in life, the better. And every time he should go through them for the benefit of himself.
Thanks for the interview and translation! I appreciate reading her views on past incidents. I only wish more questions were focused on the present. I’d like to know how she trains to keep her flexibility. 😉
Thanks for the interview. I never really followed her but I know her personal life is speculated a lot.