Translated by my friend Tatiana, Many Many Thanks!!!
Rita: My dear knees (laughing)
Q: What happened to them?
Rita: It’s all the floor: we are moving all the time, catching apparatus, etc. so that skin gets scratched all the time.
Q: Wow, so that’s the price of victory. So please tell us, how much did this medal cost you morally?
Rita: Morally, it was very hard. This medal is a result of hard work. Looking back I see how difficult this path to medal was. I’m glad I could make it.
Q: Have you already realized that you are an Olympic champion?
Rita: No, not yet. As you see, I am still with make up from competition, which finished like 4 hours ago, then doping test, then this and that… so no, I haven’t realized it yet.
Q: What are your feelings right now?
Rita: I’m happy, I really am happy I managed perform well, and finished successfully with gold medal. It’s so cool, I’m very happy.
Q: I believe everyone wonders how it is to compete with your friend.
Rita: I competed with myself. It is hard to overcome yourself; to make yourself go on when it’s seems you can’t anymore. Especially yesterday because we were competing whole day; it’s hard to overcome your own fear, worrying; pressure of responsibility. It’s hard because we need to go there and perform. So it’s yourself you are competing with. There was a loss (mistake) at Yana’s routine, that kind of mistake we can’t talk about competing for gold. But I found out about it after I finished my ribbon routine, Yana told me she dropped clubs.
Q: What did you tell her?
Rita: We couldn’t believe we did it, that all of it was over. Anyway Olympics are a peak of our careers, and we are glad everything has ended so well.
Q: Margarita, there are talks that you got food-poisoning in San Paolo? Is it true?
Rita: Yes, I don’t know how people know it. But, yes. We arrived July, 28th. July, 29th after training, I suddenly got fever and food-poisoning. I don’t know if it was acclimatization or something else, but a few days were wasted. I started training just August, 1st; August, 5th it was opening ceremony and I was still feeling sick I panicked I wouldn’t be ready to compete. My coaches were calming me down, telling me that I’ll be ready. And eventually I was, and everything turned out to finish well. Those were difficulties on my way, mine “per aspera ad astra” (“through hardships to the stars”).
Q: What did your mom say? Did she cry?
Rita: Yes, she did. She said she always believed in me. She hasn’t realized I’m an Olympic champion yet that, but she says she always hoped and believed I could make it.
Q: And last question. Can you tell us how it feels to be on pedestal?
Rita: Seconds of happiness we are training for. To be there and sing the anthem, these feelings are indescribable.
I see. I loved that move by her. Well she would’ve lost the difficulty and execution. There is no breakdown of scores? That’s the problem isn’t it? Even the gymnasts and coaches can’t see it. So we don’t know who gave what. In synchronized swimming, even the commentators can see the breakdown of scores. If each scorecard was revealed, I think it will solve alot of things. Then the gymnast can appeal certain parts instead of just putting in a general appeal and hope the judges will not deduct even more points.
Anyway, you can really tell from Zhenya’s reaction whenever she makes mistakes. While 28 still seems high, it is far off from what she usually gets though.
I re-upload Zhenya’s ball in EF @Portimao 2010 (no mistakes in AA), 43s-51s she should catch the ball with her back then do a backscale but she didn’t catch the ball, she picked up the ball and tried to do a backscale, the ball dropped again…
She always made mistakes with this movement (catch ball with back) that year, that’s why she removed it in the 2nd half of 2010 (including EC and Worlds). same situation in 2011, she had this trick at the beginning of the season, but could not do it well constantly so she removed it.
Hmm…i remember i wrote a reply to you but somehow it didn’t get posted. Sorry, been busy with work. I do agree that the Russians do get the benefit of the doubt most of the time. I don’t want to speak for Merkulova or Kudryavtseva as I would be heavily biased against them. As for Zhenya and Portimao 2010, the thing about her “drops” is that she seems to trap them with another body part. I’ll have to see what the CoP says about that. Same thing with the clubs performance in 2012 EC. The rest of that performance as near perfect and I only wish Melitina could perform such routines constantly. And Rita is no Zhenya no matter how much I wish she was.
For me, what has made RG boring nowadays is that each routine is like a copy of the other. Very little “wow factor” because so many elements have been cut down. At least Kudryavtseva has wonderful tricks up her sleeve.
As for the judging, until we get a new, totally revamped CoP (like what Nellie Kim did to artistic gymnastics scoring) together with transparent judging like in FS (even that isn’t perfect), there is nothing much that can be done. And kick Kuzmina out please. Viner and Deriugina are two sides of the same coin anyway so unless both are gone, there will always be something going on in RG.
However claiming something without much evidence does RG alot too so I try to refrain from doing that. It hurts the girls who train very hard because it is not their fault. If Grandi can work with Kim after the fiascos involving Nemov and Khorkina (I remember how the crowd stomped their feet when the scores came up), I don’t see why it can’t be done for RG.
Good arguing with you Zoe but I think we have reached an impasse. Thanks alot for keeping this place updated.
@arthur dent, it’s not because Russian are smart to play the CoP to their advantage. It’s because they are Russian. Could Mamun get 17.833 (E:8.833) if she is not Russian for this routine? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjGhwXhKPiY FIG president Bruno Grandi even complained in an interview to criticize this judgement (http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.interview-mit-dem-turnpraesidenten-bruno-grandi-die-benotung-war-ein-debakel.5c3f5f41-9f6b-4361-b380-c28120c8c521.html) and could Merkulova get this score if she is not Russian? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDH0gwC-Z7E (28.850 and E: 9.6) there are many examples I would not to list all. When I said visible mistakes, for Russian it means drop apparatus or fail from difficulties such as fall on floor…usually they don’t get deduction when they lost balance or have big moves on foot when doing pivots etc..not to mention they always be penalized less for obvious mistakes. Zhenya once got gold when she dropped ball twice in WC Portimao 2010. And it was not because other gymnasts also made mistakes, Garaeva did very good in ball final, it was because she is Russian and she is OG + World champion. And if this routine was performed by Melitina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2PTtgQ5kHY (1:59). could Meli got 29.400 for the drop? Same reasons that Zhenya can simplify her routines it’s because she is Russian and she is OG + World champion. I am Zhenya’s fan it’s hard to say bad things about her. but I am not blind.
I think all the elite gymnasts have the same level on routines. Judging should be depends on their execution. Not Russian are always the best.
If Melitina is Russian 2014 European champion should be her. Yana K and Mamun both made mistakes in that competition. yes There were times Russian didn’t win. but they win 90% of competitions, can you find any other sport like this? AG is also criticized by its judgement, but at least it is not dominated by one country with such high percentage. Not like RG, in individual other countries’ gymnasts most of time only can fight for Bronze. AG is much more exciting than RG.
I was there watching live at WCH Montpellier 2011 and OG London 2012, I was there because of Zhenya, but I tell you what in fact the most touching moment for me in these two events were BUL won gold in 3+2 at Montpellier and Charkashyna won bronze at London. Because I know how hard for other countries’ gymnasts to win medals in Worlds and OG especially when it is gold!
I love when BUL group member Hristiana Todorova said “It’s very hard to get a medal in the Olympics so it doesn’t matter that it is bronze. For us, it’s gold. I can’t describe the emotions because it’s very emotional this moment. This was our biggest dream and we made it come true. We are very, very happy. We want to thank all the people here in Brazil and in Bulgaria.”
for me it is gold too!
Well Zoe, I respect your opinion and I quite enjoy our little differing of opinions. However I do get tired of all this overscoring claims. I too would like a more transparent way of judging. Russian routines becoming more acrobatic might not be a bad thing since many people claim that RG is no more than modern dance with apparatus and that it should not be in the olympics. That to me is more insulting considering how much work goes into it. Acrobatics and tumbling is synonymous with gymnastics. In ladies FS the girls are doing 3S-3T-3T sequences. It’s not pretty to watch but no one questions their athleticism.
While I do agree that the Russians do get overscored, there were also times when they didn’t. They didn’t win one team WC gold from 2009-2011. They didn’t win in 2013 either or at the EC in Minsk. Sessina and Kapranova were disgustingly and obviously overscored and rightfully lost in 2007. Merkulova as well. As for Mamun, as much as I like her, she is not on par with Yana when both are at their best. But when they are at their best, there is no other who is better. Personally, last persons who took the risk to best the Russians were Bessonova and Zhukova. Maybe Melitina at times. You are right, sometimes the quality of execution is not there for the russians. But guess what, that doesn’t matter as long as there are no visible mistakes because it is not counted. So what you are saying is that the Russians are smart enough to play the CoP to their advantage.
An interesting point about sports that have judging. There are a few researches which say that even the sequence of competitors is important when judging. Out of 2 favourites who come out one after the other, the 1st may be at a disadvantage as judges may hold out on the scores. However if the 1st does very well then the 2nd is at a disadvantage because what she does will be compared to the 1st and scored lower and not appropriately like it would be if done independently.
I’ve been a fan of RG since Vitrychenko and Kabaeva times. I loved Alina, Olena and Bessonova way before Zhenya. Never claimed Zhenya was perfect. Montpellier was a huge overscored mess. In fact 2011 was in general. Mediocre performances are given high scores so what else to do except give Zhenya even higher scores. There were times when Zhenya threw lower and also times she threw high. Zhenya was known for her sequence of difficult moves and the beautiful transition during those sequences. She was never known to be the best handler of the apparatus or had the best leaps (Bessonova did). Flexibility was Alina’s. I preferred Dasha D’s speed in her pivots and pirouttes. There will always be someone better than her at one aspect but so far there isn’t one that is better at putting it all together. Her routines got easier because the CoP didn’t require her to do it to score that high. She played the CoP well like how Biles and Raisman does in AG or how Medvedeva does in FS. By all means make the CoP like in the nineties where the gymnasts’ acrobatic and flexibility were the main things on display, plus you get all sorts of things stuffed into the 90s routine. Alina used to stuff like 20+ elements and it was a mess with music. It was a both a pleasure and a torture to watch.
A reporter once asked Vitaly Petrov the ex-coach of Sergei Bubka what made Yelena Isinbaeva the greatest female polevaulter ever. They said she wasn’t the biggest in size or the fastest on the run-up speed or the strongest in the take-off (stronger =longer pole= higher jumps) He replied “harmony.” It kinda applies to Zhenya to me.
Speaking of injustice, Viner and some judges were investigated in 2008 but were not found guilty. And Viner wasn’t even in Rio this time. After what the Deriuginas did to Vitrychenko, funny it came back to bite them for the last 16yrs.
@arthur dent, RUS group didn’t deserve gold medal. even a coach, a friend of mine say so. If FIG wants to convince all these questions then open the difficulty sheet and the detailed scores not just gave a total score of D and E ! And I agreed with one of my friends, she said Russian routines are more like acrobatic on the other hand Belarus, Bulgaria & Italy are more like gymnastics.
You can read Anna Bessonova’s comment in this article. I agree with her about the judgement.
About Zhenya, you are too bias on her. I understand she is your favorite. for me my obsession on her is decrease. Now I can review her career in a more objective way. like I said in my previous comment. She is good, but other countries’ gymnasts are very good too. For Russian their problem is they always get highest score if they don’t make visible mistakes. no matter their quality of the execution. Rita is the example for this. her execution is always poor but still always get 19+ . why should 19 only for Russian? I don’t buy it. Other gymnasts also deserve 19 if they do very well. that’s why some people will question Russian results including Zhenya. that’s the cost of they getting benefit from the judgement.
Zhenya, we all knew she always had difficult movements in her routines in the beginning of the season but her routines would be easier and easier as time goes by. why ? because no matter what she would get the highest score even she simplified her routines. Other countries’ gymnasts can’t do so. And I noticed that BLR, BUL and UKR always throw the apparatus very high. but Zhenya is lower. not to mention the quality of execution. Because other gymnasts would be penalize more if they don’t do well thus they have to perfect their execution not like Russian…
About Ganna yes qualifications mean nothing. But Rita had tiny error in her hoop in AA final. plus the unfair judging. can you image the pressure when the gymnasts have to against to the unfair judging and at the same time they have to compete? why not let gymnasts just to do their job and don’t need to worry about this? Sorry, Ganna is still the real OG Champion for me.
RG is the most boring sport. all the other countries gymnasts only can fight for the Bronze. some people would say not to focus on the results just focus on the beauty and the grace of the routines. if you used to the injustice and not to say it out. then injustice will always be there.
I will stop here. this is my last comment for the results of Rio 2016.
I agree with some of your points Zoe. I also found the 1st routine by team RUS to be overscored but I feel their 2nd was deserved. Perhaps they would’ve still won but by a smaller margin. For me I find their intricate 2nd routine to be really impressive in the final. Their attention to the smallest details like that sequence where Bliznyuk used the hoops to knock the clubs up is pretty amazing. And there is constant movement in their routine and maybe that’s why they seem messy. I really liked Bulgaria and Italy as well. But they could still add more into their routines as I feel they often stay in one shape too long.
As for Zhenya, I would’ve preferred if they didn’t give her such high scores so that people won’t question her achievements so much. Yes other country gymnasts are good but again she packs everything into her performance. There’s hardly any room to breathe. The only person that came close or even better at times was Kondakova. Yes Zhenya was a little heavy when she started having a fuller upper body and hips. The Russian girls often struggle with body changes in figure skating like Lipnitskaya, Sotnikova etc…they tend to develop more drastically somehow and can’t cope with it which leads to injuries. Zhenya coped well with it. Then she lost the weight and improved again in 2011 and 2012. And remember Viner said that Zhenya often got sick so that might play a role too. As for Melitina, she reminds me of Inna Zhukova and how she was often underscored too. She showed both good sportsmanship and great common sense in defending Russia’s participation. Afterall the worth of the gold medal is dependent on the quality of your opponents. You want to win the gold by beating the best. If I may quote an Olympic advert “You are my adversary, you are not my enemy. For without you, I am a lesser man.”
As for Ganna, we shall agree to disagree then 🙂
Qualifications mean nothing to the cream of the crop. So only the final 4 performances matter. And with that Rita is the rightful queen but by just a little.
arthur dent, RUS two routines both score are too high. the problem is they always get the highest score. but I think other countries’ routines are in the same level with them. even not that difficult but not that big gap. for me it’s Belarusian routines amazed me this year and I don’t think RUS is more difficult than BLR. I was shocked by BLR in EC Holon when I saw their routines first time, but RUS not amazed me at all…they are always too messy…even their routines are complicated. but for example ITA routines are very complicated too. I love very much ITA 5 ribbons. like telling a story, full of images.
I love BUL routines too! they didn’t make mistakes in final and their total score is the same with Spain. For me they are gold! Anyway I am very happy for Bulgaria!
About Zhenya, I think that’s the same situation with the groups. She is very good, but other countries’ gymnasts are very good too. the scores should not have such a big gap between she and other gymnasts. If everyone is judged fairly, could she still win so many gold medals? Her shape was decline years by years. I remembered in the 2nd half of 2010 she looked so heavy..her jumps..on the other hand Melitina was so light! in that time imo Melitina was better than Zhenya, but pity Melitina is not a Russian, so she is underscored always. I like her and respect her! Because she is such a fighter! always fight with the unfair judging system and she never complains about this on the media. She is also a kind girl. when Russia maybe would be banned. She said in an interview “RG gymnasts no need to use doping. It will be a shame if RUS can’t take part in Rio OG” She could get benefit if RUS is banned, but her opinion was on RUS side. She is such a good hearted girl! She says she will continue nest season. Wish Melitina many good luck next year!
And about Rizatdinova, I don’t like her style at all. but this year she is just so powerful so firmly so determined! she really gives all! over eyeryone! I guess that’s why her scores are higher than Melitina most of time this year. I was touched by her determination. And no matter you like her style or not, it’s true that she is the only gymnast not making mistakes among all 8 routines. For me gold medal should be Ganna.
Hey Zoe, your English is very good so no worries. Yeah I do remember that Zhenya made mistakes. She wasn’t perfect by any means. Yana’s mistake is hugeeeee though, only rivaled by Alina in 2000. I’m still happy but I just can’t enjoy it as much. Come to think of it I felt nearly the same about Zhenya’s win in Montpellier. Luckily Kondakova’s ribbon decided to be become a clone of Tchachina’s ribbon. In a way it keeps the contest interesting, but at the same time it makes you question the winner. It’s a pity we never got to see Zhenya vs Yana, just to see who will break down mentally first. I still think she would’ve won as many gold as she was smart to adapt her routines to take advantage of the CoP. Personally i don’t think she was best at a particular year. Visually 2008 was good but she lacked so much soul and emotion. 2009 was a transition. Then she started to improve that and I could feel the music when she performed from 2010-2012. And her body changed alot too so you have to give her credit for adapting well.
I’m so disappointed about Melitina and Son. Melitina was definitely underscored in the hoop and she never recovered. As for Ganna, she was good but nothing really wowed me. Just not my type of gymnast I guess. It’s like she doesn’t stand out from the crowd. I felt the same about the Spaniards, good executions, good synchro but nothing special to make your jaw drop. Because there is more penalties for mistakes, there are fewer risk takers. Russia’s second routine did make jaws drop, at least the jaws of non-RG fans watching with me because of their intricacy. They should be penalized more for the 1st routine but they deserved the score of the 2nd.
I too would like more transparency in the judging like in FS. I just hope RG doesn’t turn into a mess like AG though where the CoP just killed any artistry left in it. It pains me to watch the AG routines now especially the floor routines and beam. I like the CoP of RG from the nineties and to be honest the 2008-2012 wasn’t too bad either.
you make a mistake, your opponent is benifited
@arthur dent, Zhenya made mistakes both in qualification (hoop) and final (ribbon) in London OG. but Dmitrieva made mistakes too, that’s why Zhenya won. Same situation in WCH Mie 2009 and WCH Montpellier 2011. Zhenya won because of Kondakova’s mistakes. Zhenya made mistakes in two routines in WCH 2009 and WCH 2011..actually three in Mie 2009, tiny error in hoop, tangled in ribbon and big mistakes in ball…
in Current CoP, the deduction is bigger than 2009-2012 cycle when you make mistakes. It’s more difficult for gymnasts to maintain the consistency in their scores. I guess if Zhenya is in current era, she can’t won so many gold medals. because you can see she actually made many mistakes in many major competitions. (London OG, 2012 EC, 2011 WCH, 2011 EC, 2010 WCH, 2010 EC maybe also, I have to check. 2009 WCH, 2009 EC, 2008 OG..etc) I think her best form was in 2008.
I am very sad for Melitina and Salome. especially Melitina, I so wanted her to win a medal in OG, but once again a disappoint results for her TAT…She is underscore IMO, in AA final, in hoop, she appealed the enquiry. I think that’s the first time I saw Belarusian appealed the enquiry..I guess the persistent underscore distracting her attention. Poor Melitina…
I am happy for Neviana Vladinova and Bulgaria group. Well done! And Rizatdinova is the BEST in this OG. no mistakes in 8 routines BRAVO!!! Rita and Yana both made mistakes, Rita in qualification and Yana made mistakes in 4 routines out of 8! But she showed very good attitude after her lost. I was very touched by her sportsmanship. For the first time I admired her in these 4 yours haha.
In my opinion, RG judgement system should like figure skating. FIG should open the difficult sheet. and showed detailed scores in every items, jump, balance, pivot, mastery, risky throw, music steps etc, like FS. Right now we only know the total score for D and E. I am not convinced by the group AA final results. The group made mistakes won gold, silver and bronze medal both no mistakes in two routines.
Sorry for my poor English…
Congratulations to both Yana and Rita. Both have shown so much courage this past year. RIta performing well despite the food poisoning and Yana coming back from that terrible injury. I should be extremely happy that Rita won as I’m more of her fan but I’m not. Happy that she took gold but not so happy as it was probably because of Yana’s mistake. It just doesn’t feel the same like in Zhenya’s wins where she just blew everyone away. I guess I wanted to see Rita beat Yana in at least 2 apparatus.
Russia team was atrocius. Lucky to have won due to the intricate choreography of the 2nd routine. The Spaniards were better with the synchronisation but the routines were kinda boring. To be honest, both competitions were lacking something. Everyone was making mistakes everywhere. And poor Melitina and Salome…and Son was unlucky that Anna was in form. But I see the Deriuginas are still up to their nonsense.