Kudryavtseva and Mamun interview with Longines «I can listen to Basta forever» : Russian gymnasts talk about life and sport.

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Translated by Tatiana, Many Many THANKS!!!

The watch brand Longines has been supporting rhythmic gymnastics competitions since 1912, and it’s been FIG official timekeeper for the past twenty years. We talked to the brand ambassador Yana Kudryavtseva and the brand’s friend Margarita Mamun about their favourite music, time and sport routine.

How it’s all begun


“The first competition I ever saw was on TV, Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tchachina were performing. From that moment I wanted to start training but my mom thought it was better to wait until I go to school. Age of 7 is kind of late to begin gymnastics. When I started it other girls of my age were already very skilled. But it didn’t become a barrier for me: I loved working with apparatus and music right away . When you hear the music which inspires, you want to perform, to train and to be trying something new”


“I was practicing swimming at first, then one acquaintance coach offered to try gymnastics just for general physical development; many kids get into sports this way. But I continued with gymnastics and it became meaning of my life for many years. It’s my business, I don’t mean it as the way to make money with it, I mean I just love training, love doing it”

About music


“Music for the routine is very important for me. Recently, for example, I wanted to perform my clubs with rock music. I chose Queen’s “We will rock you”. It took some time to convince Irina Aleksnadrovna Viner. Out of gym I listen to different kind of music, it depends on my mood. I love Basta, from Russian singers. I’m ready to listen to his music forever”


About idols in sport


“If we talk about rhythmic gymnastics then with no doubt it’s  Zhenya Kanaeva. She was the only 2 times Olympic champion before Rio. I’ve always admired her hardworking and tried to be as her; let’s admit I’m a bit lazy. Among other sportsmen are Aleksey Nemov and Elena Isinbaeva, I met them personally, that’s why they are closer to me if we talk about their life philosophy”

About sport besides gymnastics


“I love swimming and bathhouse (Russian bath/steam room). Russian bath becomes a hell for the girls who try losing weight this way. The same was for me until I found other ways like proper nutrition; so that Russian bath now is the way to relax, rest and to recover”


“There is almost no time for anything but gymnastics with our lifestyle. But I love water bike, quad. A few times I rode quad off-roads somewhere in Podmoskovie: forest, fields, and hills. It was awesome”


About concentration and a fear of mistake


“I am glad I was able to manage nervousness at the most important event of my career. There were many moments during my career that everything was going smooth and then I suddenly was losing apparatus and losing as result. So the fear appeared and coaches just didn’t know how to deal with it. It’s a very individual situation though. It’s important to understand yourself, because no one is able to deal with it but you. It’s important to find a balance: mental and physical; to reach a full body concentration, let it flow as we say and to enjoy the process. In addition it’s just important to train. If I am well prepared physically I feel more secure and not so nervous about what I am doing”


“I am probably one of those few people who almost always keep calm. I’ve never had problems with that. I know that Rita is nervous before some events sometimes, I’m on the contrary – full concentration and calm, I just step on floor and work”


About sport nutrition and regime


“There is no any special diet, I can eat almost everything. Well, there are moments when you try your leotard on and it doesn’t quite fit, then you have to put some limits. At moments like that we eat just water (laughing)”

About time


“The moment I started rhythmic gymnastics is probably the moment when my development and creation of some kind of inner core has begun.  An ability to feel time is necessary during performance: when I was little there were moments I wasn’t able to finish my routine by the time the music was over. When you listen to the music you need to learn that this part is the end of this element, and that part is the beginning of another element. Sport teaches you discipline although it’s quite hard to achieve living in Moscow with its traffic. But I hope I’ll manage it soon enough. It’s not easy to get used to it when half of life you spent in Novogorsk”


“Not to be late and to arrive earlier I learnt from my dad, he’s got craze for this, he’s sportsman after all. My sport life also plays its role: everything must be ready on time. As Rita said it’s harder when you live in Moscow but we are trying to adapt”

Photographer: Luba Kozorezova
Stylist: Daria Kuzminova
Makeup artist: Catherine Dolgov
Master hair: Daria Nemzer
Producer: Dasha Ruchkina

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2 Responses to Kudryavtseva and Mamun interview with Longines «I can listen to Basta forever» : Russian gymnasts talk about life and sport.

  1. arthur dent says:

    nice interview. Thank you 🙂

  2. UP says:

    Very good interview

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