I had some requests to do these interviews (I gather there is some problem with google translate?) and I decided to do Grishina first because we haven’t seen much of her since the Olympics. If you have any requests about who you’d like to see next, let me know :)
First the usual disclaimers - Russian is not my first (or even second) language, and I make no claims of fluency. As such, I can’t guarantee the translation is 100% accurate. It’s for fun and for interest only. There are also parts where I paraphrased because Russian doesn’t always translate well to English in a literal sense. If you speak Russian better than I do, and want to offer any corrections, please feel free. :)
- Nastya, in the lead up to London you said that you were not afraid to come out and compete on the most formidable platform. But for many, the Olympic Games have proven that they are not simply your average competition …
After (the competition) I analyzed my mistakes, and I will probably continue to do so over and over again.
I was burned out and very nervous. Why did it happen? Perhaps from lack of experience at major competitions. What I can say, is that I felt a huge responsibility. The whole time, thoughts of “I have to cope with this challenge” were sitting in my head. But I failed- made mistakes on two events. For a long time, I worked hard to prepare and here it was….
Experienced athletes know that sometimes the most important thing is to free yourself from unnecessary thoughts and just show everything that you have worked for years to prepare.
When I was preparing to leave home, I already started to get nervous. My parents told me “Calm down, the main this is to just be calm” but evidently, I couldn’t. In London, I couldn’t free myself from these feelings of insecurity form unknowns. Of course, this is no excuse, but how can you not worry if your (first main) competition is the Olympics?
- Before the games you debuted as a senior- at the European Championships. You might have felt in Brussels that it just wouldn’t work..
The European Championships were the first time I competed as a senior. Indeed I went to two International competitions before the Olympics (Ed: I suppose she is referring to Jesolo and the Swiss friendly). Of course, it’s important to use these competitions to get used to the pressure. Compete often and educate yourself. Actually, every gymnast is most afraid of himself; personal insecurity is our worst enemy.
And what were you most afraid of? Letting yourself down and not justifying the trust that was placed in you?
We were all competing for our country. And what is a country? There were people who were sick with worry for me. I didn’t feel like some kind of chosen (elected) one, but I felt this huge sense of responsibility to the country. No matter how weird it sounds to say aloud, the responsibility of the athlete is to defend the honour of her country. And it’s important that your dreams come true - you’ve put in long efforts to bear fruit. Especially at the Olympic games. At the Olympics, you enter into the elite for gymnastics - you can make a name for yourself, and either win the love of the audience or indifference - this (depends on) what’s delivered.
And during the ceremony, were you at least pleased with the silver medals? Or chewed away at yourself, and continued to suffer?
To be honest, I was in a daze at that point. It all kind of passed by me.
And you didn’t call home?
Not immediately. It was impossible to phone ( I believe she means long distance to Russia). But I know they were all rooting for me - both my parents, and my brothers. I am the youngest in the family and I’ve always been surrounded by adults. My mother, father and three brothers.
Yes, I think many people were worried for me. Family, and friends from my old club. At one point I wasn’t taken in to gymnastics or figure skating - it was assumed I was too old to try tackle it. Only my first coach Olga Eduardovna Sikora agreed to try and start with me. So I found myself in CSKA (Central Sports Army Club). Probably because as soon as I got into the gym, I immediately enjoyed it. I think I could have found myself in another sport - I really like rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming. But to love them as much as I love gymnastics? I doubt it. And now, I’ve devoted so much time to this sport, I can’t help but to reach for the goals I’ve set myself.
I won’t ask you about the goals. Members of the Russian Team have one: to win. Another question, when did you, in general, realize that you could compete seriously?
Four years ago, when I won the all around at Russian Championships. Then, I joined the National Team. I began to train and received a stipend. Together with my brothers, I helped my parents. Mom and Dad do not work. Recently, my dad suffered a big heart attack. If we have the opportunity to earn money, we can help. It’s not only me, all the other girls on the team do the same thing (for their families). I really wanted everything to turn out as it should have at the Olympic Games. I was so anxious to achieve. I’m sorry the mistakes; it’s a shame that not everything worked out as we’d hoped.
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- davaistoi said: thanks for translating. you are right we dont hear about grishina enough :( so it’s great to read about her..
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- fastgoodbyes said: Thanks for posting this!
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- agymnasticsfan said: This is going to be awesome, you are awesome!!!!!!!!!!
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