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Elena Vitrichenko "Second breath"

Even some years ago she was working in the gym, not looking on the problems in Ukrainian rhythmic gymnastics. She had an oportunity to train only 1 hour per day on very little floor and without music. Deruigins tried to kick Elena out of the hall just before Olimpic Games in Sydney. Elena decided for herself : I should say goodbye to spectators in Australia. She knew that it's wrong to have nothing except gymnastics being 23 years old. 

There were many people who wanted to have the heart of bronze medalist of Atlanta, but Elena couldn't get marry. And at the end of last year ex-gymnast became Vitrichenko-Borovikova. Her husband-businessman guessed all her wishes, having done the wedding in an old Finish castle, made into the restaurant

- Buenos Dias, Elena

- Ola! Kien es?

- We got you! Belarus troubles you, not Spain

- Original

- You spend much time in Spain. Why do you like the Pyrenees so much

- One incident tied me with this country. 2 years ago on European Championships in Zaragoza judges were lowing my scores a lot, in judging games was caught and Irina Deryugina. Then I was the favourite of Spanish spectators, eveen though I didn't get any medals, they made a crazy support for me. Then my mom was a coach in Spain and I was a guest there. Nowadays, when my mom has finished the contract, we go to Spain for the rest. I like Spanish people. They are so emotional! Just like me. I am told that I look more like a Spanish

- You don't want to move to Spain with your husband?

- We think about this variant

- Your and Alexey's story look more like a fair tale

- I can't believe in it as well. It was love from first sight. We were introduced, we had a dinner together, talked...Lesha didn't impress me much then. But then he started to call every day, we were sending each other letter by e-mail. He treated me very well

- You got married after 8th date!

- In my dreams I dreamed about it - everything at once. If a man tries to wait, analyses, checks - then he doesn't love. That's why when Lesha asked to marry, I agreed almost at once. I wasn't even embarrassed by huge difference in age - my husband is older than I am by 15 years, he has daughter of 12 years. I had some doubts, of course. But my mom broke them at once. She said : "If Lesha could make a pet of puma, he will be able to make to agree as well".

- Did you husband had a puma?

- Lusjen and now he is with us. He is no bigger than normal dog, he is just 1 year old, but he'll grow. And we have a cat as well. I take care of animals.

- What are you other duties?

- We don't have a word "must" in our family. I enjoy cooking. I can do something tasty out of nothing. My mom is just envious - she is dilentant on the kitchen, she isn't very good to name products. And all in all I sleep a lot now and rest - I read women magazines, books about Harry Potter, watch "Eurosport". I enjoy my life. My main aim is to give birth to a healthy child. We know already that it will be a boy. We even chose a name - David. And we plan a girl next year and we'll call her Gloria. We want that our children had beautiful and extinct names.

- It turns out that you are quite far from gymnastics now...

- I can't forget that was the sense of my life for many years. When I have time, I try to help my mom in my own rhythmic gymnastics school, even though now I go to competitions only as organizer. I'm very proud that I could open this school and give my dute to Ukrainian children. We have more than 60 girls aged from 3 to 15. We don't ask anybody from other clubs to come to us, everybody wants to train...Unfortunately, Ukrainian gymnastics federation doesn't want to take us yet

- I'm sure you follow the news and you have your own opinion about Kabaeva and Tschaschina

- It's difficult for me to answer this question, because I'm big friends with Alina and we cal each other quite often. I talked to her after her appellation with Tschaschina was rejected. Alina is waiting for the European Championships to show everybody that she's still the best

- Do you think so too?

- I won't say that now, because I saw her not a very long time ago. Kabeva has serious problems with weight. If she doesn't cope with them, it will be difficult for her to do brilliant 

- How do you like new rules?

- I'm still getting used to them. There is less art in compositions than earlier. Nowadays gymnastics looks more like a sport and not everything is solved on the carpet. It's worrying. I don't want that the most woman, I'd say graceful kind of sport lost Olimpic status

- Would you manage to do routines under new cop?

- I ask this question myself quite often when I watch competitions. I think I'd be able to do that. I and my mom were always working quite well, we put in the programm difficult combinations and risky elements

- And you also didn't forget about the expression

- You can't go far without it. Many girls are quite well prepared technically, but they can't express the charcater of the music

- Why do you think?

- What do they see in the hall? No impressions, problems - only endless trainings. And they need some burst, like private life.

- What helped you?

- Even love. And the change in myself was in 1997, when we with mom decided to change programm after European Championships in the middle of the season. Till that time my music was done by Vekshin, who still works with the team of Balrus. And when we went to Kyiv, we got acquanted to people, who did professional music, we got an opportunity to make re-mix of melodies using computer. We could do interesting routines. With new music I became world champion

- Elena, what is more important for you : success in sport of woman happiness?

- This phrases can't be compared. They are two lifes for me. In the past stayed all difficulties, loses, problems, victories, which I shared with my relatives, I had many fans. And now the sense of my life is my loving husband


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Copyright by Lidia Vinogradna (c) 2000-2003
Interview by Yulia Vanslav, newspaper "Pressball", Belarus, 2002