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Elena Vitrichenko: "The main is not to envy anybody in your life"

Some words before the interview with Elena Vitrichenko I'd like to start with the words of another famous famous - Russian female figure skater Irina Slutskaya. Once Irina said : "My main aim in sport isn't a victory on Olimpic Games. I wanted to win titles in the beginning of my carrier. Now I simply want to be respected, I mean that people around me could see me not just like a robot for getting the medals, but also a person who has right to do a mistake. If I manage to do that, I will say that I did something in my sports life." Elena Vitrichenko, as it is known didn't get an Olimpic Gold either (we won't argue now if the scores in Sydney were fair or not), but she isn't less respected or loved because of that in our country. Lena, since 6 months of quitting the sports in still one of the most popular Ukrainian sportswomen : she is recognized in the streets, she is invited to take part in different TV shows, her photos and interviews regularly appear in most of the magazines and newspapers. In general, everything what Slutskaya wants, Elena reached. But Vitrichenko doesn't have s star diseases. She says that it won't be a tragedy for her if on the competition once small fans will pass through, not taking her autograph...-

- Did you get used to the status of retired sportswoman?

- Well, yes. The adaptation was rather easy, because I had prepared myself that sometimes I would quit since early times. I've done all I wanted in gymnastics. I don't mean titles, but something another - the feeling of the soul, which with the acter or the singer comes to the stage.

- Earlier you were saying that you dream to open your own RSG school. How is all there going?

- We are just working of filling in all the documents, because such things can't be done in one day in Ukraine. When we finish with all the questions, I'll collect some groups of the beginners, I like to work with kids. Though, of course, I would with pleasure worked with older gymnasts. For example, I'd like to be a creator of a group routine for Ukrainian junior group (It's the routine I do!! - LV), but I understand that it is impossible.

- Let's travel into the future. Let's imagine that the gymnastics school of Vitrichenko is opened and you are standing among the kids with curious eyes. How do you think, the girl with which character can reach highest peacks of the RSG mountains?

- I think that one, which loves RSG deeply, that cartoons, dolls, toes, bikes go afterwards. Well, I loved gymnastics like that - practically as a fanatic (Lena's mom and coach, Nina Vitrichenko often remembers such episode, when her daughter was 5 years old. Nina left the hall for some times and when she returned she saw her daughter working with rope and trying to repeat the element of older gymnasts, which she sow on the training. In the same time she was loudly crying : "Why everybody can do that and I can?". Future Champion gave up only when her mother explained that it is very difficult element and to do it, you should train for a while. Then Lena promised to be very good at trainings and to become a real gymnast - LV)

- You quitted RSG before the New Code was announced. What do you think about it? I think that you came to Deruigina Cup -2001...

- I like gymnastics nowadays. Yes, the compositions became much more difficult and girls have to train more, but there isn't anything bad. Figure skating is very graceful kind of sport, but it always develops in the way of making the compositions more difficult. I think that gymnasts have more ways to "grow up" now. Earlier it was very easy for the next gymnasts to have 5 points difficulty and so there were too many 10's. Nowadays gymnasts has to perform something really fantastic to have a score near the maximum. By the way, Eugeniy Pluschenko in the figure skating has amazing difficulty, but he is very artistic to/ If to name the names. on Deruigina Cup, the most I liked the compositions of Alina Kabaeva, Irina Tschaschina, Anya Bessonova and Lesya Tkachenko.

- Most of the gymnasts, when they quit the sport, quickly lose the shape, put on lots of kilograms. You seem not to change at all. Do you still keep to a diet and train?-

- I still eat very little, but not because I keep to a diet, simply because when it is allowed, you don't want it. To keep sports form I go to the fitness-club, but not regularly. Sometimes I don't go there for the whole week and sometimes I can go there each day. It depends on my moos. I have much more time now.

- I remember you saying once that after retirement, you'll have time to spend it on your private life

- Yes, that's true. But I don't want to talk about that, because I don't want to frighten my happiness. 

- You've worked as a model so far. You made photos for the "Women magazine". The photos were really great. It is strange how the other model agencies haven't "put the eye" on you yet.

- They've "put an eye" already. After posing for "Women magazine", model agency "Karin" phoned me.

- Would you like to follor the example of Svetlana Khorkina, Maria Butyrskaya and Amina Zaripova?

- You mean to be photographed without clothes? Surely, no. 

- In the last time, you could be seen with a tennis rocket

- Yes, but I don't play very good. But I don't leave the hope! For the first time I took a rocket in my hands in summer when I was preparing for Sydney. I took lessons from Svetlana Medvedeva.

- What do you think about modern nowadays sports hobbies - bowling or billiards?

- long nails mess me to play billiards. And with billiards I have nice expressions. When I was really small, I was taught this game by Elina Bistritskaya - the national artist of the USSR. She was the President of the USSR RSG Federation then and was a fan of billiards.

- Watching the performance of  a gymnast, you usually ask a question if gymnasts like to dance of discos or near the mirror.

- I dance only when I have mood. But if I want to dance, all just stand and look on me

- What is your famous dancing rhythm>

- Perhaps, its Argentina tango. Once abroad I got to the club of Argentina Tango fans. It's visitors were practically old people and they were amazed by my interest in this dance. They were very friendly to teach me!

- Once you said that if you had an opportunity to go to he past, you will go to the 18th century...

-...and I would stay there forever. Each day I would go out in a new evening dress. I love evening dresses, but I don't have lots of chances to wear them. Driving a car or working in a gymnastics hall it's not comfortable in the evening dress.

- Did you learn to drive a car fast?

- I can't say it was very difficult. To be good with clubs or hoop is much more difficult. I had to be on 17 meters under the sea and so nobody can say that I'm not brave

- If you have a daughter, will you bring it into gymnastics?

- Certainly. I think se will be talented. I will coach her myself or I'll give her to my mom. It will be interesting for her on mom's lessons. Mom earlier was making a process of getting up into an interesting game (earlier in Odessa we lived far from gymnastics hall and had to get up very early). For boy the best sports I consider to be tennis, swimming, basketball. I'm not sure for the last because I don't look as a tall basketball player at all.

- And the last question. Do you have advice for the retiring sportsman...

- Each learns on his experience. I don't know if it is good or now, but I have never followed anybody's advice. Well, what is done, that is lost. that can't be taken back. The main is not to envy anybody....


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