Ekaterina Serebrianskaya. Coming back.
She thinks that 15 years which she spent in rhythmic gymnastics passed by faster than flying in air club, which forms a plastic circle in the air, shining in the flashes of photographers and returns fast in a boomerang way. She says that shining gold medal, which was achieved in Atlanta, brings more joy than happiness. Tiring marathon was over on the 5th of November 1999, when she made her last concert on the Kyiv palace “Ukraine”. The show was called “New aim”. She claims that she got to know what her aim is the next morning, with the first light of the sun, as soon as she woke up.
- Sportsmen think about their job in different ways, - she starts. - For one people it’s a way to earn a good account in a bank, medals, cups and rosettes. For another people it’s the method of self realization, opportunity to confirm their status, to prove somebody something. I thought that sport has a shape of pyramid. When I reached the last step, I understood that this aim is achieved, the peak is taken. In some kind sport became empty for me, I felt that my life should get another meaning. I thought that I will find it in giving birth to a child. Now I understand that I wasn’t mistaken
So, a new version of Serebrianskaya is a young mother. It seems that she feels quite comfortable in this role. And in the same time she notices that she can’t say that her private life wasn’t full when she was competiting.
- I can say that then my relations with my beloved person were very concentrated. I don’t remember a case when we had nothing to do or to say. From one side, sometimes we really wanted to be together more often, but from another side - I’m sure that everyday meetings kill love. I agree to the statement that distance only make people love each other more : when you are on another side of the continent, you understand how valuable is your beloved person. So when he meats you with a large bouquet of roses in the airport, you feel great pleasure and excitement.
At about 20th minute of our chat it become really obvious that Katya belongs to such category of people, who will find pleasure even in cold “Coke” over the Northern pole
- Even if we characterize the way of living of professional sportsman as ascetic one, there are still many ways, how to feel that your life is normal. “Change your understanding of the problem - and you will destroy it” - that’s about me. For example, I don’t know gymnasts, who never had problems with weight. I coped with this problem quite easily : instead of “McDonalds”, I went to an expensive restaurant and chose in the menu between chicken and chocolate ice-cream a portion of oysters and I never felt that I don’t get enough calories. You can call it autohypnosis
Leaving that solution the fans of classification, we move further, to the questions of little details on a big picture.
- Comes such moments, - continues Ekaterina, - when you tell yourself : “It’s good, but you should have something more in life. I’m not on Earth only to earn money and chalk up the results. “ You begin asking yourself by any reason : “Why do you need that”
- I think that once Madonna said something similar just after giving birth to Lurdes. Perhaps it’s the favorite phrase of sports?
- No, - says Olimpic champion. - I can’t judge from other people, but I want to say that I’m there where I am know because I understood that I haven’t done anything yet
- O my God…
- Yes, only now I start to get what I really need : love, child, friends…As soon as Zhenya was born, harmony appeared in my life. Sometimes I watch through the window of my home and I think that I watch ant house with a size of megalopolis everybody is hurrying somewhere, shouting something. As my soon appeared, I started to think about life in another way : I understood that I don’t want to be a part of that crazy movement, I don’t want to spend my life in any traffic jam or at the conference table. It doesn’t mean that I will sit at home and exclude myself from active work. Just now I have another priorities, and I can’t watch my yesterday’s problems without a smile
Yes, she has changed a lot. Fragile, but will grace stayed only on the tapes of rhythmic gymnastics. It’s difficult to understand what is dominating in her life now : purposefulness of past sport or warmth of the mother. Anyway, about her triumph on Olimpic Games 1996 she speaks with the same intonation, as her waking up at 5 a.m every day to “see her son faster”
- When you stand on the podium, sometimes emotions get over your brain. It’s difficult to think about something, sometimes it’s not important what’s going on around you, - you feel great tireness. Some people start crying and sportsman doesn’t see it It happens because people overplay. Nobody will make me believe that such things doesn’t exist. I have never told anybody that during award ceremony in Atlanta I was about to burst out laughing. And in a second came my one of my main thoughts : “And I work for it for my whole life?! What will be next ?” And then came the process of understanding the victory - and as I was receiving the medal, I never thought : “Oh, how great I am”. Unfortunately, after analysis of victory “starry illness” can come to a sportsman. Anyway, it depends on a sportsman how long it will be : somebody won’t get rid of it till the very end of life, somebody, as me, had enough after one serious chat with my mom to calm down.
- Is it true that after you had felt yourself on the peak, the strongest feeling of emptiness and loneliness comes?
- It’s absolutely correct! It’s called by the fact that when you become famous, from nowhere many people appear, who want to be your friends. They see in you not a personality, not a person, who they would like to chat to, but the doll with gold medal. Just physically you can feel it.
Katya is good at making self-analysis. And even if it seems to be quite strange, before Olimpic Games she said that she knew the name of the winner :
- I had such interesting feeling - I have never even thought that I won’t win gold. It’s not auto training, it was just standard self-confidence. This understanding came to me on the first training.
- Katya, soon you will be able to become a great psychiatrist (Serebrianskaya studies in the University of psychology - from author)…How would you explain such feeling?
- It’s just sign from the clouds…
Or in another words just intuition. As Ekaterina says, it never let her down. In 2 weeks till giving birth to Zhenya, Katya was sure to tell me that she is waiting for a son, even though medicine couldn’t say sex of a child for sure. 6th feeling didn’t make her any troubles.
- Well, - bravely says Ekaterina, - to give birth to children isn’t using nuclear weapon. Of course, before making such decision, you count all minuses and pluses. Disadvantages in my case were very little, so we had no doubts. I was ready psychologically. I can say that my financial situation is more or less stable, so the fundament was read.
Speaking about her child, Katya calls him “my little big man”. And really, on the 28th of August 2000 the champion achieved another high result : her child with weight 4 kgs 700 grams and height 58 cm’s became symbol of her new life. He likes to watch aquarium, the world underneath water is very exciting and so this baby can spend 1,5-2 hours watching it. He likes music as well, he likes not just the song “Sosni” of group “Okean Elzi”, in the video of which took part his mom, but also the sounds, which come from the musical teddy bear.
- One of my friends told me that to give birth to a child is the best method of concentration.
- Everything goes, everything changes. Priorities, business, relations with friends - all goes backwards. How much happiness was when his first tooth came out! However, I think that feeling of mother comes with time - only afterwards you think that once Zhenya did his first sound, and then he did his first step.
- Can you say that Zhenya is the best what happened in your life?
- With no doubts, it’s one of my biggest success, - she says very fast and confident
- Do you buy, for example, diapers, yourself?
- Yes, as for me I like to feel my house with necessary and unnecessar things. I do shopping myself, but near my child there is always a baby-sitter. Who is well quallificated nurse.
- I remember one of your interviews, which you gave being 17 years old. You said that you would like to have 2 children.
- I want even know! I even know that it will be a girl…in 5 years.
- I don’t want to ask you what will be with you in 10-15 years.
- Dynamic, active life. This is my first association with the word “future”
Yeah, we can’t say that her life is passive even during her pregnancy. She confirms that in a week before Zhenya was born, she wanted to swim In the sea. Having told her mom, that she is going to the countryside, she took the tickets for morning airplane and went to Yalta for one day. She can’t remember the faces of her friends without sarcasm, who met her in 3 days till Zhenya was born, in one of the night clubs. 9 months of pregnancy can be called a period during which she fought with stereotypes.
- It’s so strange that in our country people think that pregnant women is a sacred cow, who comes out of home only to visit doctor. I refuse to understand such positions. I’m not a feminist, but why should I lead the life of an old, old woman? If dancing bring me positive emotions, so why should I sit indoors and watch MTV, if I can move no worse than girls-teenagers in the TV set?
There were a lot of rumors about the name of Zhenya’s father and the most spread one was that this project was made by Katya with Georgiy Demetradze, who was a football player of Dynamo Kyiv then and now invited to work in “Real Sosiyedad”. Knowing Georgian forward very well, I remember his reaction very clearly : just sincere laugh. I couldn’t not have asked Katya about it.
- It turned out to be very interesting. We both gave an interview to one of Kyiv newspapers : the proposition was too not standard to refuse from it. To be true we weren’t acquainted with Goga before that, but during the chat we relaxed so much that answered not just the questions of journalists, but also tried ourselves as reports, giving each other topics to discuss. It was just a pleasant chat, nothing more. The fantasy of readers was huge…The reporters wrote what they should have written. Oh, and I also heard another version who is the father of my child : Valentin Belkevich. I don’t even know him!
- Do you fall in love often?
- Such people are very changeable, as for me, I’m very devoted and stable in my feelings.
- Ok, let’s put question in another way : can love be bought by money?
- Physical, of course, but you could have guessed that it’s not my way. The feelings inside the soul can’t be reached with the coins
- Can you say you are in love now?
- And how do you think?
- I don’t think, I ask
- and what is love for you?
- Perhaps the answer on all the questions.
- I’d say that love is a question to all the questions.
- How are you interested in rhythmic gymnastics now?
- Even if I want or don't want, I can't get rid of gymnastics. You know, it's like first love, which stretched over the years. by some objective reasons I had a long time-out, during which I had to understand myself, my feelings, wishes and aims...And now I understood that I need gymnastics, I must return. I won't come to the carpet. I will try to become a judge. In some days I will go to take international FIG exams.
- In this case, you are certainly acquainted with the new rules, which are critised so much now
- If to be true, I don't lie new rules as well. I think that suggested changes in COP were made so that RG became a popular sport. However, I hope that the popularity didn't go down. The wish to do our kind of sport better and more spectacular will lead to the non-variety. Learnt to the end, easily guessed routines will come to the first place before the main thing in rhythmic gymnastics - plastic, grace, expression, fantasy. I was recently watching competition and I actually caught myself on thought that I am bored. Everything is repeated, almost every new routine is just a repeat of a previous one.
- I think that rhythmic gymnastics should have the elements of a show : when competitions aren't just a tournament between two old school, but also art experiments
- I agree. Nowadays even me, who gave gymnastics almost whole part of my life, is more interesting to watch figure skating than routines of my old rivals. International Federation must think seriously if in few years it doesn't want to face the problem of empty tribunes.
- Katya, from the global problems, let's return to you. Not a long time till your baby was born you closed your model agency "Silver Star"...
- Perhaps it will sound a bit strange, but there is no model business in Ukraine at all. Yes, there are some odd castings, beauty contents, but it's not an interesting thing to do from the very beginning. And even though I thought this agency to be my hobby than serious business, on a particular step I lost interest to it. I was bored to meat people on every step, who don't know anything at all, to tell every girl that a job of model isn't the fairy tale with big money, but hard everyday work. A beautiful face isn't enough to be a model. Unfortunately, a lot of girls didn't want to understand it. I don't miss this unperspective deal.
- I can remember quite good how you liked your work with "Longines" as a model. You liked everything then. A logical question appears : why you didn't continue your work as a model?
- By that time I was already tired of life on the headlines of newspapers, I didn't want any new photosession. I wanted to be a little lonely
- And now?
- And now I got my inside harmony and I want to return to work. I plan to organize a unique competition in June - "International Games", which will consist of some non-team kind of sports : rhythmic gymnastics, fighting, judo, swimming, weightlifting. International status of the competition will be received from teams from 23 countries of the world, which will attend (hopefully) this competition.
She still plans to buy a house near Kiev - a cozy place, where she will be able to run away from crazy rhythm of the big town. Perhaps, she will try to start riding a horse. Now she presents her free time to squash, big tennis and swimming. She decided to take up foreign languages - everyday she studies with a teacher of English and French.
- I just now by own experience that knowing foreign languages opens many doors
She makes her Ukrainian perfect as well. She will try to open her own TV programm soon. Format - is a show with sport people. Katya says that it will be interesting for her to try herself in a new role. Her "school of Serebrianskaya" will soon move to Kiev. Katya says that she had already finished her autobiographical book, but she still doesn't want to tell the details and just wants Zhenya to be happy
Interview goes to the end. Hour and a half have passed. There are 5 minutes and thousands of questions left. I ask her if she doesn't feel sorry to have left gymnastics being only 22 years old...
- You know, I don't feel sorry for anything. I went away not because I won everything what I could. I can't say that I had many victories - Olimpics in Sydney could be a not bad stimulator for me. There was only one reason and it wasn't problems of rhythmic gymnastics. I just understood that I want a new life. Without everyday press, 8-hour long training, subjectiveness. Sports Everest was already achieved and I didn't want a new height. And some time ago I got a new feeling that I'm in the beginning of a new path. I want to stay in the memories of people not just because I'm many times champion, but also a person, who has something to tell. However, I will return to gymnastics. Will surely return!
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