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Viktoria Bessonova : "Gymnasts should have expression"

- Vika, you had quite fast sports carreir. Being 14 years old you became World Champion. WHy did you decide to quit so early?

- Yes, it's true that I left gymnastics being 18 years old. Perhaps, the reason is that I started when I was little. When I was 12 I left Zaporozhie, where my parents lived, and went to sports internat. I felt myself very lonely. It was boring without my relatives, even though practically all time was taken by trainings. On weekends I came to Kreschatyk, bought a kilogram of apples (all other tasty things were forbidden to hold the weight), sat on a bench and watched people. If to be true, I overtrained. By the time my parents moved to Fastof, I had to get up very early to catch the train for 5.30 to be in time for the training. I returned home at 10 pm. On one of the USSR Championships I came 10th and I was very disappointed by that. That's why I decided to quit

- Did you parents influence your choice in sport?

- My father is a master of sport in cycling, in his time he was one of the coaches on Ukrainian National Team. He paid big attention to my sports life. Mum was always very disappointed when I left to competitions, started crying. We tried to protect her from such emotional stresses. At first I went in for artistic gymnastics, but I was very coward. I was afraid of doing exercise on beam. And after I broke my hand, I never returned to that gym. When I was sick, I once watched World Championships in rhythmic gymnastics. I even remember that Galina Shugurova won there. I liked her very much. And so I told my father that I will start doing rhythmic gymnastics

- How did you become a coach?

- I became a coach very accidentally and mostly thanks to Anya. When I finished my sports carreir, I was very far from gymnastics. From time to time I watched competitions. My children were very little then and that's why I was mostly a housewife. When Anechka grew a bit, I started to be a coach of aerobics on Dynamo stadium, then, in the middle of the 80s, aerobics was very popular. We had many groups. When Anya wanted to start doing gymnastics (from 4 years Anya was dancing in an ensemble "Kiyanochka"), I asked my coach Albina Nikolayevna Deruigina to take her to Deruigins school. But there there was no group for Anya's age and Albina Nikolayevna proposed me to take some girls and start coaching them. That's how it happened.

- What sports qualities did your daughter take form you?

0 I think she took a lot of persistence from her father. She is very purposeful. At first she even had a kind of finatism. but in the good meaning of the word. After trainings she watched video tapes with different competitions at home, was interested in gymnastics life. She came to understand that gymnastics is her work, which she must do very precisely. However, sport isn't just hard trainings, but also the ability to switch. Anya, the same as me in my time, it's difficult to do. She is always thinking about gymnastics

- You married Vladimir being very young. How did your parents take it?

- They weren't against. However, in any case such message is taken by parents very intensely. There were no problems with my mom, but we had to "prepare" my father in such called informal way on nature, near the lake. I think that all fathers especially quiveringly concern to bringing up girls. They are confident for girls, because it's a man. By the way, Volodya also thinks a lot about Anya even now

- Did you parents like Volodya and why?

- He is very self-confident. My mom noticed at first his decency. At that time football player of Dynamo were beloved by all female population of the USSR. His glory was huge. And I can't say that Volodya was rich or something like that.

- Gymnasts are always in the gym, football players - on the field. How did your roads cross?

- Me and Volodya were in the USSR National Team. We all trained on the base in Novogorsk. Volodya was even a little proud that he knows me and can chat with Ukrainian. It was pleasant for me as well to see him. And we got to know each other more on the wedding of Oleg Blokhin. Volodya invited me to dance

- Did you have time to go to dates?

- From time to time. Volodya took me after trainings. At first till the train, than he went with me for some stops till the station "Kyiv-Volinsky". So, the more our relations developed, the more way we did together in the evening

- Peace, confidence in the family is very important for the mood of football player before the game. Did Valeriy Vasiliyevich speak on such topics with female structure of the team?

- Wives had some trips with husbands with acceptation of Lobanovsky. Guys were returning after Championships Cup through Moscow and Valeriy Vasiliyovich organised the trip of wives. We came for 3-4 days and then the team went somewhere further. We came to husbands to Novogorsk as well and even once, when Adelanda Pankratiyevna, wife of Lobanovsky asked, we went on gathering to Germany. She was very interested in our life and children. We met a lot on matches. Once Volodya had some problems, psychiatry problems - he didn't play for a while because of the injury. Valeriy Vasiliovich phoned a lot, controlled, even remembered me to change compresses. 

- Did you accept the sports choice of your children?

- Sasha, as most of boys, likes football. There was a time when he took up tennis. At first he had good results, he was a leader in his age, some time she was training in Spain. However, for serious professional studies a lot of money are needed and so we decided to stop on that stage. He studies now in Ukrainian-American university, where everybody talks only English. He knows fluently Spanish and German as well. Sports perspective of my daughter I don't want to name. She has her aim, she works a lot, is on the 2nd course of University of Physical Education. She is very tired, so it would be wicked to make her study for another "normal" profession

- Who of the children brought up another one more?

- Anya was very active, I would even say energetic and so she was the main. When I went with her in the street, I couldn't even say Hi to anybody, Anya has already gone somewhere, has already broken something...There was a total mess in the flat, she went to all cupboards, boxes, we had to tie everything. Once Anya locked me on the balcony. It was cold, 9th floor, nobody will come and there are 2 small children in the flat. I had to break the window. And Sasha could sit in sand for hours, I've never even heard him, he was very calm

- Did father took part in bringing up children?

- When Volodya was coming, I didn't exist anymore. Children were around him. Sasha loved constructors. We didn't hear about Lego then and Volodya was bringing everything from his abroad trips. They could collect something for hours. Anya, in the exact meaning of the phrase, was on Volodya's head, she did his hair, made ponytails. He tried not to move in such moments. Volodya liked to created different games with changing clothes. Now we can't even gather altogether for supper. I have training till 8, children are on studies as well. Volodya tries to come from Turkmenia when he can. He can't live alone without us. Sometimes I go to him. We even went only once with the whole family at the seaside, but then national team was on gathering in Yalta

- Volodya was for many years the captain of Dynamo. How do you think which qualities helped him to be elected?

- He is very communicative, calm, self-confident, even diplomatic, doesn't have any conflicts. He always listens to the point of view of the listened, even if his opinion is different, even though he creates his opinion about this person.

- Vika, you said that you choice to become a coach was accident. Who would you like to be?

- I like the work of designer. I always wanted to go on courses. I'm waiting till my main manager, Sasha, finishes his studying and will take on him the decision of organisation questions and I will be able to give him the financial side as well. Maybe then we'll create something

- Now you and daughter do the same thing - gymnastics. What do you work on?

- We have strong fight with the weight, especially after holidays. Physical tireness can go, but it's difficult to say "no". Rhythmic Gymnastics has some specific sides - having spent many hours on training, we can lose only little weight. For example, in football for 90 minutes on the field, player can lose up to 4 kilogramms, and gymnast for 6 hours training - only 1 kilogramm. I even have to cook different dishes for children. We eat in different rooms as well, so that Anya didn't get nervous about the tastes

- What do you think changed in gymnastics since you retired?

- Huge work on training need great endurance. Even though, nowadays many children come to gymnastics, many of them retire being 12-14 not having show high results. Parents also make children believe that if they are 15 and they haven't achieved anything, it means that they won't do anything in the future. I think such parents are mistaken. There are many cases when girls being very young aren't interesting on the carpet at all, and then on senior competitions they can do something more. On the contrary, other can be only Championships among children. Motivations to come to sport changed as well. If earlier parents want girls to learned how to walk beautiful, move, have beautiful body, then now there are more financial and competitive side of the sports. The rules changed really a lot/ In the past 2 years they changed 3 times. Soon will be started a new serie of competitions, where we'll show what we learned during winter. I think that gymnastics became less expressive and artistic. Gymnastics and coach always think about the elements and so they forget about expression. It's difficult to produce something new and original

- Talent and hard-work can differ a usual person from every sportsman. And what quality can be called an exclusive quality of rhythmic gymnastics?

- Appearance of  girl, how she can show herself on the carpet, effect, grace play huge role in our kind of sport.


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