Tamara Yerofeeva': " You have to compete on the floor, not to bring this comp in personal life"

(Translation - Kirilka Nikolova)

Hot days started for the first year student at the National University of Physical Education Tamara Erofeeva. The owner of the bronze medal for rope from the World Championships in 1999 is preparing herself for the first in her life most serious examination - the Olympic Games in Sidney. Where does this fragile, almost aerial creature takes strength from for her titanical labor? The journalist from "The Day" found Tamara at her training in the gymnastics hall of the famous Deruigins' School.

- You are working in weekends and  holidays too, on full program?

- Yes, of course. From 8 a.m. we have choreography, and after that, if everything is smooth, with small interruptions we have trainings until 6 p.m.

- And if everything is not smooth?

- The time of interruptions isn't so big

-  As I understood, now you are in the process of finishing your new routines.

- Yes, this is a very hard, physically and psychologically exhausting time. Each movement and figure in the program is subject to a question, will the audience and the judges appreciate it. And there is almost no time for polishing, I will perform these routines in February at the Olimpic Test Event in Australia, in March at Deruigina Cup. Of course, in comparison to the older program, the new one is more emotional and difficult. In the ball routine, Irina Deruigina and me included more original throws and catches , and in the hoop and ribbon routines, we emphasize on the expressiveness and fluency of the lines. We did not change only the routine with the rope, which brought me the bronze medal in Japan.

- You give me the impression that even the New Year you met at this school?

- No, according to the traditions, I meat New Year with my family circle, with a New Years Tree and presents... Before that we went to a training camp in Beregovo, Zakarpatskij region (Carpathians mountains - LV), where all the girls swam in a swimming pool with thermal waters. We took a good rest, we did not overwork, but we did not become unfit either.

-  It is known that to the Olympic games two gymnasts from Ukraine will go, and three gymnasts are competing for the 2 places - Elena Vitrichenko, Anna Bessonova and you. Does this competition make a negative influence on your personal relationships?

- Irina Ivanovna says to us all the time, that we have to prove our right on competeting in Sidney in the trainings, to compete on the floor showing dedication but not to bring this competition into our personal lives.

- People say that you are a very emotional gymnast. Does this hinders you from concentration at competitions?

- It is true that before I was crying about everything. I was very depressed when I could not do something at trainings. I try to fight this but not all the time I manage that successfully.

-  In this case the subjectivity of the judges might give you additional emotions?

- You could not guess right! If I paid attention to that, then I would have never been able to go and compete again. Only the coaches talk and argue with the judges.

- Today, unfortunately the trends in RG are set by Russia. Now the favourites are Alina Kabaeva and Yulia Barsukova. Are you ready to challenge them?

- And why not. In our sport everything changes quickly, today one wins, tomorrow...The Olympic Games 2000, if I go there, they will be the last in my sports career. I began to do gymnastics because of the successes of Alexandra Timoshenko. I, just like her, came into the gymnastics with the thought to win.

- Your mother is beside you all the time. Even now, on Saturday, she is at the school, "giving lessons". Maybe she looks after the diet of her daughter? More particularly, preventing her daughter from eating her favourite cream?

- Every serious gymnast must herself decide what she may eat and what she must not. We have some girls who all the time are chewing something but remain slim. Others make all kinds of impossible diets but cannot reduce their weight.

- Maybe those who will not go sleeping hungry are only your pets?

-Yes, I have a cat and a dog, who have excellent understanding between each other. The cat is a present from Lena Vitrichenko 3 years ago. Then I could take him in my hand, now it is big and enjoys good food. He adores everything I have to restrain myself from eating. My dog never refuses a piece of meat and his friends are the pudels of Irina and Albina Deruigins. They all got used to remain together during competitions, under the care of my mother.

- But in any case, you need sometimes to take a rest from the gymnastics?

-I like cinema, and I do not need to go far away for that, behind the walls of our school is the cinema palace. I watch movies, listen to music.


Interview from Feb. 4, 2000, newspaper "The Day" ("Den'")

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