«I used to think, that money can provide everything»
ą 3-4 (2010)
Whether your estimation of Russian biathlonists performance on the Olympic Games in Vancouver has changed after several months?
I think, it is possible to consider the performance successful. We have almost fulfilled the plan, two medals of each value, The main thing is, that we have fulfilled the plan on gold medals. Another matter, that we expected a bit different results. A little better. Unfortunately, it has not turned out. I was disappointed by performance of Anna Bulygina, who had to win a medal in sprint race. Olga Medvedtseva missed «bronze» in mass start, because she had spent 45 seconds on a firing line. Anton Shipulin has poorly passed last circle in relay race at his stage. Evgeny Ustyugov lost his «gold» in individual race: shooting, he struck the lath, and the target did not close.
The abundance of the fourth places had a little slurred over the impression from performance. But in general we performed well. We always were considered as favourites in biathlon and we had confirmed our level. Now we may hear: «Biathlonists have rescued Russia from a full shame in Canada». Partly it is exaggeration, but partly it is really so.
In the end of May there took place trainer's council and RBU board meeting. What official conclusions were made according to the Vancouver results?
During this season certain lacks of work of sportsmen, and trainers were revealed. According to the classical scheme, after a World Cup in Atholtse, teams stay in mountains. Being at height gives effect of high mountains, sportsmen perform very well after it. Our team did not do it. Part of sportsmen trained in one place, part in the other, part went down. There was no logic in trainers' actions. Uneven performance of our girls during preparation in Vancouver was just a consequence of such irrationally planned last stage of preparation.
The new trainer's staff is now formed. How much it has changed?
Practically for 80 percent. Men, as a part of a national team still had Yury Preobrazhentsev, women Sergey Efimov and Nikolay Zagursky. Other structure has totally exchanged. With women will work now Anatoly Hovantsev, there is Sergey Konovalov to help him. Hovantsev is the known expert: it is enough to recollect, how remarkably performed under his management Sergey Chepikov, Sergey Tarasov, Vladimir Drachev, Victor Maygurov medal holders on the Olympic Games and the World championships. Sergey Konovalov is the former sportsman, very competent and thinking trainer, for two years working with a youth team.
So what new it is planned to bring in training process?
Partly this information is closed, I cannot share it. I will tell only that all advanced techniques, including medical services will be involved.
Many experts support to employ foreign trainer for work with a team. What is your opinion?
I am categorically against. I consider, it should be our expert knowing our specificity, mentality, traditions of the Russian and Soviet biathlon.
Meanwhile RBU management has already taken the first step and has invited the Norwegian expert Thomas Alsgord. At first he agreed to work with our team, and then unexpectedely refused. How do you think, what his refusal is connected with? Whether he was under pressure of the Norwegian part?
It is difficult to tell. But everybody including me, tend to think, that Norwegian corporationism has got the best. Norwegians understand that, if we picked up techniques which they own, and applied them in biathlon
«The Olympic Games are, first of all, struggle of nerves»
What was the impression made by Vancouver on you?
I have fine recollections about Vancouver and Whistler. Even if you want to carp at something, it is very difficult to find what at. Vancouver is a magnificent, clear, modern city. People in it are very affable. If not the result of our national team, everything would be great.
What national team performance especially impressed you?
Frenchmen performed perfectly. They managed to win medals practically in all races, except
Our national team under the direction of Michael Prokhorov's team has spent a full season. How do you estimate work of this team?
If such teams like as Prokhorov's would come to all kinds of sports, I am assured, in four years our country would be the strongest sports power. The main thing here, as it has appeared, is not money. Earlier I also believed, that enough of money can provide everything. However, there are also more important things, for example, the organisation of work process.
And how can you explain such quantity of «dark horses» in Vancouver?
Yes, there were a lot of surprises. Gold medals of Vincent Jay and Bjorn Ferriy, «gold» and «silver» of Anastasia Kuzmina, bronze awards
During the last Olympic Games the problem of asthmatics in sports was raised again. Tora Berger has asthma, but she became the Olympic champion. Bjorndalen, Hanevold also «suffer» this disease. Why Russian sportsmen do make similar health certificate?
When people perform in unequal conditions, and not just unequal, but catastrophically unequal, it should worry. In some countries the number of the sportsmen, who have asthma, is close to hundred percent. As far as I know, suffering this illness you can hardly come up the stairs, and here they run, moreover, win gold medals!
Many sportsmen complained of brutality of dope officers in Vancouver. Whether it was actually so?
My friends from Ukraine biathlon federation told me, that the man tried to get doping test from a woman. It is phenomenal! And it is shocking. And infringements happened repeatedly: sportsmen were woken up at 6 in the morning, while they should have restored themselves, and were forced to pass tests on using of the forbidden medicine.
There is a category of great sportsmen, who became repeated world champions and holders of the Big crystal globe, but they could not have become the holders of Olympic «gold». What is the main difference of the Olympic Games?
The World championship is spent every year, and the Olympic Games once in four years. The sportsman subconsciously has a thought that the Olympic Games can be the first and the last for him, therefore, he has to perform his best. The Olympic Games are, first of all, struggle of nerves, psychology. Who can sustain this pressure, will get closer to medals.
Dmitry Vasilyev was born on December, 8th, 1962 in Leningrad. The double Olympic champion in relay race 4 ő7,5 km (1984, 1988), the world champion in the same kind of competitions (1986). The Honoured master of sports of the USSR (1984). The champion of the USSR in 1984 and 1986 in 10 kmrace, 1987 in patrol 25 km race.
The distinctive feature of the
Author: Lyudmila Bobrova