Ethnic Tatar, Elvira Hasyanova, the three-time Olympic champion in synchronized swimming, in an interview in London revealed us about finishing her sport career and plans to open her own school in Kazan.
August 10, 2012, the Russian synchronized swimming team won the “gold” at the Olympic Games in London. For E.Hasyanova it was the third Olympic “gold” in her career, after the Athens and Beijing. After her victory Elvira Hasyanova shared her impressions of her third Olympics, she told of her Tatar roots, the team traditions and her future plans related to Kazan.
– You look perfectly calm. As if not happy. Are you so tired?
– Yes, I’m tired. There is a certain devastation. After all, when you work flat out, I want just to have a rest.
– What was the difference between this Olympics and the two previous ones?
– Probably, in the degree of responsibility. I had to go hard way! The preparation for these Games took a lot of work. And my age affected. I wanted to leave the sport with dignity after this Olympics. It is very difficult. Not so much physically as mentally.
– What was the driving force to stay for another Olympic cycle? You left for a year after Beijing …
– Yes, I missed a year after the Beijing Olympics. I was preparing myself for the Games in London during the three seasons.
– Can you say that the program of these Olympic Games were much more complicated than earlier?
– Yes, of course. Our program is very high-speed. In this program we had 7-8 supports, and in Beijing we did only 3-4, in Athens – 3. Accordingly, the bindings are longer and more complicated. So the program was more complicated. But the world is not standing in one place, so you always have to show something new and surprising.
– Has the level of competition increased?
– Yes, it is noticeable. In Beijing, Spanish women were the second, and on the current Olympic Games China took the “silver”. The Chinese women are very technical, and the Spanish women make great support, as well as they have original swimsuits.
Were there any elements that they just copied from us?
– Yes, of course. We watched the performance of the Chinese. Their first support was made by Anna Shorina, the coach in Beijing. But we lifted higher and more beautiful. And this is happening everywhere, because they tend to our level.
– Did the third Olympics differ in living conditions?
– Yes, we did not have here even air conditioners. Fortunately, it was not so hot, as it was in Beijing. The living conditions are worse than in Beijing. The food, transportation and the pool are ok. But the rooms are not so good.
– You are completing your career. What’s next?
– There are some plans. I think that after the Games, I will open my school of synchronized swimming in Kazan. Because there are swimming pools and everything needed, you just have to come and work.
– And you want to go to Kazan, because you were offered to open a school there, don`t you?
– Yes, I do. And there is no synchronized swimming in Kazan. And the regions should be developed. Because Russia is so big.
– You are Tatar, does it impose some effect on your life? Maybe in tastes in food, relations with the elders or something else…
– Probably my Tatar origin reflected in my character. It seems to me that the Tatars are more stubborn. Although, maybe I am stubborn by myself, regardless of my ethnic origination. I always try to go to the end.
– What other qualities are needed to become a three-time Olympic champion?
– That depends on your attitude. It is morally very difficult. Because you realize that the two Olympics with golden medals and all the World and European Championships, and Cups are behind your back.
– Synchronized swimming is a hard work. Why did you choose this sport?
– I did initially went diving. But I do not remember that. I was taken there when I was a little girl. And then the synchronized swimming coach saw me and took to himself. And I wanted to lift up my legs from my early childhood. Yes, it was difficult. Sometimes I even wanted to quit. There were moments, especially when I was a school student. But, probably, that depends on the nature of a person. We ourselves must set goals in our life and try to achieve them.
– You have a team sport. Do you have some team traditions?
– Today we’re going to celebrate the victory in the “Bosco House”. We often celebrate birthdays together.
– After the Olympics you are officially finishing your career and moving to Kazan, aren`t you?
– Yes, I am. I am ending my sport career. As for the school, after coming to Moscow, we will meet with the Minister of Sports of Tatarstan, Mr. Rafis Burganov, and decide everything.
– Tell us about your Tatar roots …
– My mother is from Buinsk, Tatarstan. There’s a lot of relatives and friends there. And my dad is from Sergach, Nizhniy Novgorod region. And then mom and dad moved to Moscow, and I was born in Moscow.
– Are you a frequent guest in Tatarstan?
– As a child, I often went there. Now we are training all the time. And we have only one or two months free a year. I have already been for twelve years in the national team. And I used to come to Kazan by invitations. Of course I want to work in Kazan. There’s a lot of athletes and little children who can achieve a lot, but there’s still no school there.
– What are your immediate plans? You are probably going to stay for a few days in London, aren`t you?
– Yes, we’re leaving on August 13. And we all fly to Moscow aboard the “gold flight”. At least we shall see the closing ceremony of the Games. We never see the opening ceremony becuse of our tranings.
Author: Kristina Ivanova