Anastasiya Kuzmina - interview sample
You were born in sport family. When was the first time you put on skis?
I won my first race when I was four. In Tyumen city park. That was the moment when I started to like it. But biathlon came later, when I was fifteen. Until that time I had been focused on cross-country. My father was my coach but later he found me another coach. He told me it was time for someone else to lead me. It is not always advantage to do sport with your parent because later it may be difficult to find balance between father and coach.
Now your husband Daniel is your coach. How is it different?
It is similar, yet different. My parents gave me life and I belong with them naturally. But Daniel is someone I chose as my life partner. I can argue with him more than with my father and possible conflicts are easier to handle.
Your parents gave up sport carreers when children were born. You on the other hand go on after giving birth. Do you know other athletes who managed to be successful after becoming parents?
Yes, I do. They are Olympic winners and world champions. Some of them were training while being pregnant just a month before giving birth. So I know it can work.
What is the difference between being professional athlete with and without a child?
My children give me a lot of mental energy. Talking about my physical strength I can tell you if a woman does everything correctly, organism can recover very fast after childbirth. My training and my children are in balance so that I could do both. Some doctors say it is enough to breastfeed just two weeks and comeback can be fast. But then I would miss the most beautiful moments with my child.
Can you remember your first Olympic gold?
I broke my hand before Olympics and was not able to practice shooting. Maybe it was a positive factor because I took a break from it. I started the race knowing that I need to shoot clean to win. However I missed one target. Later when I crossed finish line I was shocked to see my name on top. I went to change my clothes, drink some fluids and I kept asking whether I am still first. Then my husband came and told me there is no one on the track to beat me. And that was it – I won Olympics.
Any other race memory? Something special you cannot forget.
It was in Holmenkollen. My first three shootings were disaster and I was skiing bad too. However, my last shooting was clean and other athletes were shooting very bad. Suddenly it was enough for me to come to finish line to win. That is beauty of biathlon. Until last bullet of your shooting you cannot tell who is going to win. There is always chance for good result so I never give up.