Interview with Elena Ilinykh

Posted on 2016-01-05 • No comments yet


Here is the link to the original interview with Elena Ilinykh for “People talk” on Russian, I have translated it but I still recommend to open it to see some great photos of Elena.

This is not the sports media so maybe the interview is like “a bit about everything” and made like Elena’s direct speech without questions.

Elena: Since my childhood I have been very active and restless. Mom told me that from the cradle, I didn’t give peace to her and grandmother. Probably, the decision to send me into the sport was correct. It happened quite accidentally. Once we walked with grandmother,I was four years old,  a skating rink was opening nearby, and my grandmother said, “Come on, I’ll sign you.” So I got into skating.

Sport has given me a lot. I was traveling, I saw a lot of countries, has got an interesting acquaintances. This rarely happens to ordinary children. I am very grateful to my fate for what I have.

I was very proud to win the Olympic Games. Once my coach told me,”When you are given the gold medal, you will cry. Not because you have earned it but because of how much you have done for this.” Perhaps it is a sense of satisfaction.

Ice dance is very similar to a normal life, because with partner we as husband and wife: we must learn to find a compromise and work together. The relationships between partners is very important in sport.

I don’t feel like  I’m super popular. One day, after the Olympics, we went shopping with a friend and she said, “Look, why they don’t recognise you?” I said: “To be recognised I probably need to come with a medal around my neck, wearing skates, tutu and preferably with a crown on head. “(Laughs.)

I’m explosive. At first it was very difficult and I have always expressed dissatisfaction. Then word for word and we have a quarrel. But over time, I learned to restrain myself, to talk to people and not go directly into a hard attack. I always try to smooth over the conflicts.

With the first partner Nikita Katsalapov we have been skating for seven years, with him won the Olympics. We were like a family, like brother and sister, knew everything about each other. But our paths have diverged, it was a difficult break up. Now I have a new partner Ruslan Zhiganshin,  I was very lucky to found him. We quickly found a common language, and we’re united by a common goal.

There is competition between the former partners, you can’t go away from that. It’s like in real life, if you was left, you as a woman want to prove what you’re capable of. 

There is one big advantage in pair skating – you are not alone, you have a person with whom you can talk and say, “I’m nervous.” Together is always easier and calmer. 

Now I continue to train actively for eight – nine hours a day. I would like to win another Olympic medal, bring the medal to my country, me, my parents and then start my personal life. 

Friendship in sport exists. One of my best friends is a three-time world champion in rhythmic gymnastics Yana Kudryavtseva.

From time to time I come across with envy, but try somehow to fence from it. I think it’s a very bad feeling, because of which occur very bad things

My idol is my mother, because since childhood I saw how she coped with the difficulties, she taught me that. My mother always supported me in any situation and help to find the right words. She is my ideal of a woman.

There are times when you want to quit, but I got used to cope with difficulties.

I’m a very emotional person and never hide my feelings, if I’m crying, then sobbing, when I laugh, then loudly. But I’m trying to deal with excessive emotionality.

The last time I cried was recently, at competition, because this tournament was hard enough. I finished free program and burst into tears because of the accumulated exertions, the total concentration when you’re doing everything possible to prevent errors. I realized that did everything and the emotions rushed on me.

In people I appreciate sincerity, loyalty. I do not like two-faced people who say one thing today and tomorrow quite another. If I’m a friend with someone I’ll be a friend to the end. 

Mother is my most severe critic, if she sees any disadvantages immediately said me about it. This may relate to my weight or even makeup.

I hate the word “diet”. I limit myself: I can eat less or even not to eat for some time, if it’s an urgent need to lose weight. Exercise are also help. I do boxing, dancing, running around the track. But I try not to force the body, just keep it in shape. The main thing is not to overeat!

I like to enjoy every detail, such as a clear sunny day.

A perfect day is to sleep 24 hours! (Laughs.) But seriously – sleep, delicious breakfast, go to any good movie, meet with friends, with my parents and go to sleep again.

I don’t have enough time for sleep and self-development, I always want to read something, go to the museum or to sign for some courses.

Before the performance we do makeups and hairstyles ourselves. Previously, it took me half an hour. Now I come to the point that I’m doing hair just in 10 minutes. Makeup is also already rehearsed: to glue eyelash and make up the lips – all takes a few minutes. Because we always short in time.

All the dresses I also invent myself. Of course, stylists help, but usually we come up with all ourselves and then tailor embodies it.

I’m for the natural beauty. If the girl from the nature has thin  lips and she wants to make them more magnificent, of course, I don’t blame her. The main thing is to know the measure.

I can say with confidence that have already achieved success in the sport: I have two Olympic medals – a bronze and a gold. But I’m not going to stop there.

In the future, I think, I will strive to become a famous coach or create a successful programs for my athletes. And then I want to immerse  in the role of mother. At some point, this will be my success and achievement. In short, I am not afraid that I will have nothing to do after the end of my sports career.

Life has taught me that it’s better to keep everything private and personal in secret to protect from prying eyes and ears and it will be more safe.

I can’t say that already have thought about family. Now I’m all in sport and in the next three years won’t be able to devote time to family. It seems to me that if a person does something, he should do it well. You must be a really good wife, a good mother and a family man and not just to be a mother-cuckoo.

The life of an athlete, as the life of any person is unpredictable.

My success is probably in fact that I never give up and go to my goal, no matter what.


Sweet interview but i have only one question. Why they always forget to add “in the team”? An Olympic Champion in the team. It’s not actually the same with an Olympic Champions. But maybe it’s ok for not sports media.

Reed also the recent interviews of Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Bobrova&Soloviev


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