“After the story of Nugumanova the entire figure skating community should start thinking, because it’s in a situation where it can easily bury itself.” Sports journalist Elena Vaitsekhovskaya
Sports journalist and also an Olympic champion in diving Elena Vaitsekhovskaya shared her opinion on scandal involving Elizaveta Nugumanova and her coach Evgeni Rukavitsin and also told about harsh methods of coaching.
source: podcast championat
Elena Vaitsekhovskaya: Coaches are different. There are coaches who beat, humiliate, and I don’t know what is worse. I know an athlete who was humiliated by the coach year after year. And she once told me: every time I stood in the presence of the whole group hearing all that, I thought – it’s better to be hit, than all this.
The violence is terrible. But it all depends on the personality of the coach. There should be no closed systems. Take the same situation with Liza Nugumanova. A fairly large number of people spoke out in support of her coach. But all these people also do not know what happened.
They say so based on the fact that Zhenya Rukavitsyn is a cool guy. And I’m ready to say it, but I don’t know what kind of coach he is. And who am I to give an assessment to a person if I was not present at his training?
I still have an interview in the form of an audio file on my computer, where a mother tells how the coach beat her daughter. How the coach humiliated her daughter, what words she spoke to her, how it all happened.
And then the athlete and parents return to the same coach. And you feel like a complete idiot. Because here they told you one thing, but here they are already working together.
It’s like interfering in a divorce process. You took sides, and they reconciled. And then you don’t know how to look into the eyes of both of them.
Why didn’t I publish this interview? I understood that after this the coach should just be put in jail. If all this is true. Well, I was not ready to get involved in all this squabble. In my practice, there were a lot of situations when the interlocutors refused their words.
This is very convenient when you said something thoughtless, and someone clung to your phrase. It’s easiest for a defendant to say that the journalist misunderstood him. The journalist distorted, the journalist is to blame. And it all starts to unwind, and no one cares that you have a voice recording. You won’t prove anything to anyone.
In my opinion, the Nugumanova case is a good reason to think about how to act further in order to be ready for this. Because if an avalanche starts, the Russian Figure Skating Federation will be swept away before you can blink.
Since journalism is a cynical profession, I will use this right to speak cynically. I think this is for the best, because what is happening now will make many coaches look at themselves from the outside. When you work for years in a generally accepted system, you stop noticing a lot of things. It’s not a problem for you to slap a child on the butt with a skate guards, right? This is just a working moment, as it seems to me. I saw it, well, really, I saw how they beat children in the locker rooms, when I started to go skating myself, there were children in the same locker room, I saw a lot of things there. There you’ll see enough of it that you just think: damn it, where did I end up at all?
This story will surely make coaches, at least smart coaches, think, look at themselves from the outside, reassess whether they are doing everything right, and whether they are giving a reason. I think it’s very important now to turn on the brains of the entire figure skating community, because it is in a situation where it can casually, without noticing, bury itself.