Anna Shcherbakova: “I can confidently say that everything that happened was for the better. The way my path unfolded led me to the achievements I managed to accomplish.”
Interview with Anna Shcherbakova.
source: Championat dd. 2d September 2023 by Marat Aratasov
2022 Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova is living an incredibly vibrant life after pausing her competitive career. Recently, she visited China as a special guest, and ahead lies a multitude of other interesting activities.
In a brief conversation with “Championat” Anna talked about her trip, discussed her plans and future profession, and tactfully responded to a question about Alina Gorbacheva’s situation.
You visited China – an exciting trip, surely full of emotions. You seem to have a deep appreciation for Chinese culture. Tell us about the emotions you felt after the journey?
Anna Shcherbakova: I think China completely turned my mind upside down when I arrived. It was my first trip to China after the Olympic Games – it’s been a year and a half, and, of course, during these one and a half years, there was no opportunity to come due to the pandemic and coronavirus restrictions. I still felt tremendous support from fans in China; I received an incredible number of gifts – hundreds of kilograms of parcels. So, I knew that I had a lot of fans in China, but I couldn’t imagine the extent of it.
From the moment I arrived in China, my fans greeted me, and it was very touching, very sweet. My emotions were overwhelming; it was as if I didn’t realize the reality of what was happening. I felt like a rock star on tour, as if all of this wasn’t quite real. So it’s really nice that they love and appreciate our figure skaters so much in China.
Is there any other country where you would like to live or study? In dreams, in fantasies.
Anna Shcherbakova: I enjoy traveling. I really like getting charged with new emotions and expanding my horizons; you learn a lot of new things. But probably, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for a long time because even if I leave for two or three weeks, I still feel drawn back home. I think it’s more about discovering and seeing something new for me, but after a while, I already want to return home.
What profession would you like to pursue in the future, besides coaching?
Anna Shcherbakova: Naturally, besides coaching, I want to pursue something else. I’ve been thinking about what exactly that would be for a year now. Last year, I tried myself in journalism, but I don’t have the confidence yet that it’s exactly what I want to do. I don’t even have the certainty that it will be some kind of media profession – I don’t know to what extent I want to be constantly in the media field. Right now, I’m considering options. I think I have at least a year to think about it.
What are your immediate plans?
Anna Shcherbakova: There are a lot of different events and activities, and I’m invited to many places. There are several more trips planned to China, so my schedule for the near future is quite packed. I haven’t scheduled any weekends off yet.
Looking back at your sports career, is there anything you would change or advice you would give to yourself as an athlete?
Anna Shcherbakova: I think I’m someone who isn’t inclined to make quick decisions. I always think things through, weigh every decision, and make them consciously. So even during my career, I didn’t have a sense that I was doing something wrong. But even in challenging moments where I might have wanted to reconsider and think, “Why is it like this? I wish it were different,” looking back now, I can confidently say that everything that happened was for the better. The way my path unfolded led me to the achievements I managed to accomplish. Everything went well, and I’m satisfied with it all.
The last question is related to the events that happened this week — a skater disappeared for a whole day, possibly due to a dispute with her coach. Have you ever experienced something so difficult that you wanted to quit and give up everything?
Anna Shcherbakova: I‘ll say right away that I can’t comment on Alina’s [Gorbacheva’s] situation because I don’t know the situation from the inside, what exactly happened there. But speaking from my own experience, if there have been similar situations, I think it’s important to have the ability to switch and not fixate on just one thing, such as figure skating and training. My family has always supported me, and it has always been crucial to me that when I come home, it’s not my coaches at home teaching me how to train again, but it’s a place where I can rest and recharge, where I’ll always receive support. This probably helped to deal with such difficult situations.
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