Kamila Valieva: “For me, the time at the Olympics divided into before and after.”
Interview with Kamila Valieva for Cosmopolitan.
source: cosmo.ru dd. 18th April 2022, by Daria Gukyaikina
Kamila, time has passed since the Olympics. What lessons have you learned for yourself? What, perhaps, was a real discovery for you?
Kamila Valieva: The Olympics are competitions unlike any other. Usual competitions last 2-3 days. We arrived at the Olympics two weeks before they started. There were no trainings that we used to. Every day only 30-40 minutes of ice. During this time, you need to jump all the jumps, work on spins, step sequences and make a run through of the program. And the competitions themselves consist of a team event and an individual one. It’s hard to keep in shape with so little ice training.
And, of course, the responsibility is completely different, especially in the team event, when the fate of five more skaters depends on your performances.
What was the atmosphere like at the Olympics? What did you personally lacked the most?
Kamila Valieva: For me, it was the first Olympics, there is nothing to compare with. Many athletes said that they did not feel like a holiday, as it was before. Covid protocol, daily PCR tests… All this was disturbing, a bit knocked out of the usual rhythm, but, in spite of everything, we were glad that we were in Beijing at the Olympic Games.
For me, the time at the Olympics divided into before and after. So “after” I especially missed my mother, her support.
How long does it take you to recover after big competitions? Do you give yourself time to experience the moment, or is a new day coming, and the previous one seems to have never happened?
Kamila Valieva: It all depends on how the competitions end. If you managed to perform well and win, then you don’t need to recover, your mood is excellent, you want to continue to train and show good results.
If there was a failure, then it is difficult to overcome, especially if you know for sure that you did not spare yourself in training, worked on maximum.
But I live this moment within myself. I try not to stress anyone with my feelings. I know that I need to go to training and work. There is simply no other way, it won’t work.
In your opinion, is it important to win in sports, or is it “the main thing is not winning, but participating”?
Kamila Valieva: In sports, it is important to win. But victories can be different. To win first place in competitions is a victory over competitors. Learning a new element is also a victory. But this is a victory over a difficult element. For some, victory is to go on the ice and skate your program in front of the audience. This is a victory over yourself. There also can be a victory over circumstances. Well, there are many options. Sports are played by those who want to win.
They say that it is important for an athlete to be able to both win (not put on a mask of arrogance) and lose (keeping a dignity). How are you with this?
Kamila Valieva: It’s the same for me as for everyone else. No one is born with the ability to win and lose. Everyone is learning this. I also learn how to win and lose. And how well I do it – the audience knows better, I guess.
Tell us how the last minutes usually go before going on the ice.
Kamila Valieva: Usually, before going on the ice, I get nervous. (Laughs.)
Is it hard to keep shape? Do you have to limit yourself in food?
Kamila Valieva: I think it is not easy for most people to keep themselves in shape, this is how our body works. Yes, I have to limit myself in food, but I do not starve. I eat everything, but in small portions. I love ice cream and chocolate.
You are only 15, and the whole world already knows about you. What are your feelings about this?
Kamila Valieva: My perception of myself has not changed. I try to be humble and polite. Success does not interfere with my daily life. On the contrary, it helps me a lot now to get through difficult times.
Looking through your social networks, we did not find a single bad comment. Do you have any haters at all?
Kamila Valieva: I don’t have much time for social networks. I don’t respond to haters, maybe that’s why they don’t write to me? (Laughs) I don’t know… I’ll have to think about it.
You will be celebrating your 16th birthday very soon. Have you already have plans for the day? And how do you feel about your birthday?
Kamila Valieva: I love this day and treat it like a family holiday. I already have plans. I think it will be a special day for me.
What makes you happy every day?
Kamila Valieva: Knowing that all my relatives are healthy.
We, the spectators, admire watching you, the skaters, do things that we have never dreamed of. And if you look the other way around: is there something that you might envy or lack, that an ordinary person has, but an athlete doesn’t?
Kamila Valieva: Athlete is the same ordinary living person. (Smiling.) No, I don’t envy anything or anyone.
And finally, continue the phrase: “When I am sad, I …
Kamila Valieva:… I go for a walk and talk with my mother.
…I’m chatting with friends”.
…I listen to music”.
… I dream.
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