Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Tatiana Navka: "The main thing in my life is patience"

Translation of an interview by a correspondent of a Russian Language newspaper Rossijskaja Gazeta, Vladimir Petrov (VP) printed on May 3, 2007.

Introduction: The road to the top by this famous figure skater was long and difficult. She danced on ice at the Olympics of 94 at Lillehammer and at Nagano in 98 with different partners under the flag of Belarus. After many years, at the 2006 Olympics, Tatiana Navka (TN) and Roman Kostomarov became Olympic Champions under the Russian flag.

VP- Tatiana, it seems that after Nagano the Byelorussians are rooting for you with a special vigor.

TN - Certainly. I remember that time when I skated for Belarus with great pleasure. Those were the happiest years of my life. I love this country and I love Minsk (capital of Belarus), which is one of the best cities in the world.

VP - Your biography is a nice illustration of the spiritual unity of the three Slavic nations. You were born and started skating in Dneproperovsk (Ukraine), you debuted at the Olympics for Belarus and you became three times World Champion and won Olympic gold under the Russian flag. But what nationality do you feel yourself most?

TN- I feel myself a person of the world. But seriously I do not divide these countries. I was born in the USSR and let's leave it at that.

VP - It looks like you, a famous sportsperson, became known by millions of TV viewers after your victory at the ice show "Stars on Ice." Is it true?

TN - Oh, no, I think it is opposite. Everyone knows who won the gold at the Turino Olympics in ice dancing. I can not say that my popularity increased due to "Stars on Ice."

VP - Then what was of interest to you in that project? Was it the financial part of it, or to try yourself in a new role?

TN - Certainly, it was something new and very interesting for me - very different from what I was doing all my life. It was not even sport - it was more like show business. It came out really well. I do not feel sorry for anything.

VP - The ice show of Tom Collins with the participation of the world's stars of figure skating is very popular in the USA. Could the show of Ilja Averbuch and Irina Lobacheva, that was playing in Minsk not long ago, be compared with it?

TN - We are improving the quality of our show every year. The only thing that tires me is constant travel, our roads and hotels. But otherwise the quality of the show itself will make happy even the most demanding viewers. I do not think that any other show has as many champions as we have.

VP - Are you always lucky and successful?

TN - No, not always. The most important thing in my life is patience. I worked very long and hard and that is why I feel that I deserve my rewards. It is nice to be lucky, but being a couch potato would not win you anything.

VP - It was known in the past that even the best athletes had to wait in line for their turn to get to the top. Is it the same now?

TN - To a degree, yes. It is impossible to become an Olympic champion in one year. It is hard work. Year after year one should prove that he/she is the best. Even in single skating if you flawlessly execute all jumps, you would not be placed at the top right away. You need to work hard for several, and sometimes for many seasons.

VP - Who has contributed to your success most - your husband and coach Alex Zhulin, your first coach Natalia Dubova or the famous Elena Tchaikovskaja?

TN - I respect Ms. Tchaikopvskaja very much, she is a great woman, a great human being. But we did not have many contacts. I can not say that she had a substantial effect on my career and achievements. Dubova gave me a lot of knowledge of life and of sport. I invited her to visit me for the celebration of my Olympic gold in America. Zhulin stimulated my love for figure skating and helped me to understand it in a different way.

VP - You were dancing with Samvel Gezaljan and Nikolay Morozov, but the real success came with Roman Kostomarov. Is Roman an ideal partner?

TN - There are not many irreproachable people. Like all people, I have my deficiencies and he has them as well. Ideal could not be a person, but a robot that you can create to your specifications. Of course we have our rough patches, but in general, I think that we were made for each other, I mean on the ice.

VP - How do you get along with Basharov with whom you are skating now at the "Stars on Ice?"

TN - Great. He is a wonderful person and a partner, and I am very happy that I dance with him. Marat is a very hard-working and sensitive person.

VP - There were several attempts to improve Belarus figure skating with the help of strong foreign skaters - like you, Julia Soldatova, Sergey Davidov? What do you think is missing as to have this sport to develop more dynamically in Belarus?

TN - I think that it depends a lot on the person in charge of the Belarus Figure Skating Federation, who would be able to get it to the top, like it is done in Russia. No matter what, that person would play a major role in the successes of Belarus figure skaters.


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