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Misjudged at preliminaries, but ready for Olympics

24 января 2014, 10:07

Kazakhstani sportsmen are continuing their preparations for the Winter Olympics, the major winter event of this year.

Two-time champion of the 2011 Asian Winter Games and a 2010 World Cup finalist in moguls, Yulia Galysheva told 
Vesti.kz about her preparations for the Olympic Games in Sochi. 

Answer: The Pre-Olympic training camp started in mid May. First, we spent a month in Rider town in Kazakhstan, then we went to Switzerland and stayed there from June to August. Then we were perfecting new elements at a training camp in the Czech Republic. We went to the preliminaries of the World Cup on November 20, and then the season started on December 14 with the traditional games in Ruka, Finland. In January, we are participating in the preliminaries in the United States and Canada and then we are leaving for Sochi. 

Question: Tell us about your feelings before your second Olympics? 

Answer: I can’t say that I’m nervous. The weather conditions in Sochi will be the same as in Vancouver. The snow will be soft and the weather will be warm. There won’t be any visibility issues. During the Olympics there are always powerful lights switched on and the hillside is brightly lit. All in all, I’m not worried as I have the experience and I know the set up, the schedules, the training and other things.

Yulia Galysheva. ©Vesti.kz

Yulia Galysheva. ©Vesti.kz

Q: What is the difference between your current and past preparations?

A: The acrobatics coach who trained us in the gym is traveling with us this time. He’s been with us in all training camps. It’s very helpful because one coach films our training while the other coach stands by the ski-jump and clearly sees our mistakes. He then corrects us. When we had only one coach it was more difficult.

Q: In spring there were test events in Sochi, what can you say about the MO course?

A: It was a World Cup preliminary. When we arrived the temperature was +20C (+68F), the snow covered only the MO course and the way to the lift. That's why we trained in the evenings when there was no sun to melt the snow. I liked the course; it’s up to standards. There should be a big area for the audience, but in spring the stadium was still under construction. Near the freestyle run there is an aerial ski jumping ramp, and behind them there is a half-pipe. It’s great for the audience because they can watch three events from one stadium. 

Q: How are things within the national team?

A: We are a very close-knit team. Earlier there were 12-13 people, but now there are only 5 of us left. We maintain relationships even when we are resting at home. We meet in town and spend our free time together. 

Q: Is there a rivalry between you and your teammate Dariya Rybalova?

A: I don't think so. She is a good sportswoman. She also had an injury from which she had to get back in shape. It's worthy of praise. For example, another freestyler Yulia Rodionova couldn’t make herself come back after recovering from an injury, because the fear remained too strong. If you remember, she injured her knee at the Asian Games and after recovering decided to stop competing. But Dasha (Rybalova), after her injury, she jumped from the same ramp from which she had fallen, and that's the spirit!

Yulia Galysheva. Photo courtesy of zimbio.com

Yulia Galysheva. Photo courtesy of zimbio.com

Q: Have you already set a goal for this season? Who do you consider to be your main rival in Sochi?

A: Dmitrii Reikherd and I were given the goal to get into the top 6 at the preliminaries and at the Olympics. I’d say, Canadian and U.S. sportswomen are strong and worthy rivals. 

Q: Judging by the results, you like the dual moguls more than the individual...

A: Yes, I find dual moguls to be easier. When I compete individually, even if I show seemingly good results everything goes more leisurely. But when I have a competitor nearby and I see her accelerating out of the corner of my eye I automatically ski at full speed.

Q: Do you have a support team on the Kazakhstan freestyle nation team?

A: No, our coach does all the work himself. They wanted to give us a team physician but it’s still undecided. Other national teams, like the Canadian’s, the US’ or the Czech’s have a big team of specialists. They have people who film the competition, a designated physician and a masseur. They generally have one coach per three athletes. We have one coach for the whole team. 

Q: In the individual moguls the results often depend not on the sportsman, but on the judges. I heard, last season your scores were sometimes misjudged.

A: We are misjudged, it doesn't matter how well you perform, they still can hold you back. For instance, to qualify for the finals they set a 26-second timer. At the preliminaries I made it in 25. But lets say the leader in the overall standing (who is the favorite) does it in 27. In this case I’ll be deliberately given lower scores, to stop me from making it into the finals, because they know I can win there. During large scale competitions every country has a representative in the judiciary. We still don't have anybody there. It shows too.

The Winter Olympics are held in Sochi on February 7-23 2014. 

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