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HomeSportsGymnasticsNikolai (Mykola) Kuksenkov interview - Lupita interprets

Nikolai (Mykola) Kuksenkov interview – Lupita interprets

Lupita interprets a Sovietski Sport interview with newly adopted Russian MAG crew member, former Ukraine Olympian, Nikolai (Mykola) Kuksenkov.
Nikolai Kuksenkov and his sister, journalist Irina.  Courtesy of Sovietski Sport
– Inform me, Kolya, when did you first ever take into consideration going to stay in Russia?
– Irina, it was a very long time in the past, once we have been dwelling in Belgium, the place Dad was the nationwide crew’s coach. You entered the Journalism College in Moscow College and I assumed it will be good to go to Russia. I used to be nonetheless a child and I went again to Kiev with our dad and mom. Later I used to be critically injured earlier than the Beijing Olympics, I had surgical procedure and a protracted restoration. You keep in mind, I got here to see you in Moscow, we went to totally different specialists. I did not know if I might come again to elite sport. The medical doctors didn’t give a really promising prognosis. On the finish, I watched the Olympics on TV. Аnd I lived for the next 4 years pondering of London.
– Earlier than London, a brand new harm…
– I tore my foot joints once I was practising tumbling. The medical doctors questioned my participation on the Olympics, at the least in vault and flooring. It’s tough to precise that state of affairs. I made a decision to get well and compete on pommel horse. I couldn’t miss a second Olympics.
Once we arrived to London, Dad didn’t know if I might compete within the All Round or solely on 4 occasions. We determined to take away problem and to attempt to make the All Round.
I labored for the crew on the primary day. We placed on a wonderful efficiency. Then got here a scandal, that had by no means occurred within the historical past of gymnastics – we have been stolen our medal was stolen.
– What did you’re feeling if you heard that the bronze medal was going to the Japanese crew?
– You always remember this type of factor. Injustice! I feel I used to be in a sort of fog. We completed the competitors in third place and the bronze medal. TV confirmed a desk, the place the Ukraine was third. As soon as the competitors completed, the Japanese, determined, with out respecting the foundations, that the Ukrainian crew needed to fall off the rostrum.
The Japanese submitted their protest when the delay was over. Had the protest been submitted by every other nation, it wouldn’t have been filed. A Japanese gymnast fell, hit his head on the pommel horse, but that dismount counted for him. It’s ridiculous. Everybody who understands gymnastics was sincerely sorry for us. Who wants a sport the place a great efficiency isn’t crucial, the place you must ask correctly?
– In London I understood that sport can be politics and enterprise. I assumed that I might by no means compete once more. But I overcame these emotions. And I made a decision to compete once more.
– Did you compete within the throughout dropping out?
– I used to be in bodily ache. I concentrated and did what I might. I got here fourth, once more off podium. In London I spotted I needed to change one thing. I assumed once more of shifting to Russia.
– You at all times expressed your uneasiness when your father was the nationwide crew’s head coach…
– Typically you don’t have the sensation he’s merely your father. By the best way, Dad stated he revered my determination. It’s true that he has now issues within the Ukraine…
– Who’s now your coach?
–Igor Kalabushkin, in Vladimir. He is a superb specialist and a great particular person. Psychologically we match each other. I like his sense of humour. I get pleasure from going to the gymnasium to coach with him. Kalabushkin was a coach to the late Yuri Riazanov. We have been superb pals…
Аnd why exactly Vladimir?
– Vitali Ivanchuk, director of the Vladimir College, had made this proposal to me a while in the past. He invited each my father and me. I accepted, however Dad determined to remain.
– When will you present me the Russian passport?
–The Minister of Sport Vitali Mutko has already despatched a letter to Putin about my paperwork. I’ve been advised that I’ll get my passport in February.
– You most likely know that within the Ukraine some folks say you’re a traitor?
– These folks say so as a result of they don’t know the state of affairs of Ukrainian gymnastics. I needed to pay for my surgical procedure. They didn’t allocate funds for the nationwide crew. Whenever you give all the pieces, together with your well being, that is insufferable!
– Is it totally different in Russia?
– It’s like evening and day! I spent three weeks at Ozero Krugloye [Round Lake, the Russian National Training Centre] and felt the distinction. All the things is finished for the athletes; you solely have to coach. An exquisite gymnasium, quite a few specialists, a particular coach for pommel horse or excessive bar.
– How did your new teammates welcome you?
– Very nicely, I’ve recognized them for a very long time. We spend three weeks at Krugloye. Then everybody goes house for every week. I’m going to Vladimir.

      That are your subsequent competitions? 

      The Russian championship goes to happen in Penza in March. Then in April in Moscow the European Championships. I want I keep wholesome and I can struggle for a medal.

– You might be being in comparison with Gérard Depardieu, who gave again French citizenship and took Russian…
– After all, it’s nice, however it’s not an accurate comparability. I’m Russian! You understand that, opposite to Depardieu, now we have roots in Russia. Dad is from the Moscow area; Mum is from Bashkiria. Within the Soviet interval folks labored in other places in an enormous nation. After the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, not everybody got here again house. I felt Russian all my life.
– I keep in mind that you wrote Putin a letter, if you have been a child and we have been dwelling in Belgium. Мum has stored it. Now we snicker once we learn it.
– At my Belgian faculty, the trainer advised us about Moscow: distress, deprivation, deserted kids. I stood up and stated that it was not true. Not like the trainer, I had been in Russia, and had by no means seen this. Belgian children humiliated us Russians always. I hit a boy and I needed to go to the headmaster’s workplace. I got here again house humiliated. I wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, who had simply turn into the Russian president. In my letter I defined how the Russians have been perceived in Belgium.
– Don’t you may have the impression that this letter out of your childhood reached the President?
– And as a solution I’ll quickly obtain my Russian passport? Sure, most likely. On my passport they gained’t write Mikola, however Nikolai as my dad and mom referred to as me. Right here you may have a topic you’ll be able to dwell upon!
Nikolai Kuksenkov was born in June 1989 in Kiev.
As a member of the Ukrainian crew: European Junior Champion. Third within the European Championships (2011). Winner of the Universiade (2011). Winner of phases of the World Cup. Fourth within the AA on the London Olympics (2012).
On the finish of 2012, received the Russian citizenship and can carry out for the Russian crew.

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