Ekaterina started her Olympic path from an early childhood –mom took her to the skating ring when she was 4. In the beginning she didn’t intend to dedicate her life for professional sports – she was just enjoying ice skating. Being asked what title would she like to achieve in figure skating Ekaterina honestly answered: to match the achievement level of the family where each member was a candidate for master of sports – her mother in athletics, her dad in skiing and an older sister in acrobatic rock’n’roll. Getting the candidate title (which happened rather quickly) made her wonder whether she could do better, so she turned to pair ice dance.
“Figure skating is my life. People often ask me, “If you weren’t into figure skating, what occupation would you choose?”, and I answer, “If it weren’t figure skating, it would be figure skating!” I don’t see myself being occupied in any other field.”
Any professional sports put strict requirements, not to mention an Olympic path, and there was no exception in Ekaterina’s case: hard training sessions, a full schedule, a school of external studies with a very few friends, no prom (!!!) with its gorgeous dress and graduation certificate handed to her in front of her family which she loves with all her heart. And after all these sacrifices a clear understanding occurres – if you set yourself a large life purpose and spend all available resources to achieve it, its fulfillment will be unfailingly followed by devastation:
“I’m used to setting goals and achieving them. Having an Olympic gold in team events I am still going to get the same in an individual event. But I would like to point out that the athlete’s life shouldn’t be limited to winning the gold medal – I know that the “after” moment will come and it will bring a lot of other joys and many new goals.”
But yet she is a well-known sportsman Ekaterina strongly believes that along with other famous athletes she can make a positive impact on the world’s development like it was after the Olympic Games when she sold her prize car and gave a part of money for charity. She insists though that not only established people have the opportunity to help somebody and make this world a better place – each contribution is priceless. There is almost an infinite number of ways to help and do something important. The key thing is to remember that nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
Her inclusiveness in the circle of young active people from all over the world made her realize – despite all differences, we all have similar values, which are the most important in our lives, such as placing emphasis on a peaceful life, friends and family. She examples the project called «Thank you, mom!» – a series of videos about the tremendous contributions of mothers in the training of future champions. Mothers of Russian, American and Canadian champions in figure skating met in Sochi for taking part in the project last year:
“They told each other stories about our childhood, how they got their children interested in sport and how they overcame all the difficulties of professional sport together with their kids, and how they worried! After all, everywhere, in every country of the world mothers are the main pillar of support.”
In the end of our conversation we ask Ekaterina to share us her vision of Zeitgeist philosophical concept (Spirit of the time):
“I would say that now it comprises the Internet, social networks, gadgets and likes. My parents’ set included holiday trips, camp fires, guitar tunes, and tents. In figure skating you also have to speculate about Zeitgeist! One of our dance programs is based on the famous novel by Leo Tolstoy called “Anna Karenina”. And in order give a proper performance in front of fans and judges, you should have a fine appreciation of this literary work. It was very difficult for me to understand the heroine, who was the same age that I was (!), who had a husband and a child. Nevertheless, she fell in love with another man, and that was basically impossible at THAT time; it violated every imaginable moral standard. So now, while gliding on two thin blades and performing complicated moves, such as spins and lifts, I’m trying to interpret the spirit of that time in ice dancing.”
“However, I’m living in the modern age, and I would have behaved quite differently in a similar situation. I mean that no matter what are the current fashion trends, timeless values will remain timeless and unalterable.”