Friday, September 23, 2016

Verniaev's interview

Oleg Verniaev gave a long interview to portal.
I'm going to summarize the main points (because I'm too lazy to translate the whole thing:))

He first talks about his experience competing in Bundesliga (a German club competition). He likes it because they have an unusual competition format and because the competitions always bring a huge crowd of fans. He was also amazed by the huge competition crowds in Italy and in Dallas during the American cup.
Even though he refused to give interviews to Russian media during Rio, he has many Russian fans and is friends with the gymnasts. He's also friends with Stepko and Pahniuk who now represent Azerbaijan, and they help him as they can (having better financial support) - for example, they bought some medication for him.
He got offers to compete for other countries, but he only wants to compete for Ukraine, despite all the issues with equipment and support. It's his country and he's very patriotic. He hopes to make gymnastics huge and popular in Ukraine. He hopes that one day Ukraine will be able to retain its athletes, because they wouldn't leave the country if not for the money problems. He wants to represent Ukraine in Tokyo and, maybe, even after Tokyo.
He's sad that Ukraine doesn't host big gymnastics competitions and the national championships are set in the gyms without bleachers/seating areas, so fans can't even attend these competitions. Basically, there's only one set of equipment in Koncha-Zaspa (national team training center) and this equipment gets taken to competitions and gets damaged during assembling and transportation which shortens its life. He describes how after one competition the parallel bars were returned broken and they didn't have a spare set, so they couldn't train bars. They haven't yet got the equipment from Rio that was bought for their gym, because the delivery and customs take months, so he doesn't know when will they get new equipment.
He hopes that Uchimura will continue competing all-around, because he likes competing with him.
His coach is a very important person in his life. Even though he's been doing gymnastics for a very long time now and knows so much, he wouldn't be able to compete without his coach.
Oleg's asked again about the team final in Rio where one of their gymnasts didn't compete and they didn't put anyone instead this person. As he said before, the Ukrainian team simply wasn't prepared to this type of situation and couldn't adjust quickly, because they don't speak English well and weren't aware of the proper procedure. They had no idea that they could make a replacement this close to the start of the competition (they learned that the gymnast won't compete only 15 minutes before the start).
One of his dreams is to visit Florida, he's never been there.
Attention to Belgian fans - in December he's performing at a gymnastics gala in Belgium (he doesn't give more details, unfortunately). He really likes gala shows - he performed in Brussels and in Mexico in the past.
He's asked whether he speaks English and answers that he speaks and understands, but not fluently, so he refuses to give interviews in English, because he's afraid to sound ridiculous and wants to speak in the language he's fluent in.
When he retires, he hopes he's famous enough in Ukraine to be able to help the gymnastics movement develop and, maybe, even open his own gym.
He's quite frustrated by having to apply for visas all the time (Ukrainians need visas for Schengen countries, USA, UK etc. and the process of getting them is complicated and costly), so he hopes that the rumors about Ukrainians able to travel in EU visa-free will become true soon.
He doesn't yet know how his programs will change in 2017 with the new code. He refers to his talk with Leyva in which Leyva reportedly said he's going to retire now, because his high bar routine wouldn't work in the new code and changing it completely would be too hard.
Oleg hopes to get gold at Worlds and Olympics and medal anywhere he can,

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