On the eve of the first European Games to be held in Baku in the summer of 2015, we decided to talk to the gymnasts who might be involved in this exciting sporting event. Marina Durunda - multiple World Cup medalist in rhythmic gymnastics, two-time absolute champion of the country and the sports ambassador of the European Games.
Tell us how did you started to do gymnastics. Why did you chose this sport?
When I was 4 years old, my father took me to the gym hall. Since my cousin was involved in gymnastics, I also wanted to learn all this stuff. I was so plump (laughing), and naturally, I was offered to go to the dancing. However, I wanted to do gym, and therefore remained in sport.
How do you think, could you perform in any other sport?
If I liked other sport as well as gymnastics, I think I would have been able. However, I do not like any other kind of sport like gymnastics.
How do you deal with the emotions in the day of competition? Are there any special secrets of self-control?
I think it comes with experience. When one performs often, it becomes easier and easier ... Well, it is necessary to motivate oneself somehow. There are no special no secrets, one just need to believe in himself and then everything will succeed.
What do you think is most important in any sport?
Self-confidence, patience and hard work ... little effort. Discipline is very important. Moreover, it is important to listen to the coach. To listen, to hear and to do.
How dangerous is to engage in professional sports, or it depends on the sport?
I think it depends on the sport. There are dangerous sport, such as artistic gymnastics - it is more dangerous than rhythmic gymnastics. Rhythmic gymnastics is not so dangerous.
Do you have an idol in the sport?
Yes, it is Yevgenia Kanayeva, an Olympic Champion.
Tell us about your sports plans for the near future.
First of all, of course, I want to perform worthily at the European Championships in Minsk, then at the European Games in Baku, and of course at the World Championships in Stuttgart, where we a license for the Olympic Games will be played. I really want to get this license.
What do European Games mean for you and how do you prepare for them?
European Games is such an event ... I am very proud that the first-ever European Games are being held here in Baku. This is a great honor to perform at the Games. Actually, for me it is a very important event, I want to represent the country worthily at home. I prepare for them in the same way I prepare for important events. We have a new season; we have compiled a new exercise and we will surprise everyone - both judges and spectators.
If stay a little bit away from the sport - do you have any aspirations or dreams that you want to implement?
I want to be a good daughter, a sister, a friend, a good man. As for the future - I have not set any goal yet.
Are you able to combine sport with normal life?
When there is free time, we go out for a walk, go to the cinema. I guess we just spend on it less time than non-athletes.
Tell us about your family.
I have two brothers; I am madly in love with them and miss them a lot. In general, I am very grateful to my parents for sending me in this sport, for their support throughout my career. I love them very much.
Do you have a loved one?
What do your fans usually shout, and want do you want to hear from them?
They usually shout "Go, Marina, go!". In general, when I just hear the chant "Azerbaijan!" I just have goosebumps. It is a great pleasure - just to realize that the entire audience rooting for you, by soul. It inspires.
What would you like to tell them?
Thank you for your support!