Russian skiers are gradually beginning to prepare for the new season. And all the attention of the fans, of course, is riveted on the leaders of the national team.
The main newsmakers this time were Alexander Terentyev and Natalia Nepryaeva. In October last year, it became known that the athletes meet, and therefore, without hiding anything, at the end of the season they posted photos from their vacation in Dubai.
Moreover, the Olympic champion even had to fight off fans of the pretty skier on social networks, who left not the most flattering reviews under their joint pictures.
However, this could not affect the relationship of lovers. The vacation ended with the fact that Terentyev, it seems, made Natalia an offer.
"Without a doubt," Nepryaeva captioned a photo on social networks with a wedding ring.
Moreover, the skier in the picture is in a white dress, so now fans are wondering if her marital status has changed. At the moment, together with Terentyev, the girl has already begun preparations for the new season.
"It's always hard to get out of your comfort zone after rest, but when you enter this working state, everything turns out by itself (step by step, as they say) and the body already takes grueling workouts for granted, the main thing is to see the goal with which you wake up in the morning, then 5:30 on the alarm clock will not seem like something unrealistic and irritable," the athlete noted.
But Tatyana Sorina is preparing to become a mother for the second time and makes fun of her coach and the father of the child - Egor.
"There is not much time left to enjoy my situation. I already want to start classes. And the calmness of my coach will end there, right, Egor?" the skier wrote on social networks.
The specialist will definitely not be bored. Such a "replenishment" of the group definitely guarantees him sleepless nights for the next few months.
In the meantime, he is getting used to working with Yulia Stupak, who at the end of the season announced that she would work with Sorin. As Yegor said, he has not yet resorted to the help of the former mentor of the skier Markus Kramer.
"We called him in the spring, discussed some points simply, but otherwise I do not consult with him. That is, Julia trains in a general group, without any individual lessons. In principle, for this period, it takes out the entire load, works according to the general plan, "Sorin told Match TV.
Another former ward of Kramer, Sergei Ustyugov, as in the previous season, is preparing according to an individual plan. He began training in Khanty-Mansiysk, and then should join Sorin's group in the Arkhangelsk region.
"In the summer, I probably hold training camps here for the first time. Usually, closer to winter, we come to the roll-in, and before that, when there were performances in the international arena, we went to other places. There are all conditions for training. The roller ski track is heavy, but so much the better, the preparation will become more complicated, "said Ustyugov.
He also promised to return to Khanty-Mansiysk for the Russian Roller Ski Championships, which will be held from 24 to 30 July. Moreover, the skier does not forget about socially useful affairs. So, he held a master class for children and spoke about the peculiarities of preparing for the season in the summer.
And if Sergey is only looking forward to the starts, then Ivan Yakimushkin decided not to postpone the matter indefinitely and took part in the 10-kilometer athletics race in Tyumen. At a distance of 21 kilometers, the first result was shown by another well-known athlete - biathlete Victoria Slivko.
Experienced Natalia Matveeva, in turn, is thinking about whether to continue her sports career. The 37-year-old athlete admitted that it was very difficult for her last season and she no longer enjoys racing.
"Right in the whole career that I had, it was very difficult to force myself. Since May, I was more at home with my son, because I didn't want to leave at all, to travel like that year. Maybe that year I missed cross-country skiing after maternity leave. But, apparently, I was so saturated that in December I forced myself to go to training. You know, I didn't get any pleasure," admitted the silver medalist of the World Championship in an interview with Sport24.
At the same time, she is not going to say goodbye to racing right away. He wants to make this process gradual.
"My sports career will end soon, but I don't want to quit abruptly, put skis in a corner. I will gradually finish, still go to training, maybe somewhere I will perform at some competitions. But to constantly go to the Cups of Russia, the championship of Russia - no. At the moment, there is a plan for the summer, in which I have already outlined that I will move out somewhere. I don't think further," the athlete said.
Alexander Bolshunov has repeatedly told in his interviews how important it is for him to support his wife in competitions and during training. However, it was previously difficult to organize her participation in the events of the national team, since Anna ended her sports career in 2021. Even for the stages of the World Cup, she was not always able to make accreditation.
This problem seems to have been solved. Anna is included in the list of specialists working with the Russian national team. She became the administrator of the training process. True, now you will have to follow not only your husband and little daughter, but also the rest of the skiers.
By the way, the group of Yuri Borodavko, to which Bolshunov is assigned, has already begun work at the training camp. So far, most athletes are engaged in general physical training. At the same time, the specialist does not see anything wrong with the fact that athletes come overweight after rest.
"All people have such a problem, because it is very difficult to keep yourself at the peak of form, and it is wrong. People have the right to relax. And excess weight is necessary for an athlete during this period, because the training process is very long, you need to have certain fat reserves to replenish energy, so everything is within the normal range < ... >. With intensive work, this gives the necessary energy," Borodavko said.
In the near future, the specialist plans to conduct several joint trainings with biathletes from the group of Mikhail Shashilov. In his opinion, in any case, this will have a positive impact on the team.
"They, of course, have their own tasks, we have ours. But we will definitely cross paths in training. What is the benefit for us? Any competition is a plus. It's very cool, and it's not the main thing that they are from another sport. The very attitude to training will only benefit both of them. Well, there are not enough emotions in the preparatory period, but there is some kind of responsibility in the competition, "the specialist explained.
Alas, next season skiers are unlikely to perform at international competitions. FIS delays the decision, and there is less and less hope for a positive outcome. However, according to world champion Maxim Vylegzhanin, athletes will be able to maintain a high level for another year, participating in tournaments only within the country.
"Of course, it's bad when you don't know what to prepare for. But this season showed that we prepared well: we performed well, there was a lot of competition. I think that our athletes will cope with another such season. The races are shown, the fans are watching. Therefore, skiing has not disappeared anywhere," said Vylegzhanin.
And according to Borodavko, the suspension of Russian skiers should end in the near future, since everyone suffers from it.
"The situation itself suggests that FIS loses a lot financially, in broadcasts and in everything else [in the absence of our athletes]. And this will continue until they are there. Let's hope that common sense will prevail and sport will cease to be politics," the coach explained.
This also affects the financial situation of athletes. As Denis Spitsov noted, prize money in Russia has increased significantly in the last season, but they are still lower than at the World Cup.
"A lot depends on the level of the athlete. Those who have not made it to the national team before, and now have improved, perceive the changes with a plus sign. Those who competed at the World Cup have their own criteria, they began to earn less. Even taking into account the fact that earlier there were no prize money at some Russian stages at all, but now there are, and not bad ones, "the skier emphasized.
Equation of distances in Russia
If the FIS is slow with the decision on the admission of Russians, then with the equation of men's and women's distances, on the contrary, it is in a hurry. Last season, the new format was only tested. Now the reform has affected the World Cup. Next in line is the Olympic Games. Therefore, the head of the FLGR, Elena Vyalbe, admitted that in Russia, too, it is possible to make changes to the program of domestic competitions.
"We haven't made a decision yet. There are several factors. We may not be able to do it quickly. In principle, all distances should be equated with international ones, but for this we need to go through a fairly serious process in the Ministry of Sports, otherwise we may not get the official status of these competitions. In June, we will decide collectively, I can't make such decisions on my own," Vyalbe said in an interview with TASS.
Now, at the World Championships, athletes will run 10, 20 and 50 km, skiathlon 10 + 10 km, 4 x 7.5 km relay, team and individual sprints.
"I don't understand why the distances were shorter for men and longer for women. Because men are weaker? It's just that one Swedish girl decided that she wanted to run like men. Well, I would run with men, but now there are no problems with this at all. Declare yourself whoever you want and run," Metaratings quoted Vyalbe as saying.
Stupak did not appreciate the reform either. In her opinion, in this way skiing becomes as boring as possible.