Huskova about Olympic medal: "Thoughts are material"


Huskova about Olympic medal: "Thoughts are material"

The CTV Sport program has invited one of the main figures in the Belarus squad at the Korea Olympics - honored coach of Belarus, permanent head coach of the national freestyle team Nikolay Kozeko and the Olympic champion of 2018 Hanna Huskova.

SEE: Hanna Huskova: way to Olympic gold

— Hanna, how does it feel to be an Olympic champion? 
Well, first of all I’d like to say that I haven’t yet realized to be one, but step-by-step I’m beginning to feel like I achieved what I wanted, what I was striving to. Everything is in the air for me right now. 

— Mr. Kozeko, the Olympics 2018 has granted you a new title of the most successful coach in freestyle skiing. Have you got used to it yet? 
Frankly speaking, I’ve just found out to having this title. Guess I’ll start getting used to it from now on. Honestly, I’m happy for my trainees and wish more of them keep setting such records. 

— Korean Olympics were the 7th for you, moreover, this Games have brought you seven medals, including 4th gold medal. Have your emotions faded during the Games or does it still feel like the first time? 
I can’t say that they faded. Every Olympics are bright and memorable and each of them leaves a positive imprint on me. 

— Adrenaline is still rushing? 
When I run out of it, it will be a sign for me to retire. 

— Hanna, during one of his interviews, Dmitri Dashchinski (silver medal winner of 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin) said in the summer you promised to win the Olympics. Was that a premonition or a strong-minded decision not to come back without a gold medal? 
Every athlete dreams of an Olympic gold and I’m no exception. In fact, every athlete dreams of at least going to the Olympics, that’s why in the summer I had such energy boost, thinking every day about going to the Olympic Games and winning something. And later, after working very hard, you tell yourself to bring a gold medal from the Winter Olympics. Just think to yourself that every wish becomes material one day. 

— Mr. Kozeko, when being a USSR champion in trampolining, could imagine that one day you would excel yourself at a completely different sport. Are these your ambitions or a set of circumstances? 
It just happened by chance. Going back to 35 years from now, freestyle skiing in USSR was just an experiment with its team and I got lucky to be the coach in this team. I couldn’t imagine, I was just dreaming about it. Hanna was right about “every wish comes true”. In Sochi, she came to me and said that in Korea she would get a gold medal. So here we are. 

— Hanna, back in Sochi you got only 15th place. What did you tell yourself after that Olympics? 
It’s very tough I should say. It was my first Olympics and I didn’t know what to expect there, because everything is new and unknown. I tried to analyze the reasons of my failure. I accepted that fact and realized that I need to work twice as hard. 

— What medal expectations did you have for the Korean Olympics, Mr. Kozeko? 
I will say that again that we didn’t have any expectations whatsoever. We came there to show the result, to show our skills, to show exciting tricks and to gladden our fans with our program.  

— What are you thought concerning refereeing with regard to Anton Kushnir? Do you expect any further investigation? 
Definitely we should expect the investigation within International Ski Federation, especially after a loud and clear statement of the Belarus President concerning completely unfair decisions which have already caused a public outcry. Refereeing has already been given an express analysis. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. The result is still the same, referees retained their posts. We have a very unpleasant aftertaste of the Olympics 2018. 

MORE: Hanna Huskova: facts about Belarusian freestyle skier

— Did you leave the Olympic Games with a feeling of dissatisfaction, frustration? 
To be honest, I have this bitter taste in my mouth after the Games. Of course we are glad and happy to bring gold medal, but I realize that we could do more and everybody saw that we could also win men competition. The saddest part is that we were unfairly robbed of our rights to get to the finals. We just need to get through this. 

— Hanna, sometimes it is very hard to find the right words for your teammates, who weren’t that successful during the Olympics. What did you say to your friends after finish? 
Above all else, we are like one single family. Our team is very friendly, we are always together. Even for me, it was hard to find the right words for Anton, because he needed to live through this, he needed some time to make up his mind, but of course I supported him as much as I could and perhaps the words I said will remain between us. I feel really sorry for this whole situation. On the one hand I won gold medal, on the other — my teammates were going through some tough moments and I tried to be as close to them as possible. 

— On Saturday, Freestyle Junior World Ski Championship was held in Minsk, where young Belarusian athletes also showed some nice results. Dmitri Mazurkevich won 2nd place. Nikolay, what are your thoughts and predictions for the junior Belarusian team? 
First of all, the championship was marvelous. The line-up of the competition was simply unique. Six participants of the Olympic Games took part in it. The winner of World Championship was there. We can see that Freestyle Skiing athletes became significantly younger. And the level of Junior World Championship is incredibly high. Thus it feels really good that our Dima Mazurkevich won second place, even after last year’s victory, he managed to stay within this skillful line-up. 

— Hanna, any feelings of sadness concerning leaving the Games? 
At the moment, my only feeling is happiness, for the way we’ve been going through is finally over and now it’s time to gain strength, to rest a little bit and later on to join the new fight fully fresh and renewed. We are going work harder and be more dedicated. 

Freestyle skier Huskova about winning gold at 2018 Olympics

— What are your future plans? Perhaps you will become a journalist or a model? Nikolay Ivanovich, will you let her go? 
Actually, there are no definite plans for the future, I can’t say right now. I need some time to digest everything that’s going around me. For now I want to rest and recharge my batteries. And then we will see. 

— You’ve been in freestyle business for 28 years already and you know everyone and everything around. What are your future plans? 
For 35 years, actually. For 28 years I’ve been in charge of the Belarusian team, which was formed 28 years ago. As for the plans, as usual, we are going to discuss them with the team. Tomorrow we are having a team meeting. And afterwards we will have a vacation. And only then we will start a training season. 

— Will the team line-up be the same?  
There were no any loud statements yet. I hope these Olympics didn’t draw the line for the athletes to decide whether to keep going or not. 

— How is Alla Tsuper feeling about her career right now? 
I haven’t heard any clear messages concerning her retirement. 

MORE: Belarusian aerialists return to Belarus: How fans met them