Q: Did you create your routines in advance or did you add something last minute or throw something out?
A: The routines have been formed for a long time, it’s just, for example, that on floor, I did a bit more difficult routine and literally a week before [the competition] we removed the difficult elements so as not to get injured, to do just the minimum difficulty, but cleanly, well and beautifully.
Q: So, the results weren’t a priority for you?
A: No, the results weren’t a priority, I guess a miracle happened that I stood on the podium because my routines were really weak. But we weren’t preparing for going out and doing full Olympic routines. No, I just had to go out and do everything calmly.
Q: Was it important for you to compete on all the apparatuses?
A: Yes, it was necessary to compete on all the apparatuses, in a sequence, not one, not two, but all four.
Q: Was it important for you to start on vault?
A: Yes, at this competition, I guess, it was important because we started on vault and the floor was the final apparatus and, probably, the most difficult. So, I needed to go through the three apparatuses calmly and then give all my energy on floor. Well, I don’t know, it was a bit easier for me this way because for now, floor, I guess, is the most difficult apparatus for me. I don’t have enough energy. Maybe, I just wasn’t ready yet, didn’t do as many repetitions yet. I was a bit afraid that my back would start hurting again and this fear didn’t allow me to give my all in practices.
Q: Many athletes that had injuries have this kind of psychological barrier. How did you fight it? It seems to me that this fight lasted for more than one day.
A: Yes, and I’m still a bit afraid, but after the competition, I calmed down a bit because my back sustained the load that I couldn’t do in practices before. Now, I’ll start adding [repetitions] in practices, I won’t be so afraid anymore.
Q: And you fell off the beam…
A: Well, this was a working moment. You know, I jumped off and started smiling, I don’t know why. Well, maybe, because my mom was sitting there judging and I jumped off.
Q: You mom seemed very stern judging by her facial expressions.
A: Well, she was very focused. My mom is a judge and the fact that I’m her daughter means nothing when I compete. Everything’s pushed aside then, she’s only a judge and I’m only an athlete.
Q: On the broadcast, it could be seen that most of the time the smile didn’t leave your face and you were just so happy to be competing again.
A: Yes, I was really enjoying myself there. I liked it so much, I was so happy that I went out and performed and everyone clapped for me. Yes, I didn’t perform very well, the routines were weak, but people still appreciated it and they understand that it’s hard and still support me.
Q: Were you sad that you didn’t make any even finals or not?
A: No, as I was saying, we didn’t have that goal there…
Q: So, perhaps, it was for the better?
A: Well, maybe, but I’d compete some more. I would get together and compete more. We didn’t have this goal and the routines are just weak. Only two people per country made the finals. The girls from the national team who didn’t do the all-around, who did only some apparatuses, of course, they were stronger. And I managed to pull off the all-around but wasn’t able to get into the finals.
Q: What did the national team coaches say to you after the competition?
A: They praised me, said that I fought, that I did a good job, And they said that I need to upgrade now.
Q: And it looks like you’re happy with your performance as well, right?
A: I’m happy that I competed but I didn’t like some of the moments of how I performed. I did better in practice but couldn’t do as well at the competition.
Q: Was this two-year break beneficial for you in some way?
A: I guess so. First, I by back got healed, that was a major advantage. And second, I somehow revised my attitude towards gymnastics in general, and towards practices and my coach. Somehow, it was different before, I was always upset, I didn’t like anything, I was tired all the time. Now it’s different, I come to practices already in a good mood, I communicate with my coach more. Not like before, when I was all sulky talking to him, but we communicate normally, discuss something together. Well, I guess I found some sort of a different approach.
Q: Did your approach to the sport become more mature?
Q: That is, this is a different Vika Komova now, right?
A: Looks like it.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I can’t rest now, because I’ve only gotten to a more or less decent shape so that I can upgrade now, And I don’t want to rest, I want to come to the gym, I want to train and improve my routines, so that I could get to the Russian Championships in a fighting shape.
Q: Does the coach have to slow you down, tell you: “Vika, don’t hurry up?”
A: No, because I generally control the training process since my back still bothers me sometimes, and I come to the coach and tell him: let’s stop doing this for today, let’s do something else. Naturally, he agrees with me, he also started to listen to me. And somehow we find compromises. For example, I won’t do this, I’ll do something else there.
Q: Do the doctors control the process somehow, do you keep in touch?
A: No, I completely control everything myself. If something hurts, I go to a doctor, if I need a massage, I go get a massage. I’m completely in control now.
Q: Will you upgrade the routines for the Russian Championships?
A: I’ll need to do the maximum difficulty at the Russian Championships. The routines that will go towards the Olympics, I need to do them at the championships.
Q: Do you feel like you’ll be competitive internationally if you get to the level you set as your goal?
A: Certainly competitive. I can’t tell it now, of course, but after the Russian Championships, it’ll be clear that yes, I can compete with them [the international competitors]. It’s ok even if I’ll have a slightly lower difficulty thane everyone else, I’ll need to catch up with them due to execution, that’s all.
Q: Will you mostly train here in Voronezh or at Round Lake?
A: In Moscow. Because here, you know well, it’s impossible to train. The gym, unfortunately, no longer meets the standards that I need.
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