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    5. “Someone will rip someone’s throat out for neutral status”: interview ..


    “Someone will rip someone’s throat out for neutral status”: interview with a record-breaking swimmer


    Silver medalist of the Olympic Games, world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov told in an interview with Sport why it is worth going to The Olympic Games, but there is no need to rush there, violating the principles of how to eat chips and not get fat and what World Aquatics is afraid of, closing the mouth of Russian athletes.

    “I will not be disappointed if there is no Olympics”
    – President of the All-Russian Swimming Federation Vladimir Salnikov said that the Russian Swimming Championship in St. Petersburg is no worse than the Zenit games in terms of interest among spectators. It is impossible to imagine Zenit without Wendel and Claudinho. Which of the world's top stars are you missing on the next track?

    – Yes, I still have enough of my own guys. Moreover, now everyone is catching up and swimming faster every year.

    Who is the main rival this season and next? ?

    – This is our four in the final 50 meters back – (me), Samusenko, Lifintsev and Rylov.

    Did you approach the Russian Championship as the most important tournament of the season?– Many swimmers say that the Friendship Games will be the main start for them next season. Why no one expects to go to the Olympics anymore?

    – I have the next start of the season, this is the Salnikov Cup, and I’m thinking about it. After that I’ll talk about the Russian Championship, which is in the spring, and then we’ll look at the situation. From the very beginning, I was already determined that we most likely would not go to the Olympic Games, and when I found out that there would be the Friendship Games, I decided that they would be the main start of the season, because they were designated that way. There is not much choice about where to prepare. If now we can choose for ourselves the Russian Championship or the Salnikov Cup, then next year this will not happen. Either we will be allowed to the Olympic Games and we will go there, or these are the Friendship Games. While we are preparing for the Friendship Games.

    – Have you come to terms with the fact that we won’t go to the Olympics?

    – Not that you have come to terms with it, I just focused on something else. There is an understanding that there may not be an Olympics, and there will not be any disappointment, we just live in the conditions that we have.

    – Don’t your loved ones say: “Give up this business, let’s do business”?

    – No, they don’t say that. Even if they did, I myself have the right to decide what to do. I enjoy swimming and going to competitions within the country, seeing the guys. I get lost in all this, and I really enjoy it.

    – A couple of months have passed since the approval from World Aquatics. Have you ever wanted to get neutral status and go to Doha for the World Championships? Tokyo silver medalist Ivan Girev received, for example.

    – I do not get the point of it. Even if you receive neutral status, you will not have a 100% guarantee of going to the competition. Maybe it looks simple – you get neutral status and go, but in fact everything is much more complicated. This is a bunch of documents, requests, approvals, etc. You don’t want to waste your time and nerves and end up being told “no.” Let a common decision be made by the federation and in the country, and we will build on this.

    – There are still different opinions about the neutral status. In some federations, athletes calmly participate in the world championships, but the heads of the swimming and gymnastics federation speak very harshly, for example, “No one will go and wave a white rag.” Whose position is closer?

    – I have the most neutral attitude possible, every person has their own opinion on this. Someone will tear their throats to get neutral status, to go and prove that they are great, and someone will sit and say: “Why do we need this? I am a patriot of the country, and I will not disgrace myself and my Motherland.” I don’t have any opinion on this matter, I just have facts from which I go.

    There is a very good phrase: “Facts always don’t care about your feelings.” We have official conditions, nothing else is given. I will build on the decision of our federation. Yes, the president says that the athlete has the right to decide for himself, but there must also be an understanding that if you decide for yourself, then you perform on your own, without funding or support. Everyone knows this, and it's no secret.

    “People at World Aquatics have no clear boundaries”
    – Do you think that the head of the federation can persuade an athlete to refuse to participate in international competitions without a flag and influence his fate?

    < br>“In the end, everyone will make their own decision.” If they tell you not to go, someone will agree with this, and someone will drop everything and go.

    – But at the 2020 Olympics they calmly competed in a neutral status. Why are they so categorical now?

    – Yes, everyone probably understands perfectly well that these are children's games. All this is funny – “let’s do this, let’s do that.” People at World Aquatics don't have clear boundaries, so they make conditions without understanding anything. Even if there is a neutral status now, in six months they may say that this means nothing. Again, it all depends on the decision of the management: if they tell me to go, I will go. We have a mutual understanding. I perform, and they give me the opportunity to train.

    – Does it seem absurd that Russian athletes were prohibited from communicating with the media at international competitions?

    – Yes, it is. I don't understand why this was done. From whom should we be protected? I don't understand what we can say. It is unlikely that anyone in their right mind will talk about politics at competitions, abstracting from everything.

    – To be frank, there are many armed conflicts going on in the world, but for some reason the IOC and international federations apply various sanctions only to Russia. In your opinion, is this a policy of double standards?

    – I don’t know, I don’t follow this. I have my own problems, training, preparing for competitions.

    “I eat chips, I don’t count calories”
    – You are called one of the most talented swimmers in the country. How to build an ideal body for results? Who is your reference point? Cristiano Ronaldo?

    – There is nothing like that, and there is no diet. I just understand what is harmful to the body. I can eat chips and sweets, but I don’t abuse them. I am not friendly with alcohol, only if there are some holidays. And I don’t understand calorie counting at all, I just go by my feelings.

    – The main news of the off-season is the return of Yulia Efimova. Were you surprised by her decision? Could she be an example of the fact that even at 30 years old you can create competition, while missing a couple of years?

    – The example of Anthony Erwin is the most striking. He won the 50m freestyle at the Olympics, 16 years after he retired. Came back and won. Therefore, everything is possible. Here Julia has the right to decide for herself what she wants, she has her own goals and motives. If you like it, let it float, no one will definitely judge it.

    – Evgeniy Rylov himself has said more than once that it is already more difficult for him to recover and is preparing for competitions due to his age. Do you think he will still be able to loudly declare himself?

    – Of course! Zhenya himself is a maximalist, sometimes this sometimes affects him in a bad way. But he can do anything, no one has ever written him off before. Everyone is just waiting for his best results, and so am I.

    – What are your pre-race rituals?

    – I don’t have anything like that , I don't believe in omens. I abstract myself from all this. For example, today I shaved only from a sporting point of view, in order to bring myself as close as possible to being streamlined.

    – Do you have any difficulties with shaving? Some men also have hair on their backs. Krasnykh told me that sometimes he had to help Caucasian swimmers.

    – In general, a lot of time is spent on shaving, because it is a labor-intensive process. I don’t envy those who need to shave their backs, that’s for sure. The more hair, the more difficult and unpleasant it is.

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