Interview to Irina Derugina



Irina Blokhina and Anna Rizatdinova

How is the situation of RG in Ukraine?

Everybody is looking for the best for theirselves. I love my country even we know we don’t have the best facilities. The Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine lives thanks to Albina Derugina, Irina Blokhina and Irina Derugina and of course, the coaches that work with us. They promised us a lot. But after Rio, the gymnasts who retired have nothing.

What happened with Eleonora Romanova?

Some people told me: “Our Eleonora Romanova went away from us, she’s just looking for money.” FIG didn’t let her compete for another year. Sergei Bubka tried to change this rule, just for athletes who changed their citizenship. I think that you should not forget that fast all the efforts that your coach made for you. You can’t do this. Just turn out and go to another country because they have better conditions. I don’t want to spend time with people like that. I don’t even want to talk about it.

Eleonora Romanova 

What is the situation of your gymnasts after Crimea War?

Athletes are the face that represent the country. It is a real shame their salary is that low. They worked really hard but they got so little. We used to train in a 10 m tall (to ceiling) and 10 m wide place, while RG carpet is 14×14. Just for the last one and a half year we also have a sports center. It has 2 carpets but the height of the ceiling is just 7 m. We have never been spoiled by gifts and attention from the government. I would like the government to hear us.

Why this year is so special?

Albina Derugina is turning 85 years old this year. We are organizing back this year during 16th and 17th of March “Derugina Cup”. For four years, we weren’t be able to host anything. We have no sponsors. We have no idea how we are going to manage it.