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Mikhail Grinyov: “The ski team of Russia is ready for the most difficult tasks”

The real enthusiasts and specialists are often living in the shadow of their pupils, who are wining medals, standing on pedestals and getting the appreciation of supporters. However, the knowledge and wisdom of coaches affects the results of athletes. Everyday, no matter if it’s hot or cold, they are struggling with every weather conditions together with their pupils in order to reach the long-cherished goal. The national ski team of Russia together with the coaching staff has arrived to Khanty-Mansiysk to test the ski runs that will be used for the main international competitions for deaf athletes. The head coach of the team Mikhail Grinyov has agreed to tell us about the work of a coach, the coming competitions and our ski team.

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Mikhail Pavlovich, tell us, how did you start your coaching career? 
– I was a skier before. When I have finished school I entered the State University of physical culture, in early 2000-ies it was renamed into the Russian State University of physical culture, sport and tourism. I have finished it in 1977 and started working in the sport school for children and juniors “Spartak”. I’vebeenworkingasacoachfor 37 years. I was the head coach of the national Nordic combined team of Russia and the state coach in ski jumping.

How did it happen that you started working with the Deaflympic ski team of Russia? 
– In 2010 I’ve got an offer to become a head of the coaching staff of the Deaflympic team from the President of Russian Committee of Deaf Sports Valery Rukhledev.

How do you communicate with athletes? 
– I don’t know sign language, I am getting some assistance from other athletes, besides, one of our coaches Nikolay Tolstikov is a great specialist who speaks sign language fluently.

There are 14 athletes in the team; seven of them are the merited masters of sport. Mikhail Pavlovich, tell us, how do you manage to find an individual approach to every athlete? Whatisthemainmotivationforthem? 
– Indeed, every athlete is unique, however, though they have different tempers, every of them has predisposition for short or long distances. This means that the training process is made individually for every team member.

Now it’s the start of a season. It’s a difficult and complicated period: after a long time of summer training an athlete starts skiing. How is the situation in your team? 
– This season is the season of the Deaflympics – this is the most important event for every deaf athlete. What makes it even more important is that the previous Deaflympics were cancelled. I see that the athletes are agog for it. In the training process it is seen that every team member is eager to participate in the Games and to represent Russia with a high level performance. Especially this is because there are no other international competitions for deaf skiers.

In such case how are our athletes checking evaluating skiing skills? 
The Olympic athletes have a well-functioning system: starting from November they are competing in the World Cups and getting their points. There’s no such a system for deaf athletes. Generally speaking, international deaf skiing is mainly developing in Russia, thanks to Valery Pukhledev and Alexander Romantsov. This is because of theirs efforts that last season the first Deaf Ski World Championships took place in Uvat. Our athletes showed excellent results there winning 21 medals, 10 of them gold medals.

Do you practice participating of deaf athletes in competitions with healthy athletes? 
– Yes, sometimes our athletes are taking part in competitions with athletes with normal hearing. If their physical conditions are good, they are even able to be in medals.

You’ve bean working with the team for 4 years. Tell us, when did you form a ski team for the Winter Deaflympics? 
– The selection for the team was made on the National Championships in Perm. The candidates for the team have proved once again their skills. When this was done, we had a coaching staff council where we have discussed all the athletes and decided that in Khanty-Mansiysk our team would be presented by 8 men and 6 women.

What about the international rivalry in deaf skiing? Whatcountriesareamongfavorites? Who will be our main competitors on these competitions? 

– Let me note once again that the popularity of deaf skiing in the world is growing by the merit of the President of Russian Committee of Deaf Sports Valery Rukhledev. ThisismostlybecauseoftheWorldChampionshipsin 2013. 14 countries are going to participate in ski competitions on the Deaflympics. This is a big achievement. The main rival of our national team on the Deaflympics will be the team of Ukraine.

Tell us, how do you train our athletes in Khanty-Mansiysk and about the ski runs?
– Today the planned physical training is done in full; the ski team of Russia is ready for the most difficult tasks. Many athletes already know your ski runs as 5 members of the national ski team are athletes from Ugra. All team members are feeling good and are in a good mood.

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