The Deaflympic snowboarding team of Russia is ready to be a very serious competitor for athletes from other countries. Upon the results of World Championships, our team is the leader of the unofficial medal count, snowboarders from Russia won 18 medals, 5 of them are gold. The chief coach of the team Pavel Dyakov has told us about the history of deaf snowboarding in Russia, the leaders of our national team and the training hints.
– Pavel Vladimirovich, tell us about yourself: when did you come to snowboarding?
– IwasborninRussia, Ialwayslikedsport. I have finished the University specializing in physical culture and sport. In 2008 there came an idea to start developing snowboarding for deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes. So soon I had my first group of deaf children and started to train them. In 2010 I was appointed as a chief coach of the Deaflympic snowboarding team of Russia. My first pupils Nikita Komissarov, Anna Surmilina and Nikita Dyakov are among those who will participate in these Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk.
– Who is the current leader of the national team of Russia?
– When talking about hard disciplines, among women it’s Maria Kapustkina. And among men the most experienced team member is Roman Khamitsevich – a 36 year old international master of sport from Saint-Petersburg.
– Could you name the young snowboarders in the team of Russia?
– The youngest team members are 16 years old Anna Surmilina from Moscow and Nikita Komissarov who will turn 17 3 days before the start of the Deaflympics. Despite of their age, they have good chances to win medals.
– What is the maximum number of athletes from one country that is allowed to participate in the Deaflympics?
– According to the rules of the competitions, the quota for every country is 8 athletes in total for hard and soft disciplines. First there are qualifications in each discipline. Everyathletehas 2 attempts. Then top 8 athletes are participating in finals with the Olympic elimination system. That’s how the medal winners are defined.
– What can you say about the level of snowboarding for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Russia?
– Today the dynamics of popularization of this sport is positive. Wehaveconducted 5 NationalChampionshipsand 4 CupsofRussia. The biggest number of athletes participating in the national competitions comes from 9 regions. They are Moscow and Moscow region, Saint-Petersburg and Saint-Petersburg region, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Krasnodar region, Nizhny Novgorod region, Novosibirsk region and Yekaterinburg region. As for their results, in the unofficial medal count of the National Championships that were held in Udmurtiya, the leaders were athletes from Moscow, snowboarders from Saint-Petersburg and Novosibirsk were second and third.
– Do you organize some consolidated competitions for healthy and deaf athletes?
– First of all, we are checking the event calendar. In case athletes don’t have any starts during some period and we need to give them some competition experience, we participate in regional or national snowboarding events for athletes without hearing disorders.
– How do your athletes train in summer to keep themselves in good shape?
– They are using trampolines and wakeboard – this is a combination of water skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing. It is of big help, because it involves the same groups of muscles as in snowboarding and also hands and shoulders.
– These days the Deaflympic snowboarding team of Russia is training in Khanty-Mansiysk. What athletes have come to Ugra?
– There are 2 types of snowboarding competitions: hard (alpine) disciplines and soft (freestyle) disciplines. The first category includes giant slalom and board-cross. Theothercategoryhashalfpipeandslopestyle. Athletes participating in freestyle disciplines are now having their training session in Moscow. 4 women and 3 men participating in alpine disciplines are currently in Khanty-Mansiysk.
– What can you say about the performance of our national team on the World Championships?
The last World Championships was held in Shukolovo, Moscow region. For the first time in history the program of the World Deaf Snowboard Championships for deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes included board-cross. By the way, in Khanty-Mansiysk the medal event in this discipline will; be held on the last day of the Games. In women competitions Ella Shevlyakova of Russia won “gold”, Petrin Olgeysdottir of Norway got “silver” and Svetlana Anisimova of Russia was the bronze-medalist. In men competition Tomas Pazdera of Czech Republic won gold, Dmitry Kazakov and Vladimir Savenkov of Russia were second and third. Our team is very satisfied with the training session in Khanty-Mansiysk. We are living in a very good hotel, the city is small and beautiful, it is only 10 minutes bus drive between an airport and our hotel. This is a big advantage of Khanty-Mansiysk for hosting sport events, especially such big international competitions like the Winter Deaflympics.