Alexander Bolshunov: “I understand that Sprint is the discipline where I can fight”

21-year-old skier won a bronze medal in the Sprint. His participation in this discipline   was not originally planned.

– After the the most vigorous semi-finals did not you have a feeling that the medal-that already in your pocket because all the strongest were already there?

I did not, because  everything could happen. This is the finals. I had to work, not feel, simply to finish.

– How valuable is this medal for you?

About ten days ago, everyone said that you’d arrive on February 16 and you would not perform in Sprint. That is the way it was. This decision was made four days before the Sprint start. On February 10th I watched Skiathlon in Seefeld, Austria. And at dinner I told my coach (Yuri Borodavko) ‘Yury, medals doesn’t grow on trees, either I go and fight, starting with the sprint, or I do not go at all.” That is how it

– Was it the Skiathlon that cheered you up?

No, not the Skiathlon. I just realized that Sprint is the discipline in which I can fight, even in spite of my condition after the illness. I understood, that I needed to go and fight.

– So maybe you wouldn’t have come to the Olympics if you missed the Sprint?

Perhaps so. I thought about this Sprint for a week, and there was one thought in my head. I just wanted to start with the Sprint and show good result.

– Could you fight with Kleibo at the finish?

I could, but at the finish at the end of the climb, my legs got a little rusty. And not a little, but very much. Of course, I wanted to show the maximum result, but in such a situation it is worthy.

– To whom do you dedicate the medal?

I dedicate it to all the fans and all R… (he stopped) our whole team. So it goes.

– Was the tactics correct?

You constantly tried to run away from rivals. After qualifying, I talked with the coach, he told me: ‘Do not wait for anyone, just impose your tempo and that’s all. Because each time it will be better and better for you.’ Still, the first start and the first work out of the body. Honestly, to turn myself on. Today I really did not care. It was strange. No excitement, as if I performed at at the district championship.