Anna Nechayeva: “The wedding is likely to be in July”

At the Cross-Country Skiing Championship of Russia, held  in Syktyvkar, Anna Nechayeva, bronze medalist of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games, member of the Tatarstan team, answered the questions of the ROC Information Service.

– The last season was very successful for me,  said the 26-year-old athlete, whose team  won silver in the 4x5km relay in Syktyvkar. – I was happy that I was going to the Olympics. I did not even think bout the medals. But when Yulia (Belorukova) won bronze in the Sprint, I also decided to compete for the prize. We believed that we could successfully compete against foreign rivals.

– Did you expect to be in the last stage?

– No. It was a big surprise. I am used to running the third stage, which is also ran in a skate skiing technique.

Finish is a big responsibility. I was worried about not letting the team down, and I was very glad that we pulled out the bronze awards. Moreover, Russia has not won medals in the women’s relay at the Olympics since 2006, and at the World Championships the last time our team won was five years ago, bronze as well. Experience has shown that our version of the arrangement of the stages was optimal.

– Your coach, Markus Cramer, said the other day that your major concern was not to break into the fight for Golden, but to keep Bronze to ourselves. Didn’t you  have  a temptation to compete against Marit Bjorgen and Steina Nilsson?

– It was necessary to understand who your rivals are. If I immediately ran for the leaders of the national teams of Norway and Sweden, it would turn out bad. Krista Partakoski made up ground of the Finnish team in the first lap, and in the second lap we showed the same time. She could not catch up with me.

– Do you prefer skating style?

– Yes. When I started skiing, I at once was more successful in it. In the classics I make technical  mistakes.

– A year ago you won in Almaty at the winter Universiade. Was it also a free technique?

-Yes. I won the 5 km pursuit race. And in classics I  was second both in the 5 km and in the 15 km mass-start.

– You’re first coach was your mom?

– In the first four years. Then my coach was Elena Olegovna Bogdanovskaya, and after the 9th grade when I went to train in Vologda, 200 kilometers away from my village Verkhovajye, my coach was Alexei Nikolayevich Zorin.

– Did you meet Denis Spitsov, who is also a native of the Vologda Region, at a younger age?

– Maybe, he came to regional competitions, but I didn’t know him then.

– Do you want to go to the next Olympics?

– Certainly. Is a dream for any professional athlete to participate in the Olympic Games.

– What are your immediate plans?

– Rest, and then prepare for the World Championship in Seefeld.

– And the wedding?

– Probably in the summer. Most likely in July.

– Your groom Nikita Surkov together with Alexander Kuleshov, Anastasia Sedova’s groom, created  a furor, when he proposed to you  during the solemn meeting of the Olympians at the Sheremetyevo airport.

– Nikita is the master of surprises. Unexpectedly, he came to Pyeongchang as a fan and supported me there.

– He’s a skier, too?

– Yes. We train with him in the team of Tatarstan.

– He didn’t perform in Syktyvkar?

– No. But came to the Championship of Russia. He helped me to test the skis.

– You added a nice statuette, a prize for the second place in the relay at the national championship, to your collection of prizes. Where do you keep your trophies?

– Now I have three places. At my parents’, in Vologda, where I live, and at Nikita’s place, in Nikolsk, Penza region.