Is there a better way to start a new round of “Ladies in the Spotlight” with the first-ever female Continental Cup winner in Nordic Combined? Our Russian correspondent Anastasia Shuhova talked to Stefaniya Nadymova after her triumph season. Get to know the first female champion of the sport better in this first installment of our spring weekly series.
Stefaniya, you started your sport career as a ski jumping athlete. How did you come to this sport?
Nadymova: It happened in the city of Kudymkar in the Perm region, where I come from. In 2010, my brother and I visited a summer sports camp for children and at the end of winter I was offered to jump from our hill for the first time. I agreed to try it and was hooked. I really liked it.
Why did you decide to change your the discipline? What do you like most about Nordic Combined?
Nadymova: In 2012, I already jumped from the big hill and had place in the Russian national ski jumping team. But I had a bad crash in Nizhny Tagil in 2014 during a training jumps. I landed badly and hit my head hard. After that, I lost the entire season. I was thinking about quitting the sport for good.
One day, my coach Denis Tishagin and our sport school director Sergey Chervyakov suggested: "Lets try Nordic Combined! It seems it's good opportunity for you. If you don’t like it we will stop". But I answered "yes" and we started. I knew that Nordic Combined was my discipline almost from the first training on. I think the opportunity to make a comeback in the race after a bad jump is the best side of this sport.
What are your goals in Nordic Combined in general and for the upcoming season in particular?
Nadymova: As every professional athlete I have lots of big goals. It helps and motivates me very much. When you have a goal you can improve your results and don't give up because of failures. I hope that the Russian anthem will be played more often in the future.
The upcoming season will be challenging. We will compete in the Continental Cup and have a stage of the Summer Grand Prix. It makes the calendar more interesting for us. I hope I will be able to show as good results as past winter.
Which venue do you like to compete at most?
Nadymova: Well, I can't say that I have a place that suits me a lot better than others. I like the European starts but in Nizhniy Tagil is a perfect venue, too, especially with the lots of fans coming there to support the athletes.
Which other athletes do inspire you most?
Nadymova: Simon Ammann is my idol in sport. But Kamil Stoch jumps so well that all of us should call him our role model. (laughs)
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Nadymova: Well there is not much free time for us athletes. That's why I try to spend my vacation time with my friends and family.
You made history in becoming the first-ever COC overall winner as a woman in Nordic Combined. What does this achievement mean to you?
Nadymova: First of all, I am very happy to show that Nordic Combined in Russia is not on a low level. This victory is the first step of a long way. It certainly gives me a lot of motivation to continue in my career. I hope that a Ladies Wold Cup will be created soon and, of course, we will be able to compete in Beijing in 2022!