Our Russian correspondent Anastasia Shuhova spoke to Team Russia’s current number two Anastasia Goncharova, touching topics her background, the first-ever Summer Grand Prix experience and hopes for the future.
Why did you choose Nordic Combined as your discipline? What do you like most about this sport?
Anastasia Goncharova: I can say that Nordic Combined chose me. I have trained Cross-Country skiing since I was eight years old and even didn't know what Nordic Combined was. But when I was 15, everything changed.
My personal coach, Alexandr Cheldinov, was invited at our sport school to help Nordic Combined athletes in Cross-country skiing. And I had two opportunities: to go to the Russian Junior Cross-Country Skiing Championships or to try myself in Nordic Combined competitions among pupils. I chose the second option and since that time Nordic Combined has become my sport.
Of course, the best thing here is an amazing feeling of flight, and I really like the mix of Ski Jumping and Cross-Country skiing.
What are your goals in Nordic Combined in general and for the upcoming season in particular?
Goncharova: It's not a secret that every athlete dreams of Olympic gold. My big goal is the same. For the upcoming winter I hope to be on the top at the first Ladies Nordic Combined Junior World Ski Championships!
Which venue do you like to compete at most?
Goncharova:In Russia there are few centers for Nordic Combined competitions. We compete only in Chaikovskiy and Nizhniy Tagil. And I haven't a big experience of competing abroad. So it's difficult question for me.
Who are your role models?
Goncharova:I don’t have idols in sport. But, of course, the technique and results of Kamil Stoch inspire me. He just shows such nice flights!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Goncharova: To be honest, there is not much of free time. I train every day and in addition I'm studying at the Federal University of Siberia. But if I've free evenings, I meet my friends and have fun with them.
Can you tell us about your impressions of the Summer Grand Prix? How did you prepare for these starts?
Goncharova: In June, we had a training camp near my home city Krasnoyarsk. Then we had ski jumping preparation in Nizhniy Tagil.
The first Ladies' Summer Grand Prix was very cool! It was interesting to compete with other girls, some of them were much more experienced than me. I can say that I didn't manage everything I wanted but I tried myself and understood what I need to do this autumn.