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Waiting mode

On the eve of the Russian championship in Ufa, who did not see Maxim Chudov at any of the training camps of this pre-season, is concerned with the perspectives of the three-time world champion. Ahead of the first selection stage for the upcoming season Pavel Kopachev listened to the frank and emotional monolog of Maxim, who wants to come back to sport despite of his injury. But for sure, it does not happen this season.

After last season I had the examination in Moscow. The doctors diagnose was deplorable: inflammation of the spine and the disk in the thoracic spine. In September I plan to visit Frankfurt for the third examination. We will see what to do next. There could be two options. The first — everything is passed, and I can start light training. The second — everything is serous, it is better to end the carrier and to stop training. I live in the waiting mode now.

Only in the middle of the season I realized that it was something serious. I started to sleep badly, from 2 a.m. till 7 a.m. I did not sleep, but just turned. The guys, with whom I lived in one room — Andrey Makoveev, Alexey Churin, would not let me to lie.

After the world cups in the US I talked to the team's doctors more seriously. I did the X–ray in Ufa. The doctors found three herniated disks. We started massage, and it helped. But then came the exacerbation. I need to assure you, that my unsuccessful performance at the world championship in Khanty-Mansiysk has nothing to do with this trauma. I felt well in Khanty.

I could well stop at the first diagnose, but my pragmatic nature told me to make a serious examination abroad. My friends advised me one good rheumatologic center. I would not tell anything bad about our medicine, but in Germant, USA or Israel the monitoring has a very high quality.

Monotoring is very expansive - 5000 euro excluding avia tickets and hotels. Thanks to the Russian Biathlon Union, they helped me to cover the part of the expanses. I understand that these trips to Germany are wholly my initiative. But my health is in question. I do not want to deceive myself or something worth — to mislead somebody.

I do not want to make plans now. My back hurts even in the normal life. I talk to you and feel discomfort. I bend my neck, reach the chest with my chin and these all hurt. The inflammation is only one trouble. There are might be also displacement or micro hernias.

I have the treatment course at home and take the medicines. Massage is contra-indicated now. One should not disturb the inflamed parts. I swim a little bit, work out in the gym. But no running or jumping exercises are allowed.

The first several days without training I felt myself really bad. I got used to the travelling, flights, time zones' change, and now… Home. But people can get used to everything. Now I live with another tempo.

I was not left unsupported. My family is my support. The coaches of the national team do not forget me either. Valery Polkhovsky and Andrey Gerbulov call me from time to time. Among the coworkers — Andrey Makoveev cheers me up.

I do not have any depression. It is just a pity. I understand that I did not spend all my powers. And now — I am not that old — but have to miss the training period and change for the ordinary life. On the other hand — may be it is all for the better? I do not feel sorry that something does not work out well now. Life always gives you the lessons. The main from them is not to panic. I am glad that I had the good results before; I earned the respect from the fans. Some of them write the negative comments now, but each of them chose is for themselves. Every sportsmen need to be ready, that today he is hugged and kissed, but tomorrow — everybody will turn away. At the beginning it hurts, but then… You just calm down. This is not the main thing.

Now I have more free time. I started to communicate with the interesting people. I spend more time with my family. I do not lie in the bed and cry — just the opposite, everything is very well. I learned how to appreciate people. How to appreciate those things you have already done, or have not yet done. This is all my life!

Business and social life attract me. In the future I want to help the children schools and those people who always supported me.

Despite of the internal coups the last season was in general good for us. We did all that we could. We gave everything to the work, we tried hard, but… it did not work out for us. One could not be lucky every year.

I can assure you, that I will miss the next season. It is sport. Even if I start training in September, it will not work out. All the fundamental and shooting work is laid in the summer. Three or four months are not enough for catching up - no matter who you are — Bjoerndalen or Svendsen.

If the doctors say yes, and the dynamics of the recovery will good, I will immediately start the gradual gymnastic exercises. I will prepare my body for the future loads. In winter I will start with the fundamentals and will train in Ufa. We have a fine biathlon complex here; the relief is also great, all these are ideal for the recovery period.

I want to say to all the fans, who are worried for me - do not waste your time, I do not say good bye. I will do my best to come back. Let us all be the optimists!

Pavel Kopachev for