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Olga Vilukhina: “We are not in a hen house, where chickens fight for a perch”

On the eve of a selection competition at the Muonio training camp Biathlonrus.com publishes an interview with the team B biathlete Olga Vilukhina — one of the pretenders to a membership in a national team at the world cups. Vilukhina took two gold medals and one silver medal at the Russian Summer championship in Ufa, and finished at the fourth place in the total list of the competition. In the interview to Biathlonrus.com she talks about the 8 kilos she lost, gooseflesh during the training and the maximal targets for a season.

— Olga, all fans and specialists are interested, what has happened to the one of the most potentially vivid stars of the Russian biathlon during the last two years?

- I do not really want to rake up the past. The last season was not successful for me, my health failed me. I lost weight and did not know how to gain it back. I almost had no strength to train. The loss of 8 kilos was a catastrophe. In spring I decided for myself that I need to forget the past season and start from scratch.

— But you probably had some lessons from an unsuccessful season? Have you made any conclusions?

— Of course I made conclusions. I worried a lot and thought a lot about the preparation for a season 2011/2012. My main task was to have a right rehabilitation and only then start to think about future. I managed to do this and luckily I have no problems with my weight right now. I strived to meet all requirements and to do all tasks set by the coaches during the training camps of the team B. I believe sincerely that all this will bring its results.

— Have you changed your attitude to the training process after a transfer from a junior team? Did you add to the motivation?

— I was also disciplined sportsman, even when I was a junior. Despite of the last two years, which I can say I lost, I have a huge desire for training and showing the results. I do not lose my heart and keep working. The two past seasons in the main team were not successful for me. May be because of this I have more hunger for training. Training is not a penal servitude for me. My motivation is really high. Sometimes during the training sessions I have gooseflesh because of my attitude to work. I think that it is because of adrenaline. I like it.

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— Are your targets for a season maximal?

— Of course, it cannot be the other way. In November we will have a selection competition for world cups in Muonio. I hope to perform well there.

— You have always been known as a good sniper. Did you lay stress on ski running?

— Yes. This off-season I tried to pay more attention to skiing. We did not make any major changes to my shooting. We work a lot in the gym this year. It was a little bit uncommon for me in the beginning, but then I felt that I had more power. I only need to transform this power to the speed at the track.

— Can you tell the main difference of the team B coaching staff?

— I see that they fully give themselves up to the work and they are interested in a good result. We try to fulfill their hopes. I am happy with my coaches. They always help us. But I need to realize my potential on my own. I need to think where I can add.

— How did you like training with Wolfgang Pichler in Ruhpolding?

— I had a good impression after meeting with Pichler. He is a professional. He knows what he does. I can say that I had a good shape when we had a joint training camp with a team A. We have gained some basis during the first training camps, so we dealt well with the training pace. Pichler's training session were not ordinary, I like them. Those training sessions that I had before were familiar to me. For example, imitation is a developmental work. Now we have different training sessions. For example, uphill climb is an interesting new stage for me.

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— Did you feel a competition between the teams A and B during the training camps? Was there any tension inside of the teams?

— We are all busy working. I am trying not to think about it. We are not in a hen house, where chicken fight for a perch.

— Can you name your closest friend in the team? Or all your colleagues are the same for you?

— We all have the same relationships. I have good relationships with all the girls. One should not do any conclusions from the photos, that we are bigger friends with some of the girls.

— I have heard several times that Ekaterina Iourieva and Olga Vilukhina are the locomotives, which pull the whole team B forward. How do you like this comparison with your teammate?

— One should not compare me and Ekaterina. If we take her results, what does she have, and what do I have. She is a world champion. I have never had any victories on that level. She is smart. It is interesting to talk to her and not only about sport.

— What do you do at your free time during the training camps?

— We prefer a passive rest. If we have an opportunity in summer to lie on the beach — it is a good option. In autumn we just want to stay at home and do nothing. One should understand that after the hard training we need to relax.

— During this off season the team B had many training camps abroad. What city did you like best?

— I really liked Estonia. The local lake was perfect. After the training and hot weather we always used an opportunity to swim in it. This is an important factor for recovery.

— What do you remember after your visit to the capital of the world championship 2012?

— In Ruhpolding I felt an atmosphere of an upcoming world championship. One can notice it from the advertisement, which is everywhere. I think that every athlete had thoughts of the world championship during the training in Ruhpolding. This tournament is an important target for all of us.

RBU Media Office