They are very much alike, even their cell numbers are almost identical. However, each is unique and possesses own individuality, probably, by virtue of the specific character of their sport. Freestyle national team is an intimate and friendly company with no strangers, therefore it is only natural that its leaders Alexei Grishin and Dmitry Dashinsky are typical freestylers.
With less than 100 days left before Turin, we arranged a small brief interview with them and tried to clear out what do the Belarusian Olympians think of the upcoming competition, their major rivals and each other.
— Who do you consider your main rival at the upcoming Olympics?
Alexei Grishin: I am main rival to myself! In fact, they all know each other’s force, all are in good shape and all reckon to win in Turin.
Dmitry Dashinsky: I missed the Australian preliminaries because my back was injured, but, according to my information, chief competitors are the same: American, Canadian and Chinese sportsmen… As for my health, I’m sharp again and ready to overkill.
— You are leaders of the national team. What can you say about each other?
A.G.: We coach together, our schedules are similar and our levels of readiness are approximately identical. It’s difficult to say what will happen in Turin. Can Dmitry move me from the first step? Well, it’s a good question… Probably, he can if he tries well.
D.D.: We are good fellows with Alexei. Of his strong points, I would mention his ability to organize himself before jumping in any situation and in any mood. I am more vulnerable to external forces.
— Were there any idols to you when you were kids?
A.G.: No, never.
D.D.: I respect sportsmen who achieve outstanding results. Take Vitaly Shcherbo for example: six gold medals from one Olympics! In gymnastics! It’s worth admiration.
— What are your worst character features?
A.G.: (laughing) I am satisfied with myself, I’m nearly ideal. I don’t know what others think about me…
D.D.: Laziness. And unnecessary unexplainable stubbornness, which often
— Do you dream often? What do you dream about?
A.G.: Yes, I do like all others. And I dream about many things. Surely, my main dream is gold at Olympics. And I dream that there is a summer training facility here.
D.D.: Sometimes I do. But dreams are more natural for kids: as a child, I used to dream of a car or something like that. Now my objectives are aimed towards progress rather than possessions.
— Imagine: you have a day off. How would you spend it?
A.G.: Go fishing! I like it very much to go somewhere to a river or a lake where nobody interferes.
D.D.: Most likely, I would hang around at home. If it is training session — then I’d go out to see the city, do some shopping. Just have rest after exercises.
— Are you happy?
A.G.: Quite. I don’t need much to be happy: just keep progressing and that’s OK.
D.D.: Probably, yes. I am happy when I achieve my goals and when there’s somebody to meet me at home.
— Do you have many true friends and what is a true friend to you?
A.G.: Prosperity makes friends, and adversity tries them. It’s only then when it clears who is who. It happened so that I lost sight of most my acquaintances…
D.D.: One cannot have many friends. It’s difficult to find a person who would share your interests, understand and support you, think the same way you do and be unobtrusive. Friends do not have to stay together all the time. I have read somewhere: “Man should know his foes better than his friends.”
— Are you superstitious?
A.G.: A little bit. If I see a black cat before the ski-ramp, I’d rather think twice before jumping. I hope this won’t happen in Turin.
D.D.: Nonsense! If such thoughts come to me, I get rid oh them immediately. Though there’s a lot of superstition in freestyle. Often I can see some athletes repeating their actions they did before a successful performance. And some even do not let to try their helmets on: “Hey, there’s my thoughts in there, you will distract them!” Lunatic!
Undoubtedly, both Grishin and Dashinsky will claim for medals in Turin. Who of the two will have success? Or, will they both hear the anthem played for them? I cross my fingers and scratch wood, though I’m not superstitious…
by Dmitry Komashko
Advancing hand to hand
Dmitry Dashinsky and Alexei Grishin speak on life and freestyle