Colors, which strengthen hope

Swimmer Alexandra Gerasimenya has won the silver medal of the World’s Championship, but she dreams of the Olympic gold medal
Everything fades in compare with her beauty. Even harsh workers of the traffic police salute and wish her a good journey after giving a glance at her eyes.
For the time being Alexandra Gerasimenya shines like a spring sun. Everything is all right. She has recently won the first in her career silver medal for the 50m long distance backstroke and has received a pass to Olympic Games in Peking. And there’s a supreme justice in this. After all, the young sportswoman has undergone many severe trials in the past years. She was on the top of her popularity; some considered her the best swimmer of the world. Sasha performed the standard of a master of sport by the age of 13 during the Youth Olympics in Denmark. At the age of 14 she has already been the member of the National Team of Belarus. She won three distances of the Europe Junior Championship in 2001. In 2002 she became an owner of two bronze medals of the adult Europe Championship of the continent. At the same year Sasha came back with two silver medals for short distances from the Europe Championship. Her rising to the Olympics was suddenly interrupted by a doping scandal and exposure of the forbidden medicine usage....
These dramatic events took place in 2003. The specialists of the International Anti-Doping Agency decided to check Alexandra, which was a regular procedure in the sport world. From Gerasimenya’s memories, she was not even nervous about the test: “Where can doping in my blood come from? I was absolutely calm. But when the specialists of the International Anti-Doping Agency came back in March, I started being anxious”. The anxiety was not vain. According to the medical conclusion Byelorussian sportswoman had been taking norandrosterone. “Much later, analyzing the situation together with my coach Yelena Klimova, we made a conclusion, that the positive result of the doping test could be explained with my bad physical state. Several months gave no result, I felt myself worse and worse. If we had known with Yelena Vladimirovna, that there was doping in my organism, we would have exercised less, would have tried to remove the matter, but I kept working in the same regime and as a result have undetermined my health. But I swear, that I didn’t take any medicine”.
It’s not a secret for anyone that the struggle in the sports world is not only on the arena but also behind the scene. Even nowadays it’s still unknown, how doping did get into Alexandra’s body. We have nothing to do but guess. The first thing occurring is a regular provocation. Because putting a forbidden medicine into food or drink during some international competition is not that difficult as it seems. Still, it’s only a guess, which shall stay the same because of lack of evidence.
This incident has changed Sasha. Open-hearted and trustful Gerasime­nya became different. “I started to behave more carefully and deliberately with people, trusted not many”.
While speaking about her disqualification Sasha tries to show us, that everything is left in the past. But it seems to be affected. Even after this time it’s easy to understand that loosing the favorite work was really painful for her. After all, it was the year of Olympic games. Sasha intended to participate in the games in Athens. She was supposed to fight for the medals in front of thousands of televiewers and suddenly became one of them. Imagine what she felt while watching the competition.
“The results at the Olympiad in Athens were not that high by the way, but rather dense. I could compete for a medal for crawl swimming on the 50m long distance”, — she remembers. It is reasonable that Sasha had to distract herself somehow, at least for some time. She’s been attending a gym to keep her fit for 6 moths. Alexandra speaks about the trainings with a smile upon her face: “My instructor liked different weight-lifting exercises. I remember there boys barely taking 40kg. I could do 60 with ease. They were stunned. I laughed”. No doubt that she’s a strong girl. But no further trip to Romania with her sister, neither winning the recognition of the most beautiful sportswoman of Belarus couldn’t help her to overcome the depression, grown from the disqualification fact. Besides, Belarus could loose one of its best swimmers. “Yelena Vladimirovna Klimova and Olga Sergeevna Yaskevich really helped me. I would have left the sport without them”. Sasha had also started a diary, where she put all her emotional experiences and thoughts... Right now it’s somewhere in the Sasha’s apartment and she has no wish to read it…
In December, 2005 Sasha came back into big sport. And during her first tournament of the Europe Championship has won a medal for a short distance. “As I came there I have felt the spirit of a serious tournament, it was so cool! I went into ecstasies. I felt like I had been away only for a month, not for two years! The Europe Championship became a real festival for me. To be honest, I didn’t think of any medals at first, but after the successful preliminary and semi-final races wanted a reward so badly! I won a bronze medal for a short distance backstroke. But in general I was not really satisfied with the third place. I’m a maximalist to the very marrow of my bones, as for Italy — I could have done better!”
Apparently, Gerasimenya conti­nues to win thanks to her character. And the silver medal, which was won on the last world championship, is the confirmation to this fact.
Sasha is also a real patriot. She is madly in love with Minsk — her native town. “Why should I leave? Here are my friends, relatives. No matter where I am and no matter how good there is, I long to go home. I’m so proud to wear clothes with national symbols”.
In her daily life Sasha is a very nice, communicative and an open-hearted girl. She never pays attention to her achievements and fame. Generally Sashka tries to abstract her mind from swimming when she’s out of the pool and tries to be like everybody. When she gets into a cafй, she forgets about all those sport diets and eats cakes with delight. As for milk chocolate — she could never live without it! Alexandra’s hobby is also rather unusual. So popular in our country tennis and billiard don’t attract her. She adores fishing. “It’s a pity but it never bites, — regrets Sasha. — I could only catch one carp once, but it looked like it was gnawed by someone. My dad decided to let it go… ”
Some people think that the favorite color of a person reflects his inner state. As for Sasha — the colors always change. It used to be green. Then — dark-blue, black, yellow, blue. Now she likes pink and white. These colors, as it seems, symbolize the hope for future...

Alexander Vanin
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