No gold yet for airborne Dashinsky
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get. Life has been good for Dmitry Dashinsky, no need to complain: he is the first and the only skier in the world to win medals in aerials at two Olympiads. Who knows, there could be more medals in future. Anyways, he always wants more, Dmitry “the Brinkman” Dashinsky. It is just logical to aim for the gold, especially if you have been doing so great during the whole world cup season. Those who were guessing whether he would be able to come back or not after the injury sufficed just a couple of landings from the airborne Belarusian to understand that others just did not have a slightest chance.
What a comeback! After a bronze in Nagano Dashinsky hoped he would deliver in Salt Lake City, but he missed the chance because of a ridiculous injury. “The jump seemed OK, but I landed on my butt. It could have been fine, but I decided to stand up on my skis before I reached the bottom of the slope. I tripped, fell again, and this time it was much worse: I missed almost a year,” the jumper says.
The year without Dashinsky was probably the best in the career of his close friend Alexei Grishin, another heaven-born jumper from Belarus. Fans were eager to see them both after Dashinsky’s recovery, but it was just a nightmare for Grishin: the best season followed by a series of failures. Besides, Dashinsky’s comeback was sensational: the charismatic jumper pushes the Belarusian flag to the top of the world cup table. Girls keep elbowing their way to the star to take an autograph and try to catch him in nightclubs.
Judges are no girls, Dima’s charming personality will not do the trick. He never tries any backdoor ways, he jumps and does what no one else seems to be able to do. Even his adversary Han Xiaopeng, who made history by becoming the first Chinese skier to win Olympic gold with his sensational victory in the men’s freestyle aerials, must have uttered a few words in Russian when he saw Dmitry jump. Dima was jumping for the gold, but the most precious medal went to the surprised Chinese. “Nobody can explain why the judges decided to prefer the complexity of the jump to clean performance,” Dima says. “They were boasting later on that their new system was working fine, until an Austrian coach told them in plain English what he thought about their judging.”
This was a bad blow for Dashinsky. He beamed with his usual optimism at the crowd in Minsk airport, at the reporters that were tearing him apart. But his eyes were sad, as if he had been standing on Turin hills asking “Why?”
The only Belarus’ medalist of the Olympics, Dashinsky got $30,000, an award fee for his brilliant performance in the world cup (in which the Chinese champion remained outside the best three), and Volkswagen-Passat from the Dinamo sports society and Minsk Transit Bank. Is that much? Not really by European standards. Russia is a good example: Russian champions took a shower of gifts, whereas Dashinsky was promised an apartment after his success in Nagano. Later he was asked to buy an apartment himself. After Turin they promise to help with dwelling again. Dima still believes…
Dashinsky also believes he will snatch gold in Vancouver in four years. This must be my nature: I am a seeker, I am restless.
“I have always been looking for trouble, since early childhood, and little has changed. I just love extreme sports. I went to Las Vegas last year and tried something new: there is a 350-meter pole there that shoots a capsule with seats in it — the best way of recreation for me.”
His ideals match his nature: Dima was talking about his idols and said he always respected the people that achieved unique results, like Vitaly Scherbo that took six Olympic gold medals in gymnastics, one of the most “subjective” sports.
Dashinsky has already reached great results, but his Vancouver gold will make him truly unique. Just four years to wait for your dream to come true…
by Dmitry Komarov