Plus and Minus

Belarus’ freestyle skier Dmitri Dashchinsky says goodbye to bachelorhood
Belarus has lost a very enticing bachelor. Dmitri Dashchinsky must have won more medals in freestyle than anyone else in the world. Dashchinsky was second to none at World and European Cups, has a bunch of silvers and bronzes, but two medals are especially precious — the bronze one he won in Nagano in 1998 and the silver he took in Turin earlier this year. Dashchinsky has recently been conferred an order by the head of state. Specialists believe Dashchinsky’s gold awaits him in Vancouver in 2010, and we all hope they know what they are saying. Besides, he has a wonderful support in his life now — his beautiful wife Olga. She is Olga Dashchinskaya now.

— Olga, did you know he was the very Dashchinsky?
Olga: Of course not! He told me he was a champion only after we got married.
— One of the most typical questions would be: how did two of you meet?
Dmitry: We have common friends that helped us meet. We were just friends at first and then we understood we had some feelings towards each other.
— So what made you like each other so much?
Olga: I don’t know for sure, I just know I love him very much. Dima is very understanding, level-headed and calm. I had never met people like him.
Dima: And I never thought our relations would take us this far! (He is laughing).
After this crude joke Olga seems to be seconds away from flaring up, but Dmitry hugs her tenderly, and she is peaceful again. “I can never take offence at him. Dima is so unique, like a precious stone!” Olga says.
It looks like this is an ideal couple. I’m trying to imagine how he proposed. Must have been very romantic — romantic dinner and candles. “There was no proposal as such,” Olga said. “I learnt about his intention from newspapers. After the Olympics someone asked Dmitry about his marriage plans, and he answered he was going to have a wedding once he got back to Belarus from Italy.
— What sort of honeymoon is ideal for you?
Olga: Some deserted island, just all by ourselves.
Dmitry: We will certainly go to Egypt. To dive and swim.
Olga leaves for a moment to bring another helping of her marvelous specialties, and it seems the right moment to ask a serious question about mutual interference of sports and family. “I don’t think family life will intervene with my career in sports. When we were drawing up my schedule for that month my coaches told me to pick the date for the wedding, so that they could adjust
my schedule.”
I guessed Olga was busy in the kitchen, but she seems to have heard everything. “I will never stand between Dima and sports,” she says point-blank. “I will always root for him. Sport is life for him, and I understand him perfectly well.
— What about making more Dashchinskys? Any particular plans?
Olga: I want a boy and a girl. Dima will make a perfect father. I feel sure about it.
— What are the strengths and weaknesses that you find in each other?
Olga: I guess Dima’s calm is the thing I like the best about him. He is also very kind and clever. But he is rather slow, too. (She is laughing) I would ask him a question, and he could take five minutes to answer. His best explanation is that he fell so many times during training sessions that he cannot remember anything now.
Dima: I can’t mention all her best qualities. There are so many I could take a month. She is very cheerful, but she is also whimsical.
— Does he spoil you with presents?
Olga: Sure thing! He always gets me something from his trips. He often gives me flowers, and there are tons of compliments.
— Olya, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
— I graduated from the law school of Belarusian State University, but I work as an engineer for a construction company. I asked them to hire me as Dima’s private masseuse, but they won’t take me (laughs again).
— Is Dima jealous?
— Oh, yes. He always phones me, when he is away to check whether I stay at home.
— Can your family be called an ideal one?
Olga: Yes, we are complementary. Like a “plus” and “minus”.
Dmitry: Even if we have a row, it is always short and minor.

Dmitry Tkachenko
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