Interview with Bogdanova Sofia

For information: Sofia's age is 9 years old as of the date of the interview. Date of birth August 6, 2005.

It took just a year for you to get high in ranks or even first places in every competition you entered. Nobody has ever made it so quick before. Of course, your star-bright success is very exciting for many slalomers and audience in the world. As I already know you practiced ice figure skating at first. Tell us, please, how did it start and how did you switch then to inline freestyle skating? Was there some other sports, maybe?

The beginning was quite ordinary: one day at age of 4 I saw kids practicing ice figure skating with a coach and wanted to try it. My parents agreed to enlist me in the ice skating club and I liked it very much. But when I went to school training time overlapped with it and I had to choose studies over trainings. But I didn't quit and tried another way - inline figure skating. In August 2012 I was in Czech Republic on a sport trip with other kids from inline skating club and I was the only one who did figure skating, all others were slalolmers. I liked greatly what they did on cones! When I came back I decided to learn slalom.

Is there something in common between freestyle slalom and figure skating? Do you combine your skills from both sports?

I think there's a lot in common. Creative approach to program making, for example, choice of music, an image, a costume. Training is also alike: repetition of tricks, combinations, parts of programs. Choreographic skills came very handy in slalom. I often use series of moves from figure skating.

How much do you train usually and what helps you? Like music, surroundings?

I train 5 times a week. Music helps me all the time, even to crack and learn new difficult tricks. I just can't start a training session without favorite music.

Do you get excited before a competition? Who supports you at those moments?

Yes, I'm excited and worried before a run just like anybody else. My family and friends support me, of course, but only my best couch Christina can calm me down.

What are your best and favorite achievements in 2013-2014?

My major prize was at RollerClub Cup where I took 1st place in junior classic. And my most favorite awards were two Cups of Russian Roller Sport Federation at the end of 2013 - as the best freestyle and speed slalomer among junior girls.

I know that you took part in the Olympic Games Grand Opening in Sochi 2014. How were days of trainings and the event itself? There were many skaters there. What's the impression of teamwork? Did you make new friends?

The Olympic Games Opening was the most awesome event in all my life! And indeed it gave me new friends. They keep in touch with me, come to cheer at competitions, support me. The training days in Sochi were hard but interesting. I was the youngest skater of our wing, and organizers, even Ilya Overbuch himself, helped me to get over hardest parts.

What are your other activities beside slalom? What would you like to learn more?

I like to go for a walk, ride a bicycle, read books, go to cinema and I'm very fond of animals. I'd like to learn guitar playing, long-board riding and I want to speak English.

Who are coaches and sportsmen inspiring you to advance so fast in slalom?

I have many favorite sportsmen and not only in slalom. But Feng Hui from China is the best, her pure Asian style impresses me above all others. I wish I will skate like her some day.
I spend much time with my couches and friends - Christina Lysenko and Shitov Andrey. We do favorite things together - we watch movies, ride bikes, visit each other. All this lets us get along better. They pass to me their experience and skills. And my another wish is to keep training together and be friends for a long-long time.

Author: Nadezhda Zelenova. Translation: Milyokhin Dmitry.