“Swimming doesn’t need a media league. We need to do events that feel like shows. Interview with Kliment Kolesnikov

“Swimming doesn’t need a media league.  We need to do events that feel like shows.  Interview with Kliment Kolesnikov

We don’t see Russian swimmers at the Paris Games. It means incredibly talented Kliment Kolesnikov will not become Olympic champion this summer, even if he could count on him. At least until 2028, he will retain silver and bronze at Tokyo 2020.

But it seems that Kolesnikov himself is not very upset about this. Last Saturday, in the conference room of the Gazprom Pavilion, he enthusiastically discussed with young swimmers and their coaches from Saransk the sports and personal development opportunities promoted by the Gazprom for Children program. After that, Kolesnikov gave an interview to and talked about:

“I will try to swim as close as possible to the best results”

— What are your plans for this season? Where can fans see you?

— The Russian Cup final at the end of July, the Champions Cup in August and the Friendship Games in September. In general, these are all the projects of the season. After the Friendship Games, we will see what to do next.

— Are you planning new records?

– We’ll see how it goes. I hope I will be in optimal shape for all the competitions. I will try to swim as close as possible to the best results in the summer.

— Athletes in other sports periodically express regret over international isolation and say it’s difficult to find the motivation to train. How’s that going with that?

– I do not have any problems. But there is one thing that is not lost on any athlete who has ever competed internationally. You start to miss the atmosphere, the surroundings: there are foreign athletes around, different cities, swimming pools, the change of scenery. At the same time, personally, my competitive spirit has not disappeared.

— So you have a sufficient level of competition in the country to keep you at the top?

— Yes, we now have young people who have caught up, the competition is at a fairly high level. Four guys from St. Petersburg swim almost according to the results that we showed at the Olympics. Everyone is trying, everyone is pursuing their own goals, just like me.

– What are your goals?

— Try to set new personal bests. Everyone finds their own motivation. It’s strange to give up in this situation.

— You are quite young, in theory you still have several Olympic cycles ahead of you. Does this allow you to look to the future with optimism?

— Athletes don’t have a daily routine. We have to try to get the most out of every training and every start. If everything goes well, it should be done here and now. In any case, it is a shame that we cannot show our results in a calm environment all over the world. But we start with what we have.

— Do you follow international competitions? Are you going to watch the Olympics?

– Yes I am. – I subscribe to foreign news groups. I see how the guys behave at the same championships in Italy and the United States. I will watch the Olympics.

“I can come on the air and chat if they are waiting for me”

— You answered questions from growing Saransk swimmers for more than an hour. What does communicating with young athletes bring you?

— Such meetings are cool. As a child, I didn’t have any sporting idols that I could follow. There were favorite athletes, but there weren’t those from whom I took inspiration or motivation. I didn’t even have time to attend master classes or similar meetings where guys from the swimming world could tell me something.

So it’s cool that I can now communicate with young athletes, for whom I am some kind of value. In such moments, I feel that I am not doing everything in vain. It’s clear that I have selfish goals that I pursue in sport. At the same time, I am very happy to come to such events and communicate with the guys. I am interested.

— Do such meetings require more energy or do they give more?

— They give more, but not energy, but kind and positive emotions. The guys asked a lot of questions, it was clear they were interested. And a person has such a nature – if he is interested in something, he will not fall asleep. In this situation, I can share something and talk about what they’re interested in, which is very cool.

If there are more events like this, then we athletes will better understand why we do all this, what we are looking for, who we really are. Every recognizable athlete has a certain image that is broadcast in the media. But in live communication, perceptions can change, people open up in new ways.

— You are very natural in the role of speaker. Have you thought, for example, about coming to the commentary room with Dmitry Guberniev and “lighting up” the air?

— The level of general erudition plays a role here. It often happens in life that when a discussion on a topic begins, everyone considers themselves an “expert”: they have read the first line in Google and are already an expert. I avoid that. I can support the subject, come and discuss if they are waiting for me. That would be cool.

But if the conversation has a narrow direction, I myself will feel embarrassed because I don’t realize something. In simple live communication, discussing superficial topics is no problem. I don’t consider myself an orator. I’m not a business coach who walked on stage and proudly said, “Get up and go!” » In general, I feel more nervous when communicating with people than during competitions. After all, I usually start.

— How do you deal with anxiety?

— I don’t have any particular rituals to prepare myself, I don’t rehearse in front of a mirror. But there are some things I always keep in mind. I understand that I need to be more relaxed.

“I am an active athlete, I don’t always have time to develop a personal brand”

— There are now athletes who actively promote their personal brand on social networks, write columns in sports media, thereby popularizing their sport. Swimming seems to lack media visibility. You have no desire to go in this direction?

— It’s true that swimming lacks media visibility. But until recently, I didn’t even think about the fact that there was little information about my sport. Based on this, I started a telegram channel. I write there whenever I want, when I want to share something. If everyone does this, there will be more information. We all have to start somewhere. I don’t see any opportunities yet to develop a personal brand. I’m an active athlete, I don’t always have time for that. But I can just share some information that is not always possible to access.

— Media leagues appeared in the types of games – football, basketball, hockey. They have a very large audience. They captivate with their open-mindedness, their emotions and their special closeness with the viewer. Would the creation of a media league help popularize swimming?

— There is a big problem: water is not a human environment. It will be much more difficult for the average person to do something in the water than to play basketball or football on land. Swimming requires a lot more coordination and skill.

This is not the media league that needs to be developed here. In swimming, you have to do events that are as close as possible to the spectacle. Where there is no competitive intensity and minimal responsibility. Like the All-Star Game. You may want to think about the format.

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Source : MatchTV

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