Last season, Russian skier Tatyana Sorina, as part of the relay four, became the Olympic champion of the Games in Beijing – our skiers regained the Olympic gold after 16 years. And the performance of Sorina herself in China was in doubt due to chronic shoulder problems.

In an interview with “Championship”, Tatyana told how the operation went, why she missed the Russian summer championship in her native Tyumen, whether she expects Russian athletes to be allowed to international starts, and why she considers the upcoming season to be passing.

Tatiana Sorina

Tatiana Sorina

Photo: RIA Novosti

“If you don’t think about the international season, then what should you prepare for?”

– Were you surprised that there were good prize money at the summer championship of Russia?
– I was very surprised! If this continues, then you will have to miss fewer races (laughs).

– Before the start of the summer championship of Russia, Yegor Sorin said that you would participate in competitions, but in the end you didn’t make it to the start.
– A week before the start, I planned to run the entire program, I felt ready. But four days before the first race, I got a little sick, and in the end we decided to skip the championship. There was no point in starting in such a state, because the season will be passing.

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– Passing?
– A season in which there are no Olympic Games can be considered as such, in my opinion. Well, now the situation is such that we can hardly count on the first stages of the World Cup. So you can take care of your health so that in the future it does not fail.

– Is the World Championship also a passing tournament?
– Not. But the probability of our performance in Planica is small. Hope remains, we are preparing for the main start of the season. It is better to think about what it will be. If you don’t think so, then what should you prepare for?

– Do you believe that FIS can go its own way?
– I don’t think. It seems to me that everything will depend on the position of the IOC. Well, from some political decisions.

– After February 24, Russian athletes were gradually removed from everywhere. Did you think it would come to this?
– Probably, I am one of the few who did not believe in the suspension at all. I guess I didn’t realize at the time how serious it was. How will there not be a World Cup final in Tyumen? Yes, we’ve all been waiting for this! But we were first expelled from the last stages of the World Cup, and then slowly and in general from all competitions. True, winter sportsmen still have not fully felt the consequences. The World Cup starts at the end of November, and only when we don’t go to Finland will everything become clear. But I am an optimist and I keep hope.

Tatiana Sorina

Tatiana Sorina

Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

“Foreigners will still ask us to return”

Did you fully recover after shoulder surgery?
– Oh, you touched on a sore subject. The operation itself went well, but I started having complications. Doctors said that the recovery would take four months, which expired in July, but everything was delayed. Due to a pinched nerve, my biceps on my right arm did not work at all. All summer he simply did not react, only in August the muscle began to work at least somehow again, and even now it has not yet fully recovered, it takes time. With the shoulder, thank God, everything is in order, and I could do everything without restrictions, but for now I am working to restore the volume and performance of the biceps. So that you understand how much this pinched nerve affected me – I still can’t pull up even once, but I pulled up a lot. I trained with sticks and did not feel the push. In terms of power, I was far behind, but I’m generally silent about short accelerations – in the summer I didn’t have anything like that. More or less normally, I started working less than a month ago. That’s why I don’t want to force now. I expect to run for another four years.

“I want the Russians to speak.” Have the Norwegians changed their attitude towards the removal of Russia?

– By the beginning of the season – will it be in Finland or in Russia – will you have time to fully recover?
– That’s what I work for. Of course, I want to run at the World Cup and fight with all the strongest. If the season is only in Russia, then we will focus on individual races, we will choose where to start. Again, if we are not allowed, then we still have to work to become better. And when we return, we will be stronger and angrier.

– Natalya Nepryaeva said that you can run a year in Russia. And if the suspension lasts even further, then what – to finish a career?
– Yes, I agree with her that a year can be spent in Russia, especially after the Olympics. But then you still want to go back. Of course, we are not talking about the end of a career, but when you have already run at the highest level, it will be more difficult to find motivation to compete only at internal competitions.

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– There is another way. Try to change sports citizenship, quarantine for the next Olympics will end.
– No, of course, this option is not even considered. We have good conditions in Russia. You just need to be patient a little, and everything will work out. It seems to me that foreigners will still ask us to return. I can’t imagine cross-country skiing without Russian athletes.

– If, nevertheless, in October our suspension is extended, will you watch the World Cup?
– Yes, but selective races. I’ll see how they squabble with each other.

Tatiana Sorina

Tatiana Sorina

Photo: RIA Novosti

– Teresa Johaug, who everyone was guided by, ended her career. Who to approach now?
– The season would start – maybe you won’t have to get close to anyone. Let them try to keep up with us (laughs).

– What has changed in you after the Olympics? Do you feel like a champion?
– I feel like an Olympic champion, but the understatement in terms of medals in individual races remains. This is a good motivation to work out another Olympic cycle and do what Beijing failed to do at the next Games.

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