The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Olympic Heptathlon champion Nataliya Dobrynska recently resumed training after five weeks of dancing in the Ukrainian TV show “Dancing for You” and a relaxing holiday in Egypt. In spite of spending a month-anda-a-half off the track, Dobrynska feels confident ahead of the upcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha.
“I’d better start telling the news right now. So many interesting things happened to me recently, it’s hard to decide what to begin with!
“First of all, after five weeks of dancing in the TV project “Dancing for You”, I was finally eliminated by people’s vote. You may have thought as an athlete I wanted to win and felt disappointed, but no! I was so-so very happy to finish with this project! I wished to be eliminated. I was thinking about this all the time, and finally my desire materialized. Just as always – if your wish is strong enough and comes from your heart, it will find the way to come true.
“Why did I want to leave the project? I believe there is a right time for everything. I enjoyed the show a lot in the beginning. I learnt a lot about dancing, mastered new movements and discovered some new things about myself. The basic thing I discovered was that I was definitely not a person for show business. I am used to the sports principle. I always believe the strongest wins, just like in athletics. No money, no advertising, no fame can make you win if you are not ready to jump higher or run faster than anybody else. You cannot go out to the track and lip-synch your performance like a song!
“But in show business there are so many factors other than the level of your job. At some point I realized our dancing was not the only thing that influenced the final result. It was hard to accept that there were no universal criteria, as everybody may have different opinions. I like it in my sport, where if you are the fastest or the strongest, nobody can doubt you are the champion. But in dancing it is not even theoretically possible. What I’d like to underline, I never wanted to win the project. I even said it on TV: “I came here to learn but not to win.” But I like it when everything is fair. I’d never be able to accept show business with its rules, which sometimes seem so false and empty.
“We had five dances in the project, and my absolutely favorite is hip-hop. I enjoyed dancing, enjoyed learning it, and actually even mastered some difficult elements! This was the dance where I felt most comfortable. Although we also tried different styles – from modern pop to Mexican sounds. It’s a pity there was too little time for learning. Only five days to prepare a dance from zero – that’s not enough! I think this project only boosted my desire to learn how to dance, to master some dances properly. Some day when I have time I’ll try to study salsa.
“The project is called “Dancing for you” because every duet was dancing to make the dream of one child true – that is, dancing for a child. We had a small girl called Olyona, whose dream was to take part in the Olympics. There were six children in her family, and life was not so easy for them. Once I took Olyona to a shop and bought her clothes. I didn’t even have to ask what she wanted for a present, because I knew every girl would love to have beautiful dresses. After the project is over Olyona will get some money from the organisers. I am not sure this will be enough for her to make it all the way to the Olympic gold, but at least she will certainly be able to afford a trip to the South, to have fun.
“And speaking of the South, actually it’s only been a few days since I returned from Egypt. After the dancing project for me was over, it took only a couple of days for me and my husband Dmitry to leave the country. Egypt is a well known place for us. I’ve been there the sixth time already! Every year I am promising myself to change the place for a holiday, to try a new country. But in the end every year I am again and again returning to Egypt. It takes only a three hour flight from Kiev and does not require any visa. I’d love to go for example to Thailand some day, but the idea of spending seven hours in a plane horrifies me!
“My holiday was pretty much relaxed. We were just lying under the sun, swimming and diving. I love the Red Sea because there are so many beautiful fish there and the water is clean. When you make a deep dive and see the underwater world, this feeling is so special, impossible to describe. Only once we got really frightened. It was early in the morning. My husband and I swam about 300 metres into the sea, and suddenly saw a shark! Seems it came at night to look for food and slept over. It was not that big, and as local people later told us the sharks there didn’t hunt people. Actually I think the shark got more afraid of us than we were afraid of it. But for a quick second I was close to panic.
“Back from dancing, back from the seaside, I’m now full of energy and in full training. I am planning to compete at the World Indoor Championships in Doha and really looking forward to it. I love pentathlon, and always loved it. In my whole career I missed the indoor season only twice. In 2006 I could not compete at the World Champs in Moscow because I was badly injured. Last year I got sick before the very start of the European Champs and was doing indoors only the individual events.
“For me pentathlon is one of the most exciting competitions ever. Somehow it feels very easy for me to do all the events in one day. It’s great when in the evening you are already free and don’t have to wait for the second day. I believe I’ll manage to gain shape before Doha. After all, if we count, between the end of the summer season and the main start of the indoor season there are five months. It’s more than enough both for rest and training. This year for the first time in the last seven seasons or so I let myself have one-and-a-half months off training. Before I took a week, maximum two weeks off, and then started everything from the beginning.
“I don’t regret anything. I’m overwhelmed with new emotions and joy. Sometimes it’s nice to change something in your life in order to appreciate what you really have. Now I realize sports is one of the most beautiful and fair things on Earth. At least for me it is.”