Natalia Nepryaeva, Part 2: I Live Effing Fantastic Life!

…Here’s Part 2 of out conversation with Natalia Nepryaeva. “Conversation” is an instrumental word here – it was part interview, part open talk about the skiing world and those who live & compete in it. As most open conversations, it kinda lacked that structural rigidity expected of formal interview, was going back and forth on several subjects. Anyhow, it was fun and here’s a gist of it :

 

I live effing fantastic life! ( for the Russian language experts among you –  Natalia is using the word “охренненная” in her native tongue – effing is the best translation we could come up with ))) .  I do like the popularity that comes with victories, I do like that growing attention to myself. And it’s not just about me.  Attracting attention, especially media attention to our sport is very important – we all know that.
Of course it comes with negatives – the more you people follow you on social networks, the more pervs are out there, writing with very explicit suggestions. But that’s life. Block – and move on.

Couple of years ago there was a bit of a storm in Russian social media when I published photos revealing my tattoos. No, I don’t regret that – but I’ve learned a lesson and you won’t see fresh photos like that any longer – at least until I change my mind.
Do I see Therese Johaug as role model? Of course I do. On the track and beyond that. I see how much effort she puts into promotion of herself and our sport and I would like to be like her, to try my hand in advertising, in promoting sponsors.
I think I could be pretty good at advertizing certain apparel brands or fast, powerful cars – like the one I drive at home.
I often warm up before the race start with Airpods. What’s playing in them? – all kinds of music but mostly some energetic remixes.
I’m rather indifferent to some things other athletes vocally dream about – like sweets of all sorts. Which is good as I’m still looking to trim my weight down. What I’d find difficult to live without? Easy: smartphone ( laughs). Not just for chatting and social media – I read books and watch videos on that too.
Coming home you feel the difference between “normal people” and pro-athlete. The former can afford do things impulsively – or don’t do them at all. As an athlete you always under discipline, always think “gee, how would this or that reflect on my training and form? “.
I don’t like night clubs. Just not my kind of thing in life
Yes, I’ve been drunk. Once or twice, on vacations. May be that’s not exactly what people would call ” drunk “. Perhaps,” tipsy” is a better word.
Do I prefer to be addressed as “ladies” or “women”? It’s not a big deal for me, but having to choose, I’d prefer ” women”.

 

Unlike many skiers, I never went to internat,  boarding school for young athletes. My parents are strong skiers ( and mom’s a coach) and both they and myself felt that I have nothing to gain from being there. There is another aspect to it: at 13, 14 girls feel that the big world is suddenly opening to them with all of its temptations that are hard to resist and , looking back, personally I  think that it’s great that my parents sort of tempered my then-desires. If I were to be all by myself in that boarding school – not sure I wouldn’t give in.
Hardest part of being an elite skier is how much time we spend away from home. People often think our lives are paradise – we train and compete in some of the world’s most beautiful places. They are beautiful, it’s true – check out our Instagrams. But I so had enough of constant traveling, constantly being on the move! Not complaining – but you’ve asked what’s difficult for me ( smiles)
I am what one would probably call a ” traditional girl”. But at the moment no thoughts about starting a family and things like that. Not yet, not now.

 

Once I’ve started to win, I was approached by competing equipment manufacturers but I’ve said No, thanks. I’ve been supported by Fischer from the earliest days of my career and I’m happy with the Fischer gear and with the company’s attitude towards me. My skis are almost always among the best in any race. Of course, huge thanks goes to the national team’s support crew, to waxers who work with me directly – but the fact is, I have some very good skis in my quiver. So, all in all I’m dedicated and happy Fischer girl for a foreseeable future (smiles)
I  am genuinely impressed with how things are done in Norway. No matter where you compete or train, it’s always organized at the top level.
Janteloppet by Petter Northug was fantastic! The atmosphere, the attitude of people – everything!  I did not do my best on that track this year after a long season – but, should I be invited next year  – you’ll see!
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