Why is everyone so keen on talking about winner’s training plans, ski choices or waxing, leaving aside, perhaps, the most important and,certainly, the most exciting factor there is to talk about?
The ” relationship factor”.
No study indicates definitively to what extent is it important for a world-class athlete to have a steady partner. “It surely helps” – the gist of we could find on Internet.
Well, we want sport scientists, coaches and officials to consider this:
Alexander Bolshunov is one of the two top Russian skiers to enjoy a steady relationship with a training group partner, Anna Zherebyateva. The other power couple are Sergei Ustiugov/Elena Sovoleva-Ustiugova. There are other “establish unions” in the Russian squad, but they are not in the same training group which means they only get to see each other occasionally I.e. during competitions.
We are not aware of any steady and open to public observations relationships inside other leading national teams (Visnar-Hattestad union comes closest, but coach+athlete is totally different dynamics) – all the more reason to look at “Zherebyateva – Bolshunov phenomena” closer yet again..
Does steady and fulfilling relationship play a central role in Bolshunov’s victorious march through ski stadiums this season? We would never know, but it is sure something to talk about – and we just tried to give you a glimpse into their lives.