Translation of an interview with Daiane dos Santos and Daniele Hypolito
It aired yesterday in Brazil (and was immediately uploaded on youtube by Ciciginastica – http://www.youtube.com/user/ciciginastica) a very nice and long interview with Daiane dos Santos and Daniele Hypolito. They talk about a lot of different things and there are some nice quotes. I thought it would be interesting to translate the most important parts to English, so everyone can take a look. The interviewer, as expected, didn’t know much about gymnastics, so he does make some predictable questions. They do discuss some cool topics though, and even when discussing some complicated subjects, he is very nice to the girls and the atmosphere is very friendly, with a lot of laughing and joking around. Check out the videos if you want to take a look at the girls outside the gym atmosphere.
– The interviewer starts it all by talking about their heights and Daniele points out that although most gymnasts are short, there are some tall ones as well and she says that all her family is pretty short, including her grandfather. Daniele says she is now 27-years-old and started gymnastics when she was 4 and Daiane says she is 29 and started gymnastics when she was 11!
– Daiane says London is her last Olympics and Daniele points out she plans on competing in Rio, in 2016. She says that at 32, she plans on fighting for a spot on the team with the younger ones to have a chance to compete in an Olympics at home, because it would be an honor for her to finish her career there. Daiane says she plans on retiring because making the Olympics is not easy, it requires hard work and dedication and the whole process starts in 2013, right after the London cycle.
– They start talking about the Test Event and Daniele’s role on it. Daniele says that everyone worked together, but her responsibility was a little bigger after Jade’s mistake on beam. Dani says when she was preparing the beam for her own routine and saw everyone praying together, it was a lot of pressure for her. Usually she is a very calm person at competitions, but that day her palms were sweating and although she has had a lot pressure competing before, that was the most pressuring moment of her life and the most emotional classification for an Olympics she has ever had (she has gone through Sydney, Athens and Beijing as well) and the hardest one as well. Her experience definitely helped and she says that now they all realize how important it is to always have someone with more experience on the team, because younger gymnasts might not have the mind to cope with those kinds of moments, like an experienced gymnast does.
– The interviewer says that although they both are very important names to the sport in Brazil, with the Hypolitos (Daniele and Diego) always competing and medalling and Dos Santos having two passes on floor named after her, they never got an Olympic medal. Daiane says the results don’t depend 100% on them, because they compete against Europe and USA that are able to train with a better structure, very different from what they have in Brazil, so the fact that they actually make the Olympics in the first place is already reason to give medals to all of the Brazilian team. She says it is still very complicated to be an athlete in Brazil. Things are better than what they were before, but in comparison with Europe and US, it still lacks support to the athletes, regarding not only financial but physical structure as well.
– They train six or seven hours a day, but are able to balance their personal lives as well. They joke about it all being scheduled. They are used to dealing with the busy lifestyle, because they have been doing it since they are very young, first with school, then college and family, friends, boyfriends (Daniele is single and Daiane has a boyfriend who is a MMA fighter). Being an athlete is their job.
– They talk about the Olympic village and Dani starts to giggle a lot. They say some flirting happens, but everyone has their own schedule to worry about. They both think it is really nice to meet different people and make new friends. About escaping the room at night, they say that for the gymnasts, it would be really hard, because they are all stay in rooms next to each other and the coaches. Before the competition they are really focused on training and when it is over, they have to go home. They do know some couples that met at the Olympics though.
– The interviewer asks them about rivalry towards other countries: they say there is always rivalry at the sport, but it is a friendly one, and although everybody always wants to win, they won’t root against the other girls, because they train as much as they do. Daiane says the real winner is the one that wins when everyone did their best, because winning when others have mistakes in too easy.
– They talk a little bit about Nadia Comaneci and the fact that the perfect 10 doesn’t exist anymore. They talk about their best apparatuses, floor for Daiane and beam for Daniele. About the future talent for Brazilian gymnasts, they say there are about five great girls at Flamengo (Daniele’s gym), but the thing with gymnastics is that many girls start but only a few actually make it, because you go through the whole body-change/growth spurt/weight fluctuation thing. They say they never thought of giving up gymnasrtics, even when there were hard times, because that’s what they have always worked for and they have to learn from the difficult times to grow with it.
– They talk about the doping situation Daiane went through and she explains that she was not training because she had injured her knee, so she was doing an esthetic treatment. She said she didn’t even know it would be a problem, but she had to take five months off because of a banned substance. She was already taking that time off anyway, because of the injury, so the whole doping thing ended up not affecting her that much, but still she learned her lesson the hard way and now she says she is an expert on banned substances.
– They talk about when Daniele got a ticket for driving without her license and the fact that she also refused to take the alcohol test. She says that although she does drink occasionally, that night she hadn’t and she just refused because the cop told her if anything showed up at the test she would go to jail. So she decided refusing it was safer than the possibility of jail, especially because she had drunk a beer way earlier to celebrate the London Test Event. Daiane says she drinks occasionally as well, but not much. They say that in Europe, athletes drink a lot and smoke as well. She mentions that once she saw an Olympic Champion on vault (a guy) smoke a cigarette right after going into competition.
– They ask Daiane about what she actually thinks her chances of medal are in London, seeing that her best phase was back in 2003-2006. She says that the hardest thing is to make it through Prelims at the Olympics, but once you’ve made it to the event finals, it is anyone’s game, so she doesn’t lose her hope.
I really liked to see a more detailed interview with these gymnasts and I hope you enjoy it too! If anything wasn’t translated too clearly, just ask me and I can try to explain it better :)