The most titled active skier in Russia, Natalya Nepryaeva, has changed her last name, but there is still one more on the national team Nepryaeva. The Olympic champion's younger sister Daria spoke in an interview with Sport about quarrels with her sister and love for her, the desire to get married and starting at the Olympics under the Russian flag.
“Natasha often imposes her opinion, replacing her mother “
– You ran the race in Khanty-Mansiysk, but I didn’t see Natalya in the stands.
br>- When I ran through my quarterfinals and picked up the phone, I saw that she had written me a slightly aggressive message, scolding me for not organizing the race tactically very well.
– I talked to Natalya a few days ago, she said that having family nearby helps a lot. Do you have the same sensations?
– Having family nearby is very important, we are always together. I don't feel like I miss home. We have been at the training camp for months and almost my entire family is with me, only my mom, dad and brother are missing. And so Natasha, Sasha Terentyev, Sergei Volkov are with me. We are all on very good terms, they always support me. Sometimes even too much, sometimes it's too much. I love them all, and they are my family.
And I will always be on my sister's side, even if she does something wrong, I will always be for her. She is one of the closest people to me. We are now together 24/7, and I can’t imagine how we can separate in the future. I will miss you very much.
– Isn’t it hard to always be close to your sister? Under her control?
– To be honest, there is such a thing. She sometimes gives out a lot of advice, I listen to it, but I don’t always listen.
– Does she educate you? Can she replace a mother?
– Yes, sure. Since childhood, when we were little, she took care of me. We are seven years apart, before it was strongly felt, but now we are almost equal, I don’t feel the age difference. She knows all my secrets, I know hers. Yes, sometimes she still tries to impose her opinion, because she is older, more experienced and wiser, but I also want to decide something myself.
She very often gives me tactical advice. She can also advise me something in life, and I can help her with something. Despite the fact that I am younger, she can listen to my advice, this is very valuable to me.
– It often happens that sisters and brothers fight in the family, there are small skirmishes. For example, why did she take my jacket or leave without asking in new shoes. Do you have this?
– There is absolutely no way without this. As a child, we fought with her almost every day, but now it’s no longer like that. We very rarely quarrel with her, and when we quarrel, we don’t really fight anymore, we just may not talk for a day, and then everything goes away, and we continue to communicate. But before, we constantly quarreled because we shared one room at home. Now we can share clothes. When she is at home, she always takes something from me.
“No need to hang medals on me”
– Is there a burden of responsibility because of the titled sister? Doesn't this put pressure on you?
“Because of my last name, I am given a lot of responsibility, but I take it calmly, because I know I have my own path.” All reasonable people understand that there is no need to hang medals on me. There are many girls my year who run just as well or even better, but they don't get as much attention. I abstract myself from this and am completely calm. And my parents don’t put any pressure on me at all; they understand that I’m different, just like Natasha. Everyone has their own path.
– Do you feel cronyism and privilege because of your star sister?
– It seems to me that there is lightness only in dating For example, I communicate with many adult skiers, it seems to me that this is the only thing. There is nothing like that in terms of training and competitions. Of course, I look at how cool she is, but I won’t run away from it any faster.
– On the ski track, do you see Natalya as a sister or just a rival?
– Of course, we are all rivals, she is for me her biggest rival because she is the strongest skier in the country. Everyone strives to beat her, and I am no exception. Additionally, the fact that she is my sister plays a role.
“After my sister’s wedding, I also wanted to get married.”
– Natalya told how you were in cahoots with Alexander Terentyev and took her to a restaurant so that he could propose to her there
– It was such a trembling moment. Sasha told me about this a few days in advance. It was not difficult to keep it a secret, it was very exciting, tears rolled up when he proposed. I tried to persuade her to dress nicely, we always go somewhere in Tver, and here she didn’t really want to dress up. I told her: “Let’s go take a photo.” And she told me: “Leave me alone already.” But in the end she persuaded her anyway. She expected that there would be a proposal, but did not know what exactly on that day.
– You also didn’t want to get married after your sister’s wedding?
– I wanted to. I understand that everything has its time, I’m still young. There’s definitely no need to rush into this, but when you look at it… I was also completely immersed in the organizational aspects of Natasha’s wedding, and it’s so moving.
– You, like your sister, found boyfriend in skis. How important is this?
– It so happened that we started dating Sergei Volkov when we trained together in the junior team. It seems to me that it’s hard to be with a person who is not from your sphere, because you are constantly at training camps, we are only at home one week a month. The last time I was home was at the beginning of September. It seems to me that if I had a young man not from the ski industry, he would have told me long ago: “Go ahead!”
Sergey Volkov supports me very well and gives me advice. I constantly ask him something, he is very smart and well-read. It seems to me that if it weren’t for him, perhaps I would not have been able to become the world champion among juniors. All year he told me how and what to do at every training session.
– Were you having a hard time with the situation with Sergei’s suspension? How did you cope?
– At first I was in shock, I believed that everything would work out. It was such a stupid mistake, just drops in the nose that the doctor recommended to him. He discussed the use of drops with the team doctor, and he gave him the go-ahead. Seryozha is such a person, he will not make rash mistakes.
We all supported him, our whole family, Natasha, Sasha. I was very worried; it was very difficult for him to return because he had not run for a year. I hope this season turns out well for him, I’m really rooting for him. No one tries as hard as he does. Probably only Bolshunov.
“I wouldn’t agree to run without the flag”
– Natalya said that she managed to win medals, and it’s probably more offensive to those who haven’t yet. Do you agree with her?
– It seems to me that I would be very offended if I came out to an adult a level where I would really fight for medals and be competitive among the strongest athletes. I think I still need to train and train. Of course, I want to try my hand at the international arena, who wouldn’t… But I look at things realistically, I strive for this level and I think that everything will be fine.
– As far as I understand, when you arrived at your first adult international competition and on the same day the Russian team was suspended.
– I really wanted to run. The trip there itself was already a holiday for me; I was small, not just in age, but in terms of expectations, I really wanted to try myself. Then so many things came over me, for example, I won two medals at the Junior World Championships, I was emotional. And when they suspended me, there was simply a lack of understanding of what was happening. We just arrived and left, everything was strange and crumpled. Who was very upset then was Natasha, because she was then fighting for the World Cup.
– You said that you were little then, and if this happened now, you would react differently?
– Now I would qualify for the World Championships at the Russian competitions, and if I could, then, of course, I would be upset, because I would understand that I could fight. Then they took me to competitions so that I could just look and feel what the World Cup was like; there was no hint of medals there. I was very raw.
– Not so raw now?
– Yes, I am growing, gaining strength and experience every year. I think I could compete for the top 30. This season I want to gain a foothold in the main team, to become one of the leaders in sprint races.
– So far, the exclusion from international competitions for skiers is in effect, but other federations have begun to carefully admit athletes, albeit with a large number of conditions. Would you agree to perform without the flag and anthem?
– No, I would not agree. Saveliy Korostelev and I were the last to listen to the Russian anthem at the Junior World Championships. When I stood on the podium in first place and the country’s flag was raised, the anthem was played, it was such pride, I almost burst into tears from emotion. Since childhood, my dad raised me this way, he instilled a love for the Motherland.
I support my leader Elena Valeryevna Vyalbe in this matter, because she is a very wise woman and it’s worth just learning and learning from her. And I support my sister, because we are one family, we have the same upbringing, I completely agree with her.
– Do you believe that we will be able to go to the Winter Olympics?
– Yes, of course. I have very big ambitions, I already want to experience it all. In general, you train for the Olympic Games.