Russian gymnasts had phones confiscated at OlympicsAugust 16th, 2012 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Aug 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s victorious rhythmic gymnasts had their telephones and computers confiscated before the Olympics to stop them being distracted, a member of the winning team said Thursday.
After being cut off from the outside world, Russia retained rhythmic gymnastics team all-around gold for the fourth Olympics in succession in London.
The isolation scheme was the brainchild of head coach Irina Viner, team member Uliana Donskova said.
“Irina Alexandrovna (Viner) took away all the computers, the phones and other technology, so no one could write to us,” Donskova said.
The aim was to stop the team being distracted by messages that put too much pressure on them, she said.
“Everyone starts writing: ‘Come on, don’t let us down’,” she said.
“There’s also a lot of nice messages, but you also get some where people say you shouldn’t come back without gold medals. That obviously pressures you.”
Donskova said that it was almost liberating to be without modern technology.
“At first we thought: ‘How can we spend a week without the Internet?’, but the time flew. It was like being in a dream.”
Donskova, 19, is a triple world champion and double European gold medallist.
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