IRINA SLUTSKAYA: “EVERYTHING I DO COMES FROM MY HEART”
Irina Slutskaya is a Russian figure skater, seven-time European champion, two-time World champion, who won silver and bronze medals at the Olympic Games. She is also known as the Chairperson of the Presidium of the Voluntary Physical Culture Union and the United Russia party’s deputy of the Moscow Oblast Duma.
At the Federation Council meeting with the Chairperson of the Chamber on Interaction with Civil Society Institutions, the EWC journalists managed to talk with Irina Slutskaya. The interview concerned her charitable and socio-political.
— Irina, your great achievements, charitable activity and sincere smile make you a role model for users of the Eurasian Women’s Community web-portal. Please, tell us, what was the most important thing for you in the past year?
— Firstly, being elected in the Moscow Oblast Duma. This was one of the brightest events for me in the past year. Now I am the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Healthcare, Labour and Social Politics. The second significant thing was holding such projects, as ‘Stand Up and Run’ and ‘Life Without Diabetes’. They are aimed at promotion of healthy lifestyle and prophylaxis of diabetes. We organized workshops on figure skating and Nordic walking in 10 regions of Russia. All these events will be followed up this year.
— Why do you pay so much attention to children with diabetes?
— In late 2015, parents whose child suffered from diabetes came to me and asked to train it. This is how the idea of my project appeared. The initiative belongs to non-indifferent parents who want their children to join sport.
— Is it difficult to motivate children with diabetes to go in for sport?
— In my opinion, it is up to parents and doctors to motivate them. Little children do not care whether they have health problems or not. They just live, just enjoy their lives. It is parents who often give up in such cases.
Now many children with diabetes say they do not have any disease. They claim they just have a different lifestyle. In this case, it is extremely important to provide these children with opportunities for self-realization. Experience shows that many Olympic champions dealt with different diseases and injuries.
I also have a chronic disease. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to be in a social vacuum. You are afraid of trying, falling down and getting complication of your problem. But from my own experience I can say that people are not limited in their physical possibilities. Parents and their children must know they will always find support when doing what they love most.
My daughter’s friend has diabetes. Her parents limit her in everything. But once this girl will grow up and want to live a full life, to have children. It will be difficult for her to adapt. By our project, we try to demonstrate that people with diseases can live the same way as healthy people do. They just need supervision of a doctor. One can control and overcome anything.
Currently we are launching a Nordic walking project in the Moscow region, in which we attract endocrinologists. The launch takes place in terms of the Moscow Regional Scientific Research Clinical Institute n.a. M.F. Vladimirsky and I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University.
— Do you mean that the basic work concerns not children but patents?
— This is combined work. I believe, if the diseased person gives up, we lose. He or she together with parents should seek recovery.
We are working so as children could visit sport sections with experienced coaches. Unfortunately, nowadays situation is different. People limit children with diseases in spots because of being afraid of responsibility. It is important that children feel they can do everything. Physical activity and sport disciplines people. It helps them understand that to be good at sport one should eat healthy and shouldn’t smoke and drink alcohol. Sport is a way to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy nation.
— Many politicians and show business stars became famous thanks to scandal stories. You, on the contrary, are famous because of your good deeds. Can you comment it?
— I am certainly not engaged in any scandals. I have always earned fame only through hard work. I believe that good deeds will always be seen. What goes around, comes around. Evil will never be victorious over the good, just like in the fairy tales.
— What do you mean by charity and what role do women play in it, in your opinion?
— Charity is an extremely broad field. Now Russians usually relate it only to monetary donations. One can actually help in another way, by their actions. The main idea is to find people holding the same views. People often find us and ask or offer help. Everything I do comes from my heart and reaches other people’s hearts. Historically, women are responsible for caring for children, elderly parents, and hearth and home. A woman senses these aspects of life more sensitively and subtly and can find the right solution to any problem.
Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov