Friday, October 3, 2008

A Great Ambassador of the Sport

Before Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko appeared on the Nokia Football Crazy Show broadcast on ESPN Sports Star in Singapore, she spoke with FINA representative Shelley Taylor-Smith.

Relaxed and composed during her on-air interview before the Singapore leg of the FINA 10KM Marathon Swim World Cup, Ilchenko smiled and talked frankly about mixing her tough training schedule with her love of chocolate, music and her boyfriend, Daniil Serebrennikov, another top marathon swimming pro and her hometown training partner.

"The first year my coach said OK. The second year not OK and this year OK," said Ilchenko to Taylor-Smith as she referred to her gold medal performance at the Olympic 10K event.

To no surprise to Taylor-Smith who was also renown for an incredible work ethic, Ilchenko Larisa revealed that she has not taken a day off in 2008. "I only had 7 days out of the water in 2007. I am tired. My mind and my body. I am looking forward to some time off I hope."

Similar to Maarten van der Weijden who has faced a non-stop schedule of media interviews and motivational speeches since his Olympic 10K victory, Ilchenko appears comfortable in front of the camera and is a gregariously confident ambassador of the sport.

The sport is well-served by these two fine Olympic champions.

ESPN Sports Star is an Asian-based broadcast transmitting in 5 languages (English, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean and Mandarin) and broadcasting local editions of ESPN SportsCenter for China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

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