Hanging with Victor and Tatiana for the Moscow Athletics Open

No not THE Victor and Tatiana of pole vault fame, the 2 oldies who are putting me up for 2 days in Moscow. They are so nice and very helpful. Victor clearly loves his vodka. They gave me slippers to wear around the house and of course a key to come and go. Breakfast is like a buffet, I get to choose anything I want – porridge, cereal, yoghurt, toast, cheese, ham etc etc. Its like I am back at Geneva Ramada again. 

The press conference was interesting last night. Kim Collins seemed pleased that I was one of only 3 English speakers in the room (including himself). He loves me after the South African journo asked if he is running for second (since Bolt is running so fast) and then I asked him what it felt like to be one of only 2 active World Champs on the circuit.

The Russians seemed very pleased that someone would come all the way from Australia for the meet. Alex the press guy whoo looks great in his Orange corderoy suit has been extremely helpful and treated me to a traditonal Russian omelate (spelling?) breakfast when I arrived.

Not long now until the meet and of course the journalist competition. 50m and Standing Long Jump. I am optomistic about my chances. Been training well but the walking has sapped the speed out of my legs. Will need 2.75m to win I think and a sub 7 50m should get me the win there too. However, this is from scanning the competition at the press conference. I am screwed if Privalova who has not been seen this year has retired and is studying journalism. She will smash me.

Comp preparation this morning was a traditional Russian banya – basically a sauna and cold plunge pools. It was certainly a real russian experience. Men wearing funny felt hats and basing themselves with branches in > 100 degree temps. Probably one of my best experiences on the trip so far. You can also get haircuts, shaves and massages there.

More couch surfing ahead in Oslo and probably no internet until Friday night at the Oslo Golden League.

Embarrassed to say I have learnt no Russian yet. Not good form.

Author: patbirgan

Australian living in Italy and managing the AIS European Training Centre. In my spare time I like to watch, write, tweet, commentate, manage, immerse in all things athletics.

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