Ekaterina Smolentseva

Smolentseva is back on the team in 2013 and captain for the 2013 world championship.

Ekaterina Smolentseva was not listed on the roster for the 2012 team playing in the world championship in Vermont, USA.

Email interview with Elizabeth Etue  |  January 2010. Smolentseva is #17 and Captain of the team. Russian translation by Olga Votolovskayam

Q. When did you start playing and how?

A. My father taught me ice hockey starting in 1990. ( I was 9 years old). My first coach was Kopitov Vladimir Alexandrovich who taught me the basics of hockey. For 3 years I played ringball and in 1993 we changed to ice hockey. In 1995 I was selected for the first training camp of the Russian National team.

Q. What are your most important influences in hockey?

A. What influenced my ice hockey experience is that I constantly from morning till night on the ice or near ice. My native town is small with an outdoor rink. I was watching how the stars of the Russian hockey (bandy) played. I learned how to skate right, how to think on ice, how to play and pass. There was no any ice hockey team so I had to study bandy.

Q. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

A. I think my strengths for the team can be seen on ice and off ice. I try to inspire the girls in the dressing-room. On ice I try to lead by example in the game, score a goal at the right moment. Try to be an example of selfless play to inspire the girls to play. My weakness is the lack of toughness and aggression in the game. I can make mistakes in defence and sometimes can not concentrate at executing penalty shots at a decisive moment.

Q. What was your biggest achievement in hockey?

A. Our biggest achievement was winning a bronze medal at the World Championship in 2001.

Q. How is the 2010 team different from previous teams?

A. This Olympic team differs in age and experience, last Olympics our team had more veterans but I believe we are improving. Now we have many young, talented and bright players.

Q. What could fans do to support you?

A. We do not have many fans usually but I hope to see and feel fan's support in the Olympic palace when the Olympics come to Russia.

Q. Give me an idea of a typical day.

A. For me a typical day is: Wake up at 8:00am. From 10:00–11:30am I am at the gym or doing heavy weights then lunch and 17:00-19:00 hockey practice.

Q. What do you read or watch to inspire you?

A. I often watch the KHL games (K/Continental Hockey League in Russia) I am friends with several players and talk to them. My best friend also plays hockey, he always supports and inspires me.

Q. What is your motivation to keep working so diligently?

A. My parents, husband, my son and my friends are always with me, supporting and cheering for me.