Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Natalia Donchenko
Автор: Смирнова Наталья,
учитель английского языка
МБОУ гимназия 17, Н.
Natalia Donchenko, a famous Russian skater, is a sport idol
for many teachers. She lives in Nizhny Novgorod and she is
a retired teacher of French .
Natalya Sergeevna was the first Olympic champion from
Nizhny Novgorod. Now she is nearly 80 years old and she is
still keen on skating. She is sure that her most important
achievement was her first victory in 1945 when she was in
her teens. It was her “ticket” into the world of high sports.
Natalya was born in Moscow in 1932. In 1937 her father
was arrested, and the family have not see him anymore.
Natalya and her mother moved to Nizhny Novgorod to be as
far as possible from trouble.
The family was very poor. Natalya did not even have
toys. She used to spend all her free time in the yard together
with her friends. The children often skied and skated. Their
skates were homemade and usually tied to valenki – felt
There was a stadium with no fence not far from Natalya’s place. The people
who lived nearby had taken the wood to burn it in their fireplaces. That is why
children could skate on ice at the stadium. It was a real pleasure for Natalya
and her friends!
Once a young woman came to them and offered to join a skating club.
Natalya’s mother agreed, and the girl began training. It was in 1945.
In February Natalya Donchenko participated in her first competition and
Today Natalya Sergeevna is sure that her first victory was the most
important because it gave her sincere happiness and confidence.
At the age of 20 Natalya Donchenco became a member of the USSR
Although Natalya was extremely busy she was
studying at the university and then working. She was a
student of the Gorky Institute of Foreign Languages.
The teachers sympathized with her and always let her
take exams before the appointed time or after
In 1954 Natalya graduated from the institute and
began working as a teacher of French in school 48. She
did not want to narrow her life to sports only.
In 1957 Natalya got married, her husband was a
skater too. In a year their sun was born, and very soon
Natalya continued training. Her husband became her
People did not believe that at the age of 27 Natalya
would take part in the Olympic Games in 1960 – there
were younger candidates! But the young teacher was not
used to giving up! She won some very important
competitions and became a member of the Olympic
At the Winter Olympics in Skuaw Valley in 1960 Natalya won the second
prize and set her private record – 500 metres in 46 seconds. Helga Haase from
Germany was only 0,1 second ahead!
After these Games Natalya competed less. She paid more attention to her
family. She started working as a university teacher of French.
Today Natalya Donchenco thanks sports for being healthy. She is still
skating though she is nearly 80!
Sports taught her to be persistent and organised. Due to the competitions
she travelled abroad when it was forbidden for Soviet citizens. Natalya knew a
lot and met very interesting people. Travelling helped her be open-minded.
Up to now Natalya Sergeevna won the competitions for veterans seven
times! Her last victory was when she was 75!
Natalya Sergeevna and her husband skate much in their free time. And they
are not going to give up!
We do sports because this is the best way to become more confident,
organised and effective. Natalya Donchenko’s lifestyle is an excellent example
for those who would like to be healthy and successful. We believe that if we
follow Natalya’s lifestyle we will surely have a better life, brighter and exiting!