Gleb Chugunov: I’m Polish, but I continue to love Russia and believe that Putin respects my choice (Wirtualna Polska, Poland)

Speedway racer Gleb Chugunov was born in a poor city of Salavat, in important matters he consults with the mother, and to move our country persuaded him father. A month ago, he got Polish citizenship, but not all his relatives love this.

Wirtualna Polska: What was your first thought when you found out that you were given citizenship?

Gleb Chugunov: Wow, how cool!

— You’ve been thinking about whether you Polish passport is something more than a document that simplifies life in Poland and the process of movement in the European Union?

What to do to get Polish citizenship, I first thought two or three years ago. I didn’t submit the paperwork. For me it was actually a serious decision, I didn’t want to act hastily. When I got the passport, I faced the question, to decide whether to play for Poland. While I was thinking, Matures until this idea, too, some time has passed. It was not obvious and not simple choice.

— What it means for you the phrase “I am a pole”. You are about to immerse themselves in Polish life? The elections will go?

— First and foremost I’m an athlete. Maybe if I’m ever in Poland, the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, I will be able to talk to you about politics. To be a pole means to me now to be able to play for Poland. This is an opportunity I am very happy.

— And what about Russia? You stopped loving her?

— I love Russia, it’s an incredible country. If you once go, my grandma will buy you the best soup you can try.

— Thank you for the invitation! But I would like to know how Russia reacted to your decision? What was the reaction of the family Federation? You are not afraid of Putin’s revenge?

Reaction was different: both positive and negative. People always discuss, they have every right to do so. The Federation told me that it’s my choice and she respects him. I think that if Mr Putin knew what the Speedway, he would have reacted to my choice with respect. A month ago in some interview he said he understood athletes who are changing the flag, although he is not happy.

— What did your family?

— I have already talked about it on television, in an interview with the channel “Eurosport”. Grandparents and dad weren’t happy, but they have been brought up in the Soviet Union and look at this subject differently. I feel that Poland is my second home.

— How did you react to your decision colleagues from the Russian team? Many of them live in Bydgoszcz, you probably communicate, meet.

— I try to make thoughtful decisions to do things that are important to me personally and only secondarily listen to the views of their families, primarily mothers. People who can me sway, a little.

You know if this year will host the final of the Personal world championship on a Speedway among juniors, you will not be able to perform there? Each Federation chooses one athlete, and in Poland a lot of talented young riders.

— I set myself a more ambitious goal than the world Junior championship, so I’m not worried.

How was your life in Salavat, what did your parents do? Who came up with the idea that you came to Poland?

— I spent in Salavat for most of my life. My parents are divorced, but they always took care of me. When I was in elementary school, we lived with my mother in Ufa. Salavat is a pretty poor town with a huge plant and very poor environmental conditions. The idea to move to Poland came from my father, he always helped me with money. My mother, in turn, was a complicated childhood, but she is very strong woman. She now works as a notary, she has a wonderful husband, also a notary, they have two wonderful children, I am very proud of her.

— You said that you learned the Polish national anthem and you will have no problem making it sing. And what do you know about Poland?

— The Republic of Poland is a unitary state, which lies in Central Europe in the basin of the Vistula and the Oder, between the Baltic sea in the North and the Sudeten and Carpathian mountains in the South…

— Enough, we’re not in school! By the way, how was the preparation for the exam to obtain a Polish license?

— In Russia when I was 15 years old, I already passed the exam, and the Speedway and its rules have interested me since childhood, so no problems. Polish exam was conducted in the format of teleconference. I had 20 questions, for example, the weight of the motorcycle, the size of the carb. Not all the answers I was sure, but overall it was easy.