Here is an interview Elena Dementieva did for ITF Tennis site, called "Olympic spotlight on...Elena Dementieva".
Q: How exciting was it for you to win the silver medal at the Sydney Olympics?
ED: I think that was the most exciting moment in my career. I will never forget my first silver medal. I was playing the Olympic Games for the first time in my life and I think nobody expected me to win something. I was really, really happy to be in the final, playing against Venus there. That was probably the most proud moment in my career.
Q: Was it disappointing to get the silver medal once you’d reached the final, or were you just happy to win a medal?
ED: For me it was a big win because I was 18 years old and I was playing for the first time. Like I said, nobody expected me to be in the final. So for me it was a huge moment in my career. The silver medal, for me it was like a gold.
Q: So what was the experience like in Sydney and then again in Athens, being part of the entire Russian Olympic team?
ED: I think it's a very special feeling. I was very proud to represent my country, to be a part of the team, just to feel the atmosphere in the Olympic Village, be able to meet so many great athletes, to be part of this great moment. I think there is nothing like it.
Q: Did you enjoy the whole village atmosphere and mixing in with all the other athletes?
ED: It was kind of a strange feeling because I really enjoyed it, especially in the beginning before the tournament, because you can see so many great athletes that you were able to see only on the TV. But at the same time, it's difficult to stay focused on the tournament because there are just so many people and there's so many things going on in the village. It's very difficult to get to bed on time, to wake up early. But I think it's a great experience.
Q: Which particular athletes stand out in your memory?
ED: I met a lot of great athletes from Russia, like Svetlana Khorkina, and other great people. We became friends with some of them. Just to have a chance to go and support someone from Russia was a big privilege for me.
Q: Do you think the Beijing experience will be completely different?
ED: It will be very different playing in Asia. I played a singles tournament there last year just to try how it feels to be in Beijing. And I think it's going be difficult because of the weather conditions.
Q: Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to in Beijing?
ED: I would like to take a part in the opening ceremony, like I did two times before. I think it's a great experience. Maybe take a chance to watch more other sports because I was not able to do it when I was playing in Sydney. But the main focus is to play myself.
You can also listen this interview here.
(souce ITF Tennis, photo/Getty Images)