"It's going to be the highlight of my life" Team Moiseeva on competing in PyeongChang

  • © WCF / Richard Gray

With the Olympic Winter Games PyeognChang 2018 only a week away, we meet another team competing in the women's competition in Gangneung, in the Republic of Korea.

Team Moiseeva were invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete under the Olympic flag as part of the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) contingent. The team are skipped by Victoria Moiseeva who plays fourth stones, with third and vice-skip, Uliana Vasileva and includes second Galina Arsenkina, lead Julia Guzieva and alternate Julia Portunova.

In 2016, at the height of their recent success, the team were crowned European champions after defeating Sweden's Anna Hasselborg, who will also be competing in Gangneung, 6-4 in the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2016 held in Braehead, Scotland.

The team's success continued in 2017 when they claimed the silver medals at the 2017 Winter Universiade Games held in in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In order to reach the Games, Moiseeva faced Anna Sidorova's rink in a playdown series. Moiseeva won the series 4-1 claiming their place at the Games.

Now, let's meet #TeamMoiseeva [pictured below, © WCF / Jeffrey Au]…

Q How does it feel qualifying for the Olympics?

Victoria Moiseeva: Still a little hard to believe in it, but feels like the dream coming true.

Uliana Vasilyeva: I'm very happy! Every athlete wants to go to the Olympic Games.

Galina Arsenkina: It's a great feeling. I've always dreamed about it and now I'm going.

Julia Guzieva: I feel so happy and it still hard to believe that it'll happen to me, because it's going to be the highlight of my life.

Yulia Portunova: I don't have enough words to describe it.

Q Do you have nicknames within the team and what's the story behind them?

Victoria: In Russia it's normal to have a short name instead of your official one, that's why everyone calls me Vita, sometimes people don't even know that my official name is Victoria.

Galina: In Starbucks I always call myself Gala, because my name isn't that common for foreigners.

Julia: Guzya, because of my last name.

Yulia: Sometimes my team calls me the Owlet.

Q What is your guilty pleasure?

Victoria: The TV show, "Compulsive Obsessive Cleaners"

Uliana: I like fast food.

Galina: I like McDonald's.

Julia: I like the late snacks, even though I know it's bad and that I'll regret it.

Yulia: I like to listen to old Russian chanson music sometimes and my team makes fun of me that I know all these songs.

Q What music do you listen to prior to events?

Victoria: I don't have any special music, I just listen to what I like at that moment. I don't really use music to concentrate or prepare myself to something.

Uliana: I like electronic music.

Galina: I listen to energy dance music to get rid of the pressure.

Julia: I don't have the exact singer, but I like to listen to easy calm music.

Yulia: I like Russian music where I know the lyrics that I can sing to.

Q Where's the best place you have visited as a curler?

Victoria: We played a qualifying event in Kussnacht-am-Rigi in Switzerland. It's a beautiful place.

Uliana: Niagara Falls.

Galina: Niagara Falls.

Julia: Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada), where the Everest Curling Challenge 2017 took place.

Yulia: Niagara Falls, Canada.

Q What career would you have if you weren't a curler?

Victoria: I think I'd be a photographer.

Uliana: Physical education teacher.

Galina: I would be an office manager.

Julia: I would continue participating in track and field tournaments and I would want to be a teacher.

Yulia: I would work with my mum at her cynological dogs club (dog training and dog handling).

Q Who is the joker of the team and why?

Victoria: Uliana [pictured above, © WCF / Jeffrey Au] always makes us laugh.

Uliana: We all like to laugh and joke.

Galina: It must be Uliana.

Julia: Victoria, she's easy and she can both be funny as a kid and be serious when it's needed.

Q Who is the most serious member of the team and why?

Victoria: Galina is always the most serious one.

Julia: Galina.

Galina: Myself. Everyone on the team thinks so.

Q What do you do in your spare time to relax?

Victoria: Read, watch YouTube and clean when I'm home.

Uliana: I always like to sleep.

Galina: I like to spend my vacation at the sea or snowboard in the mountains.

Julia: I watch TV shows and read books.

Yulia: I watch TV shows and use social media a lot.

Q Greatest achievement as a rink and tell us a bit about it.

Victoria: European Championship 2016 gold. It was our first time on the big stage and winning that was the best thing in my curling career so far.

Uliana: I think everyone will agree, the European Championships in 2016, where we won gold.

Q What team do you have the most fun with on and off the sheet?

Victoria: Team Feltscher, they're always sweet and funny, both on and off the ice.

Galina: Team Feltscher from Switzerland.

In the run-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea we celebrate the success of the curling qualifiers heading to the Games next week (8-25 February) and in (9-18) March.

In recent weeks and months, we have been speaking to the athletes that have been selected or qualified to represent their Member Association in the Gangneung Curling Centre.

To follow the build-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #Roadto2018 #curling

by Michael Houston, feature writer