features a photo of post-pregnant looking Bute (little extra weight, but happy-looking)
Two months ago, Maria Butirskaya and husband Vadim Khomitski, hockey player, welcomed a son. Nothing was heard about the famous athlete then. On June 28, she turns 35....
Q. Does the number 35 scare you?
"No, of course at 20, it probably would have, but not now."
Q. Will you celebrate your birthday?
"Of course, just modestly. Our boy was born recently, so my birthday isn't top priority. First we had the birth, then baptism and there's no energy left for me (laughs). But family and friends will definitely come. That's how I do it. The thing is my birthday always happened when I was away - tours, training camps. The first time I had it at home was wehn I turned 30 - I had stopped competing. Now I keep this tradition and like to make good celebrations for my friends."
Q. You're known to be a good cook. WIll you cook or go to a restaurant?
"Restaurant, of course"
Q. Prior to birthdays, people draw conclusions. What satisfies and dissatisfies you about what you've achieved thus far?
"In sport, I didn't finish at the highest level as I really wanted an Olympic medal. But it was a good career and I have the right to sin on this side of life (on earth). At the moment, I have a wonderful job. I'm the head coach of a school that was created for me. I have good students. My personal life is great. So you can say the conclusons are good and I meet this birthday in an excellent mood."
Q. Your son Vladislav recently turned 2 months old. Probably he changes every day?
"Of course, he's at that age - just started to smile, then laugh, then start to notice toys. he's getting to know the world each day and lots of interesting things are happening in his life."
Q. Are you very tired or do you get help?
"Right now I'm on vacation, so nobody is helping me and my husband. We manage. But on July 2nd Vadim and I go back to work, and, of course we'll need help. We'll definitely get a nanny, because you can't drag an infant with you everywhere."
Q. Why did you baptize your son so early?
"The priest who married us told us that Russian Orthodox tradition calls for baptizing the baby 40 days after birth. As he told us, that's what we did. In the Moscow suburbs. My close girlfriend was the godmother and Vadim's agent was the godfather."
Q. You have a huge dog at home?
"We gave her to parents, not because it's crowded, but because it's necessary to walk her so much. We couldn't have managed a dog and baby. So we're building a house now and then we'll take her back."
Q. Getting back in shape?
"Honestly: At first, I was tired and started losing a lot of weight, but then it stopped. It's hard to get back in shape. I can't say I did and that I look super. When I go back to work with the children, I'll put on skates and start skating, then the process should take care of itself. I don't have enough physical exercise. My body is used to losing weight because I'm training, not dieting. If I eat or not, it has no influence on my figure."
Q. YOu live in Khimki with your husband (a suburban town). Do you miss Moscow?
"Lots. Its' surprising. We live close to MOscow, you can see the house from MKAD (big highway in Moscow), but it feels like you've gone 30 years back in time to a village." (Maureen: Moscow suburbs definitely have the feelign of being in a different world than Moscow, and not nearly as modern as many "provincial" cities.)
Q. When you go back to work will you return to the socialite scene?
"Yes, its' time. I feel like a horse stuck in its corral (laughs). I need freedom. I can't say the social scene will be a priority for me though, my child will take first place, then work and after that social activities."
Izvestia article reproted that Butirskaya trains 7 girls from Moscow, Minsk and Lipetsk, aged 10 to 13, which she thinks is "optimum age". "Now it's like clay and you can form them into good skaters. I'm practically sure that in a few years you'll hear of them. Maybe one of them will achieve success at the Olympic Games".