Junior Hockey League continues the Partner-In-Arms series. Today we’re going to talk to Vlada Chichirko – Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk defenseman Matvei Tarakanov’s girlfriend. In this interview to Junior Hockey League media relations department Chichirko opens up about how she met the hockey player, going on vacation with him and provides her view on what criteria a partner-in-arms should have.
- My name is Vlada, I’m 18 years old. I was born and raised in Yaroslavl. I have been into various sports ever since I was a kid – gymnastics, dancing, swimming, badminton, aerobics, cheerleading and even karate. Later I realized that I can’t stick to a certain schedule so I decided to just go to the gym. Aside from that I study English and French. My plans for the nearest future is to successfully graduate high school and bring to life several business projects.
- Matvei and I first met when I was 15 years old. It happened on New Year’s. Since I was the most active and fun, I got Matvei’s attention right away. The next day we found each other on social media and started talking. We often went for walks, to the movies, cafes, skating rink and we also snowboarded and skied together. When Matvei moved to another city to play for a team, we spoke on the phone everyday for two years. We both knew that we had mutual affection but for some reason didn’t get into a serious relationship. And then finally that moment came when there was no more reason to delay it. Matvei travelled to Moscow for games and would go there almost every weekend so we could hang out. We have been together ever since then. What charmed me in Matvei? His charisma, sense of humor, optimism and love for adventure.
Hockey in relationship
- Actually, hockey has been a part of my life pretty much ever since I was a kid. When I was little, I would go to the games with my family or watch them on TV. Back in school I had a lot of friends who were hockey players so I’m not fazed at all that my boyfriend is a hockey player. On the contrary, I’m very proud of Matvei and happy that he plays on professional level. How often do we speak about hockey? Sometimes. When Matvei starts talking about himself, he tells me about his practices, what’s going on on the team and shares various hockey anecdotes, let’s put it this way. As for getting together, during the season we only get the chance when he’s on the road in Moscow and Yaroslavl. I have an opportunity to come to his games only in these cities. Obviously, I never let these opportunities go to waste.
- Of course, prior to the games I wish Matvei luck and tell him that I will definitely follow the game. Actually, I believe that every hockey player motivates himself. It’s something special for them, it’s kind of a ritual for them. If he has a bad game, to be honest with you, I still don’t quite know what to tell him. But I’m sure it’s better to stay quiet in those moments and don’t pressure him more than necessary. If Matvei wants it, he always starts a conversation about it and I’m definitely going to support him. I also always tell him that he’s the best and do my best to get his mind off bad stuff and cheer him up.
Hockey or not rest is on the schedule
- We’re never bored when we’re together. We can stroll for hours, go to restaurants and cafes or to the movie, ride bicycles and rollerblade or hang out with our friends. Sometimes we enjoy just staying home and watch movies. We don’t have a set vacation spot because we both love to be spontaneous and come up with something new to do together all the time. But right after the season ends we have a tradition to go to our best friend’s cottage – he’s name is Oleg Maksheyev. We feel very comfortable there. Unfortunately, this year we couldn’t go anywhere due to the pandemic. I’m certain that we’re going to travel a bit later and have a great vacation after the season. Actually, when Matvei’s season is over we spend every day together. This time we social distanced ourselves for six weeks and almost never left the house and it felt great. How different is he during the season and on vacation? During the season Matvei is more serious and responsible but towards me he’s always the same person so I don’t see any drastic changes in him.
- One time Matvei had a game in Moscow I decided to go to the rink by subway and not by taxi as I usually do. Not only we both mixed up the address and I came to a totally different arena, I also got lost because I’m a topographic idiot and it’s difficult for me to know my way around the subway. When I wasn’t aware that I came to the wrong arena, I feverishly tried to prove to security that there was a game going on and that I urgently needed to get there. To which they told me there was no game and even if there was it would be a KHL game since the facility is only used for KHL games. I got into a huge fight with them and when I went home I got so lost that I had no idea where to go. I had to facetime my girlfriend so she would give me directions. It was actually pretty funny. That’s some fun trip to a hockey game I had.
- First of all, a partner-in-arms has to be understanding, have a steel nerve system and be able to be patient, to listen and keep the chin up, which is also true for her hockey player.
Gameplan for loved one
- My dear Matvei, everything is going to work out for you. Most important, don’t settle for what you have and keep pushing forward towards your goals. Remember, boldness conquers cities! I love you madly and I will always be there for you.