Ten facts about Dasha Domracheva’s childhood


The leader of the women’s world biathlon Belarusian Darya Domracheva lived in Russia from 1990 to 2004. The Big Crystal Globe owner’s brother Nikita Domrachev told SPORT.TUT.BY how Far North met Domrachava’s family, how the future champion engaged in sports and many other things.

Wooden hut is first family’s house in Nyagan

“Our moving to Nyagan (September 1990) was difficult, because at that time it was impossible to get there by plane. We reached the town by train. We drove through Moscow, Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg). The trip took about three days. Dasha was four. For comparison, now a summer trip from Minsk to Nyagan takes seven hours.

At first, we had to live in a wooden house built for pioneer geologists at the time of active mineral exploration. It was a social housing. Locals called it a hut. You know, we didn’t have any household goods. We arrived in Siberia with little luggage and were ready for a new life. I remember we found an old frying pan and it was a great joy for us. And soon while walking in the woods, we found a teaspoon.

It turns out that the teaspoon and the frying pan became the first things of our family in the Russian North.”

The rest of the world called Mainland

“Shortly after moving, we knew what a concept “Mainland” meant. In Nyagan people had very little joy, and when the parents’ friends brought from Minsk or Moscow some interesting things, our life became vivid. For example, in those days appeared videotape recorders. We had one, but it was quite difficult to get cassettes with movies in Nyagan. We got them only thanks to the parents’ friends who brought them from the Mainland.”

Domrachev-father constructed bunk bed for children

“Together with father Vladimir Filippovich we constructed a bunk bed. As a boy, I took “the second floor” and happily climbed the naval stairs. Dasha slept “downstairs”. Our mother Larisa Alexeyevna got us to bed: she lay near sister and told interesting stories of her life and the life of our big family. Of course, all the time, Dasha claimed my bed, but hopelessly... When I went to study in Minsk, she took the bed second floor.”

Nikita knocked Dasha into a cocked hat

“We fought with Dasha every day. Of course, as the older brother, I had more strength and therefore I constantly knocked Dasha into a cocked hat to calm her down. Naturally, my sister complained about me, but perhaps it was a kind of participation in my sister’s education.

When I left for Minsk, Dasha had difficulties. She failed to find a new “sparring partner”; meanwhile, she had a lot of energy and it was impossible to release it.”

Dasha was her first coach’s favorite

“Our mother, becoming the chief architect of Nyagan, was in close contact with locals. Once, a ski lodge director came to her to agree on a construction. My mother asked him whether he could enroll me in the section; the director, of course, was extremely happy to do that. I was ten when I took up cross-country skiing. Dasha was bored to be at home and she expressed a desire to go skiing with me.

I remember at the ski lodge there were only wooden skis, old smelly shoes and much competition among boys and girls of my age. Dasha was the youngest in the section, she immediately became a favorite of her coach Andrey Doroshenko. The fact that Andrey brought plastic skis specifically for my sister proved that. Apparently, that concern impressed Dasha; she began to work with great zeal, and she did it right.”

On ski tracks Dasha defeated even boys

“First Dasha was offered to compete with older girls, because she started ski racing quite early. Later she competed with boys which helped her to show her abilities. Dasha won race after race, and one day my mother witnessed a curious conversation between the boys after the finish. “Well, how it was?” “Everything is alright, only Dashka defeated me!” “So, it’s Dashka!”.

Dasha decided not to follow in her parents’ footsteps

“When both parents are employed in one sphere, the topics of conversations at dinner are the same; they talk about work. At some point, Dasha became bored by those conversations, and she firmly stated she didn’t want to be an architect.”

Grandparents knew how to please their grandchildren

“We liked to visit in summer our grandparents who lived in Belarus, they regularly sent us parcels. They always contained jam, wrapped in double milk bags; it was made to help the homemade products cover the distance of more than 3,000 km safe and sound. Beside jam they sent other gifts. We received them with great pleasure.”

Guys’ accent

“By the way, our peers from Nyagan noticed a certain accent in my and Dasha’s speech. But when we came to Minsk, Belarusians talked about our accent, referring to the North’s influence.”

Recipe of Dasha’s favorite cake is found in encyclopedia for girls

“Dad and mum introduced me the art of cooking. And later, when our parents left for business, we prepared cakes and pies. Our family’s favorite dishes were a poppy cake, a jelly cake which a famous British chef Jamie Oliver called “Mum’s nonsense”. However, we invented another name for it – “An air kiss”.

Dasha still loves cooking a sand cake, the recipe of which she found while reading an encyclopedia for girls. She cooked it for the first time when she was 8. Today she prepares different fillings for the cake – apple, lemon or berry ones. Dasha usually decorates it with sun rings.”

Text and pictures by TUT.BY