Translation of the interview with Alexei Mishin. Part 1. About his students, their new programs and training camps.
Alexei Nikolaevich, how are your skaters preparing for the upcoming season? How is Liza Tuktamysheva?
– Now Liza is in a state: to be or not to be. The upcoming season will be decisive for her. Lisa’s new programs are interesting, bright, which with a good content will allow her to solve the most difficult tasks.
If we talk about other athletes, then we are pleased with the progress of Sonya Samodurova, who this season will prove to be not only a good athlete, but also an actress. Alina Solovieva gradually regains the physical shape. She seems to me one of the most graceful girls in our figure skating.
– You see, the coach always needs to see something positive in his students, otherwise moving forward will lose any sense. So, considering our men’s single skating, I would like to note the strengths of my athletes. In my opinion, the competitions of recent seasons show that Sasha Petrov can be given a prize as the most stable figure skater of our team. Petrov has a wonderful feature that is necessary for sports: at competitions he shows what he can do. If the athlete does not have this quality, then all the efforts of the coach are doomed to failure. Sasha Petrov knows how and can.
If we talk about Andrei Lazukin, highlighting his positive sides, then I would say that Andrei is one of the most elegant and stately figure skater, whose natural build is most compatible with the concept of an ideal body constitution for figure skating. In addition, he is a gifted athlete, he has good skating skills. And, taking into account the fact that this year he learned quad loop at the level of trainings and control competitions, then I see a good potential for him to get into the national team.
As for the young guys, first of all we pay special attention to skaters who have a pronounced bent for multi-rotational jumps. The leaders among them are Zhenya Semenenko and young athlete from Kazan Gleb Seifulin. Zhenya already demonstrates a triple axel and a quad toe loop at competitions and he’s close to the execution of the quad salchow. If we talk about Gleb, then together with Rezeda Kadyrova we will try to reveal his abilities.
You do not say anything about Liza Nugumanova and Petr Gumennik?
– A lot of work is invested in these guys, they are taught a lot, but I will say about these athletes: the system of relationships – the coach, the students and their parents did not suit me.
Now you and guys are at the training camp in Courchevel. The choice of place is understandable: mountains, height, endurance. But every year you also have a training camp in Tartu. What attracts there?
– It’s quite complicated to organise training camps. But we were fortunate to meet a good organizer from the city of Tartu, Kirsty Kull, who is engaged in organising our camps and summer international camps. During the year, Kirsty thinks out all the details, conditions, logistics, transport, and by the appointed time we come to everything ready. An important component of these trainings camps is that the costs for our athletes are reduced by attracting foreign participants. At the same time, we have as much ice as we need. During the training camp we have test skates, which have the character of gala performances free of charge for the residents of the city.
Considering the retrospective of our summer camps, I would like to remind that many figure skaters have mastered the technique of jumping under my guidance, including outstanding ones such as Sarah Meier, Kiira Korpi, Stepfan Lambiel, Javier Fernandez, Carolina Kostner, young figure skater Zijun Li and others.
And why Tartu? This is a relatively inexpensive city. Good conditions, almost all nearby, comfortable, quiet, nothing distracts the athletes from work. The very atmosphere of the city is imbued with high intelligence. 90 percent of Tartu’s residents are students, teachers or employees of the University, which is the oldest in Europe. The attitude to us is wonderful. There is a serious and creative atmosphere at the training camps.
Which specialists did you invite this time?
– Every year we try to invite new choreographers. In general, the choice of a choreographer is a very important aspect. In our group, someone likes it, someone does not, the attitude to what the choreographers do is like to unfinished work. Many foreign choreographers do programs in order to show what a good choreographers they are – highly aesthetic. We have a task to make a program that would allow you to win a medal. Regarding this the choreographer, who creates the programs and brings it to the working state, makes the program comfortable for the skater is Tatiana Prokofieva. She is a master in this matter.
This year we invited to the training camps the relatively little-known choreographer Adam Solya. He is from Belgium, half Hungarian. Before that, I saw several of his works on ice, the programs that he did for skaters. I liked Adam’s style. I think that we will continue our cooperation.
The famous choreographer Lori Nichol also worked with the athletes of our group. She did the program for Carolina Kostner on the motives of Diaghilev’s season in Paris with the choreography inspired by the “Afternoon rest of the faun” performed by Nijinsky. Lori made both programs for our girl from China Zijun Li.
Let me remind that in previous years Emanuel Sandhu, Misha Ge helped our skaters with the programs. We continue our long term cooperation with the outstanding representative of French school of choreography Benoit Richard. Ramil Mehdiyev, soloist of Igor Moiseyev’s ensemble, came to us in Tartu, and this was a pleasant surprise.
I would like to point out that our cooperation with choreographers has a mutual nature. Choreographers learn a lot of new things for themselves from experience, concepts that have been formed over the years in our group. And each time when the joint work is over, they do not hide that they have received additional knowledge, which in many ways contribute to the fact that over time these specialists becoming more and more in demand. In fact, cooperation with such athletes as Plushenko, Gachinski, Tuktamysheva, Petrov, Lazukin creates for choreographers the image of world class experts in figure skating, raises their rank.
by Olga Ermolina for fsrussia.ru