Interview with Alina Zagitova after winning the Russian Nationals.
– Yesterday, after all the nerves, I could not fall asleep for a long time (after SP – ed.). It’s better today. For some reason I was not worried before the short program, it’s strange for me. But before the free program I have passed three of my usual stages of excitement, which I usually have before each competitions.
What are these three stages?
– It’s hard to describe the sensations. The palms sweat, legs start to feel cold and hands start to shake a little (laughs).
You said that you could fall asleep for a long time. Is this for the first time with you?
– No. This is a usual story. There is always a lot of emotions after each competitions.
What does it mean for you to be the Russian champion? Or the winner of the Grand Prix final?
– While the medal of the National championship are not in hand, it is difficult to realize it (the conversation took place before the awarding ceremony). Of course, this is very important. But in general there are still other competitions, including more important ones. And then – there are next seasons, where I also hope to perform very well.
In the short program you had a small mistake, which, like a bewitched one, haunts you throughout the first half of the season. It is surprising, because in a free program you do the same combination absolutely calmly, without problems.
– I do not have an exact answer, yet. I think it’s all in my mind. We need to remove the error from there and everything will work out. It happened that in training I even began to be afraid of this element because of mistakes. It was fixed at the level of sensations, as if something was squeezing inside. According to the plot of the program, this is the place where I turn from a white swan into a black one. In the free program, I just go and do this combination. Perhaps, I think much over this element in the short program.
Your programs with jumps in the second part are now being discussed a lot. For many, this is unusual, for someone, for example, they seem unbalanced.
– I don’t agree. There are, of course, such programs when you endure two minutes and then jumps begin. But “Don Quixote” is actually a very balanced program. Even at the beginning everything is put musically, there are accents, there are moments of coquetry with the audience and all the jumps in the second part are also put into musical accents.
The more wins on your account, the more attention you get. Women’s competitions not the first time in the season have been shown on the First Channel and this, I believe, your and other successful Russian athletes’ merit. How do you feel about this attention?
– I love it. But I try to restrain myself and not to put on airs. I try to avoid this.
You probably felt that in the social networks you started to interest more people than before. How do you decide for yourself what to tell publicly and what is better not to?
– I don’t post a lot of photos. Only if the moment is associated with some very memorable emotions. For example, one of the last posts is devoted to toys which they gave in Japan. I tried, of course, to took everything, but it didn’t quite work out.
Do you like reading about yourself what journalists or fans write?
– I don’t usually read that. I try to distance from that.
Do you get recognized in public transport?
– Happened once in the subway. I couldn’t understand why a girl looks at me like that. But then she sat down beside me and asked: “Are you Alina Zagitova?” When I said yes, she was very happy, she began to hug me, asked for autograph. It’s nice when people root for you so much. Of course, this is much more often happen in our ice palace. Little children are very spontaneous, they don’t know the etiquette yet, so they shout: “Alina Zagitova! Zagitova!” when they see me.
You once said that at the beginning your was rather afraid of your coach Eteri Tutberidze.
– It was only at the very beginning. Now, of course, our relationship has changed a lot. We began to feel each other better, we talk a lot, not just about sports. Eteri Georgievna gives me life advices, not just on things related to sports.
Is she really as strict as they told?
– I would rather say, demanding. In life she is a very calm person.
On what life topics did you last ask her for advice?
– She often talks to me about the future, life after the sport. For example, we discuss makeup, hair, clothes.
For all skaters, due to the nature of the sport, the appearance plays great importance. Especially for girls. Tell us how you searched for your style?
– When I joined the group, I looked at Zhenya, Julia Lipnitskaya, Serafima Sakhanovich. They did makeup and I thought that I should also try. Of course, I looked for a suitable style for myself gradually: first eye shadows, then I tried mascara, then eye-liner.
Were there any radical experiments? Pink eye shadows, purple mascara …
– No, I have not tried that. But I tried purple or almost black lips, tried different lipsticks. But only for myself in front of the mirror, of course I did not go to the ice like that.
You coaches came up with the red dress for “Don Quixote”. In the future, would you like to participate in the development of costumes, make sketches, maybe to produce something of your own clothes?
– Probably not. I would rather open my own restaurant.
Have you ever disliked a costume designed for you?
– No. Probably, we have the same tastes with the coach.
What kind of cuisine would be served in your restaurant?
– Japanese (smiling).
What dishes of Japanese cuisine do you like?
– Rolls, sushi and chukka salad.
by Ekaterina Kulinecheva for sport-express.ru