Translation of Tatjana Flade’s interview with silver medalists of World Junior Championships 2017 Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd.
Your performance of the free dance turned out very cool, but you won silver. Probably, now you have mixed feelings?
Alla: I didn’t think about it before the competitions. Of course, we wanted to win. But no, I tried not to think about that. And after the skate we were very happy. We really did our best, skated confidently.
Pavel: Sometimes there are feelings after the competitions that you haven’t done something properly. At this start we gave 100 percent. And you can see a positive trend, we improved in both technique and components. Our second mark has grown. We also got a fourth level for a difficult step sequence at such serious competitions as Junior World championships, afterr all this is a mark of skills. I want to point out that today we did not feel great excitement before going out on the ice.
Pavel: We managed to turn off. There was a special atmosphere between us. We felt each other so well that when the music turned on, we got so involved that the dance just flied by. And the only feelings appeared only after the step sequence, when I realized that these were the last notes in my junior life and this will not happen again. Unforgettable feelings! Just as exciting it was to realize at the medal ceremony that this was for the last time, our last performance in juniors. Then the senior sport begins. Of course, we wanted to finish our junior period on a high note.
Alla: Many people congratulated, said that they point out our dance, our pair. It is always very pleasant, valuable and important. If after the Grand Prix Final there was a feeling that we could improve something, now there was nothing like that.
Pavel: We have improved things we worked on, this is very important.
Alla: Sometimes it happens that before competitions you are afraid to go out on the ice. But now, on the contrary, we really wanted to perform. And at the end of the free dance, I thought: “I want more!” I had the same feeling in the short dance at our first Grand Prix Final. I was skating the pattern of samba and thought: “Maybe one more time!” It was so great to perform and the audience supported us so much! We saw the banner and not one. With Russian flags, our names, photos. It’s so nice!
Pavel: Today we really felt the recognition. How we left the ice with applauses, how we were received by the audience, what experts said after. If your skating gives everyone such pleasure, then this is really great. Hence, everything wasn’t in a vain.
The difference between you and the first place was so insignificant.
Pavel: The most striking thing is that the difference has resulted in the same half of point plus or minus, the same as at the Grand Prix Final. Fatal 50 hundredths.
Americans Meryl Davis – Charlie White didn’t won Junior Worlds, but this did not stop them from winning the Olympic Games.
Pavel: Many skaters haven’t achieved any special results in juniors, then switched to seniors and grew up so much that leveled all their junior failures. It also happens vice versa. But I want to say that today we are happy with the way we skated. We will continue to work. But I really wanted that it became more appreciated when the skater puts his soul into his programs, into his skating. After all, it’s ice dance. There is a big difference between those who skate technically, perform all the key-points, elements and people who do everything with a soul from the first to the last pose. I really want us to manage to do it at every competition, because it’s a mark of skills, when athletes get pleasure from what they skate.
Of course, there is responsibility in senior competitions. Many couples have a certain pressure. But, if you notice, the top level pairs go on start like nothing of this exists. They skate like at trainings, with pleasure, freely, brightly.
Alla: I like the phrase of our coach that we need to go out on the ice with an inner Olympic calm. Yes, there were pairs who at the junior level took first place and calmed down on the achieved results. But it’s not about us.
Pavel: We will not stop. We had a few moments during this season, which pushed us forward.
Alla: So, we’ll fly further!
Pavel: Next season it is very important to have a noticeable difference in our skating between the junior and senior level. That it would be noticeable that we really improved in skating and look not as a young former junior pair, but as young and seignior pair. It is clear that there will be a lot of top-level pairs. Honored and titled. But I want us to be assesed as seniors. In the first year on senior level, one way or another there is such thing, they say, “They’re former juniors”. I would like to overstep it.
You already look like a senior pair.
Pavel: Many experts noted that we are changing. We are improving, including during this season. We have been skating together for 5 years. We celebrated our small anniversary. And every time we add, grow and there’s still a room for growth, there is a potential. This is important.
Is it sad that you are leaving junior sport?
Alla: On the contrary. I’m very glad. It’s time.
Pavel: There is no regret. But still, going to the medal ceremony, standing on the pedestal, I thought of all the most important moments, I remembered the efforts that we and our entire team have made to achieve such a result. Of course, this is very valuable. But there was no regret. So many efforts was made. My parents changed the city, I changed my life. It was one of our goals. And now a new story in senior sport begins.
Alla: To show ourselves worthy at the senior level, so that there will be no difference between junior and senior skating. As for the programs, we can be different. We can skate classics like ballet “Giselle”, lyrical programs like to Andrea Bocelli, temperamental dances like the Spanish “Malaguena” this season …
Pavel: We need to find our own style, but to keep all our strengths.
Alla: To show something interesting every year, so the audience won’t get bored.
Pavel: Perhaps next year it will be morally easier for us, because the next season is an Olympic one. And the most important thing for us is to show that we are improving. There will not be such a pressure of responsibility. In juniors, we had more responsibility. In addition, the junior period is limited by the age. It is easier in seniors, because the prospect opens. Although I can not imagine what feelings experienced or experience senior pairs, when they understand that this is their last Olympic Games, and, therefore, the end of sports career. I think it can’t be compared with what we are feeling now, leaving junior sport. But I really would like to experience all these senior feelings. I hope so it will be.
But sometimes, athletes, announcing the end of their career, then return, as the Canadians Tessa Virtue – Scott Moir did.
Pavel: And it’s great!
by Tatjana Flade for fsrussia.ru