Translation with an interview with Carolina Kostner. About work with Mishin and living in St.Petersburg.
In 2015, you were disqualified for an anti-doping rule violation. Did you have any doubts, whether to return to the sport?
– After the Olympic season-2013/14, I felt that I needed to take a break for at least a year. But even then I was not going to finish my career. However, then my life changed dramatically: I was interdicted from my favorite sport. But I got an opportunity to spend more time with my family, friends. I resumed studying the history of art. I went to Rome and discovered it for myself – a unique city of impressive beauty, in which the history of millennia is felt. I also started to do a classical ballet.
When you decided to return, wondered how Carolina Kostner would fit into current woman’s figure skating? It’s not a secret that during your absence, it started to be perceived as as a competition of jumping teenagers …
– What can I do? Just be honest with myself. Yes, figure skating has grown technically, and if I do not have jumps consistency, such as two years ago, then I will not be able to perform at a high level. But I’m sure that I can combine technique and art, presentation on the ice.
Why did you choose Alexei Mishin’s group for trainings?
– This idea appeared during my disqualification. I know Alexei Mishin for a long time, visited his summer training camps in Spain in 2006 and 2007. I was very interested in working with him. In his experience, his profound knowledge, wisdom. When I started to think and plan how I would return to the sport, I tried to find the real meaning for myself. Because I’ve already won everything I’ve ever dreamed of in my life. Let’s say, I won more medals at European Championships that anyone else. I had nothing to lose, I needn’t to prove anything. So I said to myself: “Only Alexei Mishin can help you. This is your chance.”
What can you say about working in Mishin’s group, about training on the same ice with his other students?
– Everything is just great! I felt that I was warmly welcomed. And I tried to share my experience with young skaters – Liza Nugumanova, Sofia Samodurova, Alina Karavaeva.
Don’t Alexei Mishin’s jokes bother you? After all this humor is specific …
– No, they are not offensive at all. Alexei Mishin with his charisma is great in maintaining the atmosphere in the group. It should not be excessively serious. He manages to find the right approach.
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How much time do you spend in Petersburg?
– Well, I have not moved here permanently, I come periodically. I saw the city at the end of August, the weather was magnificent. Then there was a regatta on the Neva and one of the yachtsmen even took me to the yacht. It was inimitable! I got a chance to see the city from the Neva. I heard that St. Petersburg is called the Northern Venice, but it reminded me Vienna because of its architecture. What also amazed me it’s how in November the Neva froze literally in one night. I walk along the bridge and see: the river seemed to fall asleep. This is also fantastic. For me it’s like a symbol of Russian winter.
How do you endure St. Petersburg’s weather?
– Yes, it’s quite windy and damp here especially in autumn and winter and you rarely see the sun. But when it appears, you rejoice doubly. Including at training skating rink in “Jubileinyi”, there are large windows on both sides. Impressive.
Do you have any favorite places in Petersburg?
– These are theaters. I have not yet decided which is better – Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky. And I also found a great Italian restaurant, where my compatriots regularly come.
It is said that even during the period of disqualification, when you were generally forbidden to go out on the ice, you did not quit training and even hid from police on the rink and the rink workers helped you to hide …
– No, it’s fiction (laughs). But I was really supported in my desire to return to the sport.
Is it true that you could have chosen a career skier?
– Yes. I have a cousin Isolde, my godmother, she’s a two-time world champion in a super-gigante. In my childhood I trained day at the skating rink, day on the mountain slopes. I live in Ortisei, it’s in the Dolomites, next to the Austrian border, not far from Innsbruck. However I chose figure skating. I think I made a right choice.
by Boris Oskin vecherka-spb.ru