Interview with Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev.
Dima: After competitions in St. Petersburg, the audience told us a lot of kind words, many said: “We haven’t watched figure skating for a long time, but then we saw you and wanted to start watching it again!” We are glad that we were able to make such a gift to ourselves and our coach.
Alexander Zhulin’s reaction on your performance in the free dance has become, perhaps, one of the most memorable moments of the second day of the competition ..
Katya: Well, you don’t know what we are dealing with in life outside the skate! Spectators and journalists see only the final “candy”, and what happens in the group, in the relationship, with our health – this all remains behind the scenes.
Dima: I don’t know whether I should telld about this….Recently our coach’s father passed away, we loved and appreciated him very much. He had a special attitude towards his son. Coming to trainings, he said: “Sasha-Sasha, sonny.” He was a very kind person and very fond of figure skating. He lighted the ice with his presence. We worried a lot how Sasha will survive this loss.
Bronze medalists Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro, commenting on the results of the championship, made it clear that the appearance of Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapova in your group violated the training balance, so they began to think about finding another coach. What has it changed for you?
Katya: Throughout our career we have been the first pair of the group and there was no pair of such level near us. We were the example for everyone else. And then strong rivals has come and we started to work as never before. So we come to a training session, Vika and Nikita do run-through of the programs. We didn’t plan it, but we still go and do, and the guys do the same. At the same time we communicate well with them in the locker rooms and have dinner together.
Dima: When Vika and Nikita came to our group and we were at the competitions in Japan, I think that Sasha didn’t know himself: whether we will have a recession or will work even harder. As a result, the second happened.
Ekaterina, this Nationals are going to be the last ones for you?
Katya: No. We’re taking a break. I’m under tremendous pressure from the coach and partner (laughs). And Zhulin told me: “Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to return in a year.”
What if Dmitry will want to continue skating without you? Are you ready for this?
Katya: Yes. At this stage of my life I want to end with figure skating, but no one knows how it will be later, for sure I will not throw the skates away. Who could be Dima’s potential partner? I will not say anything, or they’ll “eat” me lock, stock and barrel.
Dmitri, doesn’t the moment when you’ll have to team up with another skater scare you?
Dima: No. I feel a surge of strength and I want to skate. But what will happen next it’s difficult to understand. If we’re skipping the season for sure then everything will depend on Katya.
Dmitri, you became a seven-time national champion and got used to guaranteed leadership and getting into the national team. Are you ready to start from scratch with a new partner and fight for a place in the national team?
Dima: If I feel that potentially it could fail, I will not even try. Not that age.
Of all the winners of the team event in Sochi, only you managed to keep your level. How did you achieve this?
Dima: When the Olympic season ended, there was an injury, recovery, I could not skate for eight months. When we started to do new programs, but they were discounting us, it was a motivation, to prove: we returned not just to skate, but to prove that we became stronger and better. There is life before the Olympics, and after – when so much happened, but … they beat us – we fly!
Did the bronze medal you haven’t won at the Olympics affect your then?
Katya: No. We would have continued to skate anyway, as we knew that we for sure still have four years of performances.
Is there a style that you would like to try in your programs but still haven’t?
Katya: Russian classical ballet skating. Gentle beautiful arms, lines. But how would it be perceived at the international level? I think that no one would approve such an idea. It would look very boring after all our programs.
And was there such a program that you couldn’t do because of existing rules?
Katya: “Once upon the time in America” it did not pass further because of the rules. If you add the bit, the music is lost.
At last year’s European Championships you lost very little to the Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte. This time literally hundredths of a point allowed them to get to the Grand Prix Final instead of you. Will it be principl to beat them in Moscow?
Dima: It’s principale to beat competitors at every competition. Earlier we wanted to please everyone with our skating. Now we want to get closer to the world leaders.
Did the fact that you didn’t get into the Grand Prix Final upset you a lot?
Katya: To be honest, it was our fault. I was very upset, after all, the tenth of the point decided everything! We have been getting into the Final without any problems for so any years … But we went to Zagreb, performed well and gave excellent performances here. In the final were our potential Olympic rivals? Well this is different competition in general! Everyone comes there from scratch, we understood this in Sochi. And at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, when the stars were falling.
Keeping in mind the situation of the Olympic season 2013/2014, when the free program was chosen unsuccessfully, and it had to be changed. How did you approach the choice of programs this season?
Katya: We moved to Alexander Zhulin and, as they say, gave him all of us: make from us everything you want! We had a very successful free program “Crazy”, with which we became European champions and bronze medalists of the World Championships in 2013. Then we thought that we gave ourselves in the right hands. In the next season, Zhulin offered the program “Birds”, and we immediately agreed. But the idea did not work out a little bit. Now we are discussing the programs with the coach, because we understand: we want to feel and to love what we’re doing.
Dima: It was a joint choice of music, we invited Radu Poklitaru, but even with him we discussed how and what is better to do. All have equal rights to have their opinions.
You are the most experienced participants of the Russian Nationals. Can you give an example, which shows how the experience works for your pair?
Dima: It’s necessary to point out the moments when we have to overcome ourselves. I am a very lazy person, and it was very difficult for me to get up after the first bell of the alarm clock. Since recently: the alarm clock rang – I immediately got up. It seems like a trifle, but allows you to go through more difficult moments. For example at the warm-up before the free dance, where I fell on twizzles. A few years ago I would have thought: “Something is going wrong” and would begin to worry. But here I just thought: “Ah, nothing to worry about, I will be only angrier!”
by Ekaterina Bespalova for sport-express.ru