Translation of recent interview with Ekaterina Bobrova.
Our conversation started just after the trainings. So, sports life continues, in spite of temporary suspension from competitions due to positive doping test on meldonium?
Ekaterina: Yes, first of all, Dima and I continue to skate. We think about new elements, new programs. Maybe, not in such active mode, as before, but still work. It’s a hard times for us. Coaches and athletes in our group, and of course my partner support me. I also support him. Even in comparison with the situation, when Dima was injured, all that is happening now, is a little bit different. It’s harder for me, but we’re trying not to lose heart. It’s not clear: shall we continue to train and work on programs in hope that we will continue to skate, or shall we do shows, or continue studying … Morally it’s hard to tune on work. But we still continue to work, we have some interesting ideas that we’ll try to implement. We understand that the competition is huge, but we want to break through to leading position.
Programs for competitions?
Ekaterina: Of course. Maybe, If we’re lucky, and, for example, in July, we will be told that we can continue to skate, we need to have programs by that time. Usually, we do them in April-May. We need to be ready, so we try to gather and work for the next season.
This morning, Vitaly Mutko (sports Minister) said that we will cope with meldonium, and he hopes to get good news in the near future. Do you have any good news?
Ekaterina: Perhaps, I should call him and ask, what are the good news, because I don’t know about them yet. Apparently, if he says so, he has some information and it’s early for me to hear it. I haven’t received any news yet.
Your coach Alexander Zhulin in interview during the World Championships said that the original data about high concentrations of meldonium in your doping test wasn’t confirmed, and in fact the concentration was small.
Ekaterina: It’s difficult to say anything. Initially, we had an assumption that the concentration was high. Now we assume that the concentration was small, but so far we do not know for sure. We can’t do any official statements until we got a paper with doctor’s signatures that proves it. The situation around meldonium is constantly changing and nothing you can be sure about. We are trying to figure out what exactly it was, and is, broadly speaking, how to fight with it.
I learned, that while the expectation continues, you try yourself in different fields of activity – in particular, entered the Academy of movie and acting.
Ekaterina: I just want to emphasize that everything I’m doing now, doesn’t hurt trainings. If any of the courses or lectures come to trainings time, then, of course, I choose trainings, it’s the most important for me. And in the evenings I have free time which I dedicate in particular to acting classes. I also visited a seminar for screenwriters. Actually, when I was invited to go there, I didn’t know that it was a seminar for screenwriters, but still it was very interesting. I want to develop in different ways. I even did a task there – came up with the story, made from the input data I was given. When I read this story, everyone really liked how I played it from the actor’s point of view, but when they said “Not bad for the first time”, immediately realized that it’s probably not for me (laughs). It was very interesting experience for me, but I continue to attend acting classes. It will help me in case we will continue to skate.
Are there any propositions to to play in a movie or TV series?
Ekaterina: Not, but if such appears, of course, I will think about it. It’s one thing – to make plans for the future, and the other – to have a particular contract, which would have meant that I really can do it. Of course, I won’t “run” for these contracts, if there will be some propositions, without knowing a decision about figure skating, in this sense, I am in limbo. But I continue to consider various options of what I can do in the future. I attend courses at Moscow Business School, I want to get an MBA. My focus – sports management. That is something that I will always be interested in. Studying is not easy: I don’t understand anything in business, politics, economy. But it’s only even more interesting because I learn something new. Well, there are people who know it well, they help me. But in conversations with friends I can surprise with some new phrases, and they ask me: “You are a figure skater, where you’ve learned this.” Sometimes it’s very funny.
So, all your day is taken?
Ekaterina: I try to distribute myself. Of course, mostly I sit at the computer doing tasks, but I also have lectures. Previously, I was training and then resting in the evening to accumulate energy for the next training session. Now after training, one day I go to one courses, the other day – to another. Recently, for example, I’ve listened a lecture “Key management qualities.” It was very interesting, many things, that has been said about the business, I transferred to the figure skating – to coaching work, work in federation. I think it’ll be usefull for everyone to go to such lectures.
Did you watch the World Championships?
Ekaterina: Yes, of course. I also was invited as an expert in all disciplines on “Match TV”, so I have been a journalist too. And in general, it was interesting how the “powers” will distribute, because the season was uneven, someone skated better at the beginning, someone at the end.
Talking about ice dance, haven’t you accidentally become a fan of World champions Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron?
Ekaterina: No, I haven’t fanaticism to any pair, I watch more from the professional point of view: who do what better. Notice where we need to improve. Of course we have a room for growth, we haven’t reach our maximum yet. Talking about personal preferences, I was worrying for Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. We have been competing with them since juniors, they are very good guys. They have such a fate in sport, that they are always just a step away from the first place, but something is constantly lacking. I really wanted that everything turned out for them at World Championships. Again they lacked a little bit to got on a pedestal. But I’m sure that they will show what they are capable of.
I read Zhulin’s words, that at Worlds most likely you would have fighted for fifth–sixth place. Do you agree with him, or it’s difficult to assess you strength in absentia?
Ekaterina: Of course, it’s difficult, because we can’t compare scores that we got at one competitions, with scores that people got at other competitions. Absolutely different judgment, in America walls help the Americans, there are also other factors …Of course, we have been preparing for the World Championships, unfortunately, weren’t able to perform there, but if Alexander Zhulin says so, then it’s true. Listen to Alexander Zhulin! Because when we are preparing for competition, unconsciously we think of some places, but try to reject these thoughts, because our goal – to go out and skate well our program. As much as possible, so it will be impossible to cavil. Although, of course, may cavil, and then a couple who claimed for one place, find itself on the other.
How do you think, the French it’s for a long or everything can change?
Ekaterina: It’s difficult to tell. Ice dance is such a dangerous discipline of figure skating. Nothing lasts forever, and a lot can change. Finally, injuries happen. After the Olympic Games, Dima and I hoped to start the next season as leaders, but in reality missed it completely. In the first half of the season everyone wanted to see the French team, but they weren’t competing – Gabriella was injured. The girl from Canadian pair once broke a leg. We are dependent much on many things. So, I just wish everyone good health, let everyone skate and then will see.
I cannot but ask one more question. Rumour has it that you’re a bride. Is it true?
Ekaterina: You know, a lot of very good and important changes are happening in my life, I’ll certainly tell about them, but a little later – not all at once!