It’s been a while since Elena Radionova gave some interview. So I think this Tatjana Flade’s interview with Elena after World Team Trophy could be interesting.
Lena, what do you think about your performances at World Team Trophy?
– The short program was good, I didn’t skate clean in the free program, so it’s clear that I need to work on it. I mean, to give more attention to the free program next season. We worked on the short program a lot. Apparently, free program needs even more time since there are more elements.
In a short program you fought to the end.
– Short program I was skating easy, with drive, enjoying it. In the free program I was a bit careful, but fought for every element.
You have participated in the team competition not for the first time. How does it feel? Maybe, you experience more pressure because you skate for the team?
– I like team competitions so much! Because you are responsible not only for yourself, but also for the team. This is doubly responsible, because you can not let down the rest of the team. You understand that at such tournament one for all and all for one. The whole team supports you, cheers, it gives you extra strength. This year we really had a very friendly team. We all cheered for each other! We have came up with so many things to look cool in the “Kiss and cry”! We approached the opening ceremony of the tournament very responsible, to what we will do all together after each performance of our guys. We deservedly won the “Best Team” prize at the World Team Trophy, because we were creative, united and cheerful.
What ideas did you suggest for the “kiss and the cry”?
– We came up with everything together. Someone suggested an idea and we embodied it. I think that the team spirit helped us. In any case, I felt the support of the team.
You did participate in the World Team Trophy in 2015.
– Yes. But now we were really a close-knit team. Probably, it helped that some guys participate in such competitions for the second time, so they knew how it would be.
Did you like Katya Bobrova as a captain?
– Katya has good organizational skills, so the role of the captain is for her. She was very responsible for everything, for any little things, not to mention the rest. It was absolutely correct that she was chosen as captain.
How do you assess the last season as a whole?
– Not very well. Throughout the season I had difficulties. I hope to take into account the mistakes, so that next year everything would be fine.
What kind of mistakes?
– There was all together. Both injuries and difficulties of growing up that affected my skating. It’s not even errors, but circumstances. It was necessary to get used to the new body, because I was changing, also to heal injuries. The beginning of the season was a bit interrupted, because I was ill. At the test skates I wasn’t able to show the program. Then the competitions began, there was not enough time …
But this season you had positive moments too.
– Yes, there were decent performances. But I’m used to do everything to the maximum and for me even one mistake – it’s still a bad skate. So I always need to skate on 100 percent. That’s how I used to.
How difficult was it to fight, as you said, with the circumstances, to overcome them?
– Difficult. I’ve grown up lately. Well, not a lot. But any change affects the technique of execution of the element, and you have to get used to it. When you go on the ice, the sensations are different. Yesterday they were one, today they are different. You have to adapt to this in order to control your body. But the most important thing is to believe in yourself. Not to give up. It’s in my nature. I believe that everyone goes through difficulties. This is normal. The one who has a strong character can overcome everything. The one who does not have a strong spirit will not be a champion. Yes, everyone has injuries, grows up, changes, trains. And the one who can overcome all this remains on top. I did not gave up any way, I did not despair. I must move only forward!
Who supported you in difficult times?
– Mom. She is the main person for me. And Dad, of course, also supported. My mother and I are very close. She knows absolutely everything about me. I share everything with her. Mom knows what’s going on in my life. At the right time, she always supports me or gives me a kick if it’s necessary.
You said that your appearance became different, more mature, so the skating also become more feminine.
– Growing up has its advantages and disadvantages. As I said, you just need to pass through it. Everything is fine at trainings now. I do difficult combinations. After we get back to Moscow, we will do new programs. It is necessary to approach this work responsibly, because the next season is an Olympic one, and the programs should be interesting. Then I’ll go on vacations. I do not know where. I want to go to the sea.
Four years ago, you could not take part in the Sochi Olympics because of your age. How do you assess your chances now, what do you need to do to qualify to the Olympic team?
– The Olympics are the most important competition in the career of an athlete. Everyone wants to go and perform there. To get into the team, I need to skate consistently. Maybe learn something new. Improve in everything – in skating, in spins … I know how I can skate. Therefore, I need to work and work.
What are your brightest memories of the Sochi Olympics?
– I remember the performances of Mao Asada, Carolina Kostner and Yuna Kim.
Mao recently has announced her retirement.
– It is always a pity when such athletes finish their careers. Mao got into the history of figure skating. She is a great sportswoman. It’s a pity that the sporting age is short. But I’m sure that Mao will remain in the hearts of the fans. She is a person-history, a phenomenal sportswoman, an example to follow for little skaters. I also watched Mao’s skating and noticed something for myself.
Carolina Kostner, on the contrary, returned to the ice, decided to continue skating.
– Respect for this. I know how hard it is to go back to the sport. Yes, I myself did not pass through it, but I heard it. What a strength of mind you should have to return and skate dignifiedly! Well done Carolina. Her skating is fascinating.
Your next plans are to do the programs. But have you thought about what would be, for example, after the Olympic Games?
– I do not want to guess and look so far. Now all thoughts about the next Olympic season. As for studying, I study in the Institute of Physical Education, to become a coach. I like it. This, let’s say, my first profession. I devoted so much time to figure skating, which is logical to continue. And then we’ll see. Maybe I’ll switch to acting (I’ve already talked about this before), or I’ll choose something different for myself. I do not know how my life will be in the future. Now it’s hard to talk about the future. Perhaps there will be something absolutely new. And, maybe, after a while I will want to become a coach. I’m not ready to look so far. Although in the figure skating the sports age is short. It’s in equestrian sport you can perform and be on the team even in 50. And we can only to 25-30. It turns out only two Olympic cycles.