Interview with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov. Translation.
Vladimir: During the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, I was 13 years old, I did not even watch pair skating. I knew that Tatiana Totmianina / Maxim Marinin performed, but I was not interested, I did not understand anything in pair skating. I followed only single skating, the confrontation between Plushenko and Yagudin.
Who was your favorite?
Vladimir: Uh, I do not even know. There was such a cool battle, it was interesting itself.
Yagudin’s “Winter” or….?
Vladimir: What is cooler? Probably, Yagudin’s “Winter” and his “Man in an Iron Mask.” Then, in 2010, I took the first steps in pair skating, I learned some lifts, went to competitions, but I still didn’t really understand pair skating. The Olympics in Sochi are somehow closer to me than those that were before. In 2014, we were juniors, skated only at the national championships, were preparing for the junior world championship, where we then took the second place. And in 2018 I do not give much importance to the Olympics, don’t give it any special status, I prepare for it as to a regular competitions.
Evgenia: Autosuggestion works.
Vladimir: It will be easier. If we had thought that the Olympic Games were something special, we would have already had stress. Yes, Olympics can happen only once in a lifetime, but I am absolutely calm and glad that we are going to Pyeongchang.
Evgenia: When I watched the Olympic Games, it seemed to me that this is the main moment in athlete’s life. Some go there to finish their careers, while others on the contrary – get a real taste for competitions and try to feel it again in four years. Even watching the Olympics on TV was “wow!”. I remember how my mother woke me up early in the morning so that I wouldn’t miss anything. I already loved pair skating, I cheered for Totmianina and Marinin, and in 2014 – for Tanya and Max. Now we have passed through grand-prix, European and World championships, therefore we treat Pyeongchang simply as the next international competitions. We do not think that something supernatural are waiting for us and this is some kind of our only chance.
Will you take a break after the Games in Korea?
Evgenia: Of course not. We are young to take breaks. After the Olympic Games, we will immediately start preparing to the World Championships in Milan, and afterwards there will be a usual vacation, followed by the next season.
When did you start to get a real pleasure from figure skating?
Vladimir: When we were juniors and it started to work out, when we started to take medals at the Grand Prix.
We know about Volodya’s ex partners from his interview, what about you? How long have you looked for your sports soulmate?
Evgenia: Not long. Before Volodya, I had only one partner – Egor Chudin. It can be said that it was he who brought me from Kazan to Moscow, to the group of Nina Mikhailovna (Moser). We skated for two years and then Vova appeared. Large, big, strong, technical.
Two-time Olympic medalist Alena Savchenko told that when Bruno Massot throws her into the air, she does not need to put any effort – her partner is so strong.
Evgenia: Well, they have a very big difference in height and weight. We have a different situation – we are a more even pair, but with a decent interaction. There’s Vova’s work and there’s mine. Pair work. And the Germans do like this: it seems that he takes her with one arm and throws anywhere.
Do you often argue with each other?
Evgenia: This season, we try to argue less, to avoid being distracted from work.
Vladimir: Argues and conflicts arose mainly because of mistakes.
Evgenia: Because of fatigue. If get tired, Vova swore that I’m not going. Although due to his strength and speed is able to bring me to the element, but if he gets tired, then we stop and it’s my turn to swore.
Does it happen that losing temper on your partner is for the best?
Evgenia: In any case, it works to the detriment. Especially, for someone you lost temper on. After-taste remains. But in our case all these disputes quickly pass and are forgotten. We have never hurt each other much.
Today there are a lot of strong-spirit women in pair skating, but the Olympic champion Anton Sikharulidze once said that in pair the man should be in charge. In your pair, who is the boss?
Evgenia: Volodya, of course. He is the chief, because he manages to lead our pair more adequate.
According to eyewitnesses, a week before the European Championships, which you won, at trainings you were unstoppable like tanks.
Vladimir: We were very well prepared. During the Grand Prix Final (early December) we had a small functional decrease, and now we are moving up in all senses. Both physically and emotionally. We have enough confidence in ourselves.
But how to deal with failures, which sometimes happen unexpectedly, as in the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya or in the short program at the European Championships in Moscow?
Vladimir: It is necessary to treat them naturally and go through them with dignity.
Evgenia: And then move forward.
Still, you are suspiciously confident in the Olympic season.
Vladimir: If we can compete well at European and World championships, then why should we unconfident at the Olympic Games?
Hasn’t the two-time Olympic champion and your former teammate Maxim Trankov explained what the Olympics are?
Vladimir: Now not, but earlier we talked with many Olympic athletes: how they went through the Games, what was happening there. We were curious to know what happened in Sochi four years ago, but now we have other interests – there is not much time left, and I do not want to overload my head with additional information. And it is not necessary. The time for collecting tips has passed.
Don’t you recall the times when people did not believe in you, as Trankov did?
Vladimir: No, we always had a lot of pairs at the rink.
Have you ever felt there as strangers?
Evgenia: When we went to competitions, many new pairs came. Sometimes you go to the ice, and you hear “hello!” from one side, “hello!” from the other, but you see these people for the first time. However we skate in the same group.
Vladimir: All our life we have been going to our dreams, goals, we did not spare ourselves, we did not give slack, we did not miss training, that’s why we achieved the results we have for today. And nostalgia is still there for those times when everything was just at the beginning. Even for those when everything was bad and there were thoughts of quitting the sport. But even then we passed through that and got the double reward.
How many times did you say goodbye to your prospects?
Evgenia: One I remember clearly. The first year in senior pair skating. End of the season. Nothing turns out, mutual offens, claims … It was a turning point. If we hadn’t overcame it no one would have knows us now.
At the junior level pairs often become the best and the next day break up.
Evgenia: We were able to overcome this stage.
Vladimir: Juniors can win the Grand Prix, different championships, and then at the senior level remain outside of the top ten at the Russian Championships.
Volodya said that bitchiness is not about Zhenya at all.
Evgenia: Yes, it’s not.
Have you ever wanted to try to be like that?
Vladimir: There should be sports anger, not bitchiness.
Evgenia: We complement each other. I’m softer, Vova is more serious. On the ice – we are one.
by Anatoli Samokhvalov for rsport.rai.ru