Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin told about the beginning of the season, returning from an internship in the United States, to Moscow to coaches Kustarova and Alexeyeva and related psychological restart.
Elena, Ruslan, what is the secret of such a cool skate?
– We’re really having buzz skating it. Firstly, we had different music for blues, but then I’ve realized that it’s a bit boring for us. And when I heard the song we have now – Big Bad Love, where a man and a woman sing about “Big Bad Love”, I realized – it’s for us. This music turns us on. And the voices are such jazzy and bluesy.
How do you feel here compared to Skate America?
Elena: The first “Grand Prix” turned out hard for us. We haven’t competed anywhere before it, it was scary – not knowing what to expect, and how it will happen, we’re saving ourselves a little. But on the second competition we already understand how to distribute energy, where we can rest a little and where we can dance and reveal more. And the boards are wider than at the American stage. We’re a bit uptight when we’re realizing that the boards are close. We were skating and suddenly: “Oh-oh-oh.”
Ruslan: Boards – is a very important factor. Last six months we’ve been training in Moscow, weaned from Canadian boards, and when came to Skate America we’re crushing the boards. After all, the pattern of the dance changes.
Elena: When you’re single skater, you can crop somewhere, but together it’s difficult to do. Ruslan had to turn me as a trolley.(laughs)
Does the readiness still not hundred percent?
Ruslan: We do not standing still, but we’re far from a hundred percent ready. We had such a psychological restart after returning home. I think it gives strength and positive emotions.
Elena: When something changes in your life, positive emotions always come. Even when you just changed your hair or painted nails. Even such small things cheer you up. And here we are back home, to our parents, loved ones, we were very happy to see our coaches, and they also were happy to see us. From the first second. We even had a moment: when we came to them at the ice rink before the test skates in Sochi, we looked at each other and felt as if we’ve never left. However, a lot of time has passed, almost half a year. And a lockers were native, and the guys, who skated with us …
Ruslan: And the wire from the tape, which works poorly.
Elena: All this – positive emotions. Not to mention the serious work and great interest. We feel that they are interested in us as in athletes, invest their souls in us. We feel ourself needed.
At Skate America Igor Shpilband was putting your on the ice together with Elena Kustarova and Svetlana Alexeeva, but here he wasn’t at the board. Is cooperation with him is finished?
Elena: He came to us, gave some notes – on the blues, other moments in training. He praised and congratulated us. But our main coaches – Elena Kustarova and Svetlana Alexeeva, so they put us on the ice.
Has the trip to America gave you much?
Ruslan: I think so. Any new experience is valuable. All specialists work in different ways. I discovered for myself a lot. In skating and presentation. As Fabian Bourzat always says: Present!
Elena: I’d like to thank Fabian individually. I always knew he would be a very good coach. Even when we were skating with Nikita Katsalapov in Zhoulin’s group and Fabian with Natalie Pechalat trained with us. Then Fabian also helped us a lot and always said he wanted to become a coach. He became – and I would say he is a very cool coach. A very good specialist, including the psychological preparation. He’s a great professional in terms of technique. He perfectly understood what we want, and it was very interesting to work with him.
Do you have any negative emotions after fifth place at Skate America?
Ruslan: I have no negative emotions. We skated well enough for that period.
Elena: Me too. We did all that we could do at that time. Of course, this is not the maximum, but at that time of preparation we skated clean, got high marks for technique – at the level of Maia and Alex Shibutani. We know where to strive and what to do – we’ve gone through similar things. It’s hard to explain in words, we will show in deed.
There is a saying that everything that is done is for the better. It may be stupid, and I cann’t stand it, but in my life everything happens exactly this way. As corny and silly it may sound. Last week I got injured, only on Monday came on the ice. It was terribly disappointing, unpleasant, hysterics – but here we are and skated the short dance very well. And tomorrow we will try to show our maximum in the free dance.