Translation of Julia Lipnitskaya’s interview about finishing of her career.
Julia, how well-considered was your decision to finish sports career?
– This time it was 100% my firm decision. I devoted not one, not two or three months for this, I have been thinking for a long time, weighed all the pros and cons. When in winter I left to clinic to be treated and stayed there for a long time, believe me, I had enough time to think about everything. It was incredibly hard to come to the decision to finish sports career. Seriously, every day I fell asleep and woke up with one thought of what will happen next. While I was in clinic, I worked very hard with psychologists, there are strong psychologists, and they helped me to make life priorities that concerned health, for example. I had to think seriously about many questions, because I was sure that I would recover and return to figure skating. I was sure about that and everyone was sure! Mom, coach, everyone …
In the clinic, I was treated in Israel, after the first week of staying, in one of the days off, my phone was stolen and, accordingly, the whole connection with the world was cut off. It happened completely by accident, as a result for a long time I did not appear in the network, anywhere. Only now I understand why this was given to me. So I could really think about what’s going on in my life. This played a very important role. Yes, I had the opportunity to go and buy a phone, but I decided that if it happened, then it was necessary. In fact, I was in another country where everyone was speaking a different language, not even English, without any connection with the world. I knew by heart only my mother’s phone number. Then I bought a cheap phone for calling mother and relatives. And that’s all. Therefore, this time I had nothing else to do except carrying about my health and thinking what I will do after leaving the clinic.
What scared the most?
– Uncertainty. The most terrible thing for me was to understand what is next? I’m leaving the clinic and what? Especially when I began to realize that 99,9% of everything is leaning towards that I’m finishing with the sport. And then I began to panic because of all this uncertainty, what will happen? It was just a nightmare! When I returned home, the first week I was thinking: what is next, how to start and what to do? Uncertainty is a terrible thing.
I talked with my mother immediately, she understood me. Together we decided that new life is new life. So we must go to the Federation, notify everyone, explain the situation, tell why it happened, which I did. Then there was an agreement with the leadership of the federation that we all wait till September and at the test skates we make an official announcement that I have finished my career. And that’s all. Therefore, I want to thank my fans and not only the fans for their understanding and waiting.
During that meeting, the leaders of the federation suggested thinking once again about everything, so that you make a balanced final decision, because they don’t throw around such strong athletes of the top level.
– Of course, in April I was asked wasn’t it an emotional or spontaneous decision? But it is impossible to think for so long and decide on emotions.
Do you think that you fulfilled yourself in sport?
– Of course not. There was a lot of what I wanted to do and wanted to achieve in single skating, to improve. But what happened, happened. In fact, after the Games in Sochi, I wanted to try myself in ice dancing. I had this desire for a couple of years, but many met this idea with hostility and the idea immediately disappeared.
What prevented from full fulfilment?
– 99%- problems with health. And the rest, of course, has already been added to this. After my diagnosis was announced, people began to write, ask why I did that? But even if I did not say it myself, the information would still leak. Anorexia is a disease of the 21st century, it happens quite often. Unfortunately, not everyone cope with it. I felt that there was nothing wrong if I openly say about it. The only thing I regret that I did not do this earlier, because everything continued not for the first, second or third year …
After the “Cup of Russia” I came home, put my skates in the closet and have not seen them since. I’m not keen on going on the ice anymore. In January I went to the clinic. That’s the whole story.
Did the glory that fell on you after the Olympics in Sochi give your strength to move on, or on the contrary was burdensome?
– It squeezed me a lot. I hadn’t strength, it was really hard for me. I’m not a public person. I always was. Since my childhood I have been a very strong introvert. I had to make efforts on myself to speak with a stranger. Now it’s much easier for me to communicate with different people, I become much more sociable. But I have already developed some habits, stereotypes, which I follow. And I don’t think that I need to get into every newspaper, every Tv-show, where they call me. I do not welcome this and will not do it. I prefer to talk briefly, on the case and refute those things that I need to refute, because due to my long silence and early announcement of the end of the sports career, many upstarts have come out, articles have been written, interviews with people whom I don’t know at all.
At first it was funny, until it took the scale of some madness! There was a lot of fake information that I want to refute. A serious reason for this was the TV-show that appeared on the First Channel, where absolutely everything was false. When I asked the editors: “How did you allow it to go on the air?”, They answered me: “But you did not refute all the information personally, so this may be true.” Therefore, I will have to refute the speculation now.
Then tell us.
– Let’s start with the TV-show, after which my mother has turned gray, and I also got some gray hair, but the creators of the show are doing well – the ratings are high. So, on this show was a man with a charactonym last name Zanozin. This person claimed that I entered the Moscow State University, and this is reliable information. But entering the university is only in plans, God bless, everything will turn out. Only in a year I plan to take exams there. I would like to do sports management in the future. It’s interesting for me, it will be connected with my lived life.
The second. At different shows appears the man who dares to call himself my father. Question: how do channel editors allow this? This man is an imposter. Even if he is a namesake, then there is no need to adjust the solution to answer. This person has nothing to do with me. And what he’s telling about me – I just want to put a gag in his mouth. It’s impossible to listen this!
As for my father, I know perfectly who he is and where he lives. Therefore, I warn: if such cases occur again and my “fathers or relatives” will appear on the channels, possessed by the desire to propiate themselves at my expense, then we will meet with them in court.
An article appeared in one of the newspapers. While reading, I thought that it’s a joke. There were only two words out of the truth – Julia and Lipnitskaya. That’s all! Why did they come up with some young man who supposedly influenced my decision to retire? Some statements were made by a relative of our family who wished to remain anonymous. I have no relatives and friends who could do something like that. The whole article is entirely a journalist’s fantasy. The author gets “A” for composition.
It’s good that in such a situation you do not lose a sense of humor. What are you dreaming about now?
– What do I dream about? Most of all I want to find myself a business that will be interesting to do in life. Now I am at a crossroads, because there are many offers, different options, projects … But I can’t and don’t want to come somewhere just to be a “press the flesh”. I want to participate, to do what is most interesting for me, without studying it will not work out. So now study is in first place. I actively study English with tutors. In the near future I will concentrate on studying, and then will see. In parallel, of course, I will try myself in some other things and try to find something for myself. I’m asked whether I will participate in ice shows? I can’t and don’t want yet, although there are such offers. Time will pass and, maybe, something will change, maybe I will want to go on the ice.
But I know for sure that I will not work as a coach. To connect my life with sport is quite a different thing. But it’s impossible without education. Interest is a hobby, but a hobby is a hobby, and a profession is an education.
So the page is turned and all your dreams and plans are directed to the future?
– Yes, I have a new life, new plans. After sport, I have a habit of organizing myself, making a clear schedule. When there is free time, and now it appears much more often, immediately begin to think, what to fill it with? I plan things out so not to standing still. When the day is planned, then I feel great, I try to keep up everywhere. And on the day off I go to the country house.
Everyone knows that I have always loved horses. Now I have my own horse. In Moscow. Not far from our country house there is a private stable where I can practice equestrian sports, go horseback riding for 30-40 kilometers. This is one of my favorite hobbies and I don’t mind spending time on it, because I get pleasure from it. The horse’s name is Dakota – the Trakehner breed. High, model appearance with an excellent character. Just a dream!
Great! Do you want to add something else?
– I would like to thank the Federation and all the people who helped and supported me. Special thanks to my now-former coach Alexei Evgenievich Urmanov, who during our joint work invested as much as possible, helped and instantly reacted to all the problems that arose, quickly solved them. It was comfortable for me to train in Sochi, although there was a completely different life. There is a very friendly staff in Sochi and everyone is kind to each other. I would have been happy if we had achieved the result with this team. And I’m sorry that this did not happen. But I’ll repeat again, it was a pleasure to work with such people.
I want to say thank you to all the fans for their love, for their faith, understanding and waiting. But it was necessary. For me and not just for me. Now I receive many messages. I even try to answer sometimes, because some people write from the heart, and reading such messages, sometimes I get tears, but more often I smile. I’m very glad that there are people who treat me with such warmth.
I want to say thank you and those who was a “hater”, it made me think sometimes and go on.
Just thanks to everyone!
by Olga Ermolina for fsrussia.ru
photos from Julia’s Instagram