Kirill Khaliavin told about performance at European Championships, representing Spain and his former partner Ksenia Monko.
Kirill, how do you estimate debut in Ostrava?
– We came in a really good shape to this championships, that actually was kind a surprise, because previous competitions were followed one by another and we tried to improve along the line. Somewhere we sacrificed elements or something else, not on purpose, but we tried to become a pair at competitions, because it was what we needed. We missed the first part of the season. We needed to gain confidence working with an audience, judges, have more freedom during skating.
What has changed in your life? You continue to train in Moscow, at the same rink, work with the same coach Alexander Zhulin, choreographer Sergei Petukhov.
– Actually, a lot has changed. When you and your partner do crossovers differently it changes a lot, you have to adapt. Built something one then move on to the next, but it’s already time to do a program.
Due to objective circumstances, we’re late this season, everything should be done quickly. But it seems to me, we quickly got used to each other and I can tell that the difference, that was between us, has been overcomed. Now we quite easily feel ourselves in a pair.
Compliment your partner.
– As you can see, we do not skate in different directions. Sara is a talented skater, she’s quick on the uptake, even those things that took me a lot longer to learn. She came to Moscow from Montreal, where she was training, from the other end of the globe, she came not to sort things out, to confirm her “ego” or something else. She came to work and does it with full dedication. I appreciate it very much and try to work as hard as possible at practices. That’s really a good feature.
How long have you been thinking of the offer from the Spanish Federation?
– I haven’t hesitated for a second about try out. I remember Sara, since she was skating with Adrea. We started together in juniors. Then they went to Montreal, made a great leap forward. From the pair which was average at the junior level they grew up to top-ten in Europe just in a couple of seasons. It speaks about very serious desire to work.
I saw that Sara progresses, works good, quickly adapt to new circumstances and realities and thought why not to try to skate with her? We tried, everyone said that we look well and we continued to work.
Did you have some internal reasons that could make you refuse the offer? What could stop you?
– I had. I do not know whether I should talk about it…..in Russia funding of sport is at the state level, in Spain the situation is different. The Spanish federation is not as rich. There wasn’t so: we tried once and were promised funds for trainings. In Spain, results first then talk about money.
If things hadn’t turned out with Sara, did you have thoughts that you would leave the sport?
– To be honest, I did not think. Maybe I’m stupid enough. You should always think of future plans. But I wasn’t thinking.
Do you constantly train with Sara in Moscow?
– In Moscow. But we were at the national championship. We have left for three weeks. First we were with Sergei Petukhov in Budapest and then have trained for two weeks alone. Peter Durnev came to our national championships. One more week we trained alone in Madrid. The rest of the days spent in Moscow, at the rink. We don’t have time, we have to work.
Your former partner Ksenia Monko switched to coaching, you continue to skate. How coach and athlete get on with each other? Constant talks about figure skating at home?
– No. When Ksenia asks for advice about the young skaters, to look from the side, I always agree. And she also suggests me something about our pair. It’s valuable for me, that Ksenia is involved in my life and I involved in hers. The main thing is that she is satisfied with new work, happy in the team and there is no torments about it. She doesn’t come home broken. Everything is interesting for her, to work with small children, to help juniors, seniors. Svetlana Lyapina, with whom works Ksenia, has a large group, so she’s always busy.
In conversations with you does Ksenia regret the decision to leave the sport?
– No. Just recently we talked about it. She said that she doesn’t regret, because her present life is interesting enough. She is happy that Sara and I have a new life in sport. So in this regard everything is all right.
interview by Olga Ermolina fsrussia.ru