Mikhail Kolyada: I improved, just not enough

Translation of the interview with Mikhail Kolyada.

How do you assess the results of the season?

– Overall, I’m satisfied. But there were some moments that could have be done better.

Probably, you’re talking about the fact that you haven’t skated a clean free program at the official competitions? By the way, why?

– Probably, I haven’t worked hard enough at trainings.

Tatiana Tarasova said the same, when she was commenting the World Championships. That you have everything to compete with elite skaters, but you do not work enough at training, in particular on quads…

– I think she’s right. Why I don’t do the same amount of work as the Japanese? The health wasn’t very well, so somewhere I was cautious.

Just statistically, compared to last season, you made a step forward. At the National championships (you won it for the first time), at the European Championships (for the first time you won the bronze medal) and only at Worlds you took a step back (from the 4th place dropped to the 8th). What factors affected?

– First, in 2016 at the World Championships in Boston, I was lucky – the guys-favorites made mistakes and due to this I became fourth. And this year competitors improved a lot and nobody made mistakes. That’s why it happened. So that’s not right to say that I took a step back. I also improved, just not enough.

Why in men’s single skating Asian skaters are the most successful now?

– They have a slightly different mentality. If they are told to work from dawn to dusk, they will. In Russia it does not work out that way.

How many quadruple jumps will be necessary to perform at the Games in Pyeongchang to fight for medals?

– I think four or five.

This season you tried a quadruple lutz, but it did not always work out. As a result, the impression of your performance turned out blurry. Why do you keep trying it, why not to try other jumps?

– I feel the lutz well. And it’s the easiest jump for me. So I decided to do it instead of salchow.

Everyone is surprised by your creative tandem with coach Valentina Chebotareva, who was previously known only in a small circle. Surely you were told that if you want to have higher scores you should go to a more famous specialist. But you continue to train with her. Why?

– Because we chose such way. I’m very loyal, I’ve been training with her for seventeen years. I can not change the coach, and I’m not going to. I understand everything about eminent mentors. But we must pass this way together. And even the result at the Olympic Games won’t affect it. I’m with her until the end of my career.

Your father is fond of martial arts. Why did you choose figure skating? Didn’t boys of your age tease your?

–  Dad is fond of many sports, and figure skating as well. Yes, he wanted to involve me with martial arts, but I did not liked it. But I liked figure skating. However I tried to quit many times, but still came back. This is a great merit of my coach and parents. And the boys … Well, at first they teased me a bit, but I did not pay much attention.

This season, you combined competitions military service. How did it happen?

– It was not difficult. Last spring I went to the sport company in Krasnodar for a week, where together with other guys I learned the field manual, did marching. Then took an oath – that’s all. And just this week I demobilized from the army.

So it’s time to start preparing for the Olympic season?

– Yes, especially since we will make new programs – both short and free. We already have some ideas, we will invite new specialists, but I’m not going to disclose details yet.

by Sergei Maslov for vecherka-spb.ru

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