Interview with Mikhail Kolyada about Olympic season.
Today you are the brightest representative of the famous St. Petersburg school of figure skating. But the season 2017/2018 turned out to be contradictory for you. Although you won silver in team event at the Olympics, many believe that because of your falls you are not quite worthy of this award. Individual competitions you also failed. But then they managed to win a bronze medal at the World Championships. How do you assess everything that happened to you this year?
– The season turned out quite …let’s say educational. There were negative moments, and positive ones. But if you look only at the results, everything turned out pretty well.
In Pyeongchang, you fell six times in four programs. What were you thinking about in those moments?
– At the time of the fall, of course, I did not think about anything. Just continued the program. It is difficult to say what is the reason. I think I need to work a little more, and then everything will turn out.
After the Olympics you said: “Something changed inside me and prevented me to perform successfully at the 2018 Olympics.” What kind of changes were you talking about?
– I do not even know. Probably, I began to look at things differently. Still, the Olympics is a very important competitions. Many have warned me that the Olympics are a special world. But only finding myself there, I realized what these people meant. Really felt some other atmosphere. Although in Pyeongchang, there were the same people with whom I have performed before, and the judges were the same. But the sensations were different.
More specifically, what was the reason for this?
– More nervous situation, probably it affected.
The fact that you performed under the white flag, did it affected?
– In principle, no. Everyone treated us with understanding. Many guys from other teams supported us. Everyone knew where we came from, what kind of people we are. The fans cheered us up, screamed cool mottos. I tried not to think about all these doping scandals, I just tried to be even more vigilant, because I felt special attention from the doping officers to Russian athletes.
After the World Championships, despite the first bronze medal in men’s single skating for Russia in seven years that you won, the legendary Tatiana Tarasova called your program girlish. Did it offend you?
– I would not call my program girlish, as I had quadruple jumps and very well made other elements. Maybe it’s just such time. Athletes pampered spectators with complex programs with a large number of quadruple jumps. For me, I did everything cool. But I do not take offense at Tarasova.
But this is not quite constructive criticism? Someone can fall into despair or depression from such a comment.
– Any criticism only encourages me, makes me work even harder and demonstrate my maximum not only in training, but also in competitions. Unfortunately, this season I did not show my maximum. I think the percentage was seventy-seventy-five.
How did you cope with all the negative on the Internet that hit you during the Olympics?
– I just did not go to the social network, did not read anything. The guys from the team helped. Parents and friends called and supported. Then, when I came home and read all this, it was not very pleasant. But I tried to stay positive. I’m a cheerful person. I like to laugh not only at others, but also at myself. Therefore, some memes, jokes, which were on the Internet gave me a smile.
What helps to keep away from bad thoughts?
– At such times I just try to communicate more. When you speak out, it becomes much easier. And active games. For example, football. Often I play with friends. I rarely score, but I like the process. Well, I also like to go to the movies with friends.
When it became clear at the World Championships that you won a bronze medal, did you have the feeling that you just proved everything to everyone?
– Yes, a little bit. But not one hundred percent. There still were questions about free program, and there was not a full sense of accomplishment. I just knew that I could do better.
Heard you are going for an internship in the US. What for?
– We’re going there for an exchange of experience. I’m interested in how they train in the West. Maybe it will be possible to see some new techniques. People can not know everything. Maybe I will also be able to share something interesting there.
Is the Olympics 2022 in your plans?
– Sure. If there is enough health, I’ll continue to skate.
by Fedor Pogorelov for sobaka.ru