I guess last season we all liked this charming skater, so an interview with him may be interesting. I translated some parts. About next season, decision to represent Georgia and relationships with girls.
Moris, first of all, tell us where we will see you this season?
– Among the main competitions are Grand Prix in France, European Championships in Moscow, 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and World Championships in Milan. Between these competitions I plan to perform at two rating B competitions.
Olympics are the main competition among mentioned?
– I won’t be sincere if I say no. But in general this is just one more competition, although the Olympic Games are special competitions: of a planetary scale, with a special spirit. Surprisingly, I’m still the only Georgian who already qualified to Pyeongchang. I know that there are strong lugers and skiers in Georgia, but their qualifying starts are yet to come.
Tell us about the new programs. How many quads will you plan in the upcoming season? Probably not less than six?
– It’s too early to talk about it. In the short program, now we are preparing the old content: axel, combination 4-3 and flip. If everything goes well, we’ll try the second quadruple instead of the flip.
As for the music, this season for the short program we chose Mozart’s 41st symphony. There are three quads in the free program, but some new ideas are possible.
Perhaps, each skater has a music/song he would like to use for a program. What is yours?
– I really liked the song Funny love by Dan Balan – so much that I did an exhibition program, which I performed at the European Championships in Ostrava at gala concert.
Why things didn’t turn out when you represented Russia? At the European Championships and World Championships in 2017, when you skated for Georgia, the audience saw different Moris. It is rumored that your phenomenal performance at the European championship deserved a medal.
– I’m asked this question very often. The same question was addressed to my coach Eteri Georgievna at a press conference and to vice-president of ISU Alexander Rafailovich Lakernik after the World Championships in Helsinki. Please don’t think that skating for Russia I did not feel responsibility and wasn’t motivated. This is absolutely not so. I think the main reason was my rapid growth and the complication of content. Injuries played not the least role, which happened just in the period when I was given the opportunity to go to a serious competitions. All of this pressured on me.
But in sport, result is the main criteria for assessing the possibilities. Therefore, unfortunately, I got a label “not very concsstent”. I heard a lot of unpleasant things because of this.
How did the option with Georgia appear?
– I’ve been going to this decision for a very long time. I thought that if this year doesn’t work out, then that’s all. It’s an Olympic year. I really wanted to go to the Olympics, European, Worlds. If I were representing Russia, my chances to be selected for these competitions would be small, so we chose a different path, more real.
Didn’t regret it?
– I have no reason to regret anything. Skating for Georgia, I can get to the competitions of the highest level. I loosen up, started to skate programs cleaner and better.
I think of the Russian stage of my career with nostalgia, because this is my home, here I was born and grew up, learned everything I can and appreciate that immensely. I am often asked which country I consider myself as a citizen, reminding me of dual citizenship. This question from the series “Who is closer to you – Mom or Dad?” It’s absurd. Speaking figuratively, since I was born and raised in Moscow, Moscow is my mother. And I am skating for my historical homeland Georgia, for the country that finances and supports me, so it’s my dad. I love and respect Mom and Dad equally (laughs).
Do the judges favor you?
– This is a touchy subject. It’s not for athletes to complain about this, but for clarity, I will give an example, then decide for yourself. At the European Championships in the free program for the technique they give me second place and for the components – the 11th. At the World Championships in the free program for technique – the eighth place, for components – the 18th. The same in the short program and then people write that I deserved higher scores for components. Apparently, haven’t deserved yet (smiles).
Men’s figure skating is a rapidly progressing sport. Just ten years ago, one quad was terrifying for rivals, now some skaters are already learning a quadruple axel. How can such rapid progress be explained?
– By feeling of competition. One started, the other joined and the race began. Why he can and we can not? First they tried it on trainings, then added quads in the programs, now you will not be surprised even with the quadruple lutz.
What are the reasons for the regress of our male figure skating after Plushenko and Yagudin? And how can the successes of Asian and American figure skaters be explained?
– The reason for the regression, in my opinion, is the lack of desire to master new, complex multi-rotational jumps, unlike Asian athletes. In the days of Plushenko and Yagudin, the tasks were to be head and shoulders above rivals. This is what the leaders of the top five are trying to do today. The leaders were the first to master the multi-rotational jumps, which seemed difficult to do. They were not afraid to take risks. The same thing with the number of quadruple jumps in one program, not to the detriment of the spectacular component. Therefore, Asian and American figure skaters sharply went ahead.
You train with one of the best coaches of our time – Eteri Tutberidze. What is the atmosphere in the group during the training process?
– How to say … Eteri Georgievna is in charge of the training process, she has the final word. She is a very strong person, everyone listens to her opinion. In addition to sports education, she gives her students life lessons.
What is the role of men in the group?
– If you mean our training coach Sergei Dudakov and the choreographer Daniil Gleychenhaus, then you can’t say better than Eteri Georgievna: “We three are like a table on three legs.” Each of us is a support, and each has a huge responsibility in the preparation of each athlete of our group.
What is unique about Evgenia Medvedeva? You personally saw her first successes and then great victories.
– She has a very strong character, plus a great sense of purpose. She works hard day after day. I constantly see how she works without self-pity. She doesn’t cut herself some slack, she always finds internal reserves to achieve the tasks set. In a word, as she repeatedly said, figure skating is her life.
This question, I’m sure, tired you, but our readers are very interested: did you have an affair with the Olympic champion Julia Lipnitskaya?
– No, this is the product of someone’s imagination.
But the ubiquitous press has repeatedly reported that she was lead astray by Georgian fighter Moris Kvitelashvili. Do you have anything to respond to such loud statement?
– Oh … (laughs) You can not believe everything that is written in tabloids. You should know the best that they specializes in rumors and gossips. I myself was surprised to read that I turned heads of all girls from our group. Then they wrote that I have a relationships with a famous gymnast. I’m humorously referring to such rumors. They were, they are and will be. With Julia we have only by friendly relationships, we always got along with each other. Do not believe the rest.
For a long time fans of figure skating have admired your joint photos with another Olympic champion – Adelina Sotnikova. Tell us about your friendship.
– With Adelina we are friends since childhood, we both started skating in CSKA. There is always the desire to hang out, if possible, spend time together. Recently, Adelina invited me to her birthday. She is a very positive person, hanging out with her is a great pleasure.
Don’t say that you don’t have a girlfriend.
– You can write just like this “Moris don’t have a girlfriend” (laughs). Yes, I have friends, but there is simply no time for serious relations. I spent 40 days at the training camps. I got up in the morning, had breakfast, went to the training. Then lunch, rest and second training. I have some free time only after 10 pm. In such mode I live six days a week. In the only day off I meet with friends, I spend time with my parents. One weekend is not enough to catch everything, and you say “Georgian womanizer”. (Smiling)
Are there any ideas where to direct your talent after the end of a sports career?
– I want to become a coach. I already have many students who need ice for full trainings. In rare free minutes I work with children, do programs, choreography, help with technique. But my biggest dream is to open a figure skating school. I want to emphasize: mainly for those who do not have the opportunity to do such an expensive sport. This requires serious funding and sponsorship from fans of figure skating at least at the initial stage.
by Artem Zaguminnov for lenta.ru