Another interview with pair-skater Natalia Zabijako. The girl is quite popular this week among reporters)
Can last season can be called a breakthrough for you?
– In general we are happy with this season. It was very successful. At the beginning were had three wins at ISU b events. Then the successful Russian national championships, got into the national team, the bronze of the European Championships, participation in the Olympic Games and a good place at the World Championships.
Did you expect to get on the podium at the European Championships?
– I won’t say that it was a surprise. We have been going to this medal, it was our goal.
Will the programs change next season much?
– Yes. Now we’ll have a little rest and will start to discuss preparation for the next season, including our programs. While we are not even on vacation, it will start in May and last about two weeks.
Nina Moser said that she suspended her active coaching activities for six months. How and with whom do you plan to prepare for the next season?
– We haven’t talked about this with Nina Mikhailovna yet. We haven’t discussed her plans yet. When we meet, we will understand what to do next.
How can you describe Nina Moser as professional and person?
– She is good at what she does. She always knows what she wants from her skaters and how to achieve it. You can always rely on her both as a coach and person. Nina Mikhailovna always keeps her word, can help with domestic issues.
Is she a tough person?
– She’s demanding, but she can also show softness, depending on the circumstances. Nina Mikhailovna feels the person with whom she works very well, his moral and physical condition. And, depending on their changes, always finds the right words and solutions to help achieve a better result.
Was the atmosphere at the Olympics very different from other competitions you participated?
– It was felt that this is a very large-scale competition. When the event combines not only figure skating, but more than ten sports and hundreds of the best athletes of the world are around, the atmosphere becomes incredible. We got absolutely fantastic emotions from the European and World Championships, but Olympics is something beyond the bounds.
Life in the Olympic village is also different compared to hotels where you live during World, European Championships and Grand Prix?
– Alexander and I didn’t pay much attention to housing conditions. All the time we devoted to trainings and competitions. In fact, in the village we just rested, slept and ate in the dining room. We even didn’t have time to get acquainted with many athletes from other sports. Just greeted, passing by, briefly communicated. Many we have already knew before this Olympics, but new acquaintances did not really got.
Didn’t you even try Korean food?
– We almost did not have such an opportunity. Around the Olympic village there were no places where you could try it, just new buildings. Almost all free time we spent in the village, where I did not notice Asian food. In the dining room they served traditional European food.
What are the tasks for the next season?
– At the moment we haven’t set tough tasks for the future. Everything will be discussed after vacations.
Was you nervous when it became clear that you will be performing in the free program at the Olympics in the team event?
– We are always ready to perform. Our program was well prepared. Therefore, we were ready to cope with the free program at any time, even if we had been told to do it the day before.
Was it difficult after the team event to recover for individual competitions, which for pairs started almost immediately?
– I wouldn’t say so. We skated free program in the team event, then short program in individual competitions and then again free program. It felt like we did not leave the ice between these performances. So strong were the emotions from getting to the Olympics, that sometimes it seems to me that we could have performed in Korea couple of times more.
Are Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, who won Olympic and World gold, really unreachable for the rest?
– You can beat anyone. But their performance at the Olympics and World Championships, especially in the free program were really cool. There it was difficult for everyone to compete with them. But in general, I believe that it’s possible to compete for the highest places with any pair.
Do you feel increased attention after the Olympics?
– Partly yes. After the Olympic Games, it intensified. Now everything is more or less calmed down. Now we can start again to prove our relevance and attract the attention of the public.
by Alexei Fomin for iz.ru