Tatiana Tarasova about realities of Russian men’s figure skating and Mikhail Kolyada and Dmitri Aliev’s performances at the Olympic Games in comparision with top skaters.
Tatiana Tarasova: Dima and Misha couldn’t claim for more. They couldn’t skate differently. At the Olympic Games, you remove nothing from the program. Only add. Have you seen how Shoma Uno removed his layback in the spread eagle and put instead a triple axel half loop triple flip? This is a combination that Plushenko did at the Olympics, when he wanted to win or at least get closer to Yagudin. So here people put things that can help them to win. Our skaters need to make a serious analysis with coaches and determine what will be their advantages. For example, American Nathan Chen, he failed the short program, but he is a champion in the free program, did six quads. We understand in what direction he will move. They will work on transitions. It’s difficult to do transitions with six quads but it’s possible. And in what direction will work our guys? And How?
And what we have? When Misha falls it is called “he did a jump”. In dance, in pairs, in women’s skating it is called “not done”. I’m not talking badly about him. I’m just saying that fall it’s “not done.” If a jump is on minus three and a half is called “done”, then I’m a girl.
Kolyada has only two quadruple jumps – lutz with a fall and toe loop. He’s been skating like this since September. I apologize, but the rules will not change in the opposite direction. Rules and life go under a big slope upward. Who can go – goes. Who can not go – climbs below. What I see with Misha, comes from trainings. He has exactly the same workouts.
I do not want to say that he has a bad coach. But Valentina (Chebotareva) has no experience. In their city lives Alexei Nikolaevich (Mishin). The crown will not fall from your head, if you ask for help. You need the result, right? Yes, juniors are growing up. But the juniors in Japan look at Shoma Uno, and our juniors see that we can be seventh and eighth at the Olympics.
Skating of the winners and ours are such a different things … Today I’m just stunned with these boys. I’m happy simply because I live and see it. They say how hard it is to fight against Asians … But where were they when Yagudin and Plushenko were skating – in prison? No, the also skated, but we were ahead of them! At the same time we showed them the way – and they go along it. And ours do not. They do a zigzag motion and stop.
Shoma Uno is 20 years old – but look what a contetnt he showed today! It’s a pity that he didn’t jump quad loop. Look at how Hanyu skates with a broken leg! I feel great power in him. He did not grow quickly, and I think that our Dima (Aliyev) will also grow. He has an inner strength, some mighty silence.
What Aliyev did in the short program was very commendable, this is a record for him. Yesterday, he went there calm and confident and today he was insecure. Maybe it was hard for him to perform for two days in a row. Four years ago I asked the ISU to alternate pairs and men, but it turned out that I was the only one who asked for it. So, you need to temper, like steel. We knew how to temper our athletes.
Look at Javier Fernandez, who in the Olympic season lost 7-8 kilograms on proper nutrition. I’m not saying that Dima should lose weight – but he certainly shouldn’t gain it.
He started not in the right place and that’s already says a lot. Yesterday he went there calm, today he did not have space on the line. I even thought that because of that he removed the quad lutz, but turned out that he wasn’t planning to do it. Well, he should have. Once Lesha Yagudin at the Olympics in Salt Lake City asked me before going to the ice – how many jumps to do? I immediately answered him: Timothy Gable jumped three. I didn’t say how many Plushenko jumped and this enraged him. He did not remove a single jump. Because removing the most important thing that a person is preparing for – a quadruple lutz, you cut a thread and all the jumps drops from it. There are a lot of such examples. Later Yagudin recalled this to me, that I did not answer his question. I told him – I wanted to piss you off. I did not want to compare with anyone – just to anger.
You can remove jumps when you enter the season, when you have variability. For example Chen at the US Nationals jumped only toe loops and salchows when his leg hurted, but he still jumped five of them. Such variability is gained by training, run-throughs. It’ doesn’t come out of nowhere.
We rejoice the fantastic skating of others. I want to live to see our skaters skate like this. Will hope.
by Vladimir Astalkovich for rsport.ria.ru