Aleksandr Galliamov: “It’s great to have sparring partners. Boikova/Kozlovskii and our pair were pushing each other up. The guys left, but this is sports.”

Posted on 2023-08-15 • No comments yet


Interview with Aleksandr Galliamov about new program and preparation for the season.

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source: sport-express dd. 8th August by Dmitri Kuznetsov

Let’s talk football right away – when will you step onto the field for “Chisto Piter” in the media league?

Aleksandr Galliamov: We had a really intense training session here with Anatoliy Timoshchuk, and it was really interesting to learn from his experience. Football helps in figure skating – in terms of sharpness, coordination, and even the sense of the ball can improve it; you get a better understanding of your body while in the air. At the end of August, there will be playoff matches, and of course, I really want to participate. I’m preparing physically, but we’ll see. I want to mention – Anatoliy is 44 years old, and he’s in great shape. He moves very well. We had an hour of general physical preparation, constantly in motion, running. We, pair skaters, focus on “physical loads”, and in general, figure skaters, I think, emphasize more on cardio loads.

Wait, but you also run, right? Or do you focus more on making your arms strong?

Aleksandr Galliamov: Yes, of course, we run and work on our arms, but the main focus is on the legs. To properly execute the technical elements and maintain proper posture, you need to do everything precisely with your legs. After that football training, I drank almost a liter of water in one go. It was so tough. Football engages different muscles; I’m also interested in developing them.

Tamara Nikolaevna should also be a goalkeeper.

Aleksandr Galliamov: She was supposed to be one for the show program tournament, but she had just undergone surgery, and it was important for her to recover. And at the last moment, we decided that it would be better for Arthur Leonidovich [Minchuk] to go in. He executed everything wonderfully, and people still remember his splits.

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How is Tamara Nikolaevna doing?

Aleksandr Galliamov: She’s doing wonderfully. She recovered very quickly at that time. She made it to the Grand Prix Final, even if with crutches, but not many people would do that at the age of 81 right after surgery. She endured, there should be a standing ovation. Moreover, when we perform our programs, she follows us and gives us advice. And she manages to simultaneously record on her phone for further analysis!

Sorry if I’m delving deeply, but when you have such an experienced coach… is there no underlying thought that nothing lasts forever?

Aleksandr Galliamov: None of us are eternal. But I’m scared to think about what you’re saying; I don’t want to. I just want to wish Tamara Nikolaevna health, strength, and continued interest in figure skating, which she’s been passionate about for decades. It’s her beloved work, she’s constantly thinking about it even outside of training – about programs, music, costumes. It comes at a high cost. I think figure skating itself encourages Tamara Nikolaevna. And Nastya and I don’t want to let her down; we want to delight her with our performances and progress. Even looking at our recent performance at “Igora resort” – we performed well. Well, yes, we could have done better.

In what way?

Aleksandr Galliamov: There are various excuses, of course, but there the ice is indeed smaller than the “Canadian” ice. We couldn’t even roll out properly – I was skating with extra caution and thinking, “Just don’t hit the boards!” I had to throw out my hands to feel the space. But we managed to accomplish the task positively. Yes, there’s room for improvement – technique, choreography, a lot of work lies ahead. We showed the framework, what to expect from our program. I hope everyone liked it, and we’ll do our best to ensure these positive emotions from our program remain.

Why “Ode to Joy”?

Aleksandr Galliamov: We really want to show joy, so that people watch and see that it’s a hymn to something bright, calling for achievements even. And so that our program brightens up the black-and-white and sometimes dull world. People go out on the street and don’t smile. We want people to get excited from our skating and smile more often.

During this offseason, Boikova/Kozlovskii left the group. How did that affect you?

Aleksandr Galliamov: When we were just joining the group, we already realized how great it is to have sparring partners. We were pushing each other up. The guys left, but this is sports. New pairs have joined us, and now we are an example for young pairs who are look up to us. We listen to Tamara Nikolaevna, what she tells us. We want to show them not only how to skate but also how to behave, what discipline should be on the ice. Discipline means a lot in sports.

When was the last time you were late for training?

Aleksandr Galliamov: If it ever happened, it was about 10-15 minutes, and for warm-up, not for the ice training. Being late for the ice is a different story. You’d rush in with a pounding heart, and it’s unlikely you’ll skate properly. But I felt uncomfortable in front of Tamara Nikolaevna and Nastya – I tried to get on the ice earlier to compensate.

Do you monitor heart rate zones, like in endurance sports?

Aleksandr Galliamov: No, we don’t pay attention to that. We have our own approach to how to build up a program. You won’t start with a full run-through right away – you just won’t finish it. It will be messy anyway. You need to approach any goal step by step to form the whole picture. No need to rush.

You mentioned that you were breaking in new skates in Sochi. Do you have any boots-related issues now? They are all imported, after all.

Aleksandr Galliamov: It’s even hard to find shoelaces. I tried looking for both Risport and Edea – I skate in Risport Royals, and they came with laces. But breaking in boots for me is like some kind of trigger. Very difficult. Two years ago, it was really painful, and Tamara Nikolaevna said: pour hot water into yourbootsskates, it will make it easier. I trusted her – and it did get better. But it took three weeks. Now I managed to do it twice as fast. But the problem was with the laces – they were extremely thin and could break at any moment. I looked on something like “Ozone” online store, found laces of some brand, relaced them just yesterday, and on August 5th, I performed with new ones. Before, when I did lutz jumps, my foot would twist, the support was weak. I changed them – all lutzes are good now. These nuances matter too, a lot depends on the equipment.

Is Sochi nice? Better than St. Petersburg?

Aleksandr Galliamov: It’s nice everywhere. Sochi now, in terms of how long I’ve stayed, is probably my second city after St. Petersburg. During the Olympic season, we also went to a stage of the Russian Cup – also in Sochi. I like it, it’s a great city, warm, and the rinks are well-built. There’s a positive atmosphere.

Olympic? Can you feel that the Games were held there?

Aleksandr Galliamov: Yes, you know, I first skated on this rink during training at the age of 17, when Nastya and I just teamed up. And indeed, we went there, and I thought: wow, the Olympics were held here! Any Olympic rink has a special atmosphere. We were at the Grand Prix Final in Turin, and I also remembered watching that Olympics on TV – and now we’re here, the rings are hanging, everything reminds us of the Olympics. Even at the “challenger” in Innsbruck, we skated on an Olympic rink, it’s cool there too, it’s hard to convey the atmosphere.


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