Adam Siao Him Fa: “I believe that our sport needs someone who will give it a certain push and add freshness. If we could go beyond some restrictions, it would add originality and creativity.”

Posted on 2024-01-10 • No comments yet


Translation of the interview with Adam Siao Him Fa for Russian media.

original source: RSport dd. by Vlad Zhukov

preview photo: ISU Instagram

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Adam Siao Him Fa: I speak Russian, I know a few words.

Q: Really? Which ones?

Adam Siao Him Fa: “My name is Adam”, “hello”, and “hi”.

Q: Where did you learn that?

Adam Siao Him Fa: My roommate Denis Strekalin speaks Ukrainian and Russian. He taught me.

Q: You have many fans in Russia, but there isn’t much information about you in Russian. Tell us about your home and family.

Adam Siao Him Fa: My parents are from the island of Mauritius, but they are of Chinese descent. They have been living in France for over 40 years. I was born in Bordeaux. I have an older sister and two older brothers. All of them are involved in figure skating.

Q: So, you have a real sports family.

Adam Siao Him Fa: Yes. My sister was the first among us to start doing sports – gymnastics and figure skating. It took up a lot of time, so she chose the ice, like my brothers. And I wanted to follow, so I also joined figure skating.

Q: Among professional athletes, who became your first inspiration?

Adam Siao Him Fa: Alexei Yagudin.

Q: What about Evgeni Plushenko?

Adam Siao Him Fa: Yes, him too. Actually, I enjoyed watching both of them, but more so Yagudin. I also liked the way Brian Joubert and Patrick Chan skated.

Q: Plushenko and Yagudin had a real rivalry both on the ice and in the media. Did you follow that?

Adam Siao Him Fa: No, I didn’t see any of that. I only know from the stories of my former coach, Joubert.

Q: You are the European champion but couldn’t make it to the podium at the Grand Prix Final. What happened?

Adam Siao Him Fa: Intense pressure. It was my first senior Grand Prix Final and the first time I competed as a favorite to medal. In a sense, I couldn’t cope with the stress. But it’s life experience, and I learned a lot from it.

Q: Usually, the Olympic Games become the most stressful moment in an athlete’s career.

Adam Siao Him Fa: Yes, that’s true. But during the Olympics, I didn’t feel any particular tension. I was living a childhood dream, thinking a lot about whether it would work out or not, but in the end, I told myself, “It’s okay, you’re at the Olympic Games, just get everything from them and enjoy.” And in the Grand Prix Final, winning a medal became the goal. I also set a goal for the next Olympics: to win a medal.

Q: The Grand Prix Final is a huge competition. What is it like emotionally stepping onto the ice when all the favorites are there?

Adam Siao Him Fa: Personally, it doesn’t affect me that much. Every competition is always a battle with oneself. The fact that there are other very strong athletes in the competition gives an extra push and more motivation than stress.

Q: In the last two seasons, Russian figure skaters have not participated in international competitions. Has the level of competition among men changed?

Adam Siao Him Fa: The fact that Russians are not here means there are fewer skaters, but I can’t say it has a significant impact on the results. There’s not much sense in discussing this issue. Athletes progress from season to season, and they can do so rapidly regardless of their nationality. Or the next season for them may turn out worse than the previous one depending on circumstances.

Q: Over the last two seasons, you have significantly improved your results. What happened?

Adam Siao Him Fa: After the Beijing Games, I completely changed my training methodology, changed the coaching staff, keeping only the choreographer. It was tough, but I made progress.

Q: At the Shanghai Trophy, you performed a backflip in the competitive program. Why did you decide on this prohibited element?

Adam Siao Him Fa: I want to push the boundaries and see that with each attempt, I can do more. I decided to do it because over the last 5 years, our sport has become much more complex. We have a skater like Ilia Malinin, who performed a quadruple axel. The risk in executing it is much higher than with a backflip because you could break your ankle. I got such an injury a long time ago when attempting an axel. But I still believe that our sport needs someone who will give it a certain push and add freshness. The same backflip is the basis for many new elements that could be introduced into figure skating. If we could go beyond some restrictions, it would add originality and creativity.

Q: It feels like the ISU is somewhat reluctant to accept new elements.

Adam Siao Him Fa: Everything should happen gradually. I showed the backflip, but there are many other athletes who bring something new. A few years ago, Kevin Aymoz did a cartwheel without hands. It seems to be not allowed but at the same time nowhere was it written that it was forbidden. Ilia performs a signature somersault in the short program; it is also a gymnastics and acrobatics element. Many other elements can be added to figure skating.

Q: Russian figure skaters have almost no life off the ice. How is the situation in France?

Adam Siao Him Fa: I study at university online, studying digital communications and graphic design, and I also have hobbies: playing the guitar and computer games. I have time for myself and to spend it with friends or family.

Q: What do you want to do with your life after competitive sports?

Adam Siao Him Fa: I think I would like to become a coach and choreographer.


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