Alena Kostornaia: “When I broke my arm before the Nationals in the Olympic season, they told me in the Tutberidze’s group that I should have asked for permission to put on the cast.”

Posted on 2024-02-19 • No comments yet


Translation of Alena Kostornaia’s comments about leaving Tutberidze’s group fir the second time.

original source: Lyasan Utiasheva’s youtube channel

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A post shared by Aliona Kostornaia (@aliona_officialnew)

Alena Kostornaia spoke about the circumstances of her leaving Tutberidze’s group for the second time. Here’s a translation of her comments.

“I always thought: when I turn 18, I will make it to the Olympics (well, I hoped) and that’s it, I’ll retire. Maybe I’ll help, choreograph programs and that’s all.

But first, I broke one arm: at the end of practice, I was trying a difficult element (triple axel – ed), it didn’t work for me the whole practice, but they told me to go train it. It wasn’t working, it wasn’t working, and since it was the end of the ice time, the coaches weren’t paying much attention… Logically, there should have been simple exercises, but I went to train the difficult one.

That day, we had an hour of choreography in the morning, then ice time, which was supposed to be an hour and a half, but I think it was much longer. Well, how much longer – an hour forty-five, ha-ha. Then we had stretching in the gym, a short break, off-ice training, and another ice session. And so, it was the end of those second one and a half hours.

I remember this moment well: I was very afraid of this element, I think I still am, because it’s quite serious. I approach, let’s say, a more senior skater, and say, ‘Look, if I don’t do it now, if I don’t rotate it, then I’m losing something to you.’ He says, ‘Deal, go ahead.’

I am full of confidence, I go for it. I’m thinking, ‘Darn, it should be fine now,’ I take off very well and land abruptly on my arm. It was a usual fall, but my arm twisted. I realize, ‘Darn, this is bad.’ I jump up, realizing that the music is still playing, so I can’t cry, I can’t scream – everyone is training, and I’ll be yelling.

I skate off, swearing under my breath, realizing that I won’t attempt that element again, because it hurts a lot. I try to do simpler elements and realize that I can’t force myself to do anything, any movement even with my leg – starts to hurt my arm. I take off my glove, and my arm visibly swells, turns blue and red. And this was right before the pre-Olympic Russian Nationals.

My mom and I go for an X-ray – a fracture, a cast. I call one of the coaches, they say, ‘Okay, you don’t have to come tomorrow.’ I come back after three days, and here’s the funny part: they say that I should have asked for permission to put on the cast. My mom and I still don’t understand this. Who said that? No comment. We were a little shocked: how can you not put on a cast in the emergency room? They won’t let me out without it.

Then they tell me to go warm up. The cast doesn’t really affect skating. I warm up, they say, ‘Go jump.’ I’m in shock: my arm is in a cast, only shoulder joint moves. I try a single jump – the cast pulls it down, the arm doesn’t bend. I go into a jump and fell hard.

For myself, I decided: I won’t do jumps, I’ll just break something else. I told the coaches that I won’t jump today, they said I was rude, I don’t respect anyone’s work, not my parents’, not the coaches’, how dare I refuse to work. Okay, it’s not new for me, they created an image of a rude person for me, I’ll be rude, what can you do, it happens.

I continued to come to the ice with the same cast for several days, my mom dressed me completely, tied my skates. There were a couple of days left before the flight (to the Russian Nationals – ed.), I still had the cast, still couldn’t jump – they withdrew me. Well, that’s it, I went to treat my arm. I watched the Russian Nationals, except for the girls, only the results. I was so upset; the feeling when everyone is there, and you should be there too, but you’re not.

The Russian Nationals passed, then the Olympics, they took off my cast. I go out on the ice, on the third day I try a jump and break my left arm. They cast it, after three or four days I go out on the ice, and at the end of practice the coaches tell me: ‘You’re all broken up, you don’t want to work, you don’t wish to, you don’t respect us, we won’t work with you anymore.’ Like, that’s it, we’re kicking you out.

It was obvious, I wasn’t very upset, I called the federation, explained the situation, said I want to skate. And they offered me to transfer to CSKA,” Kostornaia said in an interview with Laysan Utyasheva.


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