Alisa Efimova: “This will be our first international season. Everything lies ahead. We are preparing very actively, hoping for good results.”

Posted on 2024-04-11 • No comments yet


Translation of the interview with pair skater Alisa Efimova who now represents USA.

original source: MatchTV dd.11th April 2023 by Maxim Khorenkov

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A post shared by Alisa Efimova & Misha Mitrofanov (@team_efimovamitrofanov)

Figure skater Alisa Efimova was born in Finland and trained in Russia under the guidance of Natalia Pavlova, Oleg Vasiliev, and Tamara Moskvina. She represented Russia with Alexander Korovin, then Germany with Ruben Blommaert. In June of last year, the athlete moved to the USA and teamed up with Misha Mitrofanov. In their debut season, the duo took second place in the national championship.

Q: How would you assess your first season in the U.S.?

Alisa Efimova: Overall, we managed to achieve our goal: it was important to make the podium. From our first training to the US Nationals, eight months flew by. Everything went very quickly, and there was no time to relax. I was also unable to compete in international competitions, and we had to earn our place in the main competitions of the season through internal tournaments. We had even less preparation time for these starts. As I said, everything went very quickly and sometimes nervously. Thanks to the new team, Misha [Mitrofanov] and our coaches, for their support and patience.

Q: Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea beat you by only 0.85 points at Nationals. What are the differences in judging in the U.S. and Russia?

Alisa Efimova: I can’t say, for myself I didn’t notice anything regarding the judging, I didn’t see anything new. Maybe I wasn’t thinking about it. We go out, do our programs, and that’s all.

Q: Your next season will be busier in terms of schedule. What are your plans?

Alisa Efimova: This will be our first international season. Everything lies ahead. We are preparing very actively, hoping for good results, we have choreographed programs.

Q: We did a big interview with you when you and Mikhail [Mitrofanov] had just teamed up. Have you gotten used to each other now?

Alisa Efimova: We figured out what’s comfortable in training for both of us, starting from the training schedule and ending with understanding the partner. We got to know each other in stressful situations, moments of emotional uplift. It’s too early to say that we feel each other’s philosophy one hundred percent. It takes years to do that, after all.

Q: Were the coaches satisfied with your first season?

Alisa Efimova: They noted that they were satisfied. The first thing I said to Misha after the free program at the National Championships was, “Yay, we did it.” Time flew by unnoticed. It helped us that we are both pair skaters with experience. I want to say thank you to all the specialists I have worked with before for my basics. Without this knowledge, without their work, it would be impossible.

Q: Fedor Klimov recently told us that foreigners take a more relaxed approach to processes. Did you feel that in your work with Misha?

Alisa Efimova: This is not about us. Skaters have to work in addition to sports to make ends meet. Financial support from the federation is of great importance for the sports part of life. Even one unsuccessful result at the National Championships can decide the fate of an athlete for the next season. Therefore, it is impossible to take it easy.

Q: How often does your mother (a figure skating coach in Finland) advise you on something now, have you seen her for a long time?

Alisa Efimova: We haven’t seen each other for a very long time, I hope that we will meet sometime soon. She supports me very much, as do all my relatives. Life is greatly facilitated by modern technology – messengers, video calls. I seem to be domestic, but I left home early. Without their support, it would be hard. We rarely see each other, but when we meet, the time spent together is appreciated even more, even more joy. Of course, I miss her.

Q: It seems that you have grown up during your time in the U.S.

Alisa Efimova: I certainly learned something while I was here. I revisited my views on many things, expanded my horizon. The more you learn, the broader your thinking and perception becomes. For example, how to cope with situations where it seems like everything is over, and then suddenly everything is in its place and you keep going. If I may be more specific: when you decide on big changes in life, you take on a lot of responsibility and learn to cope with it. This is what growing up means.

Q: Do you agree that there are no bright names in pairs on the international arena?

Alisa Efimova: There has been a generational change. There are no pairs from different generations that would compete with each other. Right now, there’s no notable name that stands out. The most famous, experienced – Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara, they can be distinguished.

Q: Are you following Russian pair skating now?

Alisa Efimova: Yes, I keep track of the results and watch the leading performances. I watched the jumping competition from beginning to end. It was interesting. I understand that pair skating in Russia is at a very high level. There’s not really much time to reminisce about the times in Russia. If it does happen, I try to look at it positively: it was in my life, and it’s good – it’s experience. Not that I want to dwell and wallow in sadness.

Q: What are the delights and pleasures of living in the U.S.? What do you like about living overseas?

Alisa Efimova: The joy and pleasure of your work, the feeling that you are doing what you love. If you have your own craft, a job, then there is an opportunity for self-realization. Probably it’s like that everywhere, but especially here. In the US, people work a lot, it’s noticeable.

Q: And in everyday life, your lifestyle?

Alisa Efimova: Everything is absolutely different in each state, as if there are different countries everywhere. America is large: different climate, architecture. I’ve been to Washington, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and of course, in Massachusetts and neighboring regions.

Q: Have you ever wanted to get an education in the U.S.? It opens new opportunities for the future and, at a minimum, expands horizons.

Alisa Efimova: Of course, I want to, and for me, it’s as important as sports. As soon as it becomes possible, I will continue my studies. If there is such an opportunity in the future, I would be happy to take advantage of it. For now, I have no time, I haven’t been here long, this season’s focus was on skating and adaptation.

Q: Have you managed to cross paths with anyone famous during your time in the U.S.?

Alisa Efimova: All the national skaters were at the U.S. Championships, it was interesting to see them-live. There weren’t any surprising encounters. I saw Malinin at the competitions, but we didn’t talk, everyone is focused on work.”


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