Maxim Trankov: I may be a good guy on the ice but a very bag guy in life.

Posted on 2017-04-17 • 8 comments


Translation of an interview with Maxim Trankov. About figure skating, possible return and his personality.

Maxim, do you really cannot stand figure skating?

– I’ll lie, if I say that I love this sport. It firmly entered my life, but I never liked doing it.

Nevertheless, before the Olympics in Sochi, you said that you would like to make a revolution in figure skating. Do you think you did it?

– At the World Championships 2016 in Boston, during a press conference, was a suggestion that figure skating should be alike skating that pair Volosozhar – Trankov was showing.  It is very nice. Perhaps, Tanya and I really managed to transform athletes and spectators’ mindset. But it’s a pity there’s less and less creativity remains in sport – the accents are shifting towards technique.

Figure skating has become an ordinary competition, where athletes skate, in fact, the same programs. There are only few bright programs. And even if you ask someone to recall the performances of leading pairs, it’s unlikely that anyone will do it. Even I won’t be able to, although I comment figure skating on the TV channel “Match TV” together with Tatiana Tarasova and watch almost all the competitions.

Your decision to leave the sport – is it final?

– We have never said that we definitely decided to leave the big sport. But we can not find the motivation to return yet. We would like to say goodbye to the audience. We have a huge army of fans, and we can not just say “Goodbye!” through the press. In figure skating, we usually do not do like this, we arrange some gala performances or participate in some kind of competitions for the last time. A lot will depend on Tatiana’s condition after childbirth, how quickly she will recover.  At the same time, of course, we will continue to skate in different ice shows. I think, up to 38 years we will be in skates.

Can you say that your reluctance to fight for gold in Pyeongchang is motivated by attacks on Russian sports?

– Absolutely! Sport is a hellish work. Go to your goal, come back after the childbirth, as Lena Isinbayeva did, and for what? To end up with an unfair disqualification? There is a possibility that the Russian national team will not be allowed to participate in the next Winter Olympics. And even if you win gold – what next? Wait and shiver that maybe they will find some scratches on the jar and our names will be bandied about? Therefore, I see no reason to torture myself.

Maxim, how do you deal with failures? I’m not talking about sporting ones when you wanted the first place, but I took  third …

– Actually, easily. The matter is that, being a child, I did not want to do figure skating. I constantly took the last places – I got to the top of the pedestal for the first time only being 18 years old. I got used to lose, so later it did not hurt me at all. But when I started to do pairs, I start to worry, because I was responsible not only for myself, but also for the partner. Or I could lose my temper when we skated the program well, but received low marks. I’m a hot-tempered person.

So, you’re being difficult.

– I’m being difficult for both coaches and partners. Plus, I always defend my point of view heartedly, even if it is wrong. But, offending someone or insulting, I try to find the strength to apologize.

But you can’t keep yourself under control?

– And this is a huge problem of my life. In my case, the word “restraint” seems to exist in parallel reality, I immediately start to speak straight from the shoulder. Where you could have kept silent, be sure I’d say something. That’s why now my wife usually do all negotiations, in this regard, she is much wiser than me.

From the first sight you don’t seem a person with so many demons inside…..

– I’ll say even more, I may be a good guy on the ice but a very bag guy in life. They even consider me angry. My closest friends laugh at this, and when they hear something, they shrug their shoulders: “Well it’s Trankov …”

You surprised me with your confession. Why did you decide that around you formed the image of an anti-hero?

– Because I created this image myself. On instagram I have a nickname xam_trankov. This is such a play of words: max – xam (xam in Russian means “rude person”). But people who are in the loop know that I can be tough.

For what reason?

– Any. When someone caught me at a bad time or, for example, hurt Tanya or my friends.

In such situations, do you limit yourself with a word or take firm actions?

– I will not get into a fight, although I can if it’s necessary. But I know that a word can make it very painful. And I’m warning about this honestly. For example, girls, when they srart to argue with me with raised voices. I say: “Stop it, if you continue, then I will have to answer, and it will be unpleasant!” And if she continues, it is quite predictable ends with tears.

I can find a person’s weakness and use it, taking him out of balance. Sometimes I’m even disgusted with how I do it. Because of this feature of my character I’m especially disliked.

Have you noticed how much it pushes away people from you? Were there any who left and did not return?

– A lot of those who still do not want to communicate. I’m quite simple with this: If you do not want to then do not. I’ve never adapted to anyone, so there are not many friends, not everyone can understand me and forgive some little sins. That’s why I adore them. They, in turn, know that I will do everything for them.

And what else is good in you? You told so many bad things about yourself……

– I do not think that this is bad. All people are different.

So, you adhere to the principle of “love me for who I am”?

– I prefer the phrase “to be, not to seem”. I do not want to seem a good person who, for example, loves his wife and cares about her, goes to the ballet. Yes, I love my wife and ballet, not because I want people to think that I’m good, but because I really love. But if necessary, I can say to a near seated person at the ballet everything I think about him. Well, I’m such a person. I grew up in Perm, where people never at a loss for words.

Considering all that you said about yourself, we can make a conclusion about sociopathy.

– I’m qualified as psychologist. And once, having completely analyzed myself, I came to the conclusion that I do not really like large crowds of people …

Do they annoy you or you feel uncomfortable?

– I just do not like being among them. For example I go and think: this one is foolishly dressed, this one for some reason did a lip augmentation. It would seem, why do I care, but these thoughts start to overwhelm me. When Tanya asks me to go to the supermarket, for me it is a torture. Actually, that’s why I escaped from Moscow to a quiet place, to the furthest corner of the village, where only our house stands. And it’s great.

In general, having analyzed myself once, I realized that I’m comfortable only when I go out on the ice and nobody can contact me. Perhaps, this is the only moment that I love in figure skating. I have this from school. Because I was the worst in the group, I was always bullied. But as soon as I stepped on the ice, no one could do anything to me. I found myself in my world, where I could be whom I wanted, even though a Rambo or Superman. And no one was giving a screw-loose sign.  Behind the board I was protected from everyone.

So do I understand correctly, that’s how you was protecting yourself from mockery?

– I think yes. But I’ve understood it myself, with time. It is a pity, there was no psychologist who could explain it to me then.

Tell me please, from the moment you realized that Tanya is pregnant, how much has your life changed?

– We have a planned child. We wanted and worked hard on this issue. So I was ready. But, of course, when you realize that it’s not a fetus in the belly, but a child with arms and legs, at that moment comes the realization that you’re dad. Other worries appear, it is necessary to grow up urgently. If earlier I could calmly abandon some insignificant earnings – it seemed there was enough money, – now I agree to all offers. I suggested having a bank account for the child so that in the future she will have some kind of capital. I think I became more responsible.

Tanya once said that emotionally, you became more reserved. Do you think so? Judging by what you said before …

– I think yes. Everything coincided in the most successful way. We do not train, so, I do not have to do what I do not like. Everything looks easy on the ice, but in fact, figure skating, like any sport, is a titanic work.  And the training is similar to the “Groundhog day” – it is necessary to repeat a thousand times the elements, in the company of the same people around, to the same music.

It is really pressing on the psyche, especially when some kind of movement does not turn out and you need to repeat it again and again. And in any team work there are always disputes. Also I have an absolutely angelic wife. I constantly  think and can not find the answer to the question: what I did that I was so lucky to meet Tanya? At some point, I began to think that I would never marry, it was always hard for me with the relationships, considering my personality. But Tanya, being my partner, knew how to calm me down. Eventually we formed as a puzzle.

You said that you have a home almost in the middle of nowhere. With what feeling do you return home?

– I do not like to go out of there at all. I am ready to be there round the clock. Sometimes I am asked whether it is a pity to spend an hour every hour on the road. But is it worse than spending the same time in the crowded subway or waiting for a bus in the cold?  I love my bearish corner. Although sometimes even friends refuse to come to me, because as soon as they start to imagine the road, they become scared (laughs).

Do you feel well in the state you are today?

– Absolutely! I’m happy with my life, I think it’s very good for my thirties. But the most important thing is that today there are a lot of roads in front of me and I can choose any of them.

Interview for


Related topics: ,

8 Responses to “Maxim Trankov: I may be a good guy on the ice but a very bag guy in life.”

  1. Felicity says:

    Sounds like a deliberately hurtful man. Emotionally immature. Shame.

  2. Mad for Skating says:

    Funny that this interview would come out right after we were talking about his temperament compared to Klimov’s. He does sound like he could be difficult! But if Tatiana has found happiness with him, then good for her. He seems much sweeter around her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *