Evgeni Rukavitsin: figure skating would have been much poorer without Carolina Kostner

Posted on 2018-04-07 • 3 comments


Recently I have posted translation of the interview with Evgeni Rukavitsin, the part about Dmitri Aliev. Here’s second part of this interview, about juniors, difficult jumps and competition with Eteri Tutberidze.

Part about Aliev is here: Evgeni Rukavitsin: there are rules of figure skating and there are rules of the game

Eteri Tutberidze in an interview emphasised on the discipline as a key moment. In her opinion even his free time athlete should devote to preparing himself for the next practice.

– I can tell you about one of our students who once told us heartily: “So figure skating should be the only thing in my life now?” We were shocked. We told her: “Of course, how can it be different?” After those words, she changed something in herself, she even started getting good. But champions are those who don’t even have such questions. Naturally, the athlete’s free time is for sport only. It is necessary only for restoring the body and head for tomorrow’s work. This is a common truth.

Are there any such children left?

– Yes. But they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Once you’ve mentioned Tutberidze, I can’t help but ask such a question. Zagitova and Medvedeva took gold and silver at the Olympic Games, Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaya – gold and silver at the junior world championships, Alexei Erokhov became the junior champion. It’s no secret that one of the recipes for her success is “to work like a horse” (Russian idiomatic expression means “to work very hard”). How are you going to compete with her? By the same way of colossal loads or by your own way?

– Of course, we have our own way. Each coach has his own system. Of course, we look at each other. We understand that one system gives a greater result than the other. It is obvious.

The St. Petersburg system was always different from Moscow. Loads in the Moscow system have always been higher. It was due to the fact that historically in St. Petersburg there were less choice than in Moscow. I do not want to offend anyone, but the coaches in St. Petersburg among other things always needed to calculate loads more carefully. Probably, continuity has led to the fact that we also adhere to the same philosophy. Another thing that, of course, we can not ignore the progress in figure skating, for example in juniors. So we are changing our way of thinking in some way. But I personally want to emphasize the development of men’s figure skating. It is clear that Aliev is my main goal, all my thoughts and actions are directed at him. At the same time, I am absolutely aware of loads on muscles, joints in men’s skating. And if I will combine difficult quadruple jumps with “horse” work, there will be one step until the injury. Therefore, you have to be very careful here.

At the same time I don’t want to say that in Moscow they don’t care about figure skaters. In no case do I want to belittle Eteri’s successes, she achieved a great result. And I’m sure she thinks the same about he other side of the coin – the consequences of the loads.

The direct question. You have junior girls in your group. Will you learn quads with them to catch up with Tutberidze’s juniors?

– Yes, we have one talented girl now. But I’ll think ten times about it, that’s for sure. And if I see the real potential then why not? But again, I don’t want to offend anyone – there is such an athlete as Carolina Kostner, and she is like a separate world. Zagitova and Medvedeva are also such separate worlds. But figure skating would have been much poorer if Kostner had not been there. I have a special attitude to her in the sense of what I put in the concept of women’s figure skating.

There was a Japanese figure skater Midori Ito. She had a terrific triple axel. And her figure skating was different. With emphasis on sportiness. Kostner has incredible musicality, femininity …

Okay, the question of a dilettante. We see how the junior world championship is won by girl with quadruple jumps. We see how the girl wins the Olympics with the brilliant technique, but with junior skating. Will everyone go this way?

– Many told me this, but I don’t think that Alina Zagitova has junior skating. This is first. By the way, if we go back to the World Championships, where she became fifth, I want to say that nothing has disappeared, anything can happen. The girl was brilliantly ready for the championship, we all saw it at practices. I think there was an accident, perhaps, some devastation after the Olympics, which even the strongest athlete has.

And I do not think that everyone will go this way. Coaches who work at this level are sane. You need to have a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject to learn quads with 13-14 years old girls. For example, I deeply respect such specialist as Sergei Dudakov, I’m absolutely sure that he treats athletes as his own children. And I doubly respect how they “walked between the raindrops” learning the quads with girls.

Is there a risk?

– There is a risk even in walking the street. Men also get injured. Chen a few years ago was seriously injured at the gala. But he didn’t give up, he achieved six quads in a free program.

Will you go your own way knowing that you will lose?

– Yes. Until we find a girl who will get “10” for PCS, or a girl with whom we will learn quadruples,or a girl who will jump quads and get “10” for PCS.

You had Alisa Fedichkina, who was the winner of the national junior championship. Why did not it work out?

–  She lacked discipline. She began to grow up, and, unfortunately, she was fastly pulled into the world of temptations.

Girls are unpredictable?

– But Etery was able to find an approach? She has not only one, not two examples – she has a galaxy. But as I already said, I will invest all my strength in men’s single skating. I have Aliev, who doesn’t have a limit in development, and this gives me the absolute joy of being in my profession. It’s a huge coaching happiness to work with such an athlete.

by Andrei Simonenko for rsport.ria.ru


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3 Responses to “Evgeni Rukavitsin: figure skating would have been much poorer without Carolina Kostner”

  1. Felicity says:

    Printout—100 points to you!

  2. printout says:

    It’s funny that he use the word “galaxy” to describe Eteri’s camp. Because stars do burn out…

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