“Stepanova and Bukin are really capable of fighting for an Olympic medal” Nikolai Morozov joined their coaching team

Posted on 2021-12-02 • No comments yet


Alexander Svinin and Nikolai Morozov told about their cooperation in work with Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin.

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source: russian.rt.com dd. 1st December, 2021 by Elena Vaitsekhivskaya

The famous coach Nikolai Morozov will take part in the preparation of the Russian ice dancers Alexandra Stepanova – Ivan Bukin. According to the duo’s coach Alexander Svinin, the specialist should help athletes to overcome the underestimation from the judges that the pair faced in the Olympic season. Morozov himself is confident that his new skaters will be able to compete for a medal at the Games in Beijing.

Alexander Svinin: During this season, we constantly invited a variety of specialists to our trainings, they had made their comments, which we took into consideration and generally understood that we were moving in the right direction. In November, Sasha and Ivan November at two Grand Prix – in Turin and Grenoble, and everyone who was there noted great progress in their development. But it so happened that the judges rated the guys lower than two years ago. So, we realized that we need to find an opportunity to develop even faster. Therefore, it was decided to involve Morozov into work.

According to Svinin, there were no visual mistakes in pair’s skating at the second Grand Prix in Grenoble, and if it had not been for the unsuccessful draw, Stepanova and Bukin would have been guaranteed the Grand Prix Final.

Alexander Svinin: Because of covid and injuries, we had to skip a number of planned competitions, but I was very pleased with the way Vanya and Sasha approached the competitions: there was not a single breakdown in training, during the performances too. Both times rhe athletes were prepared well enough to get high scores. The same was noted by many specialists and colleagues who were present at the Grand Prix. I will say more: if Vanya and Sasha performed at any other stages, they would have qualified to the Final, even with the scores they got. But in Turin and Grenoble, we additionally had Gabriella Papadakis – Guillaume Cizeron, who were not initially seeded for these stages, since they missed the entire previous season. And instead of absolutely real two second places, we got two third places.

Svinin also added that after Stepanova and Bukin’s performance in Grenoble, the judges made comments on a huge number of elements. The greatest losses occurred in the pattern and step sequence in the rhythm dance and in a one foot sequence – in the free dance: Russian duet was given the first level of difficulty for all three elements, and this led to huge loss of basic difficulty.

Alexander Svinin: I cannot disagree with the judges. Here you really need to choose: either rise a protest immediately after the performance which is simply not practiced in ice dance, or to take all the judges’ comments into consideration. In the single skating, it is easier in this regard: if the athlete did not make the jump and fell, this is an obvious mistake. But when a dancer performs a bracket turn or a choctaw in the step sequence, if you wish, you can find fault with everything.

Nikolai Morozov, talking about the new cooperation, explained that the idea of working together with Svinin and Zhuk was discussed a year ago, but due to the pandemic, it did not work out.

Nikolai Morozov: Today in figure skating it has become impossible to achieve high results if you work in a small team. At one time in ice dance, Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband brilliantly realized the idea of a large coaching team, thanks to which a real revolution took place in ice dance. Now the Dubreuil-Lauzon school works the same way in Montreal. For a long time I myself thought that it is also necessary to build a similar structure in Russia, so that our pairs would compete on equals with the strongest. I really like how Ira and Alexander work with their athletes, they have a large number of pairs, they do an excellent job with them. In the same way, I like how Alexei Gorshkov works, who coaches my daughter and whom I also help, and we plan that in the very near future Alexei and his athletes will also join our team and we will train our athletes on the same ice.

He also pointed out that joint work with specialists of this level is good because each coach has his best skills. This allows the specialists to complement each other, and most importantly, with such a comprehensive approach to the training process, the progress of the skaters goes much faster.

Answering the question what he considers to be a priority in his work with Stepanova and Bukin, Morozov replied:

Nikolai Morozov: I would say that the situation is very similar to the period of my work, when I coached Lena Ilinykh – Nikita Katsalapov and prepared them for the Sochi Olympics. At that time, we could not beat Katya Bobrova and Dima Soloviev, and I understood that we would not be able to do this until we start to skate head and shoulders above. In the end, we succeeded, although the turning point in this regard occurred at the very last moment – not even in the team event, but in the individual competitions at the Olympic Games, where Lena and Nikita won bronze medals. We have the same task now with Stepanova and Bukin – I think that they are really capable of fighting for an Olympic medal. In general, I like difficult situations. In addition, Sasha and Ivan are adults and very experienced athletes who perfectly understand what exactly they lack, and perceive new things very well. I can see a certain progress in their skating already now, the plan of our joint preparation has been drawn up to the Russian Nationals, and I am sure that the audience there will be able to see everything themselves.


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