Yana Rudkovskaya: “I don’t think Tutberidze is the greatest coach. What is great about the conveyor of female athletes, practically children, who don’t have senior career in sports?”

Posted on 2021-12-06 • 7 comments


Yesterday in the TV show on the NTV Channel, Russian Honored Coach Tatiana Tarasova, spoke on a variety of topics in her special style, harshly and directly. Among other things, the specialist touched upon the confrontation between Evgeni Plushenko and Eteri Tutberidze and the family of the Olympic champion – the work of Yana Rudkovskaya (Plushrnko’s wife) and the prospects of their son Alexander.

source: sport-express.ru dd. 6th December 2021, by Dmitri Kuznetsov

Here are the main quotes:

About the confrontation between Tutberidze and Plushenko

Tatiana Tarasova: It is ridiculous to even talk about. Eteri is an outstanding coach, Zhenya is a beginner coach. Maybe Rudkovskaya decided that it would be more useful for promotion. But this is wrong, this is ridiculous. What to talk about? Zhenya has been working for the first year. She does not understand that it is not words that decide – work, actions decide here. When she understands this, it will not be too late. But she has already ruined a lot for him. I see that he works well, and I say this.

Tarasova was also skeptical about Plushenko Jr.

Do you see potential in him?

Tatiana Tarasova: I don’t really see it yet. Yes, he skates well. I think they just need to keep silent for a little, be silent for two years.

The co-owner of the Angels of Plushenko Academy and the wife of the two-time Olympic champion did not stand aside. She considered it necessary to answer Tatiana Anatolievna.

Yana, did you hear what Tatiana Anatolievna Tarasova said about you and your family members? She spoke out harshly and rather critically.

Yana Rudkovskaya: We just came back from Italy, where Evgeni’s show was taking place, and in the morning the journalists were calling endlessly. At first I didn’t want to comment. And then I decided to answer, on all the items. It seems to me that it will be correct. First of all, the words of Tatiana Anatolievna shocked me, to be honest. Well, since my name is mentioned, and even in such a context, I will answer.

Regarding luring athletes, no one lured Trusova or Kostornaia. If Trusova had not gone to us, she would have gone to other coaches. Tatiana Anatolievna should know this. This is really slyness. It’s not my secret, so I can’t say which other coaches exactly, but they considered several people. If Evgeni had not taken her, then she had several backup options. This means that she would have gone to another coach, Tarasova is aware of whom she would have switched to, if not to Evgeni. Would that also be considered luring? Or would it just be a change of coach?

Kostornaia was brought to us in general by Sergei Rozanov, and Seryozha was brought by the Trusovs. They asked to take him to the team. I do not believe that my husband and his team did nothing for Sasha. She became the bronze medalist at the senior Russian Nationals and the bronze medalist of the World championships – fo far this is her highest achievement in sports. If Sasha had listened to Evgeni in everything at the World Championships, she would have become the world champion. Evgeni and his team think so, and I cannot but agree with them.

Tarasova said that my husband has been working as a coach just a year. Why mislead the audience? He has been working for four years. As a co-owner of the academy, I see that three junior girls are Grand Prix finalists. Half of the girls qualified to the Finals are girls from “Angels of Plushenko”! They have nothing to do with Tutberidze. These are Zinina, Zhilina and Muraviova.

Zhilina trained with Eteri Georgievna.

Yana Rudkovskaya: Tutberidze has never coached her, everything that Veronica can do was taught by her mother – Lyudmila Nikolaevna Alferova, who also works in our team now, then Sergei Rozanov coached her for a while. We also have a boy Kirill Sarnovsky – he is also a Grand Prix finalist! He trais with us for three years with his younger brother and sister.

Here’s another example. Tutberidze kicked Sofia Titova out at the age of 8. She said that she was unfit for the group. Now Titova is 12. Evgeni has been working with her for four years. And Titova beat all the young girls of Tutberidze. She started to jumps triple axel in competitions and made a combination of a quadruple toe loop + double toe loop. This is an indicator that Evgeni and his team are working. Yes, we all understand that Evgeni is a beginner coach. We do not argue about this. But I don’t think Tutberidze is the greatest coach. The greatest coaches are Mishin, Moskvina, Zhuk, Tarasova, Tchaikovskaya. Tutberidze is an excellent coach. She has a super team, they do a great job. But Tutberidze will become the greatest coach when her athletes will have not just one Olympics, but two, three, four.

Even so?

Yana Rudkovskaya: This is my opinion, and it has a right to exist, since I have been related to figure skating for many years and I know a lot of things, but I don’t consider it necessary to say so far. Explain me, what is great about the conveyor of female athletes, practically children, who do not have senior career in sports? As a mother of a boy athlete, wife of an athlete who now a coach, I would like my child to have a long career in sports, like my husband had. And I don’t want him to retire from sports at the age of 15. We see Julia Lipnitskaya, who works with us, Alina Zagitova, Zhenya Medvedeva. The girls did not go to the second Games, as did, for example, Ira Slutskaya, or Yuna Kim, or Mao Asada.

If we are talking about the greatness of coaches, then this is, of course, Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin, who went through four Olympics with my husband and brought the country four medals with one athlete. Liza Tuktamysheva at the age of 25 will try to qualify for the Olympics and compete with 15-year-old Kamila Valieva. And therefore the whole world will cheer for her! This is overcoming. She is closer than ever to her dream. And she, by the way, is also a Grand Prix finalist.

This is clear. Then there were words about Plushenko and Yagudin.

Yana Rudkovskaya: Who is better – Evgeni Plushenko or Alexei Yagudin? Of course, every coach will look after his athlete. I support Tatiana Anatolievna in this. But to say “where is Lesha and where is Zhenya?” … Indeed, where is Lesha and where is Zhenya? And where is the adequacy? Lesha has two Olympics – fifth and first place. And Evgeni Plushenko is a two-time Olympic champion and a two-time silver medalist. I count based on the Olympic medals. Zhenya has four Olympic medals, while Lesha has only one. There is a difference, isn’t there? Open Wikipedia and read that he is the most titled single skater in modern history and shares the record for the number of Olympic awards only with the Swede Yillis Grafström, who skated almost a century ago.

I respect Tatiana Tarasova as a coach, but I do not understand her abrupt change of opinion. Two years ago, my husband stood up for her when Tutberidze’s team humiliated her in the comments on Team Tutberidze’s Instagram. They say, do not meddle, there would be better to have less of your love and care (the comment about Alina Zagitova. – ed). To say that I ruined something for my husband … It is impossible to ruin something for him. He has great results with juniors. I still believe that the arrival of Alena and Sasha was our strategic mistake. The same as dividing the ice and coaches between them. Evgeni hardly ever coached Kostornaia.

Wait, but I remember that Angels of Plushenko wrote on Instagram that Plushenko and Rozanov are coaching her together.

Yana Rudkovskaya: Evgeni coached Alena for only a month and a half. And when Sasha made a demand to choose – either she or Kostornaia, my husband chose her. In principle, when athletes make such demands, I agree with Eteri Georgievna – it won’t do any good. So Sergei Rozanov worked with Alena. Both Alena and Sasha did not have a sparring partner. Evgeni came, helped, gave some advice, but Alena trained very little.

Her back hurted a lot, the doctors forbade loads, why is everyone silent about this? She had covid, a complication – viral sore throat. She practically did not train at full strength. It’s difficult to talk about a full season. Not because Seryozha Rozanov is a bad coach, but because she was ill all season. In total, she trained fully only two months. Four – was ill. She came to us without an axel, and now 10 months have passed, but so far we have not seen a clean axel at the competitions. Alena is 18 years old, not 15, not everything is as simple as everyone would like. I will be sincerely glad if she succeeds, she is a very talented girl, I am very sorry that Evgeni could not train her. Very sorry.

How would you comment on the fact that Tatiana Anatolievna does not see potential, a sporting future in your son Alexandr?

Yana Rudkovskaya: Sasha is only eight years old. He has all the combination with double jumps, he just started to jump double axel and broke his arm, but I think he will recover within a month. Boys generally develop more slowly in sports than girls. But last year he did not lose a single competition, being the youngest of the participants. So it depends on whom to compare with. She does not see, but Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin, Elena Anatolyevna Tchaikovskaya see. Brian Orser sees, Rafael Arutyunyan sees, Nikolai Morozov sees, and my husband and his entire team see. These opinions are authoritative for me. The opinion of Tatiana Anatolievna Tarasova is authoritative for someone, but for me, since she did not raise my husband and has nothing to do with my family, her opinion about my child is not fundamental.

Sasha is only at the very beginning of his journey, he has everything ahead. I know that if my son works hard and does not have problems with injuries, he will become a very good athlete. And I would not want my son to finish his career at the age of 15-17, as often happens in one well-known coaching staff with girls, moreover, super talented girls. They now do shows and host TV shows, but I’m sure they would like to stay in the sport, skate and stand on the podium. Let’s see how many girls will be able to stay after the Beijing Olympics and compete with the current juniors, who will soon enter the senior competitions. Let’s remember this interview and look in four years who will be able to go to the Games-2026 from the current team. I think that only the stubborn Sasha Trusova, and only if they fulfill all the promises they made to get her back, and if she stays there to train and won’t go abroad or end her career because of injuries. She does not take care of herself at all.

Still, it remains surprising for me: when Tutberidze humiliated Tatiana Anatolievna two years ago, my husband stood up for her openly and was not afraid of anyone. Apart from him, none of the coaches stood up for her. Except for Lesha Yagudin, whose coach she was, and Zhenya.

Returning to Trusova – why did the breakup happen?

Yana Rudkovskaya: I repeat once again: if Sasha Trusova had not come to Evgeni, she would have gone to another coach anyway. Moreover, she would not have returned to Tutberidze even now. It’s just that those coaches to whom she wanted to go abroad, were ready to take her only in collaboration with Evgeni.

Do you mean Rafael Arutyunyan?

Yana Rudkovskaya: I will not say. The decision to end cooperation was mutual. It was not only Sasha’s decision. Evgeni also could not work with Sasha according to his own system, let me put it this way. We are in excellent relations with Sasha and her parents. We have a contract for a show that she has to skate. She is a super talented and very hardworking girl and figure skating is her whole life. I know only one such person on this planet among the skaters – this is our beloved Yuzuru Hanyu. That’s all.

Evgeni and our team still treat Sasha and Alena very warmly. You need to understand that Alena left because Evgeni did not train her, and Seryozha did not have his own team. You can ask Alena herself about this – how much Evgeni trained her. Why is she never asked about this? Ask and everything will fall into place. Evgeni helped in training only at the beginning, then he asked her children’s coach, Elena Zhgun, to help, since Sergei could not cope. With her Alena learned all the triples and only then went to Tutberidze. By the way, she helped Alena absolutely free of charge, as much as she could. But this was twice a week, as she coaches her groups elsewhere. Awesome woman!

And although Sasha is a super-talented hard worker, he shas character. If she had followed the Mishin’s system, according to which Evgeni works, she would have been the world champion. She came to the World championship with five quads and showed them in training, all five, the whole world saw it, as recently she showed them at the test skates. But she got used to a different system and did not accept many of the advice. Yes, Evgeni is a beginner coach. Everyone starts somewhere. Tatiana Anatolyevna and Alexei Nikolaevich also once started. And Eteri Georgievna. How else?

If we are talking about Yagudin, then he came to Tarasova from Mishin with all the quads, being a world champion. Did she raise him? He was brought up by Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin. And Ilya Kulik came as a ready athlete. Evgeni and I respect Tatiana Anatolievna. She is a superwoman and a figure skating legend. But I don’t understand why it’s necessary to touch me and my son. She can talk about Evgeni as much as she wants, but talk like that about a child who watches TV and the Internet, lives in a society where they will definitely tell or show him about it – look, the great coach says about eight-year-old boy that he has no future in sports! You can talk about this at the age of twelve, but not at eight for sure. I do not think this is right. Moreover, as I understand it, our story is the only thing that was quoted by all the media, and this was the main announcement in the teaser of the program, and questions about us were a condition of the producers of this program in order to create a resonance.

Are you sure?

Yana Rudkovskaya: Because nobody is interested in hearing about “Lesha can do anything”. This program has been asking us to come to this program for a long time. But we cannot agree on the financial conditions and content of the program. We go to tv programs either to our friends, or for a very large fee. The negotiations have been going on for three years to this day! If our surnames and our child were needed for the rating of the program and we basically did this rating – we are happy for Tatiana Anatolievna. We wish her good health and do not have any grievances.


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7 Responses to “Yana Rudkovskaya: “I don’t think Tutberidze is the greatest coach. What is great about the conveyor of female athletes, practically children, who don’t have senior career in sports?””

  1. Peter says:

    She is the greatest coach. Many will find fault with her for that.
    She is not the greatest tennis coach or the best senior citizen figure skating coach. She’s the best at what she does. She is the best coach of young and gifted figure skaters seeking world championships.

  2. PavelS says:

    >You can thimk about Jana what you want- she is right. It is the point about Tutberidze. She and her team is a good children and prepuberty coach. Real sportsmen with long careers I cannot see.

    You cannot see, because you have no clue about anything besides repeating a false narrative. Just on the last GP in Sochi, 26 years old male skater won gold. His name is Moris Kvitelashvili, and Eteri is his coach for many years. He has a bronze medal of the last Euro and currently on 7th position in ISU rating. So she has students with long careers, it’s just not yet with females, but it’s understandable, as her female skaters are so successful in recent years, that tend to win everything before they’re 20 and switch to more profitable careers than competitive FS.

  3. Václav Sedláček says:

    As I’ve said, Yana knows nothing ablout figure skating, thougfh she is too puffed up to understand. Long career. That is like a magic formula among haters. First, long career is not the same as succesful career. There are plenty of skaters whose career could be considered long eventually, but who never achieved anything and that have no remarkable qualities. They are just happy they have very little competition in their own country and that system of country quotas saves the spots for them at big competitions, where manyýž skaters much better can’t go, because the stupid and obsolete max 3 per country limit. Second, skaters who are perpetually reminded for “finishing soon” in fact started at 4 or five and their career lasted like 12, 14, 16 years. That’s not short. Then, if you are a world champion at 16, 17, 18, why would you have to be bound to skating if something else takes your interest. Studying, travelling etc. BTW, like 90 % of skaters finish at teen age all over the world (just look at the statistics of the US skating union for instance), the difference with Eteri is that they usually become multititled sport stars, not that her skaters would finish earlier than other ones. Which is again what haters do not accept because it disrupts their narrative.

  4. Václav Sedláček says:

    Yana is the actual cause of problems between the coaches in Russia. As a “TV celebrity” she lives in a different world, partially world of her own fantasy and imagination about sport and coaching. And she created a dream world in which her husband will be the best coach and her son the best skater. She offends anyone because she considers herself above, like a goddess. But in a real world no one can take her seriously. And she definitely is the last person who should take the moral highground, her (and Plushy’s) methods of coaching their son include beating, locking him in the room and putting him in the corner (it’s not any fantasy, she spoke about that very openly), she also is pursuing the former skaters of Plushy’s school (like “Trusova is obliged to skate in our shows”) so I really don’t know why anyone should pay any attention to what this lunatic says.

  5. Renate says:

    You can thimk about Jana what you want- she is right. It is the point about Tutberidze. She and her team is a good children and prepuberty coach. Real sportsmen with long careers I cannot see. But I want to say somerhing about little Sasha. Jana, as a mother I understand, but it is no need that Sasha has this high pressure to become a winner in figure scating. All know, it is not a healthy sport.It cannot be the wish for him. He has many other possibilities in life…many other! Of course he has talent, but such an outstanding talent like your husband or Yuzu it is rare- it is to compare with 6 right numbers in Lotto. I do not beleave and I do not wish – for his wellbeing, for the good- that he has these 6 right numbers. Should he grow without the pressure because of his famous father and let him stay healthy. Let him do the sport only for pleasure. Let him live his only happy life. It is not the right thing that people in Russia…and the parents too decide, what this poor rich child had to do. Let others think what they want.

  6. Kitty W says:

    Yana makes a great point about the short competitive life of Eteri’s skaters.

  7. Veronica says:

    Wow, what a Russian drama!
    Viper’s nest.

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