Anastasiia Gubanova: “I was ready for it (decrease in PCS after switching to Georgia). The rating must be earned over the years, nothing will happen right away.

Posted on 2022-04-29 • No comments yet


Interview with Anastasiia Gubanova, former Russian skater who now represents Georgia. About her first season under new flag, Olympics and World Championships.

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source: dd. 28th April 2022 by Andrei Simonenko

Before talking to Nastya, I had the opportunity to watch how choreographer Valentin Molotov worked on new program for her. In one word, from a viewer’s point of view, without revealing secrets, it is a miracle!

Anastasiia Gubanova: This is a completely new style for me. Never in my life have I skated like that. The music was chosen on my initiative, and it will be a very big surprise. It will be a very interesting program.

Will you have two new programs new next?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes. This one I mentioned is a free program. The short one is also new, it is choreographed by Alena Leonova, but I have already skated in that style. However, it will still be a surprise.

Your first full season has just ended after a break due to the change of sports citizenship. How did it go for you?

Anastasiia Gubanova: The season was very emotional. Sometimes difficult, sometimes very joyful. There were many different moments that I have never experienced in my life. For example emotions at big competitions – for the first time in my life. Therefore, in general, I am very satisfied with the season.

When it started, did you think about going to the Olympic Games?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Of course, I dreamed about it. But still, in reality, probably no. And I was shocked when I realized that Olympics are in a month.


Anastasiia Gubanova: It was the dream of a lifetime. And when they told me that I was definitely going… Such a motivation appeared, unreal!

What is the most memorable about the Olympics?

Anastasiia Gubanova: I experienced a lot of emotions there. To begin with, the Olympics brought us very close as a team. In the Village we had, one might say, a family atmosphere. Then to see all these celebrities who performed there – for me it was beyond reality. The opening ceremony – large-scale, interesting… The competitions themselves were very difficult. There were a couple of moments, I won’t tell which ones, which I overcame, and I’m proud of it. In my opinion, I performed very well.

Did you manage to make friends with any of the other teams?

Anastasiia Gubanova: I exchanged jackets with a Frenchwoman from short track (laughs). For the rest, communicated almost only with skaters.

How did the exchange happen?

Anastasiia Gubanova: By chance. A girl came up in the dining room and said – do you want to exchange national jackets? I say, of course I do! So I got a French jacket.

Probably you also exchanged badges?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Especially at the opening ceremony. There, they approached everyone in a row to change their badges.

And how many badges did you collect?

Anastasiia Gubanova: At the Olympics there was such a game in the application for a smartphone: you had to complete tasks, score points, and badges were given for this. How many of them I have now, do not count, I collected all the countries, the whole box is full of badges (laughs).

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You probably often recall the Olympic opening ceremony.

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, these are special emotions. At first we waited for a long time until it was our turn to enter the stadium. In general, watching a parade of athletes on TV is one feeling, but walking there yourself is completely different. You go and realize that the whole world is looking at you. It’s hard to even imagine that.

Athletes usually take pictures, videos with their phones when they walk through the stadium.

Anastasiia Gubanova: By the way, I didn’t! I was just enjoying the moment, waving flags.

Was the team event the first competitions of such a format for you?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, and that family atmosphere, which I mentioned, appeared, among other things, thanks to the team event. There was a lot of support. A very special competitions. It seems to me that this is very interesting and quite appropriate for figure skating.

Many said that both your scores and your place could have been higher. Are you satisfied with them?

Anastasiia Gubanova: I am satisfied with my work. And scores are something that does not depend on me.

At one time, Eteri Tutberidze said that when Morisi Kvitelashvili moved from the Russian team to the Georgian team, his scores for the components immediately decreased. Do you feel that you have to break through a certain ceiling of grades?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, it is felt. But it’s okay, and I was ready for it. The rating must be earned over the years, nothing will happen right away. You have to constantly skate clean, please the public, please the judges. Then the components will be higher.

Have you got many new followers on social networks since the Olympics?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes. I can’t say exactly how much, but the number significantly increased.

Do they write a lot?

Anastasiia Gubanova: After the short program at the Olympics, I took the phone, and it was blowing up! Messages were just falling right before my eyes – from different people from different cities and countries. So nice.

Do you answer? Or is it already unrealistic with such a number?

Anastasiia Gubanova: I try to answer everyone. Of course, maybe I don’t succeed to answer everyone, but I really try.

The World Championships was probably difficult for you – you had to compete without a coach, Evgeni Rukavitsin.

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, the preparation was very difficult. The last stage took place in Italy, I was constantly in touch with the coach, sent the video. But in the championship itself it was even more difficult. With a coach, you still feel a close person overboard, who is like performing on the ice with you. But there was no such person. Most likely, that is why I did not cope with the short program. And our teammates came to support me in the free program – both our pair (Karina Safina and Luka Berulava), and the dancers (Maria Kazakova and Georgy Revia). We stood, talked and they helped me to set myself up! This helped me a lot.

Is the final sixth place after the 14th in the short program a success?

Anastasiia Gubanova: Of course, and I was so happy and surprised! Immediately after the free program, I went to the hotel to relax. There I turned on the TV and saw that girls were still skating, and I still hold on to the first place! I was already eating, and they call me from our federation and say: “Nastya, where are you? You need to be in the green zone, where the leaders are sitting!” I dropped everything, got ready quickly and went to the arena. I was late, of course, to the green zone, I was already the fourth when I arrived. But anyway, I thought that in the end I would be somewhere in the tenth, but it turned out sixth! Unreal emotions.

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You also got to exhibitions!

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, I was chosen. I came up with the program myself in training before the exhibitions. You could say it was improvisation.

Well, now for the next season you need to make a gala program in advance!

Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, I think we will prepare something.

Did you feel the absence of Russian skaters at the World Championships?

Anastasiia Gubanova: It felt like something was not as usual, something different. It was very felt that there were no Russian athletes.

In the world of figure skating, everyone knows that you are Russian, you live and train in St. Petersburg, as you yourself said, “a Georgian on the ice, but in life the same Russian Nastya.” Did you feel any special attitude at the World Championships because this?

Anastasiia Gubanova: No, everything was as usual. The athletes themselves are very friendly. The atmosphere was warm, there was nothing like that.

Did the Georgian press notice your performance at the World Championships? Called, interviewed?

Anastasiia Gubanova: To be honest, no (laughs). But the federation, of course, praised.


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