Adelina Sotnikova: “I sincerely believe that athlete should skate not just 10 years of his life, but at least 20-25 and show the best possible results.”
Interview with Adelina Sotnikova the first Russian Olympic champion in women’s skating and now a figure skating coach for the younger generation. Adelina named the potential competitors of the Russian athletes in Beijing and told who the children consider their idols in the figure skating.
source: sportsdaily.com 3d February 2022 by
How many medals do you expect from Russian figure skaters at the upcoming Olympics?
Adelina Sotnikova: I’m of the opinion that the Olympic Games are definitely not about expectations. This is a test for the strength of the psyche, whose nerves last longer. It’s no secret that our team is the strongest due to the best line-up that could be gathered today. I, also like our entire country, believe that our athletes will take as many gold medals as possible and give us the best skates.
Which of our guys has a chance to fight for the podium?
Adelina Sotnikova: This year we can definitely see that the members of the men’s team can fight and get good places, thanks to the excellent performance and the victory of Mark Kondratiuk at the European Championships.
The rest of the guys also have great chances. I heard that Mikhail Kolyada got a positive covid test, because of which he will not be able to go to the Olympics. It was a shock both for me and for everyone else. We all really wanted to see him, because Misha combines beauty, plasticity, and expressiveness of skating. But the rest of our guys are also strong skaters. I believe that they will be able to stand on a pedestal.
Is the Russian podium in women’s single skating in Beijing real or the judges will not allow this? Foreign experts still have many questions about the objectivity of judging in relation to Russian women.
Adelina Sotnikova: Again, the question is ambiguous. Everything depends directly on the performances of our girls and on the performances of our competitors. The Olympics is a very unpredictable event, because everything can change in a matter of seconds. But I, as fans, would like to see our girls on the podium.
Who can intervene in the struggle of Russian women for Olympic gold?
Adelina Sotnikova: Most of all I’m worried about the Japanese Wakaba Higuchi and Mana Kawabe, who have the triple axel. Our athletes should not relax.
How did you react to the fact that Elizaveta Tuktamysheva did not get to the Olympics?
Adelina Sotnikova: I knew that getting to the Olympic Games was Liza’s dream, so I was very upset. Her performances for several years prove that Liza has every right to represent our country. However, at the Russian Nationals, she made mistakes in the short program, although in the free program her performance was gorgeous.
I really wanted her to get to the Olympic Games. Nowadays, girls are very strong, it is difficult for others to compete with them. I don’t know what Liza will decide in the end: will she end her career or continue to perform, but I can say for sure that the whole country is grateful to her for such a hard work.
For which of the Valieva-Trusova-Shcherbakova trio, the defeat at the Olympics will be a greater tragedy?
Adelina Sotnikova: To get to the Olympic Games is already a great success, so the word “tragedy” is too big here. The most desired dream of any athlete has come true, and what happens in the process is not so important. The athlete skates his program, and how he does it depends only on him. You know our girls very well – they will not give up without a fight, so they will skate to the last. And the decision is up to the judges.
Do you think Anna Shcherbakova will be able to show her maximum in Beijing? At the Russia Nationals and European Championships, she did not look very convincing.
Adelina Sotnikova: Everything that happens during the season is a training before the most important competitions in your life. Of course, all this will be appreciated, but Anya skated very well, performing a beautiful quadruple flip.
I’m of the opinion that our girls can do absolutely everything. Well, in Beijing there will definitely be a “fight for survival”.
Can the victory of 15-year-old Valieva lead to the fact that the age minimum will be raised? What do you think about it?
Adelina Sotnikova: The question of the age minimum has been considered for 2-3 years already. As I heard, it will be considered after the Olympic Games. In fact, everything is possible. I can’t be biased since I won my olympic games at 17. However, even our 15-year-old girls perform well, although age makes you fell differently. We can only wait and observe the situation.
It seems that Valieva and Alina Zagitova have a lot in common. Kamila, for example, like Alina, can become an Olympic champion at the age of 15. But won’t Valieva be knocked down by a victory in Beijing at such an early age? Will she, like Zagitova, have to leave the sport early?
Adelina Sotnikova: It seems to me that it’s not worth comparing Valieva and Zagitova. We’re all different. If she has the strength left and she can continue her career, then it will be just wonderful. If not, then it can also be understood. It all depends on whether she has the strength and desire. After all, she has not yet become an Olympic champion.
You did not participate in the team event, but won gold in individual competitions. Will this be an additional advantage in the individual competitions for one of our girls who will not be selected for the team event? The option of getting Sasha Trusova into a team event, for example, is not even being considered now.
Adelina Sotnikova: Our girls are lucky that they have a team event. Who will be in the team – this is up to the Russian Figure Skating Federation. The fact that now there is a team event, and therefore the rest of the girls can get a medal, is definitely a great success. I have always valued individual competitions more, they were important for me.
You train children of different ages. Previously, girls wanted to be like Zagitova and Medvedeva. How about now? Who is considered as an idol for the growing figure skaters?
Adelina Sotnikova: In general, they come, of course, because of Adelina Sotnikova, and therefore they want to be like me. In fact, figure skating is developing, it does not stand still. My kids all watch competitions. Someone likes Valieva, Trusova, Shcherbakova. But all have quite different opinions. I believe that children should take the best from the best athletes. Therefore, I try to explain that they must become the best for themselves and create their own history. And their result will depend only on the quality of their work.
How are you progressing in BIM Media? What are the upcoming projects? Have you got an understanding of what exactly you will continue to do with the label?
Adelina Sotnikova: Since August, I have signed a contract with BIM Media. The founder of this company is Anastasia IVKA, who became my exclusive producer. I want to clarify that this applies not only to music. She is also involved in activities related to sports, advertising – in general, she works with me. This is a company that includes a music label, a sports agency, a PR agency. I’m in the direction of BIM Media. All questions concerning my work is to her. We have many plans. For example, now we are preparing another project, we are also getting ready to shoot the video. There I show myself more as an actress. There is still a lot of interesting things ahead, but also do not forget about me on the ice.
Do you want to return to commenting figure skating?
Adelina Sotnikova: Since childhood, I have been living in this atmosphere, so I understand everything that happens on the ice. So when they call me to comment, I happily agree.
How do you see figure skating in five years? What will be new, what will remain in the past?
Adelina Sotnikova: As you can see, figure skating has grown significantly over the past 8 years and is developing rapidly. The girls are jumping complex elements, and the boys are already doing a quintuple axel in five and a half turns. If such complex elements develop at such a pace, then I’m afraid to imagine at what age children will have to start skating.
Of course, looking at beautiful and complex elements is very exciting, but athletes are people too, they can get physical and moral injuries. To be honest, I would not want my child to go through this. I sincerely believe that an athlete should skate not 10 years of his life, but at least 20-25 and show the best possible results.
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