Adelina Sotnikova: I’m criticized that I don’t behave like a girl
Interview with Adelina Sotnikova for Ok magazine. About her dreams, disappointments, growing up, and role in the ice show “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. +great photoset
Adelina Sotnikova is incredibly sweet and fragile girl. Although she says that fragility has nothing to do with her, it is difficult to agree. “My parents tend to have overweight, of course, I also need to be careful.” Adelina says. “If a person wants, he will do anything to please himself and the others. If it requires not to eat, he won’t eat.” And this self-discipline is felt in Sotnikova all the time. For example, she is never late and calls herself “the time person”. Adelina also doesn’t like when people take offense at her. “I’m such kind of person that I always have to be good. Always try to help everyone … But in our world it is not appreciated,” Sotnikova says.
How do you respond to negative?
– Previously I paid attention, very worried. Now apparently grew up, began to understand that negativity will always be. Probably, overgrown with thick skin. (Laughs) After the Olympics, people was writing both good and bad, but it already has no maatter, Olympic gold medal was in my hands, I made it.
Did you have any moral devastation after victory?
– Definitely. I wanted to leave sport. But this were spontaneous movements. In the Olympic season was such an episode: at one of Grand Prix I failed my free program because of absent-mindedness. Then came home, sat down and talked to parents: “Maybe that’s all? Not the fact that I will go to the Olympics in Sochi. There’re still Russian Nationals and the European Championships, what if I сan’t stand?”
Parents have never persuaded me. So then they said, “If you feel that way, what can we say? Do not compete.” I sit, tears in his eyes, I do not know what to do. As a result, I decided: I will give myself one more chance. And then everything got better.
A year ago, you got a serious injury, but still continued to go to the rink in a cast. Why?
– I missed ice and usual way of life. Just a week before the Grand Prix at practice I tore an ankle ligament of the right foot. Of course, cast was put. Needed a complete rest. But I knew that if I want to stay in sport, I should keep in shape, train under any circumstances. Especially since I had an example to follow: before with us skated a boy who broke his leg, and every day came to the rink in a cast. Just two months later he went to competitions. Therefore, when I was put in plaster, I also continued to come to the rink, coached young kids and terribly missed the days when I skated myself. Despite this, it still was very hard to return on the big ice. I hasn’t competed for too long. For me it was a very serious injury.
Adelina, who planted a love for figure skating?
– I do not know. We didn’t have athletes in our family. Only grandfather on my father’s side was a master of sport in freestyle wrestling. Probably, from him I got all volitional qualities of character. (Laughs) My parents did not even think to give me in the sport. They wanted their daughter to study music, but skating engaged before.
How did you appeared on the rink for the first time?
– When I was four, my parents took me to the rink “Penguins”, which was not far from our home. Of course, I do not remember my first time on the ice, but I was told that I got up and strode on skates. The coach was very surprised that a child falls, rises and continues to go further, and said that I need to continue. I liked there very much.
It happened so that I went to a kindergarten with child of a coach from CSKA, who was friends with my mom. Once she saw me skating and advised to take me to a more serious sports school. And so she lured us to her. I’ve worked with her for a year and then came to my coach Vodorezova-Buyanova. Elena Germanovna liked me, she took me to her group. The first years I did not set some serious goals, but all the time I was trying to please her.
Did you succeed?
– Not right away. My perseverance hooked her. She saw that I always do everything I was told and never argue.
They say that children who are professionally engaged in sports have no childhood. Is this true?
– I can’t say that we have no childhood. We have, we just spend it with kids, who are just like us, go in for sports. In between training sessions, we were playing hide and seek, jumping with the girls. Fell and broke it’s your problem.
Did parents watch you closely?
– Yes, up to fourteen years mom and dad were carried me to training. The whole family was involved in my sporting life. Parents dedicated all their life to me and my younger sister Masha. She’s a disabled from childhood, in medical language it is called “Treacher Collins syndrome” … terrible illness! Tatiana Tarasova helped us. If not her, we probably won’t dare to take radical steps. Tatiana Tarasova contacted Chulpan Khamatova and thanks to this actress we got money for treatment. Several years ago, Masha had three surgeries and now she’s a completely different, cheerful person. She wants to see everything, to know … Masha is my angel, and I most of all want to help her.
Adelina, you mentioned, that the coach paid attention to you because you worked hard. What do you think, to be successful, you need a talent or work a lot?
– Talent is born with perseverance. If a person is hardbitten, he will move mountains. I just know for myself that if I want to I will do anything. When in twelve years old I won senior Russian Nationals, I felt that I want something more. If not this victory in Kazan, maybe I’d have quitted long ago.
How did they let you, a child to compete with seniors?
– They made an exception. Saw that little girl has difficult elements and allowed to participate in Russian Nationals. I won it and repeated the achievement of my coach Elena Vodorezova-Buyanova, who became the champion of the USSR at the same age.
Adelina, do you consider yourself a strong person?
– Oh sure. When my mother and I talked about relationships with the boys, she kept saying, “A girl should be weak.” But how to be weak when the whole life you’re doing everything yourself?
I’m constantly criticized that I don’t behave like a girl. For example, my partner on the “Ice Age” Alexander Sokolovsky, each time he tries to open the door in front of me when we go to the rink, but every time I forget about it. He goes mad “You got me already! Stop, be a girl.” I say, “Well I can’t. I do not know what does it mean “being a girl”.
What about your recognition that after the Olympics you became feminine, started to wear dresses and high heels?
– It’s true. Before I wore jeans, hoodies, jackets, now dresses and coats. I got my style. I connect it with a victory. Without victory, it also would have happened, but much later. Well, probably age affected. (Laughs) It feels like I’m not twenty years old, but already in my late thirties. (Laughs) So much has happened in my life ..
How many more will be! I read that you are going to become an actress. It’s true?
– Yes, since I was in ninth grade I dreamed to go to GITIS. At some point even began to prepare, but then I realized that it’s either theatrical university or the Olympics, and, of course, chose sport. GITIS will not run away, I can be an actress at any time, but sport is not eternal for me. Therefore, first it’s necessary to finish sports career nicely to and then think about the next step of my life.
And what about your participation in the ice show “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”?
– After “Ice Age” Ilia Averbukh invited me to play the role of Queen Myshilda his ice show, and I agreed. It’s more a performance, acting part is important. But I’ll also do some difficult elements! Of course, I’m interested, but I plan to return to the sport, to get to the Olympic Games in 2018. These show is only temporary pleasure. They are needed to cool down, and with a cool head be back to the sport and to please everyone with my performances.
photos by Anna Kozlenko
Related topics: Adelina Sotnikova, interview, photos
She had some moral devastation after victory meaning she felt guilty about it? I used to really like her in 2013. How messy it is now. They kind of ruined her life.
I agree! It’s so sad that skating well at the Olympics was what ended her career.
I think she meant she gave everything to this goal and than it was hard to find a new motivation.
Yes, a common problem for skaters.
Not only that, They didn’t have to put her into the state program with other athletes. I was very shocked to find it out although it hasn’t been officially reported.
I know! It was so wrong. She was a talented girl already – she could have skated at the Olympics, finished 4th or 5th clean, and then gone on to win stuff like Ashley Wagner. But no…they wanted an Olympic champion so badly that they sacrificed the rest of her career.
She’s a smart, sweet girl. It’s a shame that her career was cut short.
And all this stuff about not being like a girl is just hogwash. Ladies these days are fierce and independent and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just ask Ashley Wagner :)
To be honest, her career is pretty much done and she won’t make the team for the Olympics, but I wish her the best in whatever she wants to do with her life. If she’s going to be an actress, then good for her.
Well, I knew that her career is over back in 2014( Then I was called a hater. But I think deep inside Adelina knew it too. We all want to have an illusion that everything can be returned. It’s like me keeping my jeans from high-school, like one day they’re mystically will fit me again)
But I’m glad that Adelina had a way more practical approach than for example Julia. Adelina got maximum that was possible from her title and popularity. Popularity is a short-time thing, so better you catch the moment. Adelina has tours, ice shows, some media projects like Russian version of Dancing with the stars, Ice Age, some commercial contracts. She earned some money. I know we like to pretend that figure skating is all about sublime matters, creativity, self-realization…..but we live in quite a material world. As she said she need money for her family, for her sister’s treatment. So I can’t blame her. I’m terribly sorry that we won’t have a chance to see what a great skater she could have become……but I can’t blame her for her decisions. She earns money and probably have a bright life. Well, she deserved it with all years of trainings and sacrifices ! But still ….terribly sorry that such a talent hasn’t revealed completely.
I agree. I lost hope for her career in 2015, when she competed at Rostelecom Cup and lost to Elena and Evgenia by about 20 points.
Funny about the jeans from high school, but that’s totally what’s happening for her. She wants to have that moment again, because she knows at one point she was capable of it. But even if she managed to get on the team again, she wouldn’t have a chance against Evgenia and whatever new kid Russia has found. I don’t like sounding like a hater either, but it’s the truth.
I think she’ll have her bright, wonderful life, but it won’t be with skating. Which is fine. Russia has enough girls that I doubt they’ll even miss her.