Adnrei Mozalev: “I’m only 18. It’s probably not right to think that there is still a lot of time ahead. But I still hope that these are not the last Games for me.”

Posted on 2022-03-21 • No comments yet


Interview with Adnrei Mozalev who Represented Russian at the Olympic Games and took 19th place there. About unsuccessful for him Olympics, Valieva’s doping and difficult times for Russian athletes

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source: dd. 14th MArch 2022

The Olympics in Beijing was the first for the figure skater from St. Petersburg Andrei Mozalev. The debut turned out not well: 19th place out of 29 possible. On the one hand, for an 18-year-old athlete, these are the first Games in his career. On the other hand, will there still be a chance, given the foreign policy situation? Andrew seems to also understand this.

For you it was the first Olympics. What are your impressions?

Adnrei Mozalev: New emotions, new impressions. Personally, I enjoyed this holiday. Yes, more experienced athletes say that because of all these restrictions, this does not look like a real Olympics. I don’t know. I really liked everything, except that it was impossible to go anywhere, you had to wear masks everywhere and be tested for coronavirus every day.

One day the journalists were taken on an excursion to Beijing. Wasn’t you that lucky?

Adnrei Mozalev: No. All the Games we spent in the village. Well, I wouldn’t go. The risk of infection was too big.

They tell creepy stories about tests. The stick used for taking tests was inserted so deeply and roughly that some had nose bled.

Adnrei Mozalev: In the village, it was still tolerable: they took it from the mouth. But when we just arrived and they took the test at the airport, it was like you describe. These sticks were thrust almost to the brain.

I heard that at the final training camp in Krasnoyarsk, the skaters almost walked in line between the rooms, the skating rink and the canteen.

Adnrei Mozalev: Well, not in line, but, of course, we couldn’t go anywhere at all. We had our own dining room, our own corridor, our own elevator.

Is it difficult in such an environment, when there is nothing to switch to?

Adnrei Mozalev: Maybe it was difficult for someone, but for me this is a usual mode. In St. Petersburg, everything is about the same for me: training, home, training, home. And so every day. I rarely go out somewhere because I get tired and have strength only to get home. I come and immediately go to rest.

What were the living conditions at the Olympics?

Adnrei Mozalev: We lived in a three-room apartment: me, Zhenya Semenenko and Mark Kondratiuk.

Were competitors settled in one room? Well, did lived there and stared at each other?

Adnrei Mozalev: No. All rivalry remains on the ice. We are friends off the ice. It was even more fun that way. Because usually you live in twos, but there were three people at once.

Russian biathletes amused themselves by filling condoms given to them in the Olympic village with cola and throwing Mentos into it.

Adnrei Mozalev: Well, we didn’t do that. We went for a walk around the territory, there was also a game room with billiards, table tennis, air hockey, table football. Also played cards in the room. Apparently, we were not as bored as the biathletes.

Did you bring Olympic condoms as souvenirs?

Adnrei Mozalev: No.

And Bing Dun Dun?

Adnrei Mozalev: Yes, even two.

They say there was almost hunt for them.

Adnrei Mozalev: Yes, they were delivered to the stores at a certain time. We had to arrive half an hour in advance and stand in a long line. I bought two, and someone took five or six.

How much time did you have before the start of the individual competitions?

Adnrei Mozalev: We arrived eight days before the short program. There was one half-hour workout per day. Not enough, of course. But everyone was in the same conditions.

Were you nervous before the short program?

Adnrei Mozalev: I was a little worried, but I set myself up like for a usual competitions. It was is not even competitions, rather a holiday. Therefore, there was an uplift. I realized how cool it was to be here.

Did you have a special approach to the programs for Olympic season?

Adnrei Mozalev: In principle, everything as usual. First came up with transitions. Then everything was combined. There were some difficulties, of course, but they were minor ones.

How did you come up with the image of Christopher Columbus in the free program?

Adnrei Mozalev: Kirill Anatolyevich (Davydenko, Mozalev’s coach. – Ed.) has this idea for a long time. But only this season decided to implement it.

How was the costume approval process?

Adnrei Mozalev: Everything was also as usaul. First we sent the music, expressed our ideas. They sent us sketches. We finalized something, approved it, and then we started to implement. It took about three weeks for everything. Maybe a little more.

How do you asses the results of your performance?

Adnrei Mozalev: As bad one. In the short program, I fell, did a single axel instead of a triple. In the free program, two more falls. But we have already made certain conclusions and are working further.

But you said that you were not nervous and the Olympics are a holiday for you. What then happened?

Adnrei Mozalev: After the arrival, for some reason, it was difficult to get myself together physically. Before the performances I have already knew that something was going wrong.

Perhaps just not enough training?

Adnrei Mozalev: Maybe. To be honest, I don’t want to talk about it.

Was you strongly upset?

Adnrei Mozalev: Of course, I was upset that I could not show 100% of my capabilities. But this is the first Olympics for me, I’m only 18. It’s probably not right to think that there is still a lot of time ahead. But I still hope that these are not the last Games for me. At least it was a good experience.

Did 19th place hit your self-esteem hard?

Adnrei Mozalev: Now I have already forgotten about it. The Olympics have passed, and I’m working on.

What did the coach say after the free program?

Adnrei Mozalev: He said that there was nothing wrong with that, it was still a very great and cool experience. We are walking as one, experiencing victory and defeat together

Did you follow the performances of other skaters?

Adnrei Mozalev: Only in the free program. From the very beginning I bet on Chen to win.

Why not Hanyu?

Adnrei Mozalev: I do not know. Somehow I believed in Chen more. Moreover, Hanyu is already two time Olympic champion.

Hanyu tried to perform a quadruple axel – something that no one else has done. Alas, it didn’t work out. It was a crazy risk, not only in terms of scores, but also for health.

Adnrei Mozalev: Probably, he wanted to make his mark on the history of figure skating.

Have you tried the quadruple axel in training?

Adnrei Mozalev: No. But I think I’ll try after a while.

You didn’t have time to watch women’s skating, right?

Adnrei Mozalev: No. We left on February 12, that is, two days after the free program. We were told that it was better not to stay, because, you never know, a positive test and we would have to stay another 10 days.

Another horror story of the Olympic in Beijing was food. The food was scarce and not tasty.

Adnrei Mozalev: We had a large selection of food in the village, but even something European tasted let’s say… specific.

Was there a tension due to the lack of flag and anthem?

Adnrei Mozalev: I personally didn’t feel it. It seems to me that everyone already knew that we were from Russia.

Did the situation with Valieva somehow affect psychologically?

Adnrei Mozalev: How to say. Of course, I was upset for Kamila. The boys and I supported her as best we could. From the outside, she did not look depressed because of this story. And what was happening inside, no one knows.

What has changed for you personally since you returned from the Olympics?

Adnrei Mozalev: Honestly? I still hardly believe that I made it to the Olympics. For me it has always been something like a dream. I got invaluable experience and now I will prepare further.

Will we see you at the Olympics in 4 years?

Adnrei Mozalev: Time will tell, it’s hard to predict something now.

Well, now you will surely have a goal not just to get to the Olympics?

Adnrei Mozalev: I would like to take a place in the top three.

How did your path in figure skating started?

Adnrei Mozalev: Well, at first my sister skated. Mom used to take her to training, but they couldn’t leave me alone at home. They had to take me with them. And I once said: “When will I be skating?” Mom then hasn’t decided whether to engage me in gymnastics or also in figure skating? As a result, they chose figure skating. I started skating at the age of two, but started to train in a group at the age of 5.

Have you ever wanted to quit?

Adnrei Mozalev: No. At the age of 8, my mother asked me if I wanted to continue. I replied that yes, I would. And then we moved on to Kirill Anatolyevich (Davydov – ed.).

What were your ups and downs?

Adnrei Mozalev: Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t get anywhere at all. Because at the Zhuk Memorial, first I was 17th, then 11th. In short, far beyond the top ten. Only the last time I took 7th place. Then I tried to get to the Junior Nationals, competed at the stages of the Russian Cup. Nothing has been working out for a long time.

And then what happened?

Adnrei Mozalev: It is hard to say. It just started to work out in one moment. I got into the national team, went to the junior Grand Prix. I was 14-15 years old. And I won the Grand Prix stage for the first time. It came as such a surprise to me. I lacked two points to reach the Final. But the next season I won both of my stages. And from that moment everything went well.

Before that, were there doubts whether it was worth continuing at all?

Adnrei Mozalev: Different thoughts happened. It was very difficult at times, but I still believed.

Why did you go to study to be a coach, and did not choose another specialty as a backup plan?

Adnrei Mozalev: I feel that I can not live without figure skating. I want to dedicate my life to this. I think I have the makings to become a coach later. I already work with little guys sometimes.

What are the nearest plans?

Adnrei Mozalev: Now it’s such a time that it is difficult to make any plans, especially with regard to competitions. You just have to keep working.

What emotions do you have following the news about Russian athletes being banned from everywhere?

Adnrei Mozalev: It’s all unpleasant, but I want to believe in the best.


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