Aleksandra Boikova: “We’ll pass the doping test with tears” the story of a figure skater who failed to realize her Olympic dream
Article in Russian media about Alexandra Boikova, her path in sports and Olympics.
Aleksandra Boikova has come a long way to the Olympics in Beijing. She did not go there for the fourth place.
Aleksandra Boikova made a fatal mistake in a free program at the Beijing Olympics. An unsuccessful landing after the throw did not allow her and Dmitrii Kozlovskii to take the Olympic medals, and they ended up in a disappointing fourth place.
However, these competitions gave Sasha an incredible experience and taught her how to deal with nerves. She showed herself perfectly, she didn’t fall during these performances, which often happened to her during the season, and she is proud of her personal victory. Nevertheless, she, like her partner, does not agree with the judges’ scores and does not understand why their pair was given such a low scores.
Having started her career in pairs with a dizzying rise, she could hardly imagine that she would be left without an Olympic medal in Beijing.
A lover of art and literature, Aleksandra Boikova, was lucky to be born in St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. And four years later, she was even more fortunate: she began to train with the famous coach of Olympic champions Alexei Mishin. But, despite training with a brilliant professor, she failed to achieve success in single skating, so she switched to pair skating.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii, tall and also recently switched to new discipline became the partner of 13-year-old Sasha. At first, the girl was afraid to do lifts with him, but gradually a trusting relationship was established between the guys. They trained in the group of Tamara Moskvina, mastering the most difficult elements under the guidance of a young specialist Artur Minchuk. Already in the next season, the new pair won the Russian junior championships and took silver of the Junior World Championships.
Having reached the senior level, Aleksandra and Dmitrii instantly showed themselves, becoming third at the Russian Nationals and European Championships. And the 2019/2020 season was their finest hour. The guys took gold at almost all competitions, with the exception of the Grand Prix Final, and entered the the pre-Olympic year as Russian and European champions.
“Serious competition does not let you to relax. We got a kick in the ass at the Grand Prix Final”, – Boikova recalled.
However, in the new season, pair had a rough patch. Something was wrong with Sasha’s throw and mistakes began to haunt her. Boikova and Kozlovskii started the season unsuccessfully, losing with a bang the Russian Cup stage in Kazan. At the Grand Prix in Moscow, they rehabilitated, they had mistakes, but still won the competitions. True, this victory did not compensate for their losses in more important competitions.
Mistakes on throws haunted Sasha until the end of the season, showing up at the most crucial moment. At the Russian Nationals, Boikova and Kozlovskii missed the victory because of them. And they will probably prefer not to recall their performance at the World Championships. Bronze medals, and the victory of their groupmates and rivals – Mishina and Galliamov – became a huge disappointment for them. Looking at the scores in “kiss and cry”, Sasha shouted Tamara Moskvina in her hearts: “Congratulations, you have world champions.” For this emotional attack on the coach, Boikova was condemned by many, but she later explained that she was angry with herself.
“Were there just emotions? Let’s just say it was anger. But this anger was primarily at myself. As we have already said, we were well aware that everything depended on the cleanliness of our skating”, – Sasha admitted.
In the Olympic season, Boikova was lucky enough to skate the Swan Lake short program which she had dreamed of since childhood. To embody the desired image on the ice, she did a great job, working on her arms movements. Nevertheless, at the Grand Prix stages in the USA and in France, she once again skated with mistakes. Jumps and throws seem to have become the athlete’s Achilles’ heel. The breakthrough happened at the Russian Nationals in St. Petersburg: she finally coped with both programs, and she and Dima climbed to the second place, securing a place in the Olympic team.
At the European Championships in Tallinn, Aleksandra continued to prove that she was able to skate clean: she didn’t succeed in the short, but she and Dima were perfect in the free program. This was not enough to defend the title of European champions, but Sasha knew that the main battle was yet to come.
At the Beijing Olympics, Aleksandra Boikova enjoyed every moment of the sports festival. Before the start of the individual event, she did not get bored: in her free time from training, she walked around the Olympic Village, went to other competitions, talked with athletes from other countries and managed to exchange badges from with many of them.
“Actually, I am very happy to be at the Olympics. There is a special atmosphere here. For example, I would never have thought that exchanging badges with guys from other countries is so cool (talking about badges that can be seen on the accreditation ribbon)! And there are so many special moments! I hope that in the future there will be even more of them”, – Boikova posted on her Instagram.
The short program on the Beijing ice turned out tense for Sasha. It was noticeable that she was afraid to make some kind of mistake and because of this she was a little uptight. Her fears wasn’t unfounded: on the throw, she touched the ice with her hand, although she landed confidently. But, keeping in mind bad experience from other competitions of this season, apparently, she decided to perform it safe.
The fourth place after the first day of competitions motivated the girl to try hard in the free program. Performing the last in the short program, she and Dmitrii now had to open the strongest warm-up group.
In the free program, Aleksandra skated more relaxed, emotionally immersed herself in Malaguena. But she still controlled herself. She coped with side by side jumps and did a magnificent first throw, but, unfortunately, she almost fell on the second one. She managed to resist, but, of course, she and Dima lost points due to this unfortunate mistake.
“Very bright, tall, with their own charisma, with their own characters, with beautiful lines, with speed, with good jumps. I don’t know what the judges have doubts about”, – Maria Petrova and Andrey Zhurankov supported the pair on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel.
After the skate, Aleksandra and Dmitrii jumped together on the soft boards of the rink – an excellent way to relieve competitive stress. But this did not help not to get upset later because of the scores – 141.91 points for the free program. A very small gap from the Japanese pair and the fourth place overall. Sasha and Dima – without an Olympic medal. This could not but overshadow the mood of the skater.
“The performances were worthy, we showed themselves well, we did our job. What we saw on the scoreboard – everyone saw that. How to recover from the Olympics? Now we’ll pass the doping test with tears, and everything will be fine”, – Boikova said after the program.
Aleksandra understood that they had lost some of the points due to an unsuccessful throw, but all the same, the scores surprised her very much. They used to get such scores when they just moved from juniors, and now they have a solid baggage of medals from the most prestigious competitions and the title of the European champions.
But Sasha definitely should not be sad because of the results at her first Olympic Games. For them everything is just beginning! It’s time to set up for the new Olympic cycle and fight for the highest medals.
Related topics: Alexandra Boikova Dmitri Kozlovski