Alena Kostornaia: “I decided to try myself in pair skating. I can already do 75% of the lifts, triple throws, double twist and death spirals.”
Alena Kostornaia about switching to pair skating.
On Monday, January 16, it became known that 19-year-old Kostornaya switched from single to pair skating, from Elena Buyanova to pair skating specialist Sergei Roslyakov. As Roslyakov explained to TASS, the further cooperation with the athlete will be discussed after her return from vacation.
Alena Kostornaia: “I always liked pair skating—all these throws, lifts, and twists are breathtaking. I always watched it with admiration. In the life of an athlete, at some point you always have to make a choice, when you realize that something needs to be changed. Sometimes it’s switching from one coach to another, and sometimes it’s switching to another discipline. I am no exception in this regard.”
In September 2022, the figure skater underwent hip surgery. Surgical intervention became necessary due to the recurrence of past injuries and the rupture of the articular labrum.
Alena Kostornaia: “After the surgery, I had a lot of time to think. I decided to try myself in pair skating; at first it was more for the show, but now … I don’t want to run ahead of time, and I don’t know what will happen next. While I’m on vacation, I’ll be back, and we’ll decide what to do next. Of course, we have plans to compete, but time will tell whether I succeed in their implementation.
Yes, [after the surgery], there were many fears. Gosha [Georgi Kunitsa] and Sergey Sergeevich [Roslyakov] often stopped me, but in general, there is practically no pain. If I start to feel discomfort, we change the exercise or do not do it. Of course, each new element is a risk, but we are going gradually.
We started with lifts and simple elements; they turned out almost immediately. Then we started to complicate the elements. I can already do 75% of the lifts, triple throws, twist, so far only double, and death spirals. And the most difficult thing for me was doing steps in a pair – it’s not easy to do them in parallel.
Sergey Sergeevich [Roslyakov] and I didn’t really talk about big sport. He has a lot of pairs that could be superstars in the future, so nothing changes from my presence at his training.”
In Roslyakov’s group, Kostornaya and Kunitsa work with Betina Popova (former ice dancer).
Alena Kostornaia: Betina is cool; we communicated with her even when she was skating herself. She prompts well and clearly—she explains, first of all, as an athlete. In addition, she is very positive and always says that training should be interesting and with a bit of humor.
I have the same position on this matter: things you do should bring joy. I get pleasure from life—moving forward, overcoming myself, every new element. I am driven by interest: “What can I achieve? How many obstacles can I overcome?” And with this thought, I will fight to the end.”
“The benchmark for me has always been the programs of the Chinese Sui Wenjing and Han Cong (Beijing Olympic champions),” she said of her favorite pair skating programs. But now each pair is unique, each has its own thing.”
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