Alena Kostornaia: “I want to skate long, long and beautiful. Even if I don’t win anything, let it be a long story, like Carolina Kostner has.”
Interview with Alena Kostornaia. About her career, shows, nutrition and friendship in sports.
Alena, you are a famous figure skater, you have been in the sport for many years. Tell us why you chose figure skating for yourself?
Alena Kostornaia: So my mother decided (smiles). It was not my decision. But there were few options…
What were the options? What did you like about sports?
Alena Kostornaia: I didn’t like anything. But so it happened, and I started to do figure skating and decided to stay in it. And I was able to fall in love with this sport! But this happened quite recently – probably in the last three years. Until that time, this was purely a job for me, which I did not really want to do. But work is work.
Why did you choose single skating and not pair skating?
Alena Kostornaia: Because you can always switch from singles to pairs, but never from pairs to singles. Now I’m skating in a pair in the Dracula ice show, and I like it. I do not rule out that someday I will switch to pairs in professional sports.
When it was the most nervous for you to go on the ice?
Alena Kostornaia: For me, every time it’s like a breath of fresh air, like an influx of energy, on the contrary, I like it all. I’m not nervous, but I’m happy to go and skate my programs, even if they are not very successful.
What to you like more shows or competitions?
Alena Kostornaia: Both in its own way. During gala performances you can show some interesting things, try something…At competitions you want to show your clean skating, prove to yourself and people around that I’m worthy of the place I take.
Do you have a favorite element?
Alena Kostornaia: There is not favorite one! This is loop. I do it, and not badly, but for me it is inconvenient.
When you were a teenager, who did you look up to, who was your idol?
Alena Kostornaia: Alena Savchenko, Lena Radionova, Adelina Sotnikova and Carolina Kostner, she is still my idol, she has an amazing combination of technique and components.
In women’s single skating, competition has been very tough in the past few years. How do you feel about it and how good is it for athletes and for the development of figure skating?
Alena Kostornaia: Competition always gives impetus to development. In Russia, women’s figure skating has made tremendous progress, there is a movement, one might even say, a reformist one. It’s always nice when they catch up with you, not you catch up with someone. But this, accordingly, reduces the life cycle of an athlete. You have just started to perform, and it is already time to finish … The complexity of many elements does not allow you to do them at an older age. I’m not going to end my career yet, I have a good body constitution for figure skating.
What is your height and weight?
Alena Kostornaia: Height 155 cm, weight 45 kg. But the competitive weight is less – about 42 kg. I will need to lose weight to this level and keep it. Keeping it is easy, but losing weight is sometimes difficult. Now I almost do not limit myself in food, I eat almost everything in reasonable quantities. Then you already have to not eat bread sometimes, or do without a chocolate bar, without a tenth mug of tea (laughs). But it’s still not such a rigid limits. At competitions, you have some kind of twitchy state, and in this fuss you don’t always even have time to eat …
What did Alena Kostornaya have for lunch today?
Alena Kostornaia: Very tasty salad, similar to “Caesar”, and beef, which was cooked right in front of us. And, of course, vanilla milkshake with whipped cream and chocolate which is my favorite!
Are there foods you can never refuse?
Alena Kostornaia: Just like a milkshake! Everything depends on the mood … Sometimes it seems that I can’t live without crisps – it happens, I really need it, urgently! (laughs). And sometimes it seems that I’ll die if I don’t eat meat.
Are you friends with any of the girls from figure skating?
Alena Kostornaia: With Anya Shcherbakova, Dasha Usacheva and Karolina Kogan. General Director of the Figure Skating Federation Alexander Ilyich Kogan, and this is his daughter. We became friends with Anya and Dasha when we were training together with Eteri Georgievna (Tutberidze, – ed.), and we are still best friends, we constantly go to each other’s sleepovers. We walk together. Well, Karolina and I train together with Elena Buyanova, it’s very comfortable!
What are your sporting dreams?
Alena Kostornaia: I want to skate long, long and beautiful. So that I don’t just win a couple of competitions and that’s it. Even if I do not win, let it be a long story, like, for example, the Italian figure skater Carolina Kostner has. To do this, I train every day for five hours, except Sunday.
You skate in the Dracula ice show. How did you get there and who do you play there?
Alena Kostornaia: One of the choreographers asked if he could give my phone number to the producers of the show, I agreed. I got a call and was offered a role in an ice musical. In general, my social network profile has an email address that you can write to, I am open for communication. I warned that in September I will have a surgery, I will have a recovery and I will not be able to do complex elements as a single skater. But I can work in a pair. They agreed to my terms, and recently the premiere of Dracula took place. In the musical, I play young Lucy, this is the friend of the main character. There is a tragic story, in the end my heroine is killed…
You are a student of the University of Physical Culture and Sports. What do you dream of becoming after graduation? Coach?
Alena Kostornaia: I would not really want to connect my life with coaching. But the parents said: “Go study, and then do whatever you want.” I obeyed. But my dream is to enter and graduate Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. I want to be a plastic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. In 2026, I will just graduate from the first university, I will have another Olympics, and after that I want to go to study to be a doctor. These are my dreams. I will give myself three attempts to enter the univercity. If it doesn’t work, then it’s not for me.
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