Alena Kostornaia: “The situation remains between me and Eteri Tutberidze and the coaching staff. We analyzed and decided that we squeezed out everything we could from our cooperation.”
Interview with Alena Kostornaia. About plans to compete in the next Olympics, new programs and parting with Eteri Tutberidze.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 11th April, 2022 by Dmitri Kuznetsov
Alena, how are you doing? Haven’t heard from you in a long time.
Alena Kostornaia: Look, Dmitri Aliev is coming! (Points with a finger and runs away, returns a few minutes later, but with Mark Kondratiuk.) I’m fine, I’m training, I will do shows until June.
You did a triple salchow today, cool.
Alena Kostornaia: I have all the jumps, but as long as I go gradually, I will increase the content every show. Perhaps in the end something very interesting will come out. (Smiling.)
The physical shape is not optimal after all, right?
Alena Kostornaia: No, no, I got back on the ice literally on Friday. First, I broak my right arm, eight weeks in a cast, then I skated for a week and broke my left arm. Also eight weeks in a cast. I went to Elena Germanovna [Buyanova], we started to do something, 3-3 combinations are restored. I can’t say that it was “wow” and concistent, but somehow it worked out right, and they told me: “Well done, today you’re a hero!” It was literally on one of the Fridays, then on Saturday they gave me a rest, we worked on the program. And on Monday, I understand that something is wrong, and since the corona test is positive, I was out for two weeks. On Friday, returned on the ice, and began to get back everything.
Were you really sick or just couldn’t leave the house because of a positive test?
Alena Kostornaia: I was in bed for a week with a temperature of 38-39 degrees. Everything that I could take from drugs, I took – what is allowed and what could somehow turn me into a human condition. But still nothing helped – weakness, lethargy, snot, throat. Everything that was possible, I cought.
Why is it constantly haunting you, do you have an explanation?
Alena Kostornaia: The harder the human path, the more is given to a person later. The greater will be the reward at some point.
You mentioned Elena Germanovna, she has recently said that she has not taken you to the group yet.
Alena Kostornaia: Because we have an agreement with her – we are still looking whether we can work together or not. First of all questions will be to me, probably. Whether I’m ready to go, continue to train, work at full strength.
So, is it a probation?
Alena Kostornaia: We just work together, get used to each other. For now it’s so.
Today you had a new program. Can you tell me about your choice?
Alena Kostornaia: I tried to skate Sevara for the first time today. I can say that it was not 100 percent, it seems like 50 percent of what I can. Of course, I will improve it, but for the first time it’s very good. There are some unusual details, but I do them very well in training. Here they did not turn out everywhere or not the way I would like to see them. A lot of emotions, strong feelings and lyrics that you can’t just go and skate. It needs to be felt, experienced, you need to convey some kind of your emotional state.
There is a new exhibition programs, can you give us an intrigue, what will be the short and free programs in the new season?
Alena Kostornaia: I can say that I have never skated the music for a short ptogram before, it will be something old … but at the same time something new. Completely! Well-known music, but new. And music for the free program is my stable theme, my favorite, and let them guess which one.
Beloved… Vivaldi is getting into my head again.
Alena Kostornaia: No! We decided that Vivaldi is a past stage, past music, I love him madly, but we need to move towards something new, in a new direction.
You said that you were going to compete until the next Olympics.
Alena Kostornaia: Yes.
Situation around doesn’t change your desire?
Alena Kostornaia: It’s very hard. Everything around is hard. And some injuries, something constantly doesn’t work out… here are the bruises. (Points to her hand.) Obstacles regulary happen on the way. But when you go through them, it is such an indescribable feeling, probably of euphoria and pride. Well done, you did it today! It helps to move forward. My goal hasn’t changed.
Compete in the Olympics?
Alena Kostornaia: As my mother says, to get to the Olympic Games. Joking that in 40 years as a volunteer I will run out in a kiss-and-cry shouting: “Mom, I’m here!” (Smiling.)
But it’s one thing to perform in Syzran, another to compete at the Grand Prix. Right?
Alena Kostornaia: At the moment, it doesn’t matter to me where I will perform. No, of course, I love flights, a new atmosphere. Syzran can’t be compared with Japan, let’s be honest. The atmosphere itself is different, these nine hours of flight, three connection flights. And you’re kind of tired, but it’s a different world, seriously, it’s so interesting to see everything! But competitions are competitions, I enjoy when I skate my programs for the audience. Even when I’m not ready at all, I still skate.
There were a lot of competitions where I was not ready, or with new programs, but I still skated. Although they told me: “Alema, well, let’s withdraw.” For example, the Russian Cup Final, where I didn’t succeed in the short program, but the free program was more or less. Yana Alexandrovna [Rudkovskaya] told me: “Alena, think about health, it’s not worth it, this is just the Russian Cup Final.” And I thought – ok, now will stop. But I won’t overcome meself later! And if I do it now, then it will be easier later.
Do you read what they write about you?
Alena Kostornaia: I don’t read, I’ve already finished this stage. Girls who monitor all this mostly send me all this – what, where, who said about me. Willy-nilly, I read out of the corner of my eye. But somehow… I let go of this situation. Well who writes bad comments. For example, I won’t go to write them under someone else’s post.
And there is not even a fake, spare account?
Alena Kostornaia: There is, but it is for friends, but there are rather a lot of funny videos and only 20 followers. But that’s not the point.
Speaking about social networks. There are different reactions to your change of coach. Someone says: “Why is she running from coach to coach!”
Alena Kostornaia: I know whose words these are! Alena Leonova’s. I want to say this: without knowing the situation, it is very difficult to judge what happened. The situation remained between me and Eteri Georgievna and the coaching staff. If we broke up, then we came to a mutual decision. It’s not like I annoyed someone and they told me – get out of here! But at the same time, it was not me who told the coaches: “You know, you are such and such, I will not work with you.” Of course not. I believe that both athletes and coaches deserve respect. Because it was teamwork. But after analyzing the whole situation, we decided that we basically squeezed everything we could out of our cooperation, and the time has come.
So, did you have a good conversation?
Alena Kostornaia: Yes, it’s not that we swored each other with bad words and everyone quarreled. Everything is absolutely calm, fine.
Did you bring flowers?
Alena Kostornaia: I didn’t bring flowers, but a basket of fruit. (Smiling.)
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