Alena Kostornaia: “Trainings with Tutberidze are hard physically and mentally. Those resources that you spend on achieving the goal are not worth it.”
More from the big interview with Alena Kostornaia for Bez Vody youtube channel.
How do you feel? How is your hip, how was the surgery?
Alena Kostornaia: Everything is fine. The surgery went well, as did the recovery. It was long and hard, because I was tired of sitting and doing nothing. The fans supported me, but I would like to move.
You’ve been haunted by injuries lately. First you broke your hand, then your hip. Once you said that you don’t want to be left without an arm at the age of 18. Was it said on emotions or do you understand in hindsight that you had to overcome yourself and train with a cast?
Alena Kostornaia: No, it wasn’t worth it.
Wasn’t it worth it to compete at the Russian Nationals and try to get into the national team?
Alena Kostornaia: No. It’s gone and I don’t regret it. It happened, so it should have been so.
Was it that serious at the time?
Alena Kostornaia: I could not perform and train. There are various injuries. Now I can’t even move, it hurts. And there were other factors. For example, my arm did not fit in the dress, I was twisted to one side because of the cast.
How did you break your hand?
Alena Kostornaia: I went to train an element and fell unsuccessfully on a jump. It was not on vacation, or party.
How did you feel when you watched the Olympics?
Alena Kostornaia: I didn’t watch. It hurted that I could have been there. So I didn’t watch.
But you are friends with Anya Shcherbakova. Did you congratulate her?
Alena Kostornaia: Yes, when I found out the results, I congratulated her. I even watch highlights of her program. She skated worthy and fought. I have seen Anya skate so many times that I was not very surprised by the clean skate.
Have you analyzed Trusova’s performance? If Sasha had not tried a triple axel and hadn’r have fallen, then …
Alena Kostornaia: I know that Sasha would not refuse of it. You can’t convince her. If she said so, then she will do it.
If she hadn’t fallen then, could she have won?
Alena Kostornaia: She could. We are stubborn to some extent. If we want, then we will do it. Regardless of what they tell us. Sasha needed to jump the triple axel, she went to jump it.
Did they try to ask her not to?
Alena Kostornaia: I think, yes. Well, Sasha herself understood everything, but she needed complex content. This is her thing.
What is your favorite and least favorite jump?
Alena Kostornaia: Favorite – triple axel. Least favorite – loop, it turns out, but it’s uncomfortable for me.
What about your favorite and least favorite programs? Has your attitude towards music changed? For example, you used to like lyrical things, but now you have switched? to something else.
Alena Kostornaia: No, I like to mix. I always try something different. I don’t have favorite or not favorite. There are some that I get tired of. For example, “Angel”, which I skated for the second year, everyone liked it, but it was hard to skate it for so long.
Wanted something new?
Alena Kostornaia: Radically new was Billie Eilish, no one skated to her, and everyone liked her. Every program is slightly different. I try not to repeat myself in music, except for Romeo and Juliet. This is my all-time favorite.
What shocked you the most?
Alena Kostornaia: The attitude of fan bases to other athletes is surprising. There are fans of Alina and Zhenya, they constantly swear among themselves in chats. And when Zhenya goes on the ice and someone shouts that she is the best, and someone shouts that Alina is the best, although she is not performing, and you are perplexed.
But at a football match, fans shout insulting chants to each other.
Alena Kostornaia: It’s different. We have one person on the ice. The skater is skating, this is his time, no need to talk and shout about others.
Have you faced it too?
Alena Kostornaia: It happened, but I was sitting in a kiss and cry. I was glad that I skated the program. And then they shout that I am such and such, and Liza Tuktamysheva is better. Although I was just waiting for the scores.
You returned to Tutberidze…
Alena Kostornaia: I came back to get into the mix. But it didn’t work out.
Don’t you regret that you stormed out and left?
Alena Kostornaia: Yes, I’ stormed out. But I don’t regret leaving. Maybe I wouldn’t have skated to this point.
The first transder to “Sambo-70” to Tutberidze – did your mother insist?
Alena Kostornaia: I got to their warm-up, I saw that they were jumping and laughing. But it was during the competition, I didn’t know what was happening in training. You can laugh among the girls in training. Trainings with Tutberidze are hard physically and mentally. Those resources that you spend on achieving the goal are not worth it.
You had experience with Tatyana Tarasova. They say she is the opposite of Eteri Tutberidze.
Alena Kostornaia: Tatyana Anatolievna treats me strictly, but it is always fair. She is very demanding. Therefore, I don’t know who even said that she is the opposite of Tutberidze.
And what then?
Alena Kostornaia: She adapts more to her athletes, tries to make them comfortable. She creates comfortable conditions, but no one will tip-toeing around.
You said that your friend Shcherbakova was silent in training and never answered the coaches back.
Alena Kostornaia: Yes.
But how did it happen that you are the same in temperament, but you answered, but she did not?
Alena Kostornaia: She just kept everything in herself, but I didn’t. Anya is very intelligent, she sometimes cannot allow herself it.
At the same time, they told you that you were spoiling the discipline in the group, but you did not manage to let Shcherbakov go down the wrong path.
Alena Kostornaia: Well, yes, and I didn’t spoil the rest either – neither Sasha, nor Kamila. In general, no one.
How did Anya react to your transfers between groups?
Alena Kostornaia: She was upset, but we continued to keep in touch. Sometimes we hang out together.
You are not much younger than Medvedeva and Zagitova …
Alena Kostornaia: No, we have a 4-year difference with Medvedeva, and a year with Alina.
But they have already retired and have not been skating at a professional level for a long time.
Alena Kostornaia: No, they did not retire, there was no official announcement.
But you continue to skate, and the girls participate in the show.
Alena Kostornaia: I’m not participating in the show (Ice Age apparently – ed.) because I’m not invited. I don’t want to skate, but it would be interesting for me to try myself as a host. I told my guys about it, but they said that so far there was no chance.
If you were invited to Ice Age as a participant, who would you like to skate with?
Alena Kostornaia: In general, it is very dangerous, because if a boy can skate, but a girl does not, then this is ok. But if it’s the other way around, it’s much worse.
And if you could chose one of the professional athletes?
Alena Kostornaia: Probably Enbert. And if to choose from ice dancers, then either Bukin or Katsalapov.
Have you ever thought about switching to pair skating?
Alena Kostornaia: Yes, I’m small in stature, small in weight. I would make a good pair skater.
If you switched, would it be pairs or ice dance?
Alena Kostornaia: Pairs, it’s cool. The problem is that I can switch there at almost any age, but not back.
How do you find motivation now, given that our athletes are not allowed to participate in international competitions?
Alena Kostornaia: I want to prove that after all the injuries I will still go on the ice and do it.
What do you think about age minimum?
Alena Kostornaia: It’s necessary. Seniors must compete with seniors, juniors with juniors. I think it would be optimal to set the minimum from 17-18 years.
You have a tattoo that translates from Latin as “follow your heart.” Is this your motto for life?
Alena Kostornaia: Yes. Moreover, it was generally my first tattoo, so I have been chosing it for a very long time. I have five in total.
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