Alexander Zhulin: “The federation asked us if we could compete in both team and individual competitions. Nikita said ‘No problem.'”

Posted on 2022-02-12 • No comments yet


Interview with Alexander Zhulin about preparation for the Games and understanding between partners.

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source: dd. 12the February 2022 by Alexander Zhulin

Are you satisfied with how the guys skated the team event?

Alexander Zhulin: Actually, no, because we made a mistake in the short dance. I am almost satisfied with the free dance – only the last lift was a little extended. In other words, we can do better.

How much training time did they lose while Nikita was recovering?

Alexander Zhulin: If I’m not mistaken, it happened for the first time in July, then it happened right after the short program at Nationals, so we had to withdraw from the free program. In total, we lost about a month and a half – Vika skated alone during this time.

He had a back problem.

Alexander Zhulin: Intervertebral hernia. It’s not that big, but there’s a nerve involved. He had to do a lot of massage and physiotherapy. We didn’t do anything special, but now Nikita has almost forgotten about this problem.

Does he also have therapy between competitions?

Alexander Zhulin: Yes-yes, besides, he does a lot of work for his arms and legs, but not on his back..

At the Olympic Games, Vika and Nikita compete in both team and individual events.

Alexander Zhulin: The federation asked us if we could compete in both team and individual competitions. I forwarded the question to Nikita, he said: “No problem.” There is a lot of time between these events.

Have you made any changes to the program after the European Championships?

Alexander Zhulin: Well, no.

And what did you focus on in training after it? Have you focused on any elements in the last couple of weeks?

Alexander Zhulin: We worked pretty hard in Krasnoyarsk – we had a training camp there before the Olympics. Here in Beijing, we also had quite intense, but short training sessions. If you’re ready, that’s enough.

How did the victory at the World Championships affect the guys? Has it had any effect on their self-confidence, has it changed them in any way as athletes?

Alexander Zhulin: Yes, of course. I think since the Austrian Graz (where the European Championships 2020 was held ) they have been doing their job better and better in terms of psychology. The guys talked a lot with each other, constantly supported each other, did not try to compete with each other. They made themselves a confident team, which I am very happy about. Because until that time there were some problems in these matters. But after Graz they all disappeared. There is very good communication between them now, plus they listen carefully to everything that the coaching staff says. Now it’s really a team: they and coaches.

So before that the problem was in communication?

Alexander Zhulin: I think so. In fact, the main problem was that Nikita and Vika had a slightly different technique, different style. Nikita skated in my group for a long time, Vika in another. And when Nikita injured his leg, I worked a lot with Vika on technique. She was able to change a lot in her skating, and the guys became closer to each other in terms of pair technique.

Do you think they are capable of winning the individual event in Beijing?

Alexander Zhulin: I really hope so. But this is the Olympics, you never know what might happen here. Of course, any pair, any skater has such a goal. You just need to skate very well.


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