Alexandra Trusova: “Figure skating is a sport, and for me personally, the technical component of the program is more important.”
Another big interview with Alexandra Trusova. Sasha told what she has dreamed of since childhood, why she never parted with her dogs and how Tutberidze and Plushenko differ.
source: radiokp.ru by Tina Kandelaki
Sasha, you know, people live 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 years and they don’t have such a page on Wikipedia. If you try to list it all … Russian figure skater performing in ladies single skating, bronze medalist of the 2021 World Championships, bronze medalist of the 2020 European Championships, bronze medalist of the 2019 Grand Prix Final, silver medalist in 2019, two-time national bronze medalist, the second in history two-time world junior champion (2018-2019), winner of 2017 … Do you remember all this yourself?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, if you ask about certain competitions, then yes.
That is, you can name all your titles?
Alexandra Trusova: Yes.
When I’m preparing for an interview, I learn some basic things by heart, so that I could say a person, looking into the eyes “Hello, today our guest is…” I looked at all this titles and realized that I can’t memorize it.
Alexandra Trusova: If we start with international competitions, 2017, junior year, then at all international competitions I was the first. Two Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Final, the World Junior Championships. The next year, it was the junior season again. There I had two first places at the Junior Grand Prix, then I was the second in the Final, the second at the Russian Nationals, the first at Worlds and the first at the Russian Junior Nationals. Then senior season. There were two Grand Prix – first place, then the Grand Prix Final – third place, the Russian Nationals – third place, Europeans – third place, there was no Worlds. And this year there were only stages of the Russian Cup, there I was first. Then Rostelecom. Well, it was bad. Then the Russian Nationals – third place, then Worlds – third place.
Listen, I look at you and think. Every time I see your peers, champions of this level, I just can’t understand. When you over 40 it’s scary to do something so grandiose, but when you initially set the bar, and people say about you that you do something first, and you do something much better than others, and you can technically show that result, which no one has shown, you still do not know whether you will show it, but everyone is waiting for you to continue showing it more and more. When you’re an adult, it pressures wildly. But you go through life with such ease. Does this pressure you that everyone is expecting something?
Alexandra Trusova: No. I know perfectly well that every time I need something new. And while I really like it, I try to live up to expectations. And while I haven’t reached that maximum, after which I will say that I can do nothing more. Therefore, it does not put pressure, I really like it.
You were the first to perform two quads in one program. The first one who performed a clean combination quadruple toe loop – half loop – triple salchow. Tell me, is it really not scary?
Alexandra Trusova: For me it’s not. There are things in life that are scary to me, but quads are not among them.
Alexandra Trusova: I’m afraid to fly by plane.
Me too. Why are you afraid?
Alexandra Trusova: Probably, I’m probably afraid to fly after the plane to Egypt crashed. And there was also a little girl. And after that I am very afraid to fly. And when we flew from Australia, we had three planes, and the second one got into an air hole. It was very scary. The flight was long, people were not sitting, but standing. And when it began to fall, they began to shout for people to sit down. And we ran, but we were pressed and pressed, that is, we could not get up.
Yes, it’s scary. But with age, this is forgotten. I also had such a situation, I flew to Georgia. And this free fall is horror. Then it is forgotten. And do you know when it comes back? When you understand that nothing depends on you. When you do something as a professional, you understand that everything depends on you (both defeat and victory). And on the plane nothing depends on you at all. Do you like to control everything on the ice, or is it also important in life to keep everything under control?
Alexandra Trusova: I think that in life also. In sports, it does not interfere so much, but in life, it probably interferes a little. And my whole family says: enough is enough, but I always control.
What do you like to control?
Alexandra Trusova: Everything. I check when we leave, what time to arrive. Now I have a lot of dogs (four) and a cat. Sometimes I take them with me. This requires a lot of documents. In addition to the passport, which must be of an international standard, if you fly abroad, there are several more certificates. And I do all this. Because the parents told me “This is your dog, and if you want to take it to the plane, you will do it yourself, because we do not want to do this, we already have three children.”
Do you have small dogs?
Alexandra Trusova: Chihuahua (this is a small dog). She is 7 years old. Lana is a miniature poodle, 5.5 kg, also a small dog. I also have a husky. This is my brother’s dog. He is handsome, but very wayward, naughty. We take him to the dog handler, we try to make him obey a little. Recently I took Basenji. It is slightly larger. Her name is Tina.
Do you take three of your dogs with you?
Alexandra Trusova: No, two. I haven’t taken all three yet, because Jack is very big. We were at the training camp when I took two (Tina and Lana), because we were there for a month and a half, and I can’t live without my dogs.
Well, they are like family. It feels like you’re at home. Do you spend a lot of time at the training camp?
Alexandra Trusova: Because of the quarantine, we spent there a month and a half.
Dima Zanin made a great documentary film and sent us a video when the whole biathlon team went to the competitions this year, how athletes trained in hotels. That is, they did not leave the rooms, there were running tracks in the rooms, and food was left on a tray upon a call so that there was minimal contact with each other. We even called this film Biathlon in the Time of the Plague. Of course, no one has seen such.
There will be a tough selection for the Beijing Olympics. Do you think our team will choose candidates at the Russian Nationals?
Alexandra Trusova: I think, yes, the team will be selected at the Russian Nationals.
What are your plans?
Alexandra Trusova: I want to show my maximum, to skate, as I have skated many times in training.
Every year, when you work, you realize that more and more young girls are added to the group of competitors. After all, how it it in sports? You got in shape, you only spread your wings, but new people come all the time. Kamila Valieva and other girls, they will soon turn 15. When you think about sports, do you think about the fact that someone is stepping on your toes or not?
Alexandra Trusova: No. I always think only about myself, my content, my jumps, how I skate. I try to do what I can and do not look at the others.
Never? Did you watch figure skating as a child?
Alexandra Trusova: In 2014, I remember the Olympics, of course, I watched. We watched Julia Lipnitskaya, Adelina Sotnikova…
And you probably looked and thought: wait, I’ll get stronger, grow up …
Alexandra Trusova: Yes, I always said that I really want to get to the Olympics, and I want to win.
And at what age did you say that?
Alexandra Trusova: Probably since 7-8 years old.
At the age of 7-8, people say: I want a dog, I want to see the sea, I want to do nothing … But at the age of 7, someone would say that I want to go to the Olympics and win … Do you think that such an early desire to be a leader is usual among athletes? Or are you an exception, like all your victories and all your technical results?
Alexandra Trusova: Many want to go to the Olympics. It seems to me that this is the goal of every athlete. And I think the sooner he wants it, the better. Because you know where you are going, why you are training.
You said: you know where you are going, you know why you are training. It is very difficult when sports is the main thing in life, the age of which is considered very short. Because you understand that there may not be even one chance for an Olympic medal (what to say about two). I was insanely sorry when this whole doping story happened. Poor people, they prepared, planned. And each Olympics for them is like the first and the last, God bless, it’ll be two or three, but there are a large number of athletes who had only one Olympics. How does it feel? You understand that this one Olympics should be in your life. You dream about it, watch others perform there, and think that you will definitely be there? Is there any certainty, coming from childhood, that you will definitely be there? Do you have an inner feeling, intuition?
Alexandra Trusova: Probably, on the contrary, in childhood there was a greater feeling that I would be there, that I would definitely win. But with every year you understand how difficult it is to get there, how difficult it will be to perform there. I believe that this is the most difficult thing to do everything you can at the right time to make everything work out.
Sasha, does everything depend on us? What do you think?
Alexandra Trusova: Sure.
Is there some kind of luck, maybe, or some kind of coincidence? Or the road is made by walking? That is, if you do so much, do, do so much, then sooner or later you will succeed.
Alexandra Trusova: I think yes. No, maybe there is some kind of luck or something else, but basically it still depends on you.
Recently I read that one American journalist wrote that Tutberidze’s group is taking drugs that slow down the development of the female body. Have you heard of this?
Alexandra Trusova: No, I never heard anything like that.
It comes from Soviet times. They always said that gymnasts, figure skaters take something in order not to grow, not to gain weight, not grow up. And I read that you eat everything, and you are fragile, thin. What drugs? You probably read that many people think that you are on the strict diet. It’s not so?
Alexandra Trusova: First of all, I don’t read Internet, I don’t read comments. My parents always told me: eat what you want, it’s your business. I eat whatever I want, especially in the morning. In the evening, before going to bed, I try to eat less or not everything, just something specific.
So what can you eat at night?
Alexandra Trusova: I eat meat with vegetables, something like that.
You probably know gymnast Kudryavtseva. She is so thin. And the other girls still followed some kind of diet. There are people who just don’t gain weight. Are you?
Alexandra Trusova: I gain weight, but not much. And mostly when I grow up, gradually.
And you train a lot. Everyone told me about you that you are a wildly hardworking person, that you just do not get out of training, you train all the time. That is, trained – rested, rested – trained. Is this true?
Alexandra Trusova: There are days when I train more, there are days when I train less. Usually, there are two workouts a day, there are weekends when there is one training on the ice. There is also physical training. And sometimes, when I want, I can go to the third ice session or another physical training.
And do you want to?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, when I need to get ready, yes, I train more.
You know, they say about you that your skating is not feminine? What does this mean?
Alexandra Trusova: I don’t know what they mean. The only thing I can say is that I try to perform the same jump content as men, the top men. Nathan has jumped 5 quads at Worlds now. I wanted to make the same content.
As far as I understand, in many technical things you are simply ahead of men. That is, men did not do what you do. Do I understand correctly?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, some didn’t, some did. Nathan Chen did, Yuzuru Hanyu did.
Are you talking about lutz now?
Alexandra Trusova: No, many do lutz. I mean, that they have already jumped 5 quads in a free program and I have not yet, I have done only 4 so far …
Where is the balance between technique and artistry? I have been watching figure skating since childhood. You look at an athlete – she has this innate charisma, she is so artistic. Or they say: no, this one is colder. Do you know who I liked as a child? Katarina Witt. There was such a German figure skater, in Soviet times she was very popular, everyone adored her. You know, she had both technique and such a cold beauty, cold artistry. I could not took my eyes off her. Do you think sexuality, artistry, this feminine charm, is it important in figure skating? Or is the professional perfection of the skater? What’s more important?
Alexandra Trusova: I think everything is important. Figure skating is a sport, and for me personally, jumps and the entire technical component of the program are more important. Because there are shows, artistry is more important there, and in figure skating, of course, artistry and technique are needed, but this is still a sport.
You know, sometimes it happens that an athlete did not perform very well, but she is so beautiful, so artistic, you watch as a spectator and think: God, maybe they will forgive her mistakes for her artistry. But judges never do this. Do the judges love you, what do you think?
Alexandra Trusova: I don’t know. I always try to do my own thing, and they decide as they want.
Is there no such thing in figure skating (and generally in sports) as eye contact? After all you see those people who give scores. And when a person saw and became your fan? Or are professional judges rather abstracted?
Alexandra Trusova: Probably abstracted. But you always try to look them in the eyes, I don’t know, maybe to interest them somehow, so that they also look clearly in the eyes, maybe they will like you more, and they …
Julia Lipnitskaya married a figure skater. What kind of boys do you like?
Alexandra Trusova: I haven’t thought about it yet. For me, sport is the most important now.
There is such a legend that it is better not to leave your skates anywhere? Why?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, many people say that someone spoiled someone’s skates or something else. Personally, I have not had this experience, but everyone always says to carry skates with you.
Is friendship between skaters possible? Or is it a world where everyone is competing and there is no desire to even pretend, because all the same, everything rests on rivalry?
Alexandra Trusova: I believe that we are always rivals on the ice, but outside the ice we communicate very well, we are friends and it does not affect in any way …
They say about you that you are a very purposeful person. Stubborn. Are you stubborn?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, I guess it’s better seen from the outside. But, probably, yes. I always stand my ground, it is always very difficult to convince me if I decided so. Well, it’s really very difficult.
And what is it most often connected with?
Alexandra Trusova: With sports.
And the costumes? Who makes the final decision?
Alexandra Trusova: Of course it’s me. But the opinions of coaches, mother are taken into account.
After the World Championships, you said that you are staying with Zhenya Plushenko. And what about the school? You studied at Sambo-70 as I understand it, right? Have you been kicked out of there, as director Laishev promised?
Alexandra Trusova: I was not kicked out, but we changed the school, because it is inconvenient to go there. I just study in a regular school. Remotely.
Is that enough? Is there no such feeling that, after finishing a career, you will go to study thoroughly?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, if I want a certain profession, not related to sports, then, probably, I will go to study. Because my knowledge will not be enough. And if not, then in principle it is enough.
What do you think of the competition between Tutberidze and Plushenko schools? Is this due to some technical peculiarities? For people who are not very knowledgeable in sports, explain what is the main difference?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, I don’t know, they’re very different … almost everything is the same everywhere, there are just some new exercises that you don’t know yet … almost everyone does the same thing anyway.
Was it your father’s idea to go to Plushenko’s Academy?
Alexandra Trusova: We always make joint decisions and I always have the last word.
If we talk about Zhenya and Eteri emotionally, how did the ground feel under your feet when you were with Eteri, and now when you are with Zhenya? And how do your results affect this ground? Are there any doubts? That is, how much does a coach affect an athlete’s confidence?
Alexandra Trusova: I believe that an athlete should set his mind up himself, be able to prepare himself mentally, no matter what kind of coach he has. But, of course, they are very different. I think that Eteri Georgievna behaves more calmly at competitions, Evgeni Viktorovich – no. He tries to give all his energy and he is always very emotional. Well, actually he is the same in training.
Is that better, worse?
Alexandra Trusova: I can not tell. Basically, I don’t care.
How can you describe Eteri with one phrase and how can you designate Zhenya with one phrase? Eteri – what is she like?
Alexandra Trusova: I cannot describe people in one word.
In terms of their qualities, character?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, probably, they have the same purposefulness … they are very purposeful.
You formulated it very precisely – of course, purposeful. In sports, there are no other people … You said that you do not read anything – neither Instagram nor Telegram. Did you at some point stop reading or realize that all this was not necessary to read?
Alexandra Trusova: There are some photographs or videos – either funny or important for me, with jumps – it happens, I open comments there or something, I look at the first few pieces, maybe ten. I’m just wondering how people reacted. And then disputes begin there, something else … Yes, for some time, when there were few comments, I read, and when it’s 500 comments and more and I already don’t like it then I don’t read.
For your age, you have a colossal responsibility, tremendous attention, tremendous expectation, love, hate – all together. What would you advise those girls who follow you or who dream of becoming you? After all, someone also watches you on TV and thinks “Someday I will be like her”. How to preserve yourself, how to ignore all this and how to go on with your head held high?
Alexandra Trusova: Well, I believe that you need to work hard, have a lot of patience in order to train, train constantly, and, of course, I think that the main thing is to be able to prepare mentally and at the right time to skate your program like in training.
Well, is there some kind of dream that can be voiced at the end of the interview?
Alexandra Trusova: Gold medal of the Olympic Games.
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