Alexei Zheleznyakov, choreographer in Tutberidze group: Plushenko shouldn’t think small, he should hire Tutberidze
Interview with Alexei Zheleznyakov, choreographer in the group of Eteri Tutberidze. The specialist told about Trusova’s prospects, gave Plushenko unusual advice and spoke about the poaching in Russian figure skating.
by Dmitri Kuznetsov for sport-express.ru dd. 8th May, 2020
Let’s go straight to the point, what do you think will Trusova will succeed in a new place?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Oh, I don’t know, this is a difficult question. In my opinion, Sasha, like all of our girls, was motivated by fierce competition in the team, that’s where the real reason of progress is. What will happen now? Best among the worst? Will there be such a thrill of training, the desire to surpass a pottymate, sorry? I doubt it. In the end, there are many examples, bitter examples, but, unfortunately, they do not teach anyone anything.
You said that you would not leave the group of Tutberidze even for a million dollars. Were there any offers, maybe from Plushenko’s Academy? Were there many zeros?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Yes, they did, but not Russian schools, foreign ones. And the conditions were very good, but no, they will get nothing from me.
As a choreographer, whom would you advise Plushenko to attract for working with Alexandra?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I would suggest dear Evgeni not thinking small and contacting Eteri Tutberidze, trying to hire her. Let him call, explain the situation, that they are looking for a choreographer, ask to help. It will be interesting to look at that.
There are rumors that someone else will join Plushenko’s academy – the names of Zhilina, Usacheva, Samsonov appeared. Is there some truth in that?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Honestly, I have no desire to get into all this. I’m very unpleasant about situations like this, for me all these children are like relatives. But very often parents’ ambitions overshadow all common sense, and as a rule, they don’t benefit. If people want to leave, no one will hold them. With such a coaching team, you can grow new champions. Let everyone think and choose their own path.
Now they are leaving Chrustalny, but maybe new skaters are coming, we just don’t know about them? Because some may have the feeling that “everyone is running away”.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: What makes you think everyone is running away? Now the whole figure skating is in constant rotation. It has become common that athletes start to run from one coach to another as soon as something starts to fail. They are looking for happiness, or rather, as I like to say, they are looking for the ass in the dark. That is, they make strange moves instead of thinking whether they are doing everything right.
Everything is fine in Chrustalny, some have left, others have come, it’s usual situation. But how an athlete leaves his coach is another matter. There is such a thing as decency, which in our time is being used less and less. As for the arrival of new faces, then yes, someone is constantly has a tryouts. I have no right to call the names. But soon everyone will know everything.
Daniil Gleikhengauz said that you have already faced with luring to the Plushenko’s academy. Is this not a common method for you? After all, it happens in companies, and in other sports.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I have respect for those coaches who work hard and bring up athletes, and do not plot and lure athletes, for me these methods are unacceptable. As I said, the word decency is not applicable here. It’s all disgusting. Johnny Weir just said that he continues his career in professional figure skating. Well, let’s all become angels on skates. Both Yuzuru and Johnny, let him (Plushenko – ed.) take them all. If it doesn’t work out in sports, they’ll be immediately hired for the show. (laughs)
Working for many years with Tutberidze, I have never seen her luring someone into our team. Athletes come on their own, go through rigorous selection in the form of a trial period. Do not cope – bye. What to do is a big sport, a rather cruel world.
Maybe we should have contracts in figure skating and make official transfers, like in football?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Actually, the contract system is a good topic for discussion. Only the contract should be very seriously worked out and thought out. After all, how long can they spit in the coaches’ souls?
Yana Rudkovskaya will not be surprised if Tutberidze, after unfollowing Trusova on Instagram, will follows Plushenko. Will you follow him?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I would also unfollow, well I actually did so. You need to leave beautifully and correctly, and not in the way it was done. When a person betrays, he ceases to exist for us. After this, all respect and love simply disappear.
And about Mrs. Rudkovskaya I’ll say this: everyone knows how well she can make PR on a scandal, to hype. Everything is used, just all the resources. Such activities are not for us, and this also does not bring respect from other people. We must be above all this and go our own way. The light way.