Alexey Erokhov: “I want to prove that leaving Tutberidze is not necessarily a decline in results”
Interview with Alexey Erokhov, 2018 World Junior campion and former skater of Eteri Tutberidze group. About new start, motivation and former coaching staff.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 28th September 2021, by Dmitrii Kuznetsov
Alexey Erokhov (22 year old) missed previous season due to injuries, left the coaching stuff of Eteri Tutberidze and now trains with Victoria Butsaeva (Volchkova). At the stage of the Russian Cup in Syzran he scored 264,5 points.
Alexey, how are you? Are you happy with everything now?
Alexey Erokhov: Yes. Now I’m finally satisfied (smiles).
Considering the difficult results at the last competitions of last season, it turns out that you started off from the bottom? (at his last competition of last season Alexey fall three time, popped a jump and took the last place)
Alexey Erokhov: I think you could say so. Even before the Russian Cup Final I haven’t competed for a long time. I changed a coach, and the entrance to the last season was very difficult, the training camp passed me by, so it was not possible to show everything that I wanted. And this year we went through a full-fledged pre-season training in Sochi, a really big job was done. I hope everything will work out this season. We kept the short program, and the free program is new – “Showman”.
Is everything ok with your health?
Alexey Erokhov: I would not want to jinx it, but yes, I’m not complaining.
How does it feel to come back after a fracture? Did you want to give up everything?
Alexey Erokhov: Three fractures, to be precise. At some point there was such a thought, I was already thinking whether I needed to continue skating. But in 2019, they gave me an invitation to the test skates of the national team, I came and watched. It inspired me a lot, I thought – no, it’s not time to finish, I still want to fight.
The competition is crazy and the season is Olympic. It turns out that you are fighting for the Olympics?
Alexey Erokhov: Of course, I have such a goal inside, always have and will have. But my approach – you have to do your job here and now. Show that I can compete with the guys from the main team. So far, the task sounds like this.
Is 22 not an age in men single skating? Do you want to repeat the exploits of Sergei Voronov, skate to 30?
Alexey Erokhov: Yes, age like age, normal. Everyone skates to as long as they want. If the body allows, why not? But 30? Well I have no such goal.
Is the Olympic season changing the relationship between the guys?
Alexey Erokhov: Absolutely not. We communicate the same way, we can meet, chat. There is friendship between rivals, that’s for sure.
Do we need to develop competitions in the Russian outback, like in Syzran?
Alexey Erokhov: I think it is necessary. Still, this is drawing attention to the sport. Popularization. People come, they like it. In Syzran a decent number of people, like for a small town, had come.
Everything was fine in terms of conditions? We saw Liza Tuktamysheva’s photo in her Instagram stories like well this is Syzran, 2021. The gap between Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities is probably big not only in figure skating.
Alexey Erokhov: We lived in a good hotel (laughs). Everyone laughed from Liza’s photo, of course. But in general, I have no complaints, I can’t say that I went around the whole of Syzran and saw everything. It is true that the gap is very large even with nearby cities. There is a phrase that Moscow is not Russia. This is bad. All cities should be developed evenly.
Is it realistic for the Russian Cup to compete with the Challengers, the Grand Prix?
Alexey Erokhov: I think no chance. Only in women’s single skating the stages of the Russian Cup can compete with the Grand Prix. They were even stronger last season. I don’t know how others think, but it doesn’t matter for me where to compete – Challenger or the Russian Cup, it’s interesting everywhere. Of course, the Grand Prix is more prestigious. But here is the same feeling of a competitive moment.
I wanted to look at your post about leaving Eteri Tutberidze’s group, but it turned out that you cleaned up half of your Instagram account. Why?
Alexey Erokhov: I don’t really like to post on social networks. I feel really uncomfortable when I post something. All the time I think: maybe it was necessary to write in a different way? Attach different photo? Therefore, it happens that I post something and then delete it.
Are you shy to be photographed?
Alexey Erokhov: Rather, I don’t like it.
But what about popularization?
Alexey Erokhov: I’m not chasing fame. I just want to be at the top of figure skating from a sports point of view. And followers … I am pleased that they follow me, yes. But if my Instagram had only ten followers – I don’t care.
You parted with Eteri Georgievna well, not everyone left like that. Can you tell us how this happened?
Alexey Erokhov: I am incredibly grateful to the coaches, really, but I still would not want to talk about it. I still love them all very much. Now I am the person they made of me, and many thanks to them. I can say that I was the initiator of this change, but I see no reason to name the reasons. They are of a sporting nature.
Is everything very different in “Moskvich”? It is often said that “Khrustalny” is the best school in the world, and logically it turns out that any moving from there is a decline.
Alexey Erokhov: No, this is the wrong logic. Maybe I’m just trying to prove to myself that it’s wrong. When I went to Viktoria Evgenievna [Butsayeva], I definitely didn’t have a decline. I would not say that everything is very different. We work the same way as elsewhere. But it is obvious that each coach has his own vision of the work process.
Another popular logical chain – aged Erokhov left Tutberidze which means that she definitely succeeds only with young girls. Can you refute?
Alexey Erokhov: I can. She has two athletes who are old enough – Nika Egadze and Moris Kvitelashvili. And girls are that young not only in Eteri Georgievna’s group. It’s everywhere like that. I can only recall Liza Tuktamysheva and Carolina Kostner, who skated for many years. And Liza is not aged at all, she is a young girl, she is twenty-four! And she performs difficult things. Young age is just a feature of women’s single skating.
In general, everyone will continue to grumble about children’s skating.
Alexey Erokhov: I would not say that its childish. Different girls stand out in different ways. Doesn’t Anya Shcherbakova skate beautifully? Sasha Trusova progressed very much, I think the audience noticed and appreciated it.
It is also logical to mention Alena Kostornaia, who also returned to Tutberidze. Have you been offered to return?
Alexey Erokhov: I don’t think they were offered either. I think they decided so themselves. And the season will show if the choice to return was right. But Sasha has already done five quads at the test skates. This is the strongest claim for an Olympic year. Alena returned the triple axel, also great. She had a very difficult season psychologically. And now she is gradually recovering.
I hope you will also return to the top.
Alexey Erokhov: Me too. I believe that this path has just begun in Syzran.