Alina Zagitova: I didn’t want to compete, but now I skate with pleasure

Posted on 2019-11-04 • 1 comment


Short interview with Alina Zagitova after Grand Prix in France.

by Anatoli Samokhvalov for dd.November 4th, 2019

photo by ERA

Alina, I’ve never seen you so happy before.

– I rethought everything, also almost the whole summer I skated in shows where I talked with older athletes who shared their experiences with me. I listened them carefully and it became easier for me.

Who did you talk with?

– With Aliona Savchenko, Tanya Volosozhar. With foreign skaters. Their words have been translated for me, something I understood myself. In general, I thought a lot about last season. To be honest, I didn’t want to compete. There was some feeling … Fear … Not even a fear, but a feeling when you simply do not want to. You know, after the Olympics, I was tired, but I forced myself to train. Now I do not do this, and my coaches do not force me. They say: “If you want, do it.” And that’s all. And when no one forces me, it’s easier for me. That’s how my brain works.

So, it was Eteri Tutberidze who changed tactics working with you?

– Eteri Georgievna and all the coaches started to treat this situation calmer and I began to take everything more calmly, stopped bothering for some reason. Now I skate for pleasure and, most importantly, I understand this.

There used to be discipline, but now you have been given a choice?

– Yes, there is a choice, but I was raised in such a way that I always need a training plan which I must adhere to. I even have such a humorous expression “warm up before a warm up.” It sounds funny, but it is a discipline.

Did the feeling that you have already proved everything to everyone in sports, help to feel more relaxed this season?

– Yes. After the World Championships, I realized that now I will skate just for fun.

You will participate in Tatiana Navka’s show, right?

– Right.

At first, it was not clear how to place the Russian Nationals into this schedule.

– I’ll go to the Russian Nationals, but right after it I’ll go to Tatiana Navka’s show, I will start participating in it before the New Year. I am very glad that Tatiana invited me, it will be a great show and my first experience. Previously, I did not perform at such a large-scale show in Russia.

Won’t you get tired after the Russian Nationals? Still, there will be preparation for the European Championship.

– As practice shows, shows only help.

Will there be any competitions before Russian Nationals, in addition to the Grand Prix?

– No, I will calmly prepare for the national championship. And my next Grand Prix is very soon.

It was a bit surprising that you, having not competed before the Grand Prix at full-fledged competitions, were able to show a solid shape. Both at the test skates, and at the Japan Open, where you showed a free program.

– The reason is the same: the goal is to get pleasure. I used to go on the ice with the desire to survive this training, now I can skate around and suddenly catch myself thinking: “Well, has the training already ended?” I had this feeling in the Olympic season too, now I also have it, and I really like it. Time flies by.

You said you will never skate like Carolina Kostner. Why?

– Because everyone has their own style.

Who is the example of ladies single skating for you now?

– I perceive a little bit in every skater. Things that I like. There is no such thing that I would like to take everything from someone. But I would not want to call names.

Do you follow other sports?

– I watch rhythmic gymnastics and want to go and cheer for our team at the Tokyo Olympics. Let’s see, but I would like it. Recently, the world championship in gymnastics was held, which I also followed, where our team showed a good result, and the boys won the team competitions for the first time. I watch hockey, because my dad is a hockey player. Hockey is from childhood.


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One response to “Alina Zagitova: I didn’t want to compete, but now I skate with pleasure”

  1. jack says:

    Zagitova will be a champion at many different sports, if she decides to pursue something else. Gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, dance, track, diving, swimming, cross-country, bodybuilding, on and on, not just because she is a gifted athlete. She thinks like a champion. She works like a champion. She sacrifices like a champ. She desires to do her best even when she doesn’t feel well. She focuses all her energy on becoming a champ. She is tough, very, very tough like her hockey playing father. (She is very kind, too, just like her mother.) No matter what she does, she will be a true champion. She has it on the insides, where it counts the most.

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