Alina Zagitova: “In sports, everything is very clear. To be the best means to be the first.”
Interview with Alina Zagitova for Cosmopolitan.
source: cosmo.ru dd. 14th April 2022
Alina, how do you understand Puma’s motto “Only See Great”?
Puma’s “Only See Great” global campaign aims to maintain a spirit of optimism, faith in yourself and your strengths even in the most difficult times. Last year was very difficult for the whole world, and there are still many restrictions in all areas, including sports.
As a professional athlete, I can say for sure that you should believe only in the best, no matter what difficulties and obstacles you face. Only with such an attitude you will achieve everything you want and be happy (smiles).
What does it mean to you to be the best?
Alina Zagitova: In sports, everything is very clear. To be the best means to be the first.
The title of the best in the world imposes responsibility. How do you cope with stress and the burden of this very responsibility?
Alina Zagitova: I didn’t have such that I told myself: “I am the best in the world” (smiles). My victories are the result of many years of hard work. As a member of the Russian team, I always understood the responsibility for the result, I wanted not to let down. I am very glad that I coped with my task and was able to win all the world titles in figure skating for our country.
How do you set yourself up before going on the ice, how to overcome the anxiety?
Alina Zagitova: I concentrate on the artistic image and the skate of my program, I disconnect from all other thoughts. Also words of the coach right before the performance. Years of training help to do this, but you still worry every time.
It is interesting that within the team you and other skaters are both rivals and global support for each other. How do you manage to distinguish between these sides?
Alina Zagitova: This is a sport. We are used to it. The competition in women’s single skating is very high: this is what makes this sport especially spectacular and intriguing.
There is a widespread belief that true female friendship does not exist. What do you think about it?
Alina Zagitova: I have a sister and a mother, they are my closest friends. Therefore, female friendship definitely exists, you should only find your best friend.
How important is the support of your coaches and fans to you?
Alina Zagitova: Very important. When you feel and know that you are supported, you want to move forward, overcome all difficulties, achieve new successes and give joy to everyone.
By the way, about fans. What role does the audience play in your performances?
Alina Zagitova: It is a great happiness for me to skate for the fans, to see that they are charged with my energy, applauding, waiting for me after the competitions or show. I see their happy eyes. And I am also charged with this positive emotions. All emotions are mutual.
I know that many fans watch my performances on TV and on the Internet, write me kind words, share their impressions on social networks. Thank you all for your love. It’s priceless!
Today, thanks to social media, fans can be closer to their idols. How would you describe your relationship with fans?
Alina Zagitova: Mutualy very warm.
How do you decide what part of your life to show and what to keep private? Considering that the audience is used to being aware of everything.
Alina Zagitova: My family is private, I try to keep it in my personal space. However, my longtime fans already know a lot about me. I gave many interviews where I talked about all aspects of my life, including my childhood, parents, family. This is no longer a secret to anyone. Figure skating is my open part of life. Everyone here knows everything about me (smiles).
What are the top three qualities of a true champion in your opinion?
Alina Zagitova: This is clearly stated in the PUMA advertising campaign: “Commitment to our goal, hard work and support of loved ones – this is what makes us true champions.” I fully agree with this.
Sports, of course, makes you stronger. What qualities did you get?
Alina Zagitova: I can definitely say that sport instills self-organization, determination, endurance and overcoming difficulties. Going in for sports, you always feel in good shape and do everything faster and more clearly.
In life, support is as important as in the sports arena. When you are at a crossroads, who do you turn to for help, advice, or just a kind word?
Alina Zagitova: To my family and my team.
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