Alisa Efimova: “We believed we can win a medal at the Europeans this time it didn’t work out. But small bronze medal for the short program is also very valuable.”
Interview with pair skater Alisa Efimova about European Championships where Alisa and her partner Ruben Blommaert became forth.
Alisa Efimova was born in Finland to a Russian family, where she began her career in single skating. From 2014 to 2020, she competed for Russia in a pair with Alexander Korovin. When their pair split up, it took Alisa a long time to find a new partner when the German figure skater Ruben Blommaert offered her cooperation. Efimova changed her sports citizenship and for the second season she has been representing Germany in the international arena.
What was it like performing in your home country? You once said that as a child you were a flower girl at the championships here in Finland. And now you are a participant, moreover in the strongest group…
Alisa Efimova: Indeed, in 2009 the European Championship was held in Helsinki, and I picked flowers there. I sat next to the door that athletes used to enter and exit the ice, and it seemed to me that they were on their own planet. They seemed to be at arm’s length, but in a completely different universe. Of course, I dreamed of being such an athlete like they. And so it happened.
Wonderful, joyful emotions. This is the third time we have performed in Finland and in the same arena, so it feels comfortable. The audience was incredible – loud and charging!
Family, childhood friends, the first coaches? Who came to support you?
Alisa Efimova: Mom worked at the championship as a coach, she was with a Finnish girl who do singles, and she managed to watch all our performances. Dad and brother got only to the exhibitions, as the competitions were held in the middle of the working week. But it was very nice that they came as soon as the opportunity arose and came to support at the gala.
In general, many friends cheered both live and from home. Thank you all so much for your support and kind words!
You and Ruben were third after the short program, there was a prospect of winning a medal.
Alisa Efimova: Of course, we believed we can win a medal, and after the short one it became obvious that this goal was achievable. This time it didn’t work out to get on the podium, but our whole team is happy with the small bronze. It is very valuable.
Why, in your opinion, not everything turned out in the free program? You’ve been skating it well all season.
Alisa Efimova: Ruben fell on jump, we also lost levels. The thing is that in early January, Ruben had the flu. It happened on the eve of the German Nationals, and, unfortunately, because of this reason, we could not compete there. There was also much less time left to prepare for the European Championships, which played a big role.
Did you communicate with other Russian-speaking skaters? Anastasiia Gubanova, Maria Kazakova? Maybe congratulate each other?
Alisa Efimova: It was great to meet and talk with them. The pairs competition ended before everyone else, and I was able to cheer for the other guys from the stands. I am very happy for Nastya (Gubanova)! We congratulated each other.
What are your plans for the rest of the season?
Alisa Efimova: World Championships.
Maxim Naumov: “The desire to return and do what you wanted, what you spent time on, is stronger than fear of getting injured again.”