Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov: “To be honest, after the Olympics, we needed to rest longer. After the Games, we didn’t want to do anything at all, too much power has been given.”
Interview with Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov. About motivation, new programs, and preparation for the season.
source: fsrussia.ru dd. 10th September 2022 by Olga Ermolina and Tatjana Flade
This season due to objective circumstances will be different from previous years. What are your plans?
Anastasia Mishina: This season we would like to try new elements, lifts, spirals. Perhaps, some more complicated elements, just to understand what we can and what we can add to the programs in the future. We do not have the task of skating our programs absolutely clean all the time, we just want to try and see what we can and what we can’t yet.
So this season can be called experimental with an eye to the future?
Anastasia Mishina: Yes. This season, it is still unknown whether we will have such competitions as Worlds and European Championships, so we set a goal to try some new elements.
Is it as additional motivation?
Anastasia Mishina: You just have to get the best out of any situation.
Your new programs are very different in music and style. The music for the short program The Second Waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich was offered by Tamara Moskvina. How did you take the idea?
Anastasia Mishina: When Tamara Nikolaevna suggested this waltz, my first thought was that it was banal, many people skated it and it would not be interesting. But when the program was choreographed, I changed my mind. Now it seems to me that the audience will like this music, and the program itself flies by very quickly, according to my feelings, even faster than two and a half minutes.
And “Elvis Presley” is a completely different free program, very cool. It is, of course, very different from the short one.
Which of the new programs is closer to you?
Anastasia Mishina: For me, it’s the free program.
Aleksandr Galliamov: And I prefer the short one. From a young age, Nastya was very fond of skating all sorts of cheerful, funny programs. She likes this style. When we teamed up, we started to skate such programs, with fast choreographic movements, thanks to which it became more or less familiar to me.
As for the waltz for our new short program, I have already skated to it, being a single skater. And as soon as Tamara Nikolaevna turned on this music, nostalgia flooded over me, I remembered my old program. I was 12 or 13 years old, and at that time it was the end of my singles career. (Laughs).
When switching to pair skating, there were many different options, but, fortunately, Nastya and I managed to find and choose the right path together.
Shostakovich’s waltz is a classic, and the audience needs to be educated and raised to this level, especially since you are from the cultural capital of Russia.
Aleksandr Galliamov: I agree. No wonder they say: classics are eternal, and we agree with this.
Two leading pairs are training in your group – you and Sasha Boikova with Dmitrii Kozlovskii, now a new duet of Yasmina Kadyrova – Valery Kolesov has appeared. Is it energizing, motivating, or just annoying in a good way?
Aleksandr Galliamov: All together. With Sasha and Dima, we have been skating for two seasons constantly together on the same ice. And, probably, like for any skater, when strong athletes train next to him, there will always be a motivation to do better and better and grow in his skill. It’s a sport and it’s okay.
You have an excellent coaching tandem – experienced Tamara Moskvina and ambitious Artur Minchuk. In what ways do they complement each other?
Anastasia Mishina: In pair skating, in general, it is very important that both a woman and a man coach you because you need a look from both sides. Of course, Tamara Nikolaevna can suggest something to a partner and teach him anything, because, as she herself often says, she has been training for more than 50 years. But Artur Leonidovich is able not only to suggest but also to show.
Lift me or Sasha Boikova, do a lift and feel what is wrong, advise how to do this element better after he himself felt it. He can show spins. Well, basically do everything.
Aleksandr Galliamov: Artur helps a lot in the technical component of the elements. And if we work on new lifts, then, as Nastya said, he can do it himself and show how to hold a partner best.
He also distributes and controls the workload of athletes so that everything goes according to plan.
Anastasia Mishina: In a sense, he and Tamara Nikolaevna balance each other out.
Aleksandr Galliamov: Indeed, they complement each other very well.
A new Olympic cycle begins, and one Olympics are behind. How has your participation changed you?
Anastasia Mishina: The Olympic Games are the point at the end of four years, we have been moving towards this all these years, and the goal has been achieved. Now, after the Olympic season, we are setting ourselves new tasks and looking to the future, planning the next four years.
Of course, every season is a new goal, but they all still lead to the next Olympics.
If we talk about changes, then the experience will not go anywhere, and we will start this season on a different quality level. Let’s just say: not from the first floor, but already from the second. (Laughs)
After the Olympics, you spent the longest vacation in recent years – you rested for almost a month. Were you able to reboot?
Anastasia Mishina: To be honest, after the Olympics, I needed to rest longer, because right after the Olympic Games there was no realization yet, what do you want to do next…
After the Olympics, I didn’t want to do anything at all, just lie down and do nothing. Too much power has been given.
I really needed to reboot to understand that I want to skate, I want to achieve new goals, get motivation, and a desire to work further.
Aleksandr Galliamov: It was especially hard to set myself up for the final competitions of the season – the First Channel Cup. In fact, even the music for our programs was hard to listen to. Throughout the season, we constantly, a million times, skated programs to these melodies, and we had to set ourselves up again for clean, reliable performance because the competitions was a team one. So we already mechanically performed everything on maximum, we didn’t think about anything. We knew that this was the last start of the season and then the loads would decrease slightly. We would no longer have to skate these programs, but we would slowly work on new ones and then go on vacation.
True, when work was resumed after vacation, small problems could not be avoided. In one of the training sessions, I injured my finger.
Anastasia Mishina: Worked on a new spin
Aleksandr Galliamov: No one is immune from this. This is a sport. At the beginning of the season, you need to join the process immediately, be extremely concentrated, and not relax, but this is not always possible.
Anastasia Mishina: After the vacation, the workload increases dramatically. And muscles, some ligaments make themselves felt. But gradually everything goes back to normal.
Nastya, did you go on vacation to Italy?
Anastasia Mishina: Yes, I spent time with my parents in Italy. We were in Rome, Sardinia, and Florence. We are glad that we managed to get there because now it is already problematic.
Aleksandr Galliamov: And I went to Yekaterinburg, to visit relatives, to visit my grandmother. Then he rested in Turkey. And then I devoted some time to studying because it was necessary to close debts at the institute. But still, we rested and switched from figure skating. At the institute, I met friends whom I had not seen for a hundred years. Everyone asked how it was at the Olympics, they asked a lot of questions. Such nice meetings.
Last season, thanks to consistent results, you established yourself as the first pair of the country, does this put additional pressure on you?
Aleksandr Galliamov: There were the same conversations after the World Championships in Stockholm, but this does not put pressure on us at all. On the contrary, it gives confidence that pair skating needs to be further developed, it’s necessary to make it more interesting.
Do you mean ultra-c?
Anastasia Mishina: Yes, we are not pioneers in this field, but we are trying.
Aleksandr Galliamov: At our first performances in the new season, it is still unrealistic to show everything that we have worked on and developed. We’ll be adding a little more throughout the season. It always happens this way. If you look at our first season with Tamara Nikolaevna and compare the test skates with the performance at the World Championships, you can understand how much our programs differed. We hope it will be the same now.
Anastasia Mishina: In June, we planned to change everything, a bunch of new elements so that nothing would repeat, but then, when we started to put it into programs, we realized that everything together and right away would not work out. All year, all season and, maybe, the next season we will add, change, and improve.
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