Anastasiia Gubanova: “If suddenly someone calls you from an unfamiliar foreign number, pick up the phone.”
Interview with Anastasiia Gubanova who has recently switched her sports citizenship and at the Finlandia Trophy 2021 debuted representing Georgia.
source: sports.ru dd. 14th October by Maiia Bagryantseva
Anastasiia Gubanova: I am so happy that I took part in such big competitions – this is a great start. I haven’t been at such competitions for almost three years, my last competition abroad was in Zagreb in 2018. So emotions are overwhelming, I am very happy with my performance, I have completed my task.
I really like my new programs. Both were choreographed at the end of last season by Alena Leonova. By the way, I want to take this opportunity and congratulate her on such wonderful family news (Alena Leonova is expecting a baby – ed.).
I offered the music myself. Four years I’ve been dreaming to skate to Mireille Mathieu and now the dream has come true. This program is about love, sometimes it’s light, sometime sad – I’m just skating about the feelings.
And the free program has a specific story. Here we have chosen two compositions by Korzeniowski – I have already skated to his “Romeo and Juliet”, his music is close to me, I feel it very well. In the first half of the program, I have a dream about how happy we are with my loved one, how good we are together. And then I wake up and realize that he is not there, that it was just a dream. Then I start looking for him – and at the end of the program I finally find him.
You have a premiere here – now you represent Georgia. This was quite unexpected and big news before the start of the season. How did it happen?
Anastasiia Gubanova: Last spring, when we were all in quarantine, the Georgian federation called my coach Evgeni Vladimirovich Rukavitsin with an offer for me to represent them. We began to discuss everything, but I immediately agreed, because I realized that this was a huge chance. I really wanted to take part in big, serious competitions.
What did Rukavitsin advise you?
Anastasiia Gubanova: He was glad that such an opportunity arose and, of course, said that it should not be missed. We both understood perfectly well that in Russia, due to the incredibly strong competition, it would be difficult for me to show myself at a high level.
But these strong Russian girls have not gone anywhere and it will be just as difficult for you to compete with them. Doesn’t it turn out that you switched the sports citizenship, knowingly agreeing to second roles in women’s skating?
Anastasiia Gubanova: I’m going to fight. Without a doubt. My transition does not cancel anything, I still have ambition. I don’t give up. I did not switched countries just to skate calmly behind the other girls. But we understand that skating for Russia I wouldn’t even get to this competitions, it is impossible now. And now I can come here and compete.
Have you received any offers from other federations?
Anastasiia Gubanova: Back when I was skating in Moscow, in CSKA, there was an offer to represent Belarus. But then I still wanted to represent Russia and I did not consider such options. Therefore, then I said no.
The news of your transfer came simultaneously with the same news about Maria Talalaikina. Have you discussed this with her, asked advice?
Anastasiia Gubanova: Well, we skated in the same group, so of course we talked, although there were no special discussions. Basically, only after everything has became known officially. I miss Masha, she is a very good girl, I hope to meet her at competitions.
How did it happen technically? Did you communicate with our federation yourself?
Anastasiia Gubanova: To be honest, I am not at all aware of the details of my transfer – Evgeni Vladimirovich and the Georgian Federation were engaged in everything. My job was to work, I trained and connected for organizational moments when it was necessary.
We have not met with Mariam Giorgobiani yet (the president of the Georgian federation – ed.), only talked on the phone, discussed further plans and various technical things. And we had excellent communication with the guys from the Georgian national team before – with Moris Kvitelashvili, for example. In St. Petersburg, pair skaters Nastya Metelkina and Daniil Parkman train, and also Irakli Maisuradze – we are on very good terms with them. I’m not so familiar with Masha and Gosha (Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya – ed), they train in Moscow, but we also communicated more than once.
Alina Urushadze and I often go to training camps together, we are old friends, since the days of CSKA.
And how has this friendship been influenced by the fact that Georgia has one spot for the Olympics, and now there are two contenders for it?
Anastasiia Gubanova: It didn’t. We have never discussed this with her. I believe that when we skate on ice we are rivals, but off the ice we are ordinary girls, I had no envy, no jealousy, no resentment. I never bring ice topics into my everyday life. We went to the training camp together this summer, it was great. We were in Latvia, with two groups – Svetlana Vladimirovna Sokolovskaya’s group and our group, we worked very well there.
Have you already received the uniform of the Georgian national team?
Anastasiia Gubanova: So far, only one jacket. I am waiting for the complete set.
But have you done the paperwork?
Anastasiia Gubanova: Yes, I already have Georgian citizenship, I have a passport. But I have never been to Georgia itself, I really want to go.
This is an incredibly beautiful country, there is so much to see. And how they dance! And Georgian cuisine! Khinkali! Well, I can’t eat a lot of them, of course, but when it’s so tasty, sometimes you can.
New team – new financial conditions, how does it work for you?
Anastasiia Gubanova: So far, nothing has changed. It’s only our first competitions together. If there are results, I think there will be contracts. Nothing just happens, that’s understandable. But the federation fully covers my training, ice, all specialists. Plus, I signed a contract with one skates manufacturer, so there are no problems with equipment and conditions.
Obviously, to stay competitive, you need to complicate your content. Are you discussing this with your coach?
Anastasiia Gubanova: We will discuss this during the season, but I have a Lutz-Loop combination, for example, which brings good points. Of course, we will also work on quads. This is all in the plans, of course.
Does it help that you train with the boys in Rukavitsin’s group?
Anastasiia Gubanova: Well, yes, we train together, we motivate each other. There are usually 6-7 people in training. We have common classes – both on and off the ice.
Experts note your almost ballet posture – especially on the landings. Have you practice ballet?
Anastasiia Gubanova: No, as a child I did rhythmic gymnastics for several years, but later I really began to take individual lessons from a teacher from the Vaganov School, we worked a lot with her. And later special emphasis was always placed on choreography – we really pay great attention to this.
There are many girls performing at Russian starts, who can easily be in the top 10 at the European Championships. But they have no chance of getting into the national team. What advice would you give them?
Anastasiia Gubanova: If they like to skate, if they really enjoy it, then let skate and don’t listen to anyone. Sometimes scores and results are not that important. But if suddenly someone calls you from an unfamiliar foreign number, pick up the phone.
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