Interview with Anna Pogorilaya for Sovsport.
Anna, did you managed on New Year holidays somehow to forget about figure skating?
This New Year I managed to do it. Actually, I forgot that I’m a figure skater. Just congratulated coaches and felt like ordinary person.
How often such rest happens?
Rarely. It happens that at the weekend that ice lets me go. But sometimes say to coach, “No, let’s have less rest and go to the trainings early”.
Figure skating is always in your head?
Well, of course, where it can get away from there. Just now had a chance not to think about all of this, that European Championships is soon, that it is necessary to prepare …
Your exhibition number to the music of Schnittke “Tango in the madhouse” is very memorable.
We wanted this tango for the free program. But when Nikolai Morozov came and showed his idea, we liked it. For the exhibition we always looking for something interesting and eventually came up with this “Tango“. Turned out a very cool number. My choreographer Victor Adoniev was inspired a lot and I think turned out just great.
Russian National Championships became the most difficult start of your career? There was such a competition.
No. We with coach come through it well. She prepared me for this start, gave a good attitude.
After an unsuccessful Grand Prix in Japan, seems it was difficult to go to Russian Nationals.
In fact, everything was calm. I didn’t think with whom I’m competing. Maybe thought about it once but those thoughts immediately have gone. And at the competitions when I got into the strongest warm-up of course was watching who does what. But mostly in order not to bump into someone. I wasn’t thinking like I have to beat this competitor, overtake that.
Then what didn’t work at Grand-prix? On the contrary, was thinking about that?
Apparently, have set myself like: must, must, must, you can. And in the short program in Japan had a really painful fall. In the free program it has already let me go and I skated normally. First lutz didn’t do well, so I added the jump to the second, for combination. It was easier.
I myself wondering and readers asked to ask you about this. When you fall, it looks like…. it hurts to watch. Why did it happened?
To be honest, when I fall in competition, It didn’t even hurt. It’s upsetting me. You almost don’t feel pain under the adrenaline. But when adrenaline is over – yes, it hurts.
I mean a little bit different. Other skaters fall as if they gently sit down. And you somehow smashes backhand. Maybe as a child you wasn’t taught how to group together?
In fact, wasn’t taught, but as a child you don’t fall with such speed. Now, if you’re flying, you realize where do you fly. And you can, for example, put the hand, not to hit the head. So, in the jump I realize what is going on.
And when just started skating wasn’t afraid of falls?
No, never. I don’t even have memories that I fell in childhood. I remember something else: trying to cling to the board and the hands were slipping in the wet gloves. It was on this rink. Stood on the feet badly then, hands slide, I’m trying to grab but couldn’t and I climb, climb … In the end, I did it.
Then got it quickly?
Yeah, so my mom left me in figure skating. If not so, perhaps, she would have taken me out. But I liked to do skating.
Liked something particular?
No, I can’t say so. It went slowly. Started to win medals one after the other. Later, however, it was a period of injuries. I didn’t want to quit, but now, looking back, I think that this could have happen. Now, of course, I’m glad that didn’t finish. I came across a very good coach. She is also wanted very much me to succeed, fought for me.
Medals could be in another sport. And figure skating sometimes catches girls, for example, with beautiful dresses.
No-oo…I didn’t chase for dresses. My mother always choose them. It’s now I’m interfere a bit but generally she rules this process.
Honestly, I don’t know why figure skating attracted me. I remember I was so pleased when I was praised! When got to very first group, there immediately said that this girl stands out. Of course, I liked it. It’s nice when you stand out when you a little but better than the rest.
You said that you could quit skating when were injured. And there are no such thoughts after an unsuccessful competition, to throw everything to hell?
No. I just realize that anything can happen. Instead, think: well, why it didn’t work ?! I want to do it at the next start! I begin to work even harder.
For some reason I thought that every athlete at least once a week wants to quit.
Sometimes it’s hard. Tired. Want to sleep. But to finish at all – no. I love figure skating. I get a buzz from it. Though perhaps sometimes this isn’t visible. But when I’ve been without figure skating for a long time then pulls to the ice.
After last season, when you won the medal of the European Championships, something has changed in everyday life? Maybe a special attitude at school?
No, I always liked that no matter which medals I won at school I was treated like a normal student. Yes, the teacher came, saying: watched how you performed, well done. This, of course, was very pleasant. Cheered after a bad start. But nothing was changing in study.
Do people recognise you on streets?
No, and it’s good. Can use public transport calmly. I’m getting tired of sport at trainings if I was reminded about it even at streets….
Do you feel comfortable in the difficult world of figure skating?
Comfortable. For sure I don’t have enemies. Communicate with everyone. Have a close friends.
Some skaters say that they try to find friends not from figure skating – for distraction.
I have different friends – skaters and ordinary people.
Do you rewatch your performances after competition?
In fact yes. But after the Grand-Prix in Japan it was hard to do it. I was in such state that couldn’t calmly look at it.
Wanted to cry?
Nearly. But then I arrived to Moscow, some time has passed and I rewatched everything thoughtfully. I consider what happened. Also have discussed with a coach what should be done to avoid future such skates.
What lacks to be consistent?
Oh, so many factors can affect. Nerves and “physics”, and sometimes even environment.
How to deal with the nerves? Do you have a recipe?
To work more and more. To do runthrough at trainings. The nerves themselves are not going anywhere. Any athlete is nervous.
So, everything must be brought to automatism?
Rather, you should try to learn yourself better. And set yourself correctly.
Do you work with psychologist?
No. I try to handle myself. Of course, my and coach mother help. But mainly set myself.
On video do you watch only yourself or others too?
Unless something interesting. Something I try to discern something.
Have you ever wanted to be like someone?
No. I like individuality. Whom it will be interesting to watch me if I am repeating the someone? And it’s unpleasant because will compare.
Read also the interview with Elena Ilinykh