Annabelle Morozov about breakup with her partner: “It is pointless to make long-term plans when there is no mutual understanding within the pair. Sooner or later, everything will break anyway.”

Posted on 2022-12-05 • 1 comment


Interview with Annabelle Morozov about the breakup with David Narizhny.

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source: RT dd. 4th December 2022 by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya

It makes no sense to make serious plans when there is no mutual understanding between the partners. This was stated in an interview with RT by Annabel Morozov, the winner of two stages of the Russian Grand Prix in ice dance. According to her, David Narizhny did not try at all to save their promising duo. The 21-year-old athlete also explained why she was afraid to part with Andrei Bagin, told about working with Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband, and called her father the best choreographer in the world.

In mid-February, you teamed up with David Narizhny, and after a few months of training, you got the status of one of the best Russian ice dance duets, won two stages of the Russian Grand Prix, and … suddenly decided to part. Can you tell, at least in general, what happened?

Annabelle Morozov: I had no desire to part; it was just that the circumstances demanded it. This is probably a situation where no one is to blame, but it’s also impossible to stay together.

According to Irina Zhuk, under whose guidance you and your partner trained in Moscow, the reason for the breakup is Narizhny’s refusal to prepare for the Russian Nationals in America, since there is very little time left before the event.

Annabelle Morozov: Not exactly. As a pair, we started having problems back in the summer, when we trained in Florida for three months. I saw that David didn’t like it very much there. It was the first time he left his parents for such a long time, so it was hard for him emotionally. In addition, he started to have stomach problems and could not eat American food. I tried to help; I cooked the food myself, but it helped little.

It all ended with the fact that we stopped even getting out somewhere, since David did not want to leave the house. He stopped discussing his problems and closed. I hoped that the situation would change when we returned to Moscow, but this did not happen. In addition, it became uncomfortable for me to train in Moscow—there were reasons for that.


Annabelle Morozov: Well, from the very beginning, we understood that there could be difficulties because, being in Moscow, I miss my parents who live in the USA. I was not always comfortable, especially when I had to live in Novogorsk at a sports base for two years. Therefore, we have, in fact, decided that we will train in both countries. Before the Beijing Games, my father (Nikolai Morozov. – RT ), Alexei Gorshkov, who coached me and Andrei Bagin, and Irina Zhuk with Alexander Svinin, who coached David, were all part of one coaching team. It seemed to mean that we would not be left without attention under any circumstances.

After the stage in Kazan, which ended on November 7, that is, more than a month and a half before the Russian Nationals, I tried to persuade David to fly to America for two weeks. I thought we needed to change and correct a lot of things in the programs. That is, to do everything possible to prepare as well as possible for the Russian Nationals. But he was against it, despite the absence of any visa and financial obstacles for this trip. Then I asked him how he imagined our training with him next season.

And what did he say?

Annabelle Morozov: He said that he didn’t want to change anything, because everything suits him, that we could develop in terms of sports on our own, not really relying on coaches. But I can’t do that. I am not an Olympic champion; I do not have enough experience to work independently and, moreover, to progress without outside help. I can change some parts of the program, but at the same time, I am not sure that I can do it better than a professional coach. I need an outside perspective. Of course, I wanted to have a partner with whom we would always support each other. And it hurt to find out that it was the other way around.  

How was it decided not to compete at the Russian Nationals?

Annabelle Morozov: To be honest, when we talked about our future, I wanted to hear that maybe I was wrong, that all my fears were unfounded, and that David still wanted to skate with me and was willing to take some steps toward that end. Finally, it is just stupid to part after so much work has been done. But that did not happen. There were only some reproaches and not the slightest attempt to fight for our pair. We didn’t decide then whether we would prepare for the Russian Nationals, but then I got a message from David: “I am writing to the federation that we are not participating, right?”

The point here isn’t so much that David didn’t want to fly to America after the Grand Prix stage in Kazan as it is about how we see our future in ice dance.

And how do you see your future?

Annabelle Morozov: Probably, the way all athletes see it. I want to become a champion. Although, in fact, I don’t want to win any particular title, I do want to be remembered by the audience and by specialists. With which partner this can happen, I don’t know yet.

Have you thought about looking for a partner in America?

Annabelle Morozov: I thought. Moreover, I do not rule out such a possibility if it fails to do this in Russia. It’s hard to guess something here.

In ice dance, it is believed that partners need to skate together for a long time before they are noticed.

Annabelle Morozov: Before I started skating with David, I didn’t have to change a partner, and, frankly, it was scary. With Andrei Bagin, we had to learn some elements for a long time and generally get used to each other for a long time. I was much younger than him and just didn’t understand a lot of things. Did a lot of things wrong.

For example?

Annabelle Morozov: I didn’t try to say or ask something once again. I didn’t think that you needed to look at your partner while skating, make contact with him, and work for each other. At first, it seemed to me that everything would be just as difficult with the new partner. But it turned out to be much easier because I already understood a lot about it, including how to avoid previous mistakes. Therefore, now I am not afraid that I will have to start from the beginning.

What is the most important aspect of a partner to you?

Annabelle Morozov: So that he wants to achieve the result as much as I do. That this is what comes first. I understand very well that we could have good results with David. But it is pointless to make long-term plans when there is no mutual understanding within the pair to such an extent. Sooner or later, everything will break anyway.

I am surprised that, with such a professionally successful father, you have such a strong desire to have results. You could live comfortably in any country, get an education, and have fun with friends without denying yourself anything.

Annabelle Morozov: I just love skating. Always liked it. When mom and dad had already broken up, dad took me for the weekend, and we used to go to the skating rink. My father then had a large group in America, where Shae-Lynn Bourne, Daisuke Takahashi, Florent Amodio, Javier Fernandez, Miki Ando trained at different times, and I skated on the same ice – I repeated some elements, pieces of programs. Then I started to compete as a single skater. I liked the audience, I liked everything. I remember how Maxim Kovtun and I went to McDonald’s. I was ten years old, and he was 15 or 16. With Shae-Lynn and Miki Ando ​​we still keep in touch.

Who is easier for you to understand, Russians or Americans?

Annabelle Morozov: I wouldn’t say that I have problems communicating with anyone, but mentally, I’m definitely not an American. The father is Russian, and the mother is French.The fact that parents live in America makes no difference in this regard.

All the skaters who have ever trained with father said that no other choreographer creates such convenient programs as Nikolai Morozov.

Annabelle Morozov: It’s really so. Dad is a very creative person, so training is never boring, even when you have to skate for seven hours in a row and change some pieces in the program 100 times. To be honest, I have not yet seen programs that I would like more than my father’s. I also didn’t notice that one of the choreographers skated just as well.

By the way, I noticed that absolutely all your programs with both Bagin and Narizhny, according to the English Wikipedia, were choreographed by your father.

Annabelle Morozov: Every time we tried to choreograph the program with someone else, those programs didn’t work out. Dad thought he could do better, and he did. Even when he watched other pairs skate, he always noted places he would have changed in the program if he had created it. He explained why, in his opinion, it is inconvenient for athletes to skate certain programs. And it has always been very reasonable.

At the same time, while you were skating with Bagin, as far as I know, Nikolai constantly sent you to train with other specialists. What’s the point?

Annabelle Morozov: Father thought that this allowed you to not only learn new things but also compare yourself to other pairs. It was really great. Therefore, I still try to work with a variety of specialists at every opportunity, if possible. In this case, you constantly seem to receive recharges from new ideas, new views. When Bagin and I skated with Alexei Gorshkov in Odintsovo, the coach also did not mind that we were working with other specialists in parallel.

And how did Alexander Svinin and Irina Zhuk feel about this initiative, with whom you started training after teaming up with Narizhny?

Annabelle Morozov: Each time I asked in advance whether I could contact one or another specialist. Nobody ever forbade me to do this, but there was a feeling that this was not very accustomed in the group.

Which of the coaches you have worked with was the coolest to work with?

Annabelle Morozov: It’s difficult to say because everyone is very different. Marina Zueva is an absolutely outstanding master at explaining the idea of the program in detail, putting gestures, a look, so that the program starts to shine and make the strongest impression. She knows a lot, constantly talks, and her energy is enough not only for all the athletes, but also for a bunch of her pets.

Igor Shpilband did not miss even the smallest technical detail: he could always explain how to make an arc better or enter one or another element. Plus, I really liked looking at Igor’s other pairs how they train, communicate with each other. It’s also a very big school, actually.

If everything works out quickly and you find a partner, will you leave to train with him in America?

Annabelle Morozov: Absolutely not necessary. I never intended to move to America and live there permanently. There are also coaches from whom you can learn a lot in Russia, and I don’t want to say at all that it is better on the other side of the ocean in this regard. Everywhere has its advantages. It just seems to me that if athletes have the opportunity to train in different countries, this should be used.

If the competition is lost, are you able to feel happy?

Annabelle Morozov: Yes. But only if I skated well and did everything, and even a little more. I always remember that sport is sport, and someone can be better even if I skate perfectly. It hurts when a pair that was not the best in reality places higher.

Being completely honest, did you and Bagin hope to get to the Beijing Olympics last season?

Annabelle Morozov: At first, I did not believe in such an opportunity because I thought that Zahorski – Guerreiro would compete for the third spot. But Tiffany, with whom we are friends, once said that she and John would most likely not be able to qualify for the Games due to her illness and even said something like, “You have a chance.” But then everything turned upside down, and it turned out that there was no chance; there is only one candidate for the third spot in the national team, and it’s not us.

Did you understand it yourself?

Annabelle Morozov: Even before the start of the competition, dad advised Andrei and me not to have any illusions. He said this in advance because he did not want us to be upset about this. But I still got upset. I’ve been thinking about these Games all year. That the ice is slippery, everyone falls, and there might really be a chance … We worked like hell for this chance. Well, yes, I understood everything in my head. And yet, for the next month, it was very hard for me to watch others skate.

Tamara Moskvina said not so long ago that for the sake of the result, an athlete must be able to push everything personal into the background. Do you agree with her?

Annabelle Morozov: So we have to do this all the time, one way or another. I can’t, for example, go for a walk with a friend in the evening if I have a workout in the morning. I can’t go to some party on the weekend if I have to compete next week. This is fine. Yes, I know there is a life after sports, it is completely different and perhaps no less interesting, but for now, I like to be focused on what I consider to be the main thing in my current life.


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One response to “Annabelle Morozov about breakup with her partner: “It is pointless to make long-term plans when there is no mutual understanding within the pair. Sooner or later, everything will break anyway.””

  1. No war says:

    Sounds like it has been hard for David. Best of luck to both.

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