Artur Danielian: “I didn’t even think that the coaches would offer to make a program to Scheherazade”
Interview with 2020 European silver medalist Artur Danielian. About overcoming injury, preparing for the season and new programs.
source: fsrussia.ru dd. 4th June 2021, by Olga Ermolina and Tatjana Flade
Artur missed last season due to injury. In October, the athlete underwent surgery on his leg, after which a rather lengthy recovery was required. And yet, at the end of the season, Artur appeared in public, taking part in Eteri Tutberidze’s show “Champions on Ice”, where for the first time after almost a year’s break he skated the exhibition program.
Artur, it’s great that you’re already training. But what happened to the leg?
Artur Danielian: After Graz, we began to prepare for the Worlds, but it was canceled, and quarantine began. For almost two months, everyone was at home, the skating rinks were closed, and no matter how well you did physical training, it was hard to do without ice training. At the end of May, we were informed that we could come to the training camp in Novogorsk. We planned to do a new free program and keep the short one. Alexander Sergeevich Uspensky arrived and we began to work.
Surprisingly, I was in a very good shape. We thought we would quickly do the free program and would prepare for the test skates. But already in Novogorsk I began to feel that something was wrong with my leg. Well, we’ve been sitting for so long without training so I thought that, of course, something will hurt. But the pain in the right leg was going away and coming back and even when we returned to CSKA, it repeated and we had to train with pauses.
We consulted with doctors, everyone had different opinions. And it’s good that thanks to the coaches and the federation, it was possible to send an MRI to Germany. The specialists answered that they understand what the problem is and it is better for me to come there to undergo an examination.
And you went to Munich.
Artur Danielian: Yes. It was in October. I went with my sister, because I am a minor and an accompanying person was needed. Many thanks to the federation for helping us to get visas quickly, because it was pandemic, few people was flying abroad.
In Munich, my sister and I were the first to get off the plane in order to go through passport control quickly, but we had to wait until they phoned the clinic, everything would be clarified, confirmed. The first to go out of the plane and the last to go through passport control … Everything is as usual for me – starts with “fun”.
In clinic I was told that surgery might be need. They sent me to another hospital, where they made an X-ray, another examination, they confirmed that surgery was needed. I phoned Elena Germanovna, I was ready, but I waited for a common decision. They answered me: once you’re ready, let’s do it.
I will not go into details, I will just say: they removed the unnecessary. When I woke up after the surgery – half of the leg was in a plaster cast. I spent two more days there, when it was time to check out, it turned out that I couldn’t fit into my jeans because of the plaster. I had to change with my sister. Okay, her jeans fit me, she pulled on mine …
I moved on crutches. When we arrived to the hotel, I even managed to go down to the shop. I did not take into account that my hands were busy with crutches, I returned to my room with a bag in my teeth …
Did it took long to get back to Moscow? There were no direct flights then.
Artur Danielian: Yes, we had a connection flight in Turkey. And when we landed in Istanbul, I hoped that they would give me a stroller, but … And only when I fell, caught on the rug, everyone was alarmed, and they brought me a stroller. Something like this always happens to me … We flew to Moscow early in the morning, at about 6 in the morning. I was still thinking whether to call Elena Germanovna or it’s too early. Well, then I began to adapt to my new life.
What was the hardest part?
Artur Danielian: Get used to the idea that you won’t be able to quickly return to the competitions. My expectations were very bright at first. But upon returning to Moscow, it was necessary to walk in a cast for another week, then remove the stitches. When they were removed, they put on a splint on the leg, which had to be worn for another four weeks. We were constantly in touch with doctors from Germany. They said what to do. For example, it was advised to take a towel and pull the operated leg towards you, not push from yourself in order to work it out. Well, some other tips …
In mid-November, I started attending physical training in CSKA. Elena Germanovna or Marina Leonidovna (Selitskaya – ed.) were driving me or I was taking a taxi to get to the rink. In mid-December I was already walking without crutches. I remember on my birthday at CSKA I was without them, in normal shoes and with balloons …
Artur Danielian: Fans prepared a surprise for my birthday. There were different gifts and many-many balloons with the number 17. It was so nice! All this time, so many people have supported me. If I start to list, it will drag on for half an hour. These are coaches, federation, doctors in Russia, in Germany, doctors who treat me here, help develop my leg, of course, parents, family, fans … Everyone wished health. They wrote and spoke pleasant words.
While I was recovering, friends came to visit me. Mark Kondratyuk, others … By the way, when I watched the competitions, because of Mark I lost all my accumulated nerve cells. Cheered for him. And at the Channel One Cup and at the Russian Cup Final. I sat in “Megasport” all in goose bumps, cheering for the guys and thinking: “That’s it, next year I need to perform.”
Such a mixed feelings: support the guys, but you want to go on the ice yourself …
Artur Danielian: The first competitions, which I missed even before the surgery, crushed me heavily. I reacted emotionally. And then I accepted this: there is a problem, it is necessary to solve, well, what can you do, it is better this season than in the Olympic one. After all, such a year. Everyone has problems. Someone’s is more serious, someone’s is less.
At first I thought I would start skating in mid-December, I would have time to prepare for the Russian Nationals and perform there. But I went on the ice just before the New Year, in old skates, which were falling apart, because one leg was big, the other was normal and I could not fit into the new ones.
I could hardly fit into ordinary shoes. I thought the surgery would be done and everything would be ok, because the surgery is not so serious. But in fact, it turned out difficult. And while I was sitting at home, I relaxed. I thought it was okay, but it turned out not – I gained weight, a little overeat, well, I grew up, outwardly changed during this time. I moved a little. Mostly I was sitting and studying. This year it was necessary to finish everything for the 10th and 11th grade, in a year I want to take the Unified State Exam, enter the Russian State University of Physical Culture, and then we’ll see. Now I have other priorities.
What fields are you interested in?
Artur Danielian: Psychology, for example. I like communication, I like helping people. If you want advice, if you want to talk I will listen. But for now, these are just ideas. There are many interesting professions. For example, my older brother is an engineer, my sister is a photographer-designer, and I am … a skater. For now.
At the end of the season, you performed at the Eteri Tutberidze’s show. What were the feelings?
Artur Danielian: In Perm, I skated a new exhibition program, which was choreographed by Elena Radionova. To the rock music. Cheerful program. But I haven’t competed for more than a year, haven’t trained at full strength, and I almost lost my mind while preparing it. This was my first complete program, with only two triple jumps, but I was still tired, there were problems with the breathing, because there was not enough physics. I hope we will collect everything at the training camp.
Before the performance, I was very nervous. I was shaking. Different light, excitement … Flip I jumped well, and the salchow, in the second half, I overrotated it a bit and fell. The first pancake is always a bit tricky, but I was happy that I skated in front of the audience, I really missed it. Thank you so much for inviting me.
After all, I wanted to compete in the Russian Cup Final, I even began to skate the mock-ups of a new free program. I thought I would recall the short one quickly. But while I was preparing, the loads increased, my leg began to ache, and the doctors advised not to force it. In a word, we decided with the coaches: it’s just one competition, there’s no need to skate on painkillers. I resigned myself, continued to recover, went to physiotherapy, skated a bit and now, since spring, I have been training in a good regime. I hope everything will recover over time.
Can you tell us about the new free program?
Artur Danielian: Elena Germanovna sent me the music when I was at the training camp in Novogorsk. Asked what do I think? I listened, I liked it. I didn’t even expect to be offered this. I thought it’d be something Egyptian, something oriental, but not Scheherazade. I do not know why. Such a beautiful, strong music … The program turned out cool …
The old short one remains as a fallback for now. We’ll see how the season goes. Now I need to get in shape, stabilize the jumps …
It will be interesting to see. And now the training camp, preparation for the season?
Artur Danielian: Yes, training camp in Novogorsk. Preparation. Of course, it is difficult to talk about yourself, but it seems to me that during this time I have changed – I have become a little wiser. I began to focus on my inner feelings more, contact with the coaches became closer. Before I was afraid to say too much, kept everything to myself, but now I realized: you can’t get into someone else’s head and you need to talk more. I became more open, more calm.
Now the main thing for me is to recover, prepare the programs, prepare for the test skates. It is difficult, but I am ready to devote myself to work so that everything is at the highest level. Because the next season is the season of the century, so you need to keep yourself in concentration, not only in training and competitions, but in everything. Step to the left, step to the right and you can lose your balance, something will go wrong. Of course, it’s not worth driving yourself to a crazy state, you just need to approach everything responsibly and move forward step by step.
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