“As for the very idea of Valieva’s free program, I have rather mixed feelings about it.” Alena Kostornaia tries herself as a journalist and shares her impressions of the test skates
Alena Kostornaia tries herself as a journalist and now has her own column for TASS, where she shared her impressions of the test skates of the national team.
Alena Kostornaia: The new season of Russian figure skating has started this weekend with test skates at Megasport arena. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be watching them from the stands, I would probably have laughed – “Well, not me.” If only I knew that in the summer I would have surgery, after which I would have to recover for at least another six months. That hospital life will become commonplace for me, and doctors will become almost family people. By the way, many thanks to them for their work.
Nothing can be done, as they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. And of course, I was upset that I was not on the ice. But since it happened, I’m not going to give up and stop. So, I will do what I can. For a long time I entertained myself with drawing – I’m pretty good at it, by the way. But this is not enough for me, so I decided to learn a new profession, and the choice fell on journalism. It was always interesting to be on the other side of the ribbon in the mixed zone, to ask your question to those with whom competed on the same ice not so long ago. And also to show and tell people about figure skating from an unusual perspective.
Now I will try to pass the first exam, talking about my emotions after what I saw in Megasport. It would be appropriate to say “do not judge strictly”, but no – judge, I’m used to strict judgement. Becaise I compete in single skating, I will also focus on this discipline. And I would like to start, oddly enough, with the men. Although I understand that my analysis of the women’s skating may cause more interest.
There were 12 participants, but I would stop at a few. For me, what Evgeni Semenenko did on the ice in his free program was a discovery. If someone does not remember him, this is the guy who hit his head hard on the ice this spring at the show and everyone was watching his health then. I also performed in that show in St. Petersburg, and everything that happened really scared everyone. That is why I am doubly happy for Zhenya – he performed so brightly that sometimes I wanted to ask: “Zhenya, is this really you?” Maybe the program needs to be skated more and it is just the beginning of the season, but he just lead the areana. My first thought was: “My God, this is a masterpiece.” A man improved all his skills in the offseason.
Mark Kondratiuk. And again, his costume in the short program reminded me of Nathan Chen. But in the free program, he was in a completely different image, and here, unfortunately, because of mistakes, it was not possible to reveal him. I think this can be explained by the fact that now is the very beginning of the season. As for the new programs of Mikhail Kolyada, I have not yet got it. Let me be criticized for subjectivity, but I loved his early programs for lightness, a smile and a bunch of positive emotions that he gave to his fans. Perhaps because the skating of Javier Fernandez has been always close to me. But everyone has different taste.
Artur Danielyan surprised me in a good way. Quite recently he has changed a coach – before we skated in the same group with Elena Germanovna Buyanova, and now Artur works in St. Petersburg. Artur has done a lot during this time – choreogaphed programs with coaches, and he even managed to prepare them. Yes, there is still a lot of work, but if a person is gaining momentum so quickly, does it mean that he is still motivated for the result? At this pace, he can do a lot this season. I believe that he has not revealed his full potential yet. He just needs a little more confidence in the results of his work and in himself.
And in fact, Makar Ignatov showed the cleanest performance. And I would like to wish him that the way he skated served him as a good start for the whole season. And at least – do not lower the bar.
In the performance of the girls, of course, a lot of attention was paid to the performance of Kamila Valieva, who dedicated her free program to what happened to her at the Olympics. As for the very idea of the program, I leave this question out of the equation, because I have rather mixed feelings about it. And I would not like to talk about this topic much, if only because I am an active athlete myself. I can only say that this performance, of course, evoked emotions. As for the program itself, in terms of music, it had an interesting start, this is a good find, as well as an unusual ending. Kamila skated emotionally, subtly, and well. But if you compare all of her programs, starting with “The Girl on the Ball”, they are in a similar style. Kamila goes first in them, then music. I would like to see her in something new.
I really liked the short program of Sofia Muraviova, despite the mistake on the triple axel. But she glided, showed, skated, interpreted her program. I also liked Liza Tuktamysheva with her new free program portraying a blind girl, although at the end there was not enough skating power. But she was sick, so this is understandable, this program has a lot of potential, I’m sure. Yes, she is unusual, yes, everyone is used to the firy Liza, and it really suited her.
I was very upset for Sofa Samodelkina – such a cool quad loop was at the warm-up, but it didn’t work out in the program. Sonya Akatieva has kept her short program from last year – a fluffy, thin, interesting free program, and in general, for her age, the artistic image is excellent. Adeliia Petrosian also had a very good junior performance.
And yet, following the results of the test skates, I saw the same athletes, but with new programs. There were interesting ideas, finds, but many were after injuries, still recovering. After all, these are just test skates, and they are primarily for the athletes to show their work in the off-season, to outline their programs, to test themselves at the beginning of the season. Well, so it was before. Now it’s more like a competition.
There are quite a few competitions this season, and our federation managed to make them even more significant. I hope that I will be able to perform in some of them. And of course, it would be interesting for me to perform in the show programs competition. It seems to me that this is primarily a competition of “creatives”, and this is interesting. By the way, the competition has no name yet and, as I heard, proposals are accepted. I urge the fans to be a little creative. The only thing that is not very clear to me yet is judging. If the victory will be awarded only by the opinion of the audience, there is a nuance. After all, some athletes have more fans than others. This means that an athlete whose fan base is obviously smaller loses his chances. Our fans are very devoted, and that’s great. But this may not play into the hands of the objectivity of the scores.
Well, the test skates are over, the season begins. And for now, I can only say that the next ones will not pass without me. I believe that. The doctors said that I will be able. So I will.
Related topics: Adeliia Petrosian, Alena Kostornaia, Artur Danielian, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Evgeni Semenenko, Kamila Valieva, Mark Kondratyuk, mikhail kolyada, Sofia Akatieva, Sofia Muravieva, Sofia Samodelkina
Daniil Gleikhengauz: “Trusova has a small back injury, we were ready to withdraw her from the test skates. But Sasha herself expressed a desire to skate at least a short for the sake of the fans.”