Boikova and Kozlovskii: “We wanted to continue Scot Moir’s tradition of jumping on the boards at the Olympics.”
Interview with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii. The guys summed up the results of the season, told about the impression from the Olympics and told that they’re going to work on quad elements.
source: championat.com dd. 31st March by Yana Levhina
Aleksandra and Dmitrii told how they were affected by the fourth place at the Olympics. They also shared why they are not afraid to be frank.
The Olympic season was not easy for Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii. The skaters were hounted by consistency problems, which prevented them from showing their best at the Olympics, where they took a disappointing fourth place. But Sasha and Dima did not give up after an unsuccessful season. Athletes say that negative experiences helped them grow up and led them to certain conclusions.
An honest conversation with the Russian and European champions.
Share your impressions of the Channel One Cup.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: The Channel One Cup is a special competitions. I like the way figure skating is developing in our country. It is important to note here that the Russian Federation can afford to host such competitions, since it has a huge number of high-class athletes, which are interesting for the public. To be absolutely honest, in some disciplines Russian Nationals is even more interesting to watch than World and European championships. Let’s take, in particular, women’s single skating, where all the last warm-up jumps couple of quads or at least triple axel – this is cool.
As for the Channel One Cup, such competiitons are something new. Absolutely different impressions and a certain responsibility. We are used to perform for ourselves, and in this format we have the opportunity to skate for the team. It would seem that the season is already over, the official competitions have come to an end, but still there was excitement, since performing for the team is a responsibility. Nobody wants to let their team down, everyone wants to show their best versions of themselves.
Aleksandra Boikova: I would just add that this year the Channel One Cup has become even more friendly and warm, kind event. Despite the fact that there were two teams and one competed against the other, this does not mean that we were rivals. On the contrary, everyone in the locker room and even in the team boxes supported each other. An excellent example is the performance of Liza Tuktamysheva, who skated last. Both teams were cheering madly for her, worried, supported her after each jump. Everyone was probably glad that this event took place and that our big figure skating family was together. Everyone came to this event and everyone was ready to show their best work.
This year you were in the red team. Was it unusual to compete against Zhenya Medvedeva?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We did not compete against Zhenya Medvedeva. We competed for the red team, for the team we were assigned to. We were glad that we were in the team of Anna Shcherbakova, but I can also say that we would be just as happy to be in the team of Mark. All the guys are wonderful, cool, hardworking. There was not even a feeling of rivalry – there was a desire to skate our programs clean and show our maximum.
Did this friendly atmosphere help you to skate programs at the highest level?
Aleksandra Boikova: It seems to me that everything contributed to this. And first of all, full stands. We miss the audience so much! The only event that took place with full stands this year was Russian Nationals. In most of the competitions we took part, there were no spectators at all. Of course, when the stands are full of spectators, you give your best, because they give you their energy, their support. You feel it and skate for pleasure.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Yes, I agree.
The only mistake you made at the Channel One Cup was in the jumping competition, when Dima fell after performing a throw. How did it happen?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Probably somewhere I still had to fall (smiles). Let it happen in such a format, in a jumping competitions. I wouldn’t even want to draw attention to it. Silly accident, but I think it was pretty funny.
Aleksandra Boikova: Yes, it was fun (laughs).
What are your general impressions of the jumping competitions? Did you like the format or would you like to change something?
Aleksandra Boikova: In pair skating, you need to learn quadruple elements so that such jumping competitions become more watchable. Now the jumping competition has shown that everyone makes the same content and the difference is small. Of course, we need to develop in this direction. We hope that next year, if there is a Channel One Cup and a jumping competition for pairs, there will be quadruple elements, or difficult jumps and combinations will be added.
Do you plan to work on the quadruple elements yourself? And if so, which ones: twist or throw?
Aleksandra Boikova: We will develop in this regard, you will see – we will not speak ahead of time (smiles).
How would you assess this season? Did your expectations come true?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Of course, any athlete in the top who works hard wants to win medals at the Olympic Games in the Olympic season. And, since it hasn’t happened for us, we can say that we had other expectations from this season. Nevertheless, we have made certain conclusions, based on which we will build further preparations for the Olympic Games together with our coaches, where, we sincerely hope, we will take part. We will work more and work hard for this.
Aleksandra Boikova: I completely agree with Dima. Of course, expectations were greater than the results, but negative experience always brings rather useful than positive experience, so we immediately drew conclusions and will continue to work.
Many athletes say that the Olympic Games are a special competitions, unlike anything else. Did you manage to feel the atmosphere of the holiday?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: No.
Aleksandra Boikova: Unfortunately not.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: I can say that this is not connected with our performance at the Olympic Games, but with the general surroundings and the specifics of the Games in Beijing. Due to the covid, there were no spectators from different countries, and the stands were filled very little.
Aleksandra Boikova: The atmosphere is usually felt in the air, in the village, for example, when athletes communicate with each other. And because of the covid, everyone communicated minimally, avoided physical contact, everyone was alone with himself.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: For me, the Olympics are fans and the emotions they give. I have repeatedly said that just to skate our programs we can in training, which, in fact, we do all the time. The only difference is not just the time and place, but the audience, the arena where we perform, we get adrenaline, buzz. Due to the fact that the most important factor that gives emotions has been eliminated, these Olympic Games, unfortunately, cannot be compared with the Games in Sochi and Pyeongchang in terms of the emotional component.
Have you got a chance to meet some athletes?
Aleksandra Boikova: Yes, but it happened not at the Olympics, but after it – at the celebration of champions. We met Vic Wild. We heard his sports story: how he won in Sochi, how he fought injuries, how he won a bronze medal now. A very cool athlete, it was very pleasant to talk with him. We were glad that we got to know him, this is a new person for us. We also crossed paths with Alexander Bolshunov.
In Beijing, we mostly lived in different villages: figure skaters, short track skaters lived in our village. We are familiar with the guys from the short track from Novogorsk, because we often cross paths with them at the training camp. But the most memorable acquaintance happened with Vic Wild.
Looking at your performances at the Olympics, it seemed that you were in a great mood. Dima, for example, jumped on board after the short program. Where did this desire come from?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: For some reason, I always found it very cute and unique, because in figure skating you don’t really jump on the boards, they are hard and narrow at all competitions, but there was such a unique case. And since an outstanding athlete like Scott Moir was no longer at this Olympics due to the end of his professional career, for some reason it seemed to me that such a good tradition should be adopted.
So you want to make it a tradition?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: I hope that there will be Games in Milan for us, and we’ll see if we can make it a tradition. What if they make hard boards? (smiles).
Sasha, you said that this should be done after the free program. Why?
Aleksandra Boikova: Because I thought that Dima would do it after the free program, but it turns out that he decided to do it after both the short and the free program. After the free program, we both definitely wanted to jump, we discussed this in advance (smiles).
In the short program at the Olympics, you delivered a high-quality performance, but got rather modest scores. Has it affected your mood in any way?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: When we just started skating our short program, you can see it in the broadcast, we were scored very highly. Our triple jump and triple twist were got high GOE, but after a mistake on a triple throw, the scores, of course, started to decline slightly. Here I can say that at the Olympics, in order to get very high scores, you need to skate clean. Regarding the short program, the scores reflected the current situation of our skate and the skates of our competitors. Moreover, we skated the last.
After the short program, were you already ready for the fact that you could be left without a medal?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We didn’t think about it. We wanted to show our maximum in the free program.
Is it possible not to think about it?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: It is quite possible, it depends on the athlete’s set up. I cannot speak for other athletes, I can only speak for Sasha and me. Between the short program and the free program, we didn’t make any plans for places in our heads. First of all, we tried to focus to show high-quality skating.
Aleksandra Boikova: In fact, when you are already skating, you don’t think about any places at all, you think about the elements. Of course, between the short program and the free program, you think about your chances, about how everything can happen. All assumptions are absolutely meaningless, because you cannot guess your own fate, just like the fate of other people.
Do you consider the fourth place at the debut Olympics as a success or failure?
Aleksandra Boikova: It is difficult to make such a clear distinction, because for some it would be a colossal success. I can’t say that this is a failure for us. No, this is a reality that showed at that moment where we were. Everything was right there, in our opinion. We skated and took fourth place. It’s not worth talking about whether it’s a success or a failure.
Many athletes call the fourth place the most offensive.
Aleksandra Boikova: There is such thing.
How did it affect you? Was there more motivation after it?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: It was not the fourth place that influenced, the season influenced. We have matured a lot this season, made certain conclusions after a certain setback. Still, any athlete, of course, wants to at least be on the podium of the Olympic Games. The only thing I can say for sure is that we are still young and we hope to come to the next Olympic Games in such a shape that we can still win our medal.
Do you have any regrets about not getting into the team event?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: I’ll be honest: any member of the Russian team would like to take part in the team event. Of course, we also wanted to get a chance to perform and defend the honor of our country in the team. But a decision was made, and somehow we didn’t have time to talk about this topic, because we began to concentrate on the individual competitions.
Aleksandra Boikova: We also did not know until the last moment who would perform in the team. It is clear that the first numbers would do the short program, it was obvious to everyone, but we were not told about the free program until the last moment. We were all in shape, we were ready. But they decided as they decided, and, probably, it was right.
Usually athletes set goals for individual medals. Do you have a goal to win the team event?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We have a goal to show the maximum that we are capable of at the Olympic Games.
Aleksandra Boikova: But it would be great to participate in the team event too.
So there is no specific goal?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: The specific goal is to skate perfectly and win gold medals.
Unlike many athletes, you are very sociable and quite bold in your statements. Why are you so open, how do you manage to do it?
Aleksandra Boikova: I’m probably a very straightforward person in life, which sometimes has a bad effect. But I’m for the truth, I’m for honesty. Of course, when I talk to people, give interviews, I want to be frank, because in my understanding, people who read the interview, want to hear the truth, to get to know you. They are interested in you, so you should open up. There is no point in hiding.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: When there is an interesting interaction with the interviewer, with the public, it’s always great. We live in order to get some pleasant emotions, impressions, and this is also achieved through communication, interaction with those people who come to see us, who love us. It’s interesting, cool and cool.
Many people try to create an ideal image around themselves, but you are extremely frank and are not afraid to show your disadvantages. Why?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We’re telling the truth. You know, there is a phrase: it is easy to tell the truth.
Aleksandra Boikova: I just can’t lie. Maybe that’s why I’m telling the truth.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Moreover, to be honest, we don’t say anything special. We try to always be respectful to everyone.
Sasha, you are studying to be a journalist. How did this idea come about? In the future, are you considering sports journalism or something else?
Aleksandra Boikova: To be honest, I don’t remember how the idea to become a journalist came about. When I was little, I always wanted to be a vet. It seems to me that many little girls choose this profession for some reason. But with age, I realized that I like talking to people, I like to learn a lot from them. Perhaps that is why the idea appeared to study to be a journalist. But I remember that my parents have been dissuading me for a very long time, because my aunt studied to be a journalist, she studied successfully, but she has never worked according to her specialty. I still hope that I will become a journalist, specifically a sports one, because sports are closer to me and it is easier for me to understand it, so I want to cover sports events.
Does studying help you in your figure skating activity?
Aleksandra Boikova: In figure skating, we are often interviewed, thanks to which I find out what questions are asked most often, what uniqueness can be brought. Plus, since we are now being interviewed on television, I automatically develop the skill of working on camera. When I was in my first year, we had a task to shoot a reportage, and it didn’t turn out very well (laughs). I was not afraid of the camera, I spoke well, but it was clear that I was like a robot that memorized speech. Now everything is much better, I shoot reports more freely. My last task was to film a reportage from the Olympics. Together with Dmitrii Eduardovich(Kozlovskii) we were preparing a reportage from the final hockey match. My operator, so to speak (laughs).
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Don’t exploit me (smiles).
Aleksandra Boikova: Figure skating helps me more in studying then vice versa.
Do you see your future in TV journalism?
Aleksandra Boikova: Well, I would like to. But I don’t know how it will turn out.
Dima, many fans are predicting a political career for you. What do you think about that?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: Now I’m focused on sports, on my professional career and on acquiring skills directly at the university and from outside. In fact, I really try to absorb as much information as possible and after the end of my professional sports activities I will build my future. So far, I haven’t thought much about this and haven’t planned anything.
Many athletes study in sports institutes. You thought about serious professions quite early. What prompted you to do this?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: It depends on the interests of the person. If an athlete wants to build his career connected with the sport he was involved in, that’s great. It’s great when people continue to develop, and it’s not easy. But, let’s just say, my personal interest was precisely in professional sports. That is, I always wanted to be a professional athlete and didn’t think about coaching, so I build my future prospects in a different way.
Aleksandra Boikova: I have a similar situation. I just don’t see myself in coaching. I talk to people and communicate very easily, but it will be difficult for me to teach something. Plus, I would not want to connect my life with one sport, so I went into journalism. Yes, into sports journalism, because it is not so extensive and there is not much knowledge, probably, that will be necessary to receive. But this is also not a fact (smiles). I do not want to connect my life with one thing, I want to develop in some other directions.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: I would like to add to the conversation about the future, about professions, that, despite any paths, I personally associate my further career development with Russia. And I really want to develop here, because I sincerely love my country.
Aleksandra Boikova: (nods).
Do you already have plans for the off-season?
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We have just finished the competitive season. Now we are focused on performing in the show. When we return from shows, we will already build a specific schedule and certain plans, think about programs. Fortunately, we will have time for this.
The first Games have passed. What sports goals do you set next?
Aleksandra Boikova: We hope that the next four years will be the most successful for us and will end with the Olympics in Milan and further victories.
Pair skating is a long-lived sport. Do you have plans, how many Olympic cycles do you want to go through?
Aleksandra Boikova: No.
Dmitrii Kozlovskii: We want to successfully complete a four-year cycle, which begins now.
Aleksandra Boikova: Let’s see what happens next.
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