Brian Orser: Even the greatest skaters did not win every competition

Posted on 2018-10-29 • No comments yet


Brian Orser about Evgenia Medvedeva’s performance at Skate Canada 2018.

Brian Orser: Of course, after such a skate, as she had on Friday, you feel disappointed, devastated. For her, this devastation is special, because Zhenya made so many changes, she wanted to show everyone that she become better. She really wanted to show these improvements, but didn’t turn out. Of course, as an athlete, she was confused and tried to understand why this happened.

I think we did very wisely by talking last night. I just let her talk about her feelings and the rest. Then it was my turn to speak, and I tried to give her strength for today’s performance. I said that I had seen her readiness for competitions many times before, I saw her desire to fight. I was with other athletes and saw her concentration, fearlessness on her face. To me, a coach of another athlete it was a bit scary to see how tense she could be. I told her to return this state, this facial expression. We need to focus, return to the already familiar state. Do not look at others, do not listen to anyone and just do your job.

She did it, she skated the free program. We both have to draw conclusions from yesterday’s performance, this is also part of the process, part of changes. I think we made a big move. I told her today that one day she would recall this short program that had devastated her so much and would understand that it had helped her to grow. This is part of growing up, further development. She managed to transform in 24 hours, I am very proud of Zhenya. This is a big step, and I am sure, in France we will be even better. The free program was not brilliant, but it was good.

At the very beginning of our journey, I told Zhenya to be patient. We can come up with programs with which she can win specific competitions, but I look at the bigger picture, to the future. We are working on something big, large-scale, and this takes time and work.

If you look at her performances at the “Autumn Classic” and “Skate Canada” you will see the improvements, they are significant. We will continue this way, from the Grand Prix to the final, then to the Russian Nationals and next competitions. Step by step.

We worked a lot on skating, on the basics of skating. It takes months, maybe even a year. She catches quickly, but not completely. When we achieve this, the difference in skating will be obvious. This is her way to new skating, to woman’s skating. It’s not just about musicality or choreography. No, she already has good foundations, and she was trained by the best specialists in the world. But our task is to bring Zhenya to a new level.

Even the greatest skaters did not win every competition. Zhenya was a brilliant junior and performed great in her first seasons at the senior level, she won everywhere, won everything. But in women’s skating everything is different, you have a different body, other features. You need to understand your strengths and know what competitions you will approach in shape to win them. Remember Yuna Kim, she did not win all the competitions, but took the largest. There were Grand Prix, even world championships where she lost. But she won the Olympics and other world championships. We all need patience and work.

by Alexander Bokulev and Elena Polyakova for


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