Daniel Grassl: This is the longest ice-free period in my life
Interview with Daniel Grassl. Daniel told that his training camp with Eteri Tutberidze won’t take place because of the coronavirus, assumed that he would not be able to leave his homeland till the end of the year, and also expressed doubts that there would be any competitions in the fall.
by Elvira Obdar for gazeta.ru dd. 9th April 2020
How are you doing on quarantine?
– Very boring! It was especially difficult at first to sit at home all the time. However, I train and study remotely, so now everything is more or less fine.
I wake up at 8 in the morning, and workouts start at 9 – three workouts one hour each. Between them – 20 minutes of rest. We call the whole group in video chat and do yoga, physical trainings, dancing and even spinning …
Basically, we do the same as always. In addition, there is a yard in my house so I can train there. More space. Then lunch, and classes start.
Today in the morning I’ve already had a workout, now I’m resting a bit, then I’ll study. In the evening, I’ll also have a video chat with friends. We have something like home parties, so in general everything is fine. I’m just waiting for my rink to be opened again.
And when will this happen?
– I don’t know. They say that from May 4th in Italy various institutions will open again, but when these measures will reach the ice rinks, I don’t know. This is the longest ice-free period in my life (laughs).
What jumps do you manage to train outside the rink?
– All triples. I also tried to make an axel in three and a half turns, but it was more difficult. I do it better on ice than on the floor. Quads I can’t do on the floor at all.
Alexandra Trusova also said that she can’t train quads without ice.
– Yes, yes, it’s really very difficult!
Is there a risk of forgetting how to do quadruples after such a long pause and then learning them almost from scratch?
– We will see. Perhaps I will return to the ice and everything will be as usual. Or maybe I will have to start with basic things.
Before, you often went to different training camps and this summer you were going to work with Eteri Tutberidze. Have these plans been canceled?
– I suppose that we won’t be able to leave Italy till the end of the year. I think we will stay in Egna (the city where Grassl’s ice rink is located, 35 minutes from his house. – ed.) and work here. In addition, we still don’t know whether there will be competitions next season.
This summer I planned to go to Courchevel (there Daniel used to work with Alexei Mishin. – ed.), but now I think these plans will fail.
I was supposed to fly to Tutberidze in August, but due to the coronavirus, most likely, these plans will also fail. We will not be able to leave Italy.
The International Skating Union (ISU) is currently considering holding canceled World Championships in October, November or December 2020. What do you think of this ideas?
– I don’t know how feasible it is, whether all countries will be open by that time, whether all athletes will be able to come … We also need to see how ready the skaters will be for such a competitions – everyone has been sitting at home for about a month now.
But, of course, I would be happy to take part in the World Championships. I was very upset when I heard about its cancellation in March. This was to be my first world championship, I was perfectly prepared. But, I think, the decision to canceled it was the best in that situation, because we must take care of everyone’s health.
If one skater at the World Championships had a coronavirus, then everyone could have become infected.
Even before the news that Worlds had been canceled, we decided to complete the preparations not in Italy, but in Estonia, because there was already a difficult situation with the coronavirus at home. We stayed in Tallinn after the junior world championships together with the current Italian champion Alessia Tornaghi and trained – there are a lot of ice rinks. However, then COVID-19 got to Estonia, so we returned home.
One personal question. On Instagram, you reposted the Stories of the Italian skater Elisabetta Leccardi, where she called you her “boyfriend.” Turns out that you can’t be with your girlfriend now because of quarantine?
– No, no, I don’t have a girlfriend (laughs). This is just my best friend. She sent me a birthday present. But I don’t have a girlfriend yet.
What was it like to celebrate the 18th birthday on quarantine?
– Boooring! My parents and I prepared a cake, celebrated in a close circle, friends joined us via video, and sent gifts by mail. By the way, a fan from Japan sent me headphones! I was very happy.
In your opinion, how will this pause affect the next season in figure skating?
– I think it will affect it very strongly, because some athletes after a pause have to learn everything anew, as if they are just starting. And after such a long pause …
Well, I do not belong to this group of people: usually after breaks I return to the ice as if nothing had happened. However, it will hurt me. For example, my goal for the next season was to perform two quadruple jumps in a short program and four in a free, but now I’m not going to complicate my programs, I will keep the previous content with three quads in a free program.
We also did not have time to put new programs, we just discussed music with the choreographer, but still did not do anything. Maybe we’ll have to work by video, because my choreographer Benoit Richaud is French, and I don’t know if he will be able to come to Italy in the current situation.
Are you afraid of the situation with coronavirus?
– Not really, because young people have good resistance to it. This is more of a threat to the elderly. In addition, I am constantly at home and only sometimes go out for a walk with the dog. I hope that a medicine will be invented soon, and it will all end.
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