Dmitri Aliev: “I can understand guys who think about changing sports citizenship, I know such people, they’re my friends. But I always tried to fight where it’s harder.”
Interview with Dmitri Aliev. About motivation to continue skating.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 11th April 2022 by Dmitri Kuznetsov
Dmitri, let’s start right from the top: how can skaters live further on in the current circumstances? What are your plans for the future?
Dmitri Aliev: I can only speak for myself and the other guys will answer for themselves. In this whole situation, I just keep skating. If I need to go to the Russian Cup Final, Russian Nationsla – so be it. Moreover, in any case, this awaits me in the upcoming season, since I did not get into the national team. So I accepted the challenge for myself to perform wherever there is an opportunity.
Clearly, I cannot comment on the situation that has developed in the world of sports. Because I don’t know how the whole system is built. I will say one thing: I feel sorry for the guys, the athletes, including myself, the coaches who work, create the future.
Can we say that athletes are hostages of the situation?
Dmitri Aliev: I would not use such a word, but we have got into a dead end where we cannot walk where we want. For me, the way out and the challenge is just to skate. Be it Russian Cup Final or Channel One Cup. Figure skating remains the most important thing in my life.
Adding some pragmatism, but you need to provide yourself. Especially if you’re not on the team. Will the situation with funding become more difficult?
Dmitri Aliev: It all depends on the federation. I am sure that they will support the athletes in every possible way, which, in fact, they have already shown this season. That is, they stand by their words, if I may say so. They did as they said regarding athletes.
Yes, when the European Championships is won, prize money and bonuses help, contribute to a normal life. But in the current situation, what will a weak person do? Most likely, he will leave the sport, start coaching, give extra lessons for children. But a strong athlete who is eager to move forward and burns with desire will skate. The most important thing is the experience that you will bring from sport to the rest of your life. So the issue of funding… Look, I can live on milk and bread for a week! Yes, it’s a strong phrase. And yes, I love to eat, of course (smiles). But I have enough strength and will to limit myself if necessary.
In general, an interesting diet, you can even gain weight so.
Dmitri Aliev: May be. But it’s very nourishing!
I remember that after the Russian Nationals, in the mixed zone, you were in the mood like you had to quit. Now you are in a completely different mood.
Dmitri Aliev: Yes, it was so. Now I have rethought a lot. I can’t even say that I was thinking about something for a long time, I just didn’t notice how everything around me suddenly changed at some point. Impressions, mindset. After the Olympics, probably. A friend of mine went there, Mark [Kondratiuk]. I looked at him, and the thirst appeared – damn it, I can still do it! There is still strength, to compete man-to-man. And I decided to let go of the situation. And now there are shows, thanks to Yana Rudkovskaya, Evgeni Plushenko, and also Ilia Averbukh, who invite me. I perform, thanks to the show I also train myself, I see what guys are skating around, of course, I want to keep up. It keeps me going and motivates me.
Did Mark inspire all Russian male single skaters with his success?
Dmitri Aliev: Highly. Just like in 2018, everyone was “shocked” by me. The first season, the Olympic one, I am 18 years old, I went there and also performed with dignity in the individual competition, and everyone also said: “How so? It’s impossible, it’s not fair!”
Did they envy you?
Dmitri Aliev: Well, I think so. There were sideways glances. At that moment those glances did not “kill” me, because I myself was so strong inside! Charged with everything where I was, what I did, and these glances even fed me, and I became even stronger. But then there were psychological breakdowns, in the next season.
Now I will say this: I hope, now I have come to such a stage in my career when there is no burden, no sense of routine. I wake up in the morning and go to training with pleasure, without problems.
What are you doing now besides skating? I remember before it was music before.
Dmitri Aliev: Now I am focused on sports. And I try to coach children in our group a litle. I’m just sharing tips, help.
The national season next year is also a chance to make something very cool out of the Russian Cup. As a skaters, do you have any thoughts, how?
Dmitri Aliev: Here you really need to sit down with the guys and think. How did the Flutzberger Telegram channel appear? It was my idea. I called everyone – let’s try, launch our own mini-project, for free. And we started doing it. It seems to me that to come up with something, we need to discuss it with the guys.
Should we be afraid that Russian figure skaters will start to change sports citizenship?
Dmitri Aliev: I can say for myself – I always tried to fight where it’s hard. If I won there, then I am growing and will be on the same level with even stronger people. Sports are well developed in our country, objectively. It’s at a very high level. Very strong competition in men’s single skating. I fight here, and if I’m good here, I’ll be good on the world stage.
But has the topic of changing the national team at least begun to sound? Or is it just journalists who inflates?
Dmitri Aliev: Yes, it arose, why to hide. But I can understand the guys who think about it. To some extent, the motives are understandable. I know such people, they are my friends. If they want to try…
Then you shouldn’t call them traitors?
Dmitri Aliev: Yes. Maybe their interest is to realize their potential thanks to this move. That’s how we should look at it.
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