Interview with Dmitri Aliev.
Dmitri, from the beginning of the season you’ve had two starts – test skates in Moscow and Challenger in Italy, where you took second place. What do you think of your performance?
– At the test skates I felt that I still wasn’t in shape I’d like to be. And I’m happy with the result at “Lombardia Trophy”. In Italy it was only third skate of the free program for me. It turned out quite well to show myself, but there are moments which require work both in terms of choreography and in terms of content. I overthought with axel of course.
Because of that you last combination wasn’t counted?
– Yes. I forgot that there must be an axel in the program. Slightly rearranged the elements during the skate and made such mistake. Well, also I would like to do the quad toe loop in the second half of short program at the next competitions. This is a new stage for me.
If we compare your current state with the previous ones in the similar periods of the past seasons, how do you feel?
– More confident. There was a new experience – the Olympic Games, the World Championships. Of course, in the future, at each competitions something new will appear, and so it will happen the whole career. But the experience I got is probably the most important that athlete can get. And, of course, I am very glad that I start the season without injuries. Last year it was very hard because I skated injured. Now, knock on wood, everything is fine, we are working in good mode.
According to many skaters, breaking into new boots is perhaps the most terrible thing. Have you coped with that this off-season?
– I skate in new boots, switched to lightweight blades, no force majeure.
One athlete said that after his first Olympics he fell into such a psychological pit that he didn’t want to do anything for half a year. Did you have something like that?
– Yes, after the Olympics I wanted to take a break. To recover, to rest both physically and morally. The season was very hard. But it was impossible to relax, the World Championships was still ahead. I had to get myself together and to rush into battle again. But after the Worlds I wanted to just lie on the sand, enjoy the sun and listen to the sea. But unfortunately this did not happen. I only managed to go to Ukhta for five days to my parents, and then new trainings started.
Was it hard?
– At the first training camp in America, I felt like I still was in past season. The only thing I’ve been thinking – well, when will it all end? At the second training camp I tried to rest more on the weekend in order to recover normally. But there and at the third training camp it was still hard, it was necessary to overcome myself. But at the fourth-fifth training camps some positive have already appeared. We started to work on programs, there was new inspiration, new music … In addition, the junior competitions began, I watched them and got a desire to start competing right now too.
Did people start to recognize you more often after the Olympics?
– I would not say that. In the Academy (of figure skating in St. Petersburg) where I train, everyone is very good to me, parents of the other guys say hello, it is very nice. People recognized me on the street only after the Olympics, but now everything is calm again.
Tell us about work on new programs?
– The music for the short program we chose with our choreographer Olga Glinka. She sent several options, I chose. Classical slow music, very familiar for me. It hooked me, we stopped on it and began to move in this direction.
Ilia Averbukh choreographed the free program. He came to our training camp, we chose the music together. He gave a good idea of the program, how to embody it on ice, and I really liked his idea. The program was done in three nights. Then he came before the test skates, corrected something. Now, he’ll also come before the “Finlandia Trophy” to make certain adjustments.
What can you say about working with Averbukh?
– Most of all I liked that there was no disagreement. I immediately got what he wanted to say. I understood what our dialogue is about. This probably is already a certain professional quality. In general, of course it was unusual. And very valuable. It was my first experience of working with such a choreographer. Now I would like to try to convey to the viewers what Ilia conveyed to me. And of course to skate this program clean – however, like all other programs.
After the test skates you didn’t tell what the program is about …
– At the beginning of the program I run – like every person I run to my dream. I’m running the whole program. I stop somewhere, look around, get lost, then find myself. My dream is success. I reach it and in the final pose I look at the stars and I say to myself – yes, I did it. But, as I said after the test skates, every viewer can see this story in his own way.
Is there a place for improvisation in this program?
– Of course. There are steps in which I can do some moments in different ways. In any case, I give a part of me. I always want a person to feel something. And, of course, a lot in this story is close for me. So it all goes from my heart.
After the changes in the rules, a path has appeared that some skaters have already taken – to simplify the program technically, but to get higher marks for the quality. Have you already chosen your way?
– I don’t think I will remove the quads. While I don’t jump lutz, but I have it in my arsenal. I do it in training, it can be shown at competitions. But throughout the season, we’ll make some adjustments depending on the current situation.
In one season you turned form a contender for a place in the national team in one of its leaders, you performed at the Olympics and the World Championships, at the Olympics you skated in the strongest warm-up. Did you feel on equals among the representatives of the world elite?
– To be honest, I didn’t think about it, tried to follow my own sensations, without looking at others. But I can say that in the summer I skated in a show in Japan along with Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno, world champion Nathan Chen, the strongest Chinese figure skater Boyan Jing. And I was charging from them. I know that I have something to learn from these guys. I can take something from everyone. Maybe they are also take something from me.
Do you communicate with them outside the rink?
– Yes, we communicate very well. With Nathan three years, with Shoma year and a half. We play football with Nathan sometimes. They are all great guys.
Follow each other in social networks?
– Of course! We chat, share some funny videos….
Did additional responsibility appear when you reached the leaders of Russian figure skating?
– To be honest, I don’t want to think about it. I would really like our fans to believe in us. Even after the failures, falls which are inevitable. I want to continue working in my direction. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a leader or not, I have to go and defend the honor of the country.
by Andrei Simonenko for rsport.ria.ru