Dmitri Aliev: Something broke in me after the Olympics

Posted on 2019-05-24 • No comments yet


Interview with Dmitri Aliev.

by Marina Tchernysheva-Melnik for

Some time ago you removed all titles from your personal pages on social networks and left a modest one: “Athlete of the Russian national team”. Did it reflect your inner state at that time?

– Yes, I also wanted to abstract from this flow of information on the Internet – deleted photos. You know, as if it were necessary to reset everything and start life anew. I wanted to forget the failures of the season quickly. But a little later, I realized that medals are part of my story. Therefore, I restored titles and some photo-memories. In general, I spend less amount of time on the Internet now.

After the unsuccessful Russian Nationals, you said that you have the same feelings as Medvedeva who was on the 14th place after the short program …

– I follow Zhenya attentively. She had problems at the beginning of the season: fighting with herself, adapting to a new way of life. Everybody has such periods when you work, but fail to show what you can at the right moment. I have experienced this in several competitions, so I understand Zhenya’s feelings. She’s great, already at the World Championships she proved what she is capable of. Alas, I did not succeed yet.

How do you think why it didn’t work out?

– It’s difficult to say. Something broke in me after the Olympics, stopped working. At the first competition in Bergamo (Lombardia Trophy – ed) I skated well. The coaches and I thought that this would help to gain energy for the rest of competitions. It didn’t work out. Perhaps it was fatigue after the Olympic season.

The Olympic season was your first season at senior level and immediately such an achievements. What feelings did you have from the first medals?

– That season was very bright and at the same time contrasting. At the first competitions, not everything turned out, and then – success came at the right time. The Russian Nationals was also a selection for the main competitions of the season, so I was doubly worried. Emotions came only when the scores appeared and I realized that I won bronze. Inside I was celebrating, it was like a firework. Then at the European Championships, there were many contenders for medals. Therefore, it was a great honor to become the second after Fernandez.

What was your thoughts at your first Olympics?

– I was in my inner world, in a kind of vacuum. Firstly, because of all this story that our athletes weren’t allowed to participate. Secondly, I felt responsibility. But I tried not to think about it too much, the coaches helped psychologically to focus on the performances. Our team flew home the day after the free program, so I hadn’t felt the Olympic atmosphere to the end. But still it was a holiday.

Tell us about your last season programs.

– We chose themes and music together with the whole team. Found it quite spontaneously. For the short program we took a lyrical composition from the film “Modigliani”. This style is very close to me. The free program had a plot, the main character – I myself, try to reach Olympus. At the beginning of the journey, I run, gather strength, and rise up, trying to touch the dream. Sometimes I imagine myself at the top, then I continue to run, to struggle with obstacles. In the middle of the program, it seems that I don’t have enough breath – this is a metaphor of fatigue, like any person at any particular stage of the difficult path. But I continue to move towards the dream and, finally, I climb up. In the final pose I feel a victory over myself and the circumstances.

Does the support of fans help to cope with a difficult period in your career?

– I get a lot of good wishes, sometimes paper letters with souvenirs. Huge packages come even from Japan. I read and keep everything.

In general, Japan has a wonderful atmosphere, such a love for figure skating! For the first time I performed there at the junior Grand Prix, then at the senior competitions and shows. Hope to come back there many more times.

What ideas do you have for the new season?

– We have just started preparation, I break into new boots. We think about the music, listen to different pieces. There are thoughts, but nothing concrete has been chosen yet.

Do you consider an option to keep the programs from the last season, which you could not show at the World and European Championships?

– I have no desire to keep old programs. Definitely there will be new ones.

You have already worked with Ilia Averbukh. Will you work with him this season?

– My coaching team decided to do the program on their own. But in any case, I’m very pleased to meet and work with Ilia. He is an experienced professional, has created many wonderful programs. Recently, I participated in the tour of his show and during rehearsals Ilia gave me some advice how to do elements best, to portray a character. I think I will still have an opportunity to work with him.

Recently, the video of a young figure skater who jumped a five-turn toe loop in training made a lot of hype. In your opinion is it really possible to make a five-turn jump without harness?

– Some time ago they didn’t believe in triple jumps, the quads seemed unreal. Look now at the girls who jump quads! Of course, harness helps. But everything is moving forward, and I believe that once the time for five-turn jumps will come.

How many jumps do you do during one workout?

– I never count, I think about 40. In general, at each training session we have a different plan. Today everything is dedicated to jumps, tomorrow to skating skills, then choreography, or we work on elements. Now I do minimum jumps because I’m getting used to new boots and gaining shape after a rest.

Who are your idols in figure skating?

– In childhood – definitely Plushenko and Yagudin. Now it is Nathan Chen. I am amazed by what he does on the ice. I cheered for him at the World Championships.

You have experienced a lot over the past year and a half. What are your plans for the near future?

– I want to continue to work with the mood and attitude I have now. I had a good rest, I feel strength and I’m ready reach new heights. I start the new season with these thoughts.


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