Ekaterina Ryabova: “Ultra-c jumps are necessary if you want to fight for medals. I understand that I won’t be able to learn any. But I can skate clean and enjoy it, which I try to do.”
Interview with Azerbaijani figure skater Ekaterina Ryabova who took sixth place at the European Championships 2022.
source: sport24.ru dd. 19th January 2021 by Konstantin Lesik
Immediately after the end of the free program, the 18-year-old Ekaterina burst into tears.
Ekaterina Ryabova: I cried because I got sick a week before the European Championships, it was very difficult to prepare.
Trainings did not go well, but I really wanted to pull myself together. It was something like a cold, but very strong. All Sunday before the Championships, I was laying in bed, only ate and slept. I fell asleep three times a day. It was a day off, and, in fact, I just lay and drank compote and water. That’s all. It was very bad.
Have you discussed withdrawal?
Ekaterina Ryabova: We did. Moreover, both on Monday at the last training session before leaving for Tallinn, and during official trainings, before the short program. I decided that I would fight, as always, and look at the situation. The six-minute warm-up before the short program was also “terrific”, I was lying around all the time. I was just trying to get together for the performance.
And I didn’t have a temperature, it was just bad. Thank God, there was a day off in the schedule between two programs, I had time to recover. If not for it, I’m afraid the result would have changed a lot.
Are you satisfied with the result? Top 6 anyway.
Ekaterina Ryabova: I’m not happy with everything, but still cool. (smiles) Especially given the circumstances. Can work further. In principle, I wanted to come here with a better shape, better skating, but I’m glad that in the free program it turned out to skate more or less clean. Just very happy.
To fight for medals, in theory, more difficult jumps are needed.
Ekaterina Ryabova: I don’t think I need to complicate the content. At the European Championships, I could have scored more in the short program if I had skated better. But I was nervous after all the training and warm-ups. Some elements wasn’t the best.
That is, in women’s single skating, you can still compete without ultra-c?
Ekaterina Ryabova: They are necessary if we want to fight for medals.
Then the medal is not important, is it?
Ekaterina Ryabova: I understand that I won’t be able to learn any ultra-c element anymore. But I can skate clean and enjoy it, which I try to do.
Do you plan to stay for another Olympic cycle?
Ekaterina Ryabova: I don’t know, it’s really difficult. I’ll look at my health at the end of the season. With this covid, everything is very difficult. Constant tests at competitions, and you are more worried not about the performance, but about the result of the test on a particular day.
Are these doubts about continuation of your career due to physical loads or a desire to live a different life?
Ekaterina Ryabova: I try to combine with my studies, it’s just physically hard. You have to keep an eye on your health.
Recently, Sergei Davydov has said: Ksenia Tsibinova explained to him the end of her career by saying that it was useless to fight further and not worth it. Do you understand such decisions?
Ekaterina Ryabova: Some, like me, are looking for other options. And some of us perform well on the international arena. We give pleasure to other people. Parents and coaches are happy when we skate clean. So the current situation is not a point of no return, you can change the discipline, switch to ice dance or pair skating, you can change the country, or you can work and study. There are several options, and everyone chooses the path for himself.
What is the difference between training with Evgeni Plushenko and your parents?
Ekaterina Ryabova: There are no special differences, parents, all coaches try to do the maximum, but parents – supermaximum. They are with me 24/7, support. This will never change.
Is a return to Plushenko possible?
Ekaterina Ryabova: But I didn’t leave him, I left another coach – Alexander Volkov, and this was not related to work, just his group moved. And I physically could not, in my graduate year at school, drive two hours to the skating rink and back.
Plushenko does not consult you now?
Ekaterina Ryabova: He does not consult, because my coaches are parents. But I’m glad that Evgeni Viktorovich and I stayed on good terms.
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