Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Competition in the group of Eteri Tutberidze would have knocked me off the wagon
Recent video iterview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Partly translated.
About 2018 and pneumonia
2018: you perform successfully in the fall, but get pneumonia. Some people were saying that there was no pneumonia, you were sick with a usual cold and quickly recovered. And further plan was like this: you skipped Russian Nationals, because Mishin thought that everything was okay, and you had already qualified and they would send you to Europeans and Worlds without selection.
As a result, you was a substitute for European Championships, Samodurova messed things up: she won at Europeans and together with Zagitova and Medvedeva went to Worlds. And you crashed-and-burned.
– I decided that I would not go anywhere when I was in best shape? This is absolute nonsense. Lord, I don’t understand where people get such thoughts from. You need to have something in your head. If a person has pneumonia … A normal person will never lie about such things. What good athlete wouldn’t go to Europe or Worlds just because he had a cold?
I had pneumonia. I got sick in Vancouver, it was a terribly difficult flight. I barely survived there. And it was pneumonia right away, not just ordinary cold that after grew into pneumonia. I come to Novogorsk, our team had a training camp there before the Russian Nationals. Four hours we drove from Domodedovo (airport – ad.) to Novogorsk. The second time I thought that I was about to die.
The next day I go to the doctor. He looks at the symptoms and says that I should dp an x-ray. We immediately went to the hospital, did it. I prayed there not to have pneumonia, because it is really tough.
They said to me: “You have pneumonia.” On the same day I went to Novogorsk, took my things, and they put me in the hospital for 10 days. I was just lying in bed. Friends came to me, I celebrated my birthday there, watched the Russian Nationals there. And on December 27-28, I left for St. Petersburg.
Whoever jokes and speaks like that, this person should be ashamed.
About activity in social media and PR
Recall your last year: tweets, Toxic program, talk about sex. Where is all this things this year?
– The boom passed, I calmed down. That season was enough. I do not always want to do provocative things. This year, maybe I’ll be a little calmer. In the next – I have already an idea what can be done.
I support social networks, but still it’s not quite mine, so I thought that I need to calm down. Moreover, the last season was calm in terms of figure skating. And this one is tough. I need to have a maximum focus on figure skating, make every effort. This season can’t be flushed down the toilet.
But this does not cancel fun and PR.
– It drains energy. It turns out that I need work two fronts. And I want all strengths to go on one thing. It was fun, though everything turned out by chance: it wasn’t on purpose, but the media went wide – about sex. It seemed that I gave a good interview, and then – boom, the headlines out of nowhere.
I really felt how they began to recognize me more.
Isn’t that great?
– I have not understood yet how I feel about this. Such a wave of recognition – there was no such even after Worlds. And I thought: “Do I need all this? “Is it cool that they recognize me like that, quote me?” I decided to calm down and focus on figure skating.
About money and shows
You said that even for the prize money from winning the World Championships you can’t buy an apartment.
– With prize money for a victory it’s possible, but still it’s not the kind of money that can pay off a country house, like in the football player Dmitry Tarasov’s case. 20 thousand dollars – for European Championships and about 50 thousand for Worlds.
You probably know the pricing for the Grand Prix.
-Usually I perform first and then look. I do not think about it before competitions. About 9 thousand dollars – for the third place, 12 thousand – for the second, 18 thousand – for the first. And interest deductions.
That is taxes and coach. How much does the coach get from this?
So in total you have less than 50% left?
– Turns so.
There is still a salary.
– Salaries are counted on the basis of previous season. If you performed well, then next season you get paid. If the season was a failure, then the salary is less.
One gets the impression that ending a career and performing in a show is more profitable than being a professional athlete.
– It’s true. There is much more income in shows. If you’re in the show all the time, you’ll always get some kind of profit. In sports there is a salary. If you win medals, then there is good money. But if you fly past them, then you live on salary.
Are they paying more for a show in Japan than in Russia?
– Yes, more. It is like another world. Nowadays, figure skating seems to be popularized in our country, but still it’s not the same scale as in Japan. They almost always have full stands, invite the coolest stars to make a great show. And the money there is different too.
I heard that for one performance you were paid 5-6 thousand euros in Japan.
– Something like that, yes.
And in Russia, 100 thousand rubles (1500 USD – ed.).
– In accordance with your status in figure skating, it’s about that kind of money. But they can swing back and forth. If you haven’t been in the top for a long time, then the money will be different.
About competitions in Eteri Tutberidze’s group
In your opinion, is it possible to enjoy training for 6-8 hours a day when you are 14 years old?
– I think they (Tutberidze’s skaters) understand that you cannot enjoy training every second. But then the moments of happiness come when you win the competition: “Yes, it was worth it.” You just have to like it in general. There should not be a feeling “Lord, I do not want to traings” 365 days a year.
But they still have fierce competition within the group; at this age, there is jealousy too. Is it more convenient for you to be the only in the group or when there are a lot of people around like you?
– Probably when I’m the only. I’ve used to it since childhood. It was so that I was practically skated alone with my coach and always had attention.
Since I was nine, she went with me to Mishin every two weeks, was at competitions. In Glazov, I sometimes skated alone on ice, because she needed full concentration on me. And I used that coach works only with me. And when I moved to Mishin, there was also a lot of attention.
When there is such fierce competition as in the group of Eteri Tutberidze, I would not be able to cope. It would have knocked me off the wagon.
When Medvedeva left (from Tutberidze), you said that you would do the same in her place.
– I meant that a person should listen to his internal state. If her heart told her to leave, I would also listen to my heart.
You also said that you cheered for her at the Olympics-2018 and that she deserved gold more than Zagitova.
– I did not say that Zhenya deserved it more. I just said that there were two girls, and I was cheering more for Zhenya. Alina deservedly took first place, she had an insanely cool technical component, skating. But journalists turned everything upside down and wrote it wrongly.
Related topics: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva