Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Difficult jumps have to be worked on, not just tried
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Elizaveta speaks about preparation for the new season, programs and need of psychologists in figure skating.
by Alexander Makarov for sportsdaily.ru dd. 18th July 2020
“After the break we will have difficulties with the vestibular apparatus. It will be really tough.” – you said in May. So how it went?
Elizaveta: Actually, it was so, such a long break affected the vestibular apparatus. But since a muscle memory is quite long, it was possible to restore sports shape quickly enough. But to be honest, it was very difficult at first.
When Dmitri Aliev complained that everything hurts after the quadruple jump at the very first training session, his coach Evgeni Rukavytsin was harshly criticized by the fans. And Tatiana Mishina told me that Alexei Mishin would have hardly allowed you to perform such a difficult jump at the very first training session.
Elizaveta: For sure several days have passed before my first serious jump. It was necessary to prepare the body and vestibular apparatus by doing a lot of exercises. Difficult jumps have to be worked on, not just tried. Everything was thought out.
How is your quad toe loop doing?
Elizaveta: I tried not a toe loop, but salchow. For some reason, it was easier for me now. Of course it’s difficult. I rotate, but there hasn’t been a clean landing yet. But this was expected. Nobody wore pink glasses.
How satisfied are you with the choice of music for the new programs? How easy was it to transfer them to the ice?
Elizaveta: I am very pleased with the choice of music this season. We did the short program before quarantine, in Italy with Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, so there were no problems with it. The free program was more difficult. We did it under quarantine conditions: on the floor in the apartment. When we went to the ice, we had to adjust all movements. Everything felt a little differently. But it seems to me that most of the movements remain and the program looks decent.
What does Alexei Mishin say? Does it make sense to be critical of anything now, when you haven’t spent even a month on the ice?
Elizaveta: We are happy with the training camps. A lot of work has been done. Fresh air, mountains, sports facilities, ice … We improved our physical condition. Therefore, everything is going well so far.
One of the main news of the off-season is the appearance of Mikhail Kolyada in your group. Were you surprised or aware that it was possibe?
Elizaveta: I assumed that this was possible. But in any case, I was surprised when his transition did take place.
Mikhail has not updated his Instagram since November 6. How is he doing? Did he manage to amaze you on the ice with something?
Elizaveta: Better to let him tell himself when he thinks it’s time. But overall, we have a good atmosphere in the group. We gave Misha a warmly welcome. I hope that he will be comfortable skating in our group.
Should we expect serious progress from Zhenya Semenenko and Gleb Lutfullin, who train alongside such an experienced skater?
Elizaveta: It seems to me that such sparring is good for male skaters. It will be interesting to watch how young athletes will take something from Misha Kolyada – character or skating.
“Such sparring is good for male skaters,” which begs the question. Is it different for girls?
Elizaveta: At least it’s different for me.
Alexander Zhulin believes that all international competitions can be canceled until January. If this happens, will you be very upset?
Elizaveta: It seems to me that I will not be upset, I will adjust (smiles).
There is a silver lining. The stages of the Russian Cup can reach a new level.
Elizaveta: If there is more advertising and top athletes at this competitions, then more fans will come. The more people there are, the more emotional the competition is for the athletes.
It may sound rude, but at the moment the stages of the Russian Cup are not very interesting for the leading skaters?
Elizaveta: In principle, they do their job. But if it is possible to popularize precisely Russian competitions, then it will be very good.
The topic is difficult and sad – the death of Katya Alexandrovskaya, who committed suicide. What are your thoughts on this?
Elizaveta: Honestly, I don’t want to give any comments.
I am asking you, because you are friends with Betina Popova. And she gave an interview, in which she admitted that at some point, when she could not lose weight, she wanted to jump off the roof. Weren’t you shocked by this confession?
Elizaveta: I known Betina for a long time … She had difficult moments in her life, it’s true. I think many athletes had them.
Do you agree that these stories prove once again that there should be psychologists in groups?
Elizaveta: A psychologist or someone else, but athletes need support, for example not to be afraid to go to training. It depends not only on psychologists, but on the entire group, coaches and specialists around the athletes. You need to help, then everything will be all right.
In this regard, is it easier for you to cope with some psychological difficulties?
Elizaveta: I would not say that it is easier. I just don’t like to do masochism. But it’s definitely good when there is a person with whom you can talk.
Have you seen the news that Gabrielle Daleman has won a beauty contest in Ontario and will qualify to represent Canada at the Miss World?
Elizaveta: Yes, I did. But as far as I know Gabrielle, she is always well dressed, wears an excellent make-up. So I was not surprised at her victory. Thanks to figure skating, she gained the experience of drawing attention to herself, and the ability to always look good.
Looking at her, there is no desire to try yourself in some beauty contest?
Elizaveta: Not. I’m not tall enough for such events (laughs).
Do you think they still pay attention to it?
Elizaveta: To be honest, I have never watched such contests. But it seems to me that height does matter.
Women’s opinion: who is the main beauty of the figure skating world?
Elizaveta: I don’t like this question. There are many beautiful figure skaters. In general, beauty is a broad concept. Every person is beautiful.
The other day you got a diploma. Tell us about your thesis.
Elizaveta: The work was on the topic of improving the performing skills of young figure skaters with an emphasis on choreography. I talked how important it is from an early age to accustom children to various types of dances. They need to hear music. In figure skating, it is important that children understand what they are dancing, and be as diverse as possible. It took a long time to prepare, but when you understand the topic, it is easy to reveal it.
We are not talking about retirement. But in the future, do you see yourself as a coach?
Elizaveta: It is very difficult to say something about the future. Especially after such four months … I will not say anything. I’ll just go with the flow, where the wave will bring – there I’ll try to prove myself. Basically, as I have always done.
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