Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “I really want to restore the quad and put it into the free program.”
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Elizaveta shared her emotions from performing at the Russian Nationals and plans for the future.
source: Anastasiia Pletneva for sport-express.ru dd. 3d January 2021
The main question after the Russian Nationals: how do you feel now?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I feel good. Of course, it was not easy to compete at the Russian Nationals. But in general, the condition is good, New Year’s. I will try to enter 2021 with a positive attitude.
What was the main problem?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I think the body did not have time to fully recover – muscle tone, breathing. There was no such ease of execution that I usually have if I am in a good shape.
What happened to the knee? There was a tape.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: The muscles did not quite cope with the load when it was necessary to get in shape sharply. I had to help the muscles and ligaments to make them more efficient.
Is it more of a safety net?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Both a safety net and to make it more working. The muscles did not strain, but there was discomfort, so to be more confident I had to tape it.
Despite the imperfect shape, you tried two triple axels in the free program.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It seemed to me that two axels it’s like a statement that I am fighting, that I want to show my complex content. It was a risk, I lost a lot of points because I fell on the second triple axel. But for me, it was more important to skate the free with two triple axels not lowering the bar that was set during the season.
Alexei Mishin said that you could withdraw from the free program. How did you decide to compete?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: After the morning practice, we talked and decided that we need to perform. It’s better to skate as you can now, even if it won’t be the best skating, than to withdraw. For me, withdrawal is like losing to myself. I was preparing, I was aiming to compete at the Russian Nationals. So much work has been done, just to give up at the last moment is not about us, not about our team and not about me. So we decided to fight to the end.
Did you restore the elements quickly during preparation?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: There were difficulties. It was harder than just after an illness. I lost all physical shape, because it’s difficult not to lose it after lying in an apartment for two weeks. There was a discoordination. Literally before the Russian Nationals, I entered a more or less competitive shape, in which it’s possible to compete. I did the maximum that could be squeezed out of this situation. We trained hard and did a lot of exercise. But in the beginning there was a state: “Lord, how can muscle tone disappear so much just in two weeks that you get lost in space?” It wasn’t easy.
Earlier you said that it is quite difficult for you to restore the triple axel, but now you managed to do it in a week. Did you find a secret?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It all depends on the attitude. While I was sick, I watched the performances and played the elements in my head, especially the axel. I knew that it took a long time for me to restore it after quarantine, and before the Russian Nationals, I do not have time for this. I went on the ice without a doubt. Two weeks have passed, but I still have fresh sensations in my head. If my muscles lose tone, then it was muscle memory that remained. Thanks to it, I immediately started doing a triple axel with such an attitude that I have no choice, I need to get it back. And when you set yourself up like this, then you have much stronger motivation, and you go, jump and work on this element.
What was your first thought after skating the free program?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I was upset because I could have skated even better. Although at the same time I knew that I had done almost the maximum that I was capable of. The next emotion was joy that I had finished the program, that this difficult moment in my life is over and now I have the opportunity to get in a very good shape and to show everything that I can at the next competitions, how I can really skate well.
A lot of words of support were said. It helped me to cope with those annoying thoughts that accompanied me after the performance. I cheered up, and in the evening I was in a good mood. I was aimed that there is more to come and I will show how I can skate.
What is the next competition planned?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I don’t know yet, but some competitions are planned in early February. It seems even before the Russian Cup Final. I want to be in shape in January. Whether there will be competitions or not… I really want to restore the quad and put it into the free program.
Is a quadruple planned instead of one of the triple axels?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: For now, yes. I’m not sure that in a month I will be able to gain such a shape to perform both two triple axels and a quadruple toe loop. Anything is possible, but for now, as in last season, we plan to replace one triple axel with a quadruple toe loop.
Have you already thought about programs for the next season?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: We have not discussed this with the coaches yet, but I have an idea for a short program. Hope they will like it. I don’t want to name the music, but this program is sitting in my head right in the Olympic season.
That is, it happens that ideas appear during the season?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I position this season as preparation for the Olympics. I understand that today, training and performances are steps to the next season. Previously, I did not think in advance what programs will be in the next season. Went with the flow. Now I need to understand what the programs will be, so as not to waste time on this in the offseason. To clearly understand what kind of music, what kind of choreographer, so that everything is planned. So I thought about it, and already have one version of the music.
By the way, about programs. For this season, you were going to work on the program with Stephane Lambiel. But it didn’t happen. What happened?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: We did an easy program. We worked with Stephane for pleasure, I trained his kids. It was such a friendly help. But then we heard the music offered by Yuri Smekalov, and decided that “The Song of the Clockwork Bird” would be more winning.
What was your coaching experience like?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I worked more on technique. As I understood, Stephane invited me precisely as a specialist in Mishin’s technique. I corrected the elements, gave exercises. It’s interesting to me, I like it, especially if I see that children really want to do it. There are those who skate just for fun and do not quite understand what is needed. Anyway, it’s interesting. Moreover, in Champery, where Stefan coaches, there are very good conditions, a wonderful skating rink. It’s a pleasure to skate and train there.
Didn’t you get a desire to become a coach after the end of your career?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I think about it. Before, I had no idea, but now I look more and more at my friends who go to the Russian Nationals already as coaches, and I understand that figure skating is not over. It outgrows: the student becomes a coach. Your friends, who are younger than you, are already standing behind the boards. You think: it’s so cool that you’re still here! No longer an athlete, but you still go to competitions, see familiar faces. So now I have started to consider this option. I love competitions, traveling, this whole atmosphere. If possible, I will be a coach for a while. Let’s see how life goes.
Would you like to have your own group or to work as a specialist in some existing one?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I would like to have my own group, to raise my athletes, to become a good coach and specialist. Follow in Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin’s footsteps.
Do you plan to repeat your show?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: If there is an opportunity, I would gladly hold the show again. It was some kind of holiday for everyone, there was a very cool atmosphere. This is one of the highlights of 2020. I am for it. Let’s see how the situation in the world will develop.
There are a few more questions (from the test “16 personalities” – ed.). You will need to answer them and give a little explanation. What’s more important: making sure no one is upset, or winning the argument?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Probably, it is more important that no one is upset. Because if you win, but you see sad, dissatisfied faces, then there will be no such satisfaction in your soul.
Wouldn’t losing be offending?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I am a sociable person, therefore a pleasant, good atmosphere in general is important to me.
Do you think you are more practical or creative person?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I think more practical. This does not apply to shopping. Clothes, makeup, looking good is one thing. But in principle, I am always for everything to be streamlined.
Is it easy for other people to upset you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Probably, any person can be easily upset. You can pick up phrases that can upset anyone. In fact, I have not been upset for a long time. I am surrounded by close people who do not act mean to me. And even if it can be easy to upset me, then I get back to normal very quickly – literally a couple of minutes, and I forget it and go to back to my business.
Can a book or a movie easily touch you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It’s easy now. Previously, I was not a sentimental person, but as I got older I realized that I was just shy of my emotions and suppressed them. I believed that tears are some kind of weakness. I don’t think so now. And, it turns out, I’m a rather sentimental person. Even if there is some kind of sad commercial, then I already have a lump in my throat (laughs). But I’m like, “Well, no, we won’t cry over commercial.”
Do you often have mood changes?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: No, I wouldn’t say so. My mood seems to be stable. It happens, of course, when I’m tired, hungry, of course then I’m not in the best mood. But in general, I have a balanced psychological state.
Leisure. Will you choose a social event or to read a book and watch a movie?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Read a book. Now I read it, and I liked the book by George Orwell “Animal Farm”. Favorite books … I really liked “The Alchemist” (Paulo Coelho – ed), I reread it twice. I was delighted with Remarque’s Three Comrades at the age of 16 when I read this book. Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon gave me great food for thought. I recommend reading these three books.
What is more important during a conversation or discussion: to tell the truth or not to upset the interlocutor?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Depends on the situation and the person. If this is a close person, friend, then I will tell the truth. I believe that it is better to tell the truth and analyze it later than this hypocrisy, when everyone is fine and everyone is fine. In principle, I am always for the truth.
If someone doesn’t reply to your message quickly, will you worry about it?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I think that any girl is pleased if she is given attention. And if this is a person who likes her, then this is not the most pleasant feeling. Therefore, yes, of course, I will worry if there are no objective reasons for silence. And if there are reasons, then why worry?
When traveling, is it easier for you to act spontaneously or think through everything to the smallest detail?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I try to think through the plan to the smallest detail, but in the end I understand that everything goes not according to a plan. I can build a plan, but at the same time, I enjoy the fact that everything goes on as usual. Sometimes I like to feel this adventurism when you fly on a trip and think: what will be waiting for me there?
What do you associate the New Year with?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: New Year’s are fairs that I adore, they immediately create an atmosphere. Olivier salad, which I don’t really adore. Watching Christmas movies. And drinking cocoa. I just started doing this after the Russian Nationals: I decorated my apartment, watched the Grinch and drank cocoa. That evening, the New Year mood finally appeared.
What would you wish for yourself in the new year?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: More travel. The thing I have missed. I want to fly around the world and discover new places. This is my priority.
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