Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “Motivation is a very delicate question. It can’t be squeezed out. And right now, I’m facing some challenges in that regard.”
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. About new programs, quads and motivation.
source: RSport dd.19th August 2023 by Vasilii Bogdanov
World and European champion in figure skating, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, continues her performances in Tatiana Navka’s ice show “The Love Story of Scheherazade.” During one of the breaks, the 26-year-old athlete talked to a correspondent from RIA Novosti about finding motivation, the upcoming season, and her creative plans for after her competitive career.
In the winter show, you portrayed a villain, and now you’re portraying a goddess. Which role is more comfortable for you to play?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I won’t say which character is closer to me, but playing Sais (the main antagonist) was more interesting for me. It was the first role I learned in this production. When you start with something, you get more involved in it. Plus, the role of Sais is more significant; you spend more time on the ice and interact more with your partners. And the costumes are more in my style – black, bright blue.
In one of the scenes, Sais sets the ice on fire. How did that element come about?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It’s a very spectacular moment, but it was a bit scary. Fortunately, there were no unpleasant incidents related to it. Sometimes I jumped a bit because it was hot.
You’ve never choreographed your programs so late in the season before. Was there any internal anxiety about it? Like, it’s almost time to start, you need to get everything ready, but there’s nothing to get ready yet.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Actually, no. There’s enough time for everything – as long as there’s the desire. Right now, I’ll be performing in other shows, and I’ll be working on the programs I need for the season.
What will be the new programs for this season?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: As for the free program, we’ll keep last season’s program. But the short program will be almost new. Some people have seen it in one version, but it wasn’t the short program.
Are you currently working on the triple axel?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Of course, I practice and work on it.
At one point, one of your interesting goals was the quadruple toe loop. Is it in your plans now?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: At the moment, I’m focusing on consistency and don’t plan to include quadruples in my program.
How would you asses your current shape and readiness for the season on a percentage scale?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I won’t give it in percentages, but by mid-August, it will be an acceptable shape. I have no doubts that I’ll manage to get in the necessary condition, but we’ll see how it turns out in reality.
Do you think there’s anyone among your young friends on the Russian national team who might want and be able to replicate the longevity of your career?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Once again, when there’s a desire, anything is possible. I want to believe in Sofia Akatieva. A long career will allow her to leave a significant mark in figure skating.
When you compete with girls who could be considered your much younger sisters, what do you feel? Do very young figure skaters ever come to you for life advice?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: We communicate well, I find a common language with both them and their moms. I always find someone to chat with about various topics. As for advice, they don’t usually ask for it. It’s not quite the norm for rivals to approach each other for advice. But I’m always open and ready to help, although I don’t even know what these girls could ask me about.
This year marks your 17th season (including junior seasons). With such experience, is there anything that can still surprise you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Overall, probably not.
Where do you draw your motivation from?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Currently, I’m searching for it, and it’s not in a very good state. I’m looking for it in everything – in music, for example. In fairy tales as well. It’s a very delicate question. Motivation can’t be squeezed out – you simply have to want it and find it. It should appear on its own without any effort. And right now, I’m facing some challenges in that regard.
You mentioned that you haven’t visited your hometown, Glazov, in a while. Did you manage to go there eventually?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Yes, I recently went there to perform. I got to spend time with all my relatives. It was great to visit home.
Have you ever thought about opening a school for young local skaters there, like Alina Zagitova did?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: If I’m offered such an opportunity, I definitely won’t refuse, but for now, I don’t have such grand plans. In the future, anything is possible, it’s one of the potential paths of development.
You mentioned recently that you would be interested in trying yourself as a TV presenter.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: So far, nothing has deterred my desire for that. I’m not sure exactly what I’d like to host; I’d need to learn, and it takes time. Maybe some kind of show. Or taking commentary alongside Maxim Trankov after performances.
Not interested in journalism?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Oh, journalism… (laughs)
Alexey Nikolaevich had a head injury during training in Mexico. Do its consequences not bother him now?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: He’s feeling great, more alive than anyone. He scolds us every day for not having the same mood and energy as he does. So, we take an example from him.
You recently started a video blog on YouTube. Is it more of a hobby, or do you plan to make something serious out of it?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: At this stage, it’s a hobby. It’s hard to talk about the seriousness of a project when it has just begun. We’ll see how interesting it becomes; time will tell. It’s going well for now, in periods. Sometimes I want to film something, occasionally I want to engage in something more serious. I’m still searching. In Mexico, it was as if fate guided me to do filming; I really enjoyed it there. I recommend everyone to try it out.
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