Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “Until you feel something more tragic in your life than just losing in competitions, you won’t understand that this is just a sport and that there are more important things.”

Posted on 2023-01-02 • No comments yet


Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. In the interview Liza told how she came to a realization that figure skating is just a sport and not the whole life.

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A post shared by Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (@liza_tuktik)

source: Championat

You recently posted a story on Instagram with a breakfast of champions. How did you get the idea to get together?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: We just got together somehow, and it so happened that we all went to breakfast together (laughs).

What is the mood in the national team now, following such a tense Russian Nationals?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Good, it seems to me that this Russian Nationals was less stressful than the previous one. After a free program, I didn’t feel that someone still had some kind of tension. Everyone was as relaxed as possible.

What do champions eat for breakfast?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I had Americano.

Is there any tradition after the competitions? To eat fast food, for example. 

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: This is not a tradition; it’s just banal. When the body is so tired, you want to eat well. When I’m stressed, I don’t eat so much; usually after the free program, I don’t have strength anymore, and there is a very strong hunger. I can eat sushi, pizza, and a burger. But this will not go anywhere because, after such a busy day, everything will be replenished.

How did the guys from the group congratulate you?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: They just congratulated me very sincerely and hugged me. It’s enough.

The girls competed last. But maybe you managed to see some other disciplines?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I watched the men’s competitions; I was extremely interested! I turned on the free program for the last two participants. I also watched the short one because it was also very interesting. Usually I try to abstract; I look only at the results in the table. But here, I am glad that I did not do it, because it was very interesting and exciting.

Same scores: Has there been anything like this in your career?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I guess, I have never had the same scores with someone else. But I could be mistaken.

A small discussion began after this incident, suggesting that maybe, if this happened, two gold medals should be given. What do you think—is it worth it, or should there be only one winner?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: If two worthy athletes performed the same way and scored the same number of points, I would give them two gold medals because sharing the victory with the worthy opponent is also nice, in my opinion. As at the Summer Olympics, when men had two gold medals in the high jump, it was very touching how they rejoiced for each other. I shed a tear; it was awesome. I don’t see anything negative about this.

After the end of the competition, in an interview with Maxim Trankov, you said the phrase, “Girls, this is just a sport,” that is, you should take it easier. How did you come to this realization?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It seems to me that until you feel something more tragic in your life than just losing in competitions, you will not understand that this is just a sport and that there are more important things. In sports, you win, you lose—this is your life. If you like it, you are just living your life. And you should never worry too much about this because, with experience, I can say that there are more serious things. So it’s just a sport, and this realization came to me probably five or seven years ago. I probably realized it so deeply and consciously at the age of 20.

If we consider your career, then, probably, the phrase “It’s just a sport” is not particularly associated with you, because looking at you, I want to say: “Sport is life.” So I want to ask, “What is life for you?” and “What is sport for you?”

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Life for me … These are emotions, I guess. Maybe bright emotions because it’s super boring without emotions. Sport is probably an intrigue.

Your free program’s music is very emotional and gives me goosebumps. Have you ever been overwhelmed by emotions at the moment when you skated this program in training or at competitions?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Maybe at first, when we were choreographing it. During the first performances at the competitions, there were stronger emotions. The music is very sensual; I want to show everything so that the viewer can feel it. Over time, you get used to it and focus more on the elements.

At the gala, you skated to “Freedom”. Why this particular program, and have you thought about a new gala program?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: So far, there are no ideas. I skated Freedom because I adore Beyoncé and Kendrick. The program is quite fun; it is hip-hop, it is not often taken by single skaters. “Shallow” – to be honest, I was afraid that I would not be able to make a circle or that it would take a lot of time after the free program. I decided that I didn’t want to do this, and this is very important, this is the whole point of the program.

At the press conference, you said that you had not yet fully realized where to put this bronze in your medal grading. Did the realization come now?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Not yet, while I’m just in the moment. Yesterday – free program (the interview was taken December 25th), today gala, I give interviews. I want to sleep and play bowling. Maybe someday I’ll think about it. For now, to be honest, I don’t want to think about anything.


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