Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “When you understand that your path can help someone and you can do something good, this is also motivation.”
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. About Grand Prix, motivation, quad toe loop and her dogs.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 16th November 2022 by Anastasia Pletneva
How motivating is winning the Grand Prix for you?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Any victory is great motivation, especially at the Grand Prix. Success is valuable when there are good rivals. High competition stimulates me to work further.
How do you feel about the words of Evgeni Plushenko, who called you a young figure skater? He skated until he was 31.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: (Laughs.) Life will show how well I perform. But few people call me young anymore. This is something I’ve never heard before.
Alexei Mishin compared working with you to stirring a soup—if you don’t stir it, it will burn. What did the coach mean?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I think he talked more about the approach. It’s impossible to be too hard on me or to force me. You need to constantly watch. like a brew. And add some spice, some nuances, so as not to stop in one place but move forward. And we’re both know it.
You said that you had a different mood this season. What helps you relax?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: PlayStation, there is one game that I love, it helps a lot. Movies, TV shows, and spending time with loved ones are also effective, cheer me up.
Have you ever experienced emotional burnout?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I haven’t noticed yet. Maybe it was, but I did not focus on it. I try to maintain a work-life balance. When I feel that the body is already weakened and needs a break, it tells me about it. If I get a little sick, I take a short break and recover. I understand that if not now, then it will only get worse.
During the New Year’s holidays, you will participate in two ice shows in different cities. How did you agree to this?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I decided to try it and see how my body would react. To be honest, I am a little worried about this schedule. It has never happened before that I worked at such a pace without taking days off. I have never skated in fairy tales; for me, it’s all new. There’s some excitement. I think when I start all this, it will become much easier.
As a person who always needs to clearly understand his plan of action, I’m a bit nervous because of this; I don’t understand what awaits me. The main thing is to withstand all this with good immunity. That’s the only thing I’m worried about.
Where will you find time to prepare for both competitions and the show?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I will have to work hard with your head in order to learn several fairy tales in a short time – we are talking about several days. Let’s see how well my head works to learn this in such a meager amount of time. But there is no other option.
How much time does it take to work on some gala program?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: “Shallow” is one of the simplest, most beautiful, and successful. We choreographed it with Ilia Averbukh, we were on the same wavelength, and everything took an hour and a half. It’s always easier to create something lyrical because you feel it. And such danceable, dynamic, bright programs, like Destination or Toxic, take longer, because there you need to make accents, dance, and come up with some tricks. This may take longer, even a few days.
In Moscow, you said that you were rooting for the Japanese Mai Mihara at the Grand Prix in Sheffield. Then she won.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It’s a very fortunate set of circumstances.
The winners of those competitions were asked about their favorite skaters, everyone named you.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I saw something like that, but I didn’t think that everyone said so. It is very nice. I’m glad that I evoke such emotions in skaters. It worth a lot. When you hear this from the fans, it’s one thing. When your competitors say that, it’s just wonderful. I’m very pleased. I also treat every athlete with respect.
Could this be part of your motivation in sports?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Yes, of course. When you understand that your path can help someone and you can do something good, this is also motivation. Such positive emotions, and energy. But it is difficult to stay in the sport just for this. So that’s just part of the motivation.
Has there been more fan support lately?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: The support is great! Now it’s such a pleasure to compete in competitions. People welcome you very warmly.
Fans also make funny posters. There was a blue banner in Moscow that said, “Lisa, have fun!”
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Really? (Smiling.)
At the Rostelecom Cup, a fan left his phone number and offered to call him. Is there even a chance that someone will write to you and ask you to meet, and you will agree?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Yes, I remember that (laughs). But that’s not how it works for me. It is important to reveal my character so that they know me not as a figure skater, but as a person. And if they write to me, they write to me as an athlete.
At the stages, you face the most difficult competition. Is that better, or is it more comfortable when things are quieter?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I am a person who loves when it’s more calm, I’m not a tough person (laughs).
How did you feel then, after the short program in Moscow, when you had a small gap with Akatieva and Muraviova?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I didn’t feel euphoria, because I understood that we had plus or minus the same points. At the “Grand Prix” small medals are not awarded, as at the World Championships. So this is just a passing step. The main thing is to skate the free program. Emotions were cold, I would say.
In the free program, you returned to the combination of triple lutz – triple toe loop. The base value of the program is a little higher now than it was before with the sequence. Is the risk justified?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I plan to change the combination with the triple axel and do a sequence with it – there will be a triple axel with a double axel. And add a combination of triple lutz – triple sheepskin coat. This is the best option, so a few more points. Which is more difficult: a combination with a double toe loop or a sequence? It’s the same for me; it’s not that hard for me.
Do you feel like this season should be yours? Post-Olympic years traditionally turn out well for you.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: No, I didn’t think about it. Without international competitions, it’s a little different. Mine or not, we’ll find out a little later. I am in good shape, which I try to maintain from year to year.
Do you believe that Russians will be allowed to compete in international competitions in the foreseeable future?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I hope so. Hope dies last, you always want to hope for the best.
Does your performances somehow depend on whether Russian will allowed or not?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Some percentage definitely depends.
Do you have a desire to successfully perform at the Russian Nationals and enter the top three? You haven’t won a medal at this event for a long time.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Getting on the podium at the main competition of the season is what you strive for. It would be cool, of course.
You’re preparing a quad for the jumping competitions. Is there a desire to make it in the competitive program?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Of course we will work on it. There are chances that this could happen this season. But first, you need to go on the ice and start jumping it again. A whole week has passed without training the quadruple, so now we need to understand its state.
How long did it take to restore the quadruple?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I worked on it from time to time. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. It knocks you down when you don’t know what to do when there is no clear feeling in this jump. From this, a little fear appears, because it is like flying into the abyss.
When at some point the right feeling and understanding of how this jump works appear, I can restore the quadruple in just a few days. It’s not scary anymore. The last time it happened like this, I did it all the time for a week, and that was enough.
What can the right emotional state depend on?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: If I knew, I would jump quadruple more often (laughs). You just need to do it slowly. I have a fear of injury, because this element is not well prepared. When I start doing a quadruple after a long break, new tightness appears in my body. The threat of damage increases, and this causes fear. You can overcome all this only gradually; you need to keep trying a quadruple toe loop. Then at some point you already catch this feeling.
You were just talking about a minor injury recently. Is it because of the quad?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: It comes and goes. It is somewhere inside the foot, it is not clear what it depends on. Maybe yes, because of the quadruple. When at the beginning of the season I decided to restore it, and switch to a jump from the left foot. This is for sure because of the toe loop, and not because of other elements. The injury is not dangerous, just unpleasant, aching. It passes, so everything is fine.
When there is some kind of injury or illness, how do you calm yourself down?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I just tell myself that it was necessary. Damage rarely appears out of nowhere. So, you need to rest. I accept it and calmly recover. I don’t get sick very often, but I use this time just to rest. I’m not too worried.
You said that in St. Petersburg, one should go to a bar. Would you recommend any in particular?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Actually, no, I don’t go to bars at all. If I meet someone, I go to a good restaurant to spend a cozy evening. There is one bar on Liteiny Prospekt, that I have heard about, but have not been there myself.
Which restaurant is then worth visiting?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: The best restaurant is the one that is near your house, so you don’t have to go far (laughs). Most often, we go to one place with Italian cuisine.
Everyone is worried – how is your Spitz Koko doing there?
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: Kokosha is fine, she is with my mother. Phoebe (another dog of Tuktamysheva. – ed. “SE”) is still with a grandmother, because I have a lot of trips. I can’t do it myself. For a dog, constant moving from apartment to apartment is bad, and until March, I a very busy season.
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