“Everyone returned exhausted, Eteri looked awful. To my question: “How are you?” she replied: “It feels like I’ve returned from prison.” choreographer of Tutberidze’s group about Olympics
Interview with choreographer of Tutberidze’s group – Alexei Zheleznyakov. About Anna Shcherbakova’s victory, Alexandra Trusova’s reaction and doping story with Kamila Valieva.
About Anna Shcherbakova’s vittory at the Olympics and her possible retirment
Can Anna Shcherbakova’s Olympic gold be called a triumph of justice in some sense? It is clear that everyone is worthy, but Anya has come a long, difficult path.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Of course you can say that. Anya deserves this medal, really deserves it! All girls are unique, all went down in history, but, unfortunately, there is only one gold. And Anna deserved it.
But who knows what would have happened if Kamila had not been broken then. The results could be different. However, in the current situation, Anyuta won this medal fair.
Is there a feeling that Shcherbakova was deprived of the opportunity to enjoy the Olympic triumph? Firstly, her victory faded against the backdrop of Valieva’s doping scandal and Trusova’s performance. Secondly, there were events after the Games.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Yes, I also have a feeling that the holiday was stolen from all the girls and fans, not only from Anyuta. I think she was not comfortable with the fact that she became an Olympic champion under such circumstances. The holiday was not a holiday at all.
Everyone returned exhausted, Eteri looked awful. To my question: “How are you?” she replied: “It feels like I’ve returned from prison.” They put our girls through the wringer, sucked all juices, vampires.
About Anna Shcherbakova’s possible retirement.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Any scenario is possible. Anya is the same person as everyone else – she builds and has her own plans for life. If she decides to end her sports career, then I think everyone will accept this choice.
Anya has achieved everything in sports, she has an excellent career, and all this was given by great work and going through incredible difficulties.
But I would like her to skate more. Hope we’ll keep working.
About Alexandra Trusova’s reaction
Could you predict that Sasha Trusova could “explode” like this at the Olympics?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I did not expect such a reaction from Sasha, but after the pressure that our girls experienced there, I more than understand her. It’s a breakdown, just a nervous breakdown. Do not forget that these are teenagers, in general, children who are under a huge burden of responsibility to the whole country.
But to those who filmed it all, enjoying what shots they caught, I would tear off their hands and head for shamelessness and disgusting behaviour.
It seems to me that many were convinced that for Trusova, roughly speaking, the result is nothing, and jumping is everything. There was a feeling that medals, titles were a secondary matter for her, but the Olympics showed that this was not so. Was you surprised also? And have you noticed that she is sad because of the lack of gold medals?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Any athlete dreams of winning a gold medal at the World Championships or Olympic Games. And if someone says that he does not need these medals, then he is simply may not be sincere.
Sasha is stubborn. But, by the way, if it were not for her stubborness, she would not have gone down in history as the best quad jumper in the world.
But, on the other hand, this character trait did not play as an advantage for her. We are all individual, with our own character and troubles, and I do not blame Sasha for her character, she is a fighter.
But sometimes it’s worth listening to coaches, they want only the best for you.
About doping scandal with Kamila Valieva
Now the doping story of Kamila Valieva seems to be an event from a past life, but what state was she in when she just returned from Beijing?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Of course, I can’t get into someone’s soul, and it’s somehow not right to ask her personally after what she suffered.
At first I saw a certain depression, but relatives, friends and the support of millions brought her out of this state. I think now she already remembers it all as a bad dream, but the sediment will stay with her for life.
Too early they gave the child to understand how this world is cruel and unfair. I think she mentally matured immediately by twenty years after such a harsh life school. Kamila is a wonderful girl, everything will be fine with her.
What was it anyway? How do you explain the doping scandal involving Kamila Valieva to yourself?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I have three options, based on logical reflections and comparisons of facts: either this is an ordinary setup (added, poured into food or drink), or politics (a frank order, provocation and falsification), or accidental ingestion (dirty product). I completely exclude Kamila’s conscious use of doping.
But now how to prove or disprove something? In the light of recent events, no one will listen to our defense, unfortunately.
In your opinion, if the perpetrators of this story are found, should they be punished?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: If there are those responsible in this story and this is honestly proven, then, of course, they need to be punished and very seriously.
But I don’t believe in any kind of fairness and justice now. Politics has come into play. They can simply frame anyone and make a scapegoat. So it’s hard to unravel this snake tangle now.
That is, we should not count on a positive outcome, including saving gold medals in the team event?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Unfortunately, I think they will deprive us of gold by any means and in the end we will not see it. Again, the current political situation will play a big role in this. Giving us gold now is like recognizing the Russians as winners. The West will not allow this. All levers and methods will be used, no matter how sad it may sound.
Irina Rodnina: “Quite decent athletes took medals at this flawed World Championships, but they could not count on high places if there were all the strongest.”