Evgeni Plushenko: “Trusova is incredibly talented girl. But instead of chasing records, she needs to focus on what she can do best.”
Evgeni Plushenko in his author’s column speaks about Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova.
Evgeni Plushenko: If Kamila Valieva was banned from individual competitions, it would be tantamount to cutting off a person’s arm or leg. The Beijing Olympics would have lost the viewership rating of the women’s competitions and the main intrigue. And a 15-year-old girl would have received the strongest psychological blow. Her dream would be taken away from her.
Today Kamila is the main star of the Olympic Games and, perhaps, the most talked about girl in the world. Which will certainly add to her popularity. Even those who have never been interested in figure skating will watch TV on February 15 and 17 just because of her. I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix eventually wants to make a movie based on this story. After all, the girl goes not just through a sports path – but fire and water.
I think with horror what trials Kamila has experienced these days. Not every adult athlete can cope with this, and even a teenager … At such moments, you start to understand that the question of raising the age minimum in figure skating to 17 is appropriate and obvious. At senior competitions, are already an adult game!
If the CAS decision pleased, then the IOC’s announcement about the cancellation of the award ceremonies following the results of the team and singles events, of course, upset. Well, just another reminder that the story isn’t over. This swing will last for more than one month.
In any case, we need to find the cause and understand how the illegal drug got into Kamila’s body. It’s hard to wrap my head around. I do not believe that our skater took something.
Now Kamila needs to keep a cool mind and skate two programs as brilliantly as she did the whole season. Do not think about the medal, nor about the nightmare experienced. Just do your job right. It seems to me that recent events will not unsettle Kamila. On the contrary, will make her angry. This girl has a strong character. And the coaching staff will support and set her up. That is what matters most now.
Anya Shcherbakova also has a strong character. I was convinced of this last season at the victorious for her Russian Nationals. What an overcaming after covid! And, despite the colossal difficulties, she performed brilliantly, performed all the quads! Megafighter! She knows how to set herself up to decisive skates like no one else. It happened that she was in terrible shape, nothing worked out in training, she fell from triple jumps. But the competition came – and she did everything! I have no doubt that it will be the same in Beijing. As long as there are no health problems.
As for Sasha Trusova, I am convinced that at the Olympics you should do only those elements that work well. Instead of chasing records of five quads. Do less by one or two – but those that are well prepared. The same with the triple axel. Well, it goes hard, so do not include it in the short program! Why hope for a chance?! At the “Grand Prix” you can still take a chance. But not at the Olympics.
Now Sasha needs to focus on what she can do best. Do your job clean and efficiently. To impress the judges with a clean skate.
Sasha is an incredibly talented girl. From the “physics” points of view she is generally the strongest of all! Stronger than Chen, Ovechkin, and Cristiano Ronaldo! I worked with Sasha and saw how much she can do for training quadruple jumps. The volume is simply enormous! No one even dreamed of such!
Sometimes in training she really jumped five quads, although it was unstable. But in competitions, it never succeeded. In my opinion, it’s all about psychology. What Sasha lacks. As soon as she learns to cope with nerves at the decisive moment, she will start to beat everyone.
It’s not easy for coaches with Sasha, because she has her own opinion on everything. For example, she told me: “I have to do five quads – that’s it! And what place I will take, it doesn’t matter anymore … ” But you don’t come to results like that. For the year that we worked, I didn’t manage to reach Sasha.
However, the coaching staff, headed by Eteri Tutberidze, did not succeed either. I see that even after leaving our academy, Sasha stubbornly jumps a triple axel in the short program and goes to five quadruples in the free program, although they still fail. In this sense, nothing has changed so far. Unfortunately.
Well, at the end of the column, I want to congratulate Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, who added personal silver to the team gold. Well done! You did everything you could. I really like our other ice dancers – Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin. Yes, in Beijing they took only sixth place. But I’m sure the guys have the best skates ahead. The main thing is not to get upset, continue to work. And then at the next Olympics they will definitely get into the top three.
Kamila Valieva: “These days were very difficult for me. Tears of happiness, probably, and a little distress.”