Evgenia Medvedeva: “Any Olympics is competition and it’s the same at all the Games, although this year it will be of a slightly different level.”
Interview with Evgenia Medvedeva. About skipping the Olympic season, pair skating, shows and possibility to attend Games in Beijing as a guest.
source: sport.business-gazeta.ru dd. 14th September
Evgenia, you have already stated on several occasions that you will miss the next season. However, do you plan to continue training on ice to stay in shape?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, I do not participate in competitions this season, but, of course, I continue to train, as I am busy in many ice projects. Of course, the amount of training is incomparable with what the girls who are preparing for the main competitions and the Olympic Games do. But I keep myself in good shape to perform well in ice shows.
Open test skates of the Russian national team has taken place recently. Which skaters have you watched with particular interest?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, we were looking forward to the test skates of our team, because this is a very important season. Everyone, including me, is interested in seeing the guys’ new programs. I treat the national team as a single team, so I don’t want to single out someone specifically. One of the main competitions will be a team event, we will watch and cheer for everyone. Good luck and success to everyone in the new season.
The upcoming season will be the Olympic one. Do you think the level of competition will be higher than in 2018?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Any Olympics is competition and it is the same at all the Games, although this year it will be of a slightly different level. At the previous Games, only men had quadruple jumps, now girls will also perform quads. There’s still competition, but on a different level.
Can you describe what the skaters, who will claim for medals in China, will have to go through?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Through high responsibility, through stress that they have not experienced before. Based on my experience, I can say that this is also an insane joy. I hope our skaters will first of all feel the rise of energy, inspiration and all the most positive emotions from the Games. A little drive will only motivate to skate their programs clean. I was not able to go to the Olympics in Japan as an ambassador due to a large number of restrictions, but I am planning to make a trip to China. You know already that not as a participant. I’ll tell about the details a little later.
Despite the decision not to compete, we will surely be able to see you on the ice next season. In particular, Alexei Yagudin announced on his Instagram that you are planning to participate in the “Ice Age” tv show. Can you confirm this?
Evgenia Medvedeva: At the moment I can not confirm anything. This is a question for Channel One. But I can say that Ice Age is a big project that takes a long time to prepare. Both active and non-active athletes often participate there. As for my participation, I can say will see. This project was brilliantly launched by Ilia Averbukh. I really respect this man and what he does, and not only in figure skating. I already had the experience of participating in the “Ice Age” as a host – and quite an interesting experience. But I can try something different.
In the summer you performed with Alexander Enbert in the Averbukh’s show. Can you assess your level in pair skating now?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Indeed, due to the fact that I was invited by Ilia Averbukh to one of the main roles in the play “Anna Karenina”, I had to skate in pair. To do this, Sasha Enbert and I, started to learn pair elements two months before the start of the show. At first, of course, it wasn’t looking good and wasn’t very convenient, but Alexander is an excellent teacher – and over time I got used to it.
Although the level in pair skating is at the same level as it was four or even eight years ago, it is still quite high for me as a beginner pair skater. In any case, I haven’t reached it yet. However, according to my feelings, I understand that I have already learned pairelements in sufficient quantity to show more or less decent skating with Alexander.
I think pair skating skills will come in handy in ice shows. For example, I am going to participate in the Sailor Moon project. This is also an ice performance, where I will have to skate in pair. Pair skating is similar to single skating, but at the same time it is very different in terms of inner feeling. I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to try my favorite figure skating in new form for me, not the one I have been performing all my life.
The coronavirus is still there, but the world is gradually learning to live with it. In particular, Japan hosted the Olympics and Paralympics. Are you planning to visit this country?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Good question. In short, as soon as possible. The Japanese, of course, did a tremendous job and organized the Games at a high level. When they exhale after the Games, let’s see under what conditions it will be possible to visit the country and what the situation with coronavirus will be. In any case, we all hope that the situation will be resolved sooner or later and it will become easier for everyone.
By the way, is it possible for an ordinary Russian to get to Japan now?
Evgenia Medvedeva: In the current situation, no. Entry is allowed only for certain categories, for example, by invitation from a large company. Therefore, I sit and wait for the situation to return to normal and any of our citizens will be able to visit this country.
If you could go anywhere now, would it be Japan?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, it would be 100 percent Japan. First of all I would visit Tokyo as this is the arrival point. Then I would like to visit the city of Hachinohe, although it is very far away. But I spent a lot of time there, I made friends, and I would like to see them, find out how they are doing, what’s new.
Do you remember your first impressions of Japan?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Honestly, the first impressions of Japan were chaotic, since I got there as a child. I was 13 years old when I qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final. It took place on the island of Fukuoka. When I first flew to Japan, I did not know anything about this country at all. Everything seemed strange, unusual and even frightening to me. There was a lot of food and items that I had never seen in my life.
And only when I flew to Japan 2 – 3 more times and began to understand what’s what, that you can actually eat a lot of this things, I gradually joined in. It became more and more interesting, because I got to know everything more, visited beautiful and interesting places.
What are your top 3 Japanese dishes?
Evgenia Medvedeva: In the first place is the melon bun from the convinion store. First of all I go to small shops and buy it. In second place – seared sushi with salmon and cheese sauce on top. The third dish is ramen in all its forms. Most of all I love ramen in small restaurants.
You have recently got your own little Japan in your garden. How did you come up with the idea to create such a garden?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, there is a Japanese garden near my house. Although this is not really a Japanese garden, but a small part of it. There are plants bred in Japan and adapted to both Japanese and our winter. A very beautiful tree was planted – Japanese bonsai. It is such a Japanese-style pine tree, the crown of which has a special shape. A dry stream is laid next to it, and there is a stone lantern. Everything reminds me of my beloved country and those landscapes that I have observed for many years.
The idea came up like this: “I want a Japanese garden.” But we did not understand at all how to do it. But specialists knew how to lay out a garden in a specific place and what to plant there so that it looks Japanese. They suggested a design, we liked it – and a garden appeared.
Your relevance in Japan is reflected in a large portfolio of sponsorship deals from that country. You can be called the only figure skater from Russia who is seriously working in the Japanese direction. What’s your secret?
Evgenia Medvedeva: There is no secret. If you truly love Japan, then they return the favor. This is how our cooperation with the national travel agency JNTO began, which contacted us and offered to cooperate in promoting Japan in Russia. We have many different activities and events, but, unfortunately, mostly online. But it’s okay – it’ll change in the future.
My popularity in Japan can probably be explained by popularity of figure skating in this country, and after the Olympics there was a surge in popularity. The Japanese love many of our skaters. And this is mutual. Figure skating is popular in this country, probably a little more than in Russia. After the next Games, other girls will have a surge of popularity, although I continue to cooperate with Japanese companies – they are very nice people to talk to.
The Japanese fans were expecting to see you in ice shows. They were canceled due to the coronavirus. However, do you have a schedule of participation in Japanese ice shows?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I don’t think that we can talk about schedules with fixed dates now. For example, I was supposed to skate in the Tamara Moskvina’s show in St. Petersburg, but it was postponed due to coronavirus restrictions. If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans – this expression characterizes the situation well.
Unfortunately, now it is impossible to say for sure in which ice shows I will participate. There are plans, of course. But I will announce them when both I and the organizers are confident that the event will actually take place. But I can say now that I plan to take part in the November shows of Ilia Averbukh’s “Anna Karenina” in Moscow, as well as in the New Year’s shows, but more on that later. We are not touching 2022 yet.
What are your plans for the near future?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Maintain my shape, participate in various ice shows. I have a number of ideas that we plan to implement. But I don’t want to talk about them. I was also offered to comment on the competitions this season on Channel One. This is an interesting experience for me, let’s see what happens.
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