Evgenia Medvedeva: “I hope someone enjoyed all these scandals, but certainly not me.”
Interview with Evgenia Medvedeva. Evgenia shared her feelings about returning to Chrustalny, mental problems, thoughts about age in figure skating and told how she communicate with her former coach Brian Orser.
by Tatiana Rogovich and Ekaterina Kuznetsova for olympicchannel.com dd. 5th February 2021
Evgenia, this season you faced a lot of difficulties: remote training, injuries, and psychological problems. How do you deal with all this?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Firstly, I think that I am not the only one facing mental health problems. This is a very difficult time for all of us, especially for professional athletes. It is very difficult to prepare for a competitions when you do not know whether they will take place or not. I am not saying this to feel sorry for me or some other athlete. But yes, it’s not easy for us now. So I want to wish all athletes to hold on. I really hope that everything will be fine in some foreseeable future.
And how was the process of returning to Eteri. How did you feel?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I do not know which word is better to choose, perhaps let it be “satisfaction”. After I switched to Brian Orser there was a lot of tension in the world of figure skating because of this, especially among the fans. It was all like a stretched rope. And now it was as if everything had stopped at once. I am very glad that everything is fine. It is very difficult to live when you hear criticism or rumors from all sides. We work, do everything to prepare for the competitions and be in shape.
But this tension that you are talking about – does it somehow make you worry? And if so, how do you deal with it? Indeed, it is very difficult when everyone around is discussing you and it does not stop.
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, perhaps this topic has generated many scandals. And people constantly stir it up more and more, and then journalists joined in to make it more interesting for the public. I hope someone enjoyed it all, but that someone is definitely not me. Now I feel as if all these scandals and rumors have disappear. Especially considering that 99.9% of them were not true.
What does your typical training day look like after returning to Chrustalny? And how is it different from what was in Canada?
Evgenia Medvedeva: The main difference is that now my day is much longer. I wake up at about 8.30 am, have breakfast, jump in the car and go to the skating rink. At the rink this is — warm-up, workout on the ice, workout in the gym, workout on the ice, cool down — and it’s already seven in the evening. Now I have more time both on the ice and in the gym, and the training day is longer. This is the main difference.
Recently we had an interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and, among other things, discussed the age situation in modern ladies’ figure skating: how rare long-lived figure skaters are today. Elizaveta is 24, you are 21. She knows very well that many people say that she is too “old” for figure skating. But she works hard to prove to both these people and to herself that she is still competitive and competitive at the highest level. And, of course, there are other examples in sports: Aliona Savchenko, who has been on the ice for so long and has constantly proved that it is too early to write her off. What do you think about this? Is age really a barrier for skaters?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Ultimately it all comes down to health. If Liza is healthy, if she feels strength and has energy to continue, to improve this is super. Actually, I’m happy for her all the time. We are all texting, commenting on Instagram, especially after the competition. We support each other. If we talk about Aliona, then she is definitely one of the greatest figure skaters I have ever met. But still she’s a pair skater and the the situation in pair skating is a little different. But it’s still insane that she had the strength to compete. Not only for competitions, buе for daily training. So If Elizaveta has health, strength and fire in her eyes burns then I’m happy for her.
It’s no secret that you are a source of inspiration to many people – both for other skaters and for your fans. But who inspires you and why?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Usually I am not inspired by people, but by situations. Art also inspires me. I look for inspiration from artists, performers, people who are doing something new and different. I cannot name anyone specific. I listen to a lot of music and it inspires me.
Really no one at all? Surely, you know this feeling when a person whom you have been looking at from afar for a long time subscribes to your instagram and you think “Wow”
Evgenia Medvedeva: Actually, yes, it is familiar. I always have this feeling when I interact with one of the great skaters. Every time I think: “Oh my God, are they really talking to me?”, And they talk to me as if I were their friend. My thoughts are: “Oh god, oh god, oh god, he is coming, he will come to me now. What to say? What to say?” — just a fan. It is such a happiness to communicate with the highest level skaters.
Can you name someone in particular who makes you feel this way?
Evgenia Medvedeva: After the New Year, we had a show in Sochi, where were many Russian Olympic champions and prize-winners of different years. And I constantly said to myself “Oh my God” because they were around me. I watch them skate when I was three years old? Four? Six? And here they are! And they talk to me and say that I skate great and that I look good and that my programs are the best programs they’ve seen. And I still can’t believe that this is actually happening to me. I cannot single out anyone, they are all wonderful.
Easy to imagine, actually. Many skaters mention you in their interviews and say how much they like you: how open you are, how mature you look at things. How do you manage to make that impression? Is it just part of your personality or are you working on it somehow?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I have never done anything specifically for this. I’m just really interested in getting to know new people. I am very pleased to hear that other skaters say this about me that they like me. But it was never an end in itself, I just communicate with them. And yes, I have a really good relationship with most of the top skaters of my generation and that makes me happy. And I really miss them without all these international competitions. But I hope that it will change soon.
And what about your friends from the Toronto Cricket Club — Yuzuru Hanyu, Jason Brown, and other guys. Are you chatting now?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, of course, we communicate. With Jason, with other guys, and even with Javi – rarely, of course, but I communicate. Yes, I miss my friends.
Do you keep in touch with coaches and choreographers?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Yes, with Brian, and Tracy, and my other coaches. We ask each other how are you doing, send wishes on holidays. Of course we don’t talk about figure skating and my future – they are top-level professionals and everyone understands how unethical it would be now when I train with another top-level professional, one of the best in the world. We just communicate…I wanted to say “like friends”, but it’s still disrespectful to call Brian and Tracy my friends. But yes, something like that. I text with Shae-Lynn Bourne, I ask about her family. After the test skates, she tested me that it was cool and “Let me know if you need something, I’ll help.” We don’t communicate like this with Jeffrey Battle, but I am sure that when we meet, we will talk for a long time about life.
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