Evgenia Medvedeva: I’m tired to avoid answering why I didn’t bring Eteri Tutberidze flowers
Interview with Evgenia Medvedeva.
by Anatoli Samokhvalof for rsport.ria.ru
Evgenia, you said that it is difficult for you to get used to failures. But don’t you think that two years before the Olympics everything was too smooth and victorious?
– When everything is good, you don’t think it is too much. But from time to time it really scared me. I understood that I would get used to it, but sooner or later it will all end. But I was ready that a difficult period would come when everything wouldn’t be as easy as it was. Although even then not everything was as easily as it seemed. My previous team and I worked very hard, but it was a different job. In an absolutely different style. But I can’t even compare when it was harder. I was preparing that it would be difficult for me after successful competitions, but subconsciously.
The style of work in the previous team did not suit any longer because you grew up?
– Because I grew up and … How to put it correctly …
You didn’t understand the imperative approach, where they tell you what to do?
– Yes, from time to time I wanted to express myself more. In terms of creativity. I’m extremely grateful to the previous team for eleven years of fruitful work. This is a huge time. I have changed several choreographers, I got an invaluable experience. These are people who brought me to the level where I’m now. And I want to keep this level, to show that all previous work wasn’t in vain.
And people to whom you are grateful – is it Dudakov?
– They are Sergei Dudakov, Eteri Georgievna, Danya Gleichengauz, Sergei Rozanov, Lyudmila Shalashova. A lot of people have worked with me, and I’m extremely grateful to all of them. The work that these people did with me, it remained in me. But now I have to show the new work. Combine two schools – Russian and Canadian. We need to connect them to get something … What will turn out, I don’t know yet. It doesn’t turn out yet, but in time the flower will bloom.
Sorry for the stupid question, but I also want to ask this: why didn’t you come with flowers to say goodbye to Eteri? Well, then everything would have turned in your favor, and you would have been a good one.
– You know, actually, I’m tired to avoid answering this question. I understand perfectly well that everyone will discuss it. I will tell you just a single phrase: no one knows the reason, no one knows why I did it. There’s a reason and no one will ever know it. Especially from me. I will never tell about it. I think this is a personal. That’s why, please, don’t try to get it out of me why it happened. It happened. That’s all.
All the greats have some kind of secret.
– I don’t think that I’m great, and I’m not trying show myself as a great one with this secret. Or some kind of queen. Simply, there are things that you don’t speak about in public, and these things decide a lot. Please calm down with this topic. But I know that it’s useless. Although half a year is a long enough to stop thinking about it.
I don’t try to get the secret, but see what happens. The other side, Eteri, tells Channel One what you told her about Alina Zagitova (about holding Zagitova for another year in juniors – ed.), and it was actually a powerful PR move, which brought all the negative.
– In fact, I can understand, probably, why this was said. This was said because there was an unpleasant situation. But I’m absolutely ok with the girls who come from juniors, because I myself was like this, and was winning everything at the age of 15. But, first of all, I don’t want and have no right to say anything on this topic, because, I repeat, I myself was the same junior. And I didn’t ask to hold someone in juniors. This is at least stupid. But I repeat once again that I understand why this was said. I’m an absolutely normal person and I don’t intend to react negatively to this, but in that interview of the First Channel everything was said, that this was a really childish phrase. Silly childish phrase – to ask someone right after leaving the ice … I tried to recall, but I couldn’t.
Maybe it was said as a joke?
– As a joke? But agree, it wasn’t a time for jokes. In general, there was no time for joking in PyeongChang. Maybe I have memory lapses, of course (with irony), but I doubt it. I didn’t say that.
Why don’t you and Alina talk about each other? You looked great in PyeongChang when you helped her at press conference.
– Firstly, I don’t understand why people think that we had some kind of conflict. Alina and I had no conflict.
At the Olympics, it was clear.
– More precisely, I won’t speak for Alina. I will speak for myself. I had no conflict with Alina. There was no hostility. I said a million times that I saw how hard she worked. I have never seen anyone who works like Alina. It was a difficult time, there was a lot of work, both of us spent a lot of energy, nerves and health. I deeply respect her as an athlete, because after such a difficult Olympic season she continues to keep her status, it worths a lot. I imagine that now she works twice more. And this is very impressive, because it is hard to imagine that a person would work even more than Alina in the Olympic year.
By the way, maybe it would have been wise for you to skip the post-Olympic season?
– No, it is not reasonable in my case. Yes, it takes time. But when you take time, do something slowly, then it turns out that this time is not enough. You take more time and more, and then the season passes, and you understand that there was not enough time. And it can go on forever. Besides, I didn’t want to lose the competitive experience. And yet, despite the fact that everything is not going smoothly for me, I’m gaining experience that I have never had in my life. I’m learning to go through these difficult situations not as a child in hysterics – everything is bad, everything collapsed, and they won’t give me chocolate, but as an adult. Now I’m surrounded by those people who were in similar situations, these are public and mostly adult people who made their way through the thorns to the stars. They share with me their experiences how to handle this.
At the test skates in Moscow, you went to the ice from another board gate, than the rest, including Zagitova. This caused a stir.
– It just happened! I was so much condemned for that!
Everyone thought it was made intentionally, so you wouldn’t cross with Eteri.
– This is absolute nonsense! Seriously, do people think that we have never crossed paths with her? I just came from another gate. There were no conditions for exit from one. I don’t know why everyone crowded around one of them. Let’s ask all the others why they crowded near one gate, and not ask me why I went from the other. Perhaps it was convenient for everyone to start a warm-up with one circle, and for me – from another. But people see what they want to see. And this is absolute nonsense. Excuse me. Cry from the heart. Seriously. People try to condemn me for nothing.
I was surprised by your sensitive reaction to stupid hate around you. Didn’t you talk with Brian Orser, who had a confrontation with Brian Boitano, with Evgeni Plushenko, who still has a battle with Alexei Yagudin, who visited the corporate party at the Plushenko’s Academy skating rink, after which Evgeni attacked his former competitor in social networks? All these people have haters. And such a strong person as you start to recall some 40 year old guy who wrote you something.
– I tried to show not that it hurted me, but my bewilderment. I just imagine: the person takes his phone, unlocks it, goes to Instagram, finds my page, my photo and leaves some comments. He spends his time on me, not on his little son. I just don’t understand, why do you live someone else’s life? On the other hand, it cheers me up. If a person believes that he can spend two extra minutes on insulting me, then I’m doing everything right. I deserve his attention. And now, please, the person who does all this: do you work correctly and make me take my phone, find your comments and write some kind of shit there. Please, every person who writes nasty things to me, make me write to you.
Why does all this put pressure on you? This is just usual talks.
– Talks in the comments doesn’t put any pressure. Absolutely. I don’t want to talk now about what puts pressure on me and what does not. This is a completely different topic on which I would like not to talk. Just now is such a time, I need to overcome it.
So all these comments are not pressure itself, but some additional factor?
– An additional factor, something new in my life. I don’t react to what they say to me, but somehow it still gets to me anyway. Although I refused of the social networks, but you can’t isolate from everything. They say I’m a fool, stupid …
Stupid is not about you.
– The strangest and most terrible thing that I’ve heard from compatriots are the words that I’m a traitor. That I betrayed not someone, but a country. This is the most terrible and disgusting thing people can say. Moreover when adults say that. I represent my home country Russia. And I said a million times that I would not represent any other country. I perform at international competitions and they announceme “Evgenia Medvedeva, Russian Federation”, but at the same time people continue to call me a traitor. I would like to wish them all good and to have a number of good and close people as good as mine. Because only thanks to them I stay afloat.
But do you understand that blaming a person in betrayal is our national entertainment?
– But it’s a terrible word – “traitor”. Betrayal is a sin. To accuse someone of betrayal, you need to have very good reasons. People were executed for betrayal in the past. When they call me a traitor, this is the only thing that makes me angry. I don’t react to the other. I have a lot of fans, I have a huge fan club, which gives me presents, love and everything. I’m extremely grateful to my fan club. Hundreds of thousands of people are on my side, and we are a huge team, even though I don’t know each of them. We will survive in any situation, no matter what others say. I have great respect for people who are not fans of one particular athlete, but who are fans of the entire Russian team, each athlete of our team. Single skaters, ice dancers, pairs. Yes, people have failures, and I very, very much respect fans who remain athlete’s side.
What are you most afraid of now? Not to reach the ideal level associated with Medvedeva?
– I don’t think about it, but just try to go forward. Now for me the most important thing is to let go of the situation. Do not let everything take its course, but to be open to work and the outside world. I don’t mean the return to the social networks – no. I am talking about the fact that you should always remember that there is much more good than bad in the world.
I also wanted to talk about your look during the competition. You didn’t even smile while performing on the ice.
– I’m not the kind of person who smiles before the competition. But Brian and I have already talked about this. Perhaps it is time to experiment – with technique, artistic images, body. It is time to experiment with the mood before competitions. It will also take time, but I will awake new emotions in me. Probably I really need to smile somewhere. Maybe at some moments I need to be cheered up. I’m too much in myself, to such an extent that I turn into a bundle of nerves. Well competitions should not be that in pleasure, but they should pass smoothly.
Now you go on the ice like a boxer.
– I lacked gloves and a punching bag too. I was very tight. But this is the lesson that we learned from this competitions along with Brian and Tracy. We must try to change the mood. Therefore, we will work on the inner personality.
This your beautiful, but angry look – do you have to give it up too?
– Not. I think we will still talk with the coaches on this topic, draw up our future plan for competitions and training. Now everything is clear, I can’t and don’t want to tell.
In the programs of the past two seasons, you were amazingly harmonious, with them you reached the complete senior skating. In current programs at the start of the season you are fighting on the ice. There is a struggle for each element.
– Yes, there is a struggle for the elements, a huge break in skating affects this. For four months I didn’t skate, it was time to deal with injuries, so our training process was changed to avoid injuries, overloads, and extreme stress. But for the millionth time I repeat that we continue to look for me, we continue to look for each other. A little bit of time and it will be how we planned.