Elena Vaitsekhovskaya’s interview with Evgenia Medvedeva.
People who had the opportunity to watch your trainings in Moscow, where you came to tesk skates, and here in Oakville, note how much you have changed over the time that you work in Canada. You have improved jumps, jump content in a short and free program has changed and the style of skating has changed. Which of these changes do you consider the most important for yourself?
– You know, after the Olympic Games, I didn’t have a failure in motivation, but rather an internal misunderstanding: what to do next, where to move? Now I don’t have this misunderstanding and this is what I consider the biggest change for the best. We didn’t take any extraordinary efforts with the coaches to make such a change, although, of course we discussed many things. Now I have an absolutely clear understanding of what I want to achieve this season, in the next one, what qualities I want to highlight and emphasize, what flaws to get rid of, where to become different. All these goals not necessarily have to be global and imply some dramatic changes. Rather, these are micro-goals which, as I understand now, are the main engine of human progress. It is important to continue to do these little steps, do not stop and do not get upset if something does not work out. Therefore, internally, I am absolutely calm and more motivated than ever before. I’ve said many times: anger won’t help you to go far. Even sports anger. I want to become better and will. I know it for sure.
How useful in this respect was for you the competitions in Oakville?
– I would say that it became morally a breaking poit. In the short program I went to the ice on shaking legs and did not hide it. I was madly nervous. For me, the first competitions of the season have always been very nervous and always turned out not well. Sometimes I managed to cope with myself better, sometimes worse, but I always felt the shaking legs. But in Oakville in the free program I worried much less than usual. Rather, clearly controlled my actions, every movement. I understand perfectly that my current shape is not ideal: it’s simply impossible to spend four months without loads and return all your qualities in two months. Although before the Olympics I managed to do that to some extent.
Nevertheless, I did not expect mistake on the final loop.
– Let’s consider that such a “Medvedeva-style” – to fall from the last jump at the beginning of the season. However, earlier I almost fall from the double axel and then couldn’t cope with the loop, which is nonsense. It’s rather from lack of concentration than from fatigue. Hence, I need more workload, special cardio work to have enough power till the end of the program. I’m not looking for any excuses right now, I just perceive certain shortcomings that happened in skating as a fact. It’s also fact that in I skated the free program with a cold.
The temperature has risen?
– I do not know, I did not measure it. Why do it, if you still have to perform? Well, I find out what my temperature is, is it really going to help me? Although I must say that I felt good on the ice. I went to the ice with the same feelings and thoughts as in Pyeongchang before the free program. With a single thought: “I really want to skate!”
In training, I noticed that you are working hard to fix the edge on triple lutz. At the same time, as far as I understand, the fact that very different muscles start to work greatly complicates this process.
– This is really so, so it’s always very difficut to fix the edge. But more and more often I manage to do a correct jump. Sometimes lutz turns out so clearly and well that Brian even exclaims aloud: “Wow, it was real lutz!” The difficulty is that work on lutz and the need to compete in competitions can not be divided. And under stress the old mistakes usually return.
Is it frustrating?
– Not at all. I compare this jump now with what I has a year ago. I see that everything gets into place. Let this not happen as rapidly as we would like. Miracles in this respect don’t happen in figure skating and Orser is not a magician.
You have probably heard many times the point view that it is impossible to fix the wrong edge?
– But Mao Asada did, didn’t she? Here is the answer. Not so long ago, they talked that it’s impossible for a girl to learn the quad and now several skaters do that.
Was it easier to fix the double axel than lutz?
– I would say that this jump just required different work. We tried various options – with arm, without arm, eventuallywe found a position that was most comfortable for me. And it went well. Well, yes, I flew a little bit in different directions in training at first, but successful attempts happen more and more often. If the problem sometimes arises, it has the same character as lutz: old mistakes return when I get tired or have extra pressure.
How did you choose your programs?
– I chose only music for the free program – “Libertango”. Sandra Bezick and David Wilson found the music for the short program, although I myself thought about something in such style. At first, however, I was afraid that jazz program wouldn’t suit me at all, but when we started to skate it, I quickly got used to it.
The abundance of new choreographic movements doesno’t create any internal discomfort?
– No. This program matches my mood very well and my sense of myself. I just need a little more time to stop thinking about how I make this or that gesture. When the program is not fully prepared, it always gives the impression that the body is late, does not keep up with the music.
How did it happen that at the test skates in Moscow you forgot part of your free program?
– Turns out such things also happen. But I succeeded in improvisation: not everyone even realized that at some point the program was over and improvisation began.
But Order realized that.
– Yes. When I landed with the double axel and realized that I’m skating wherever feet take me, I caught his sight and understood everything that he thinks of me. It’s even hard to explain with nerves. Apparently, I have gone too deeply into myself. Ofcourse it was awful, but at the same time very funny.
Tell us, what a dramatic story happened to with the costume for the short program?
– Oh, do you know about this? Let me not go too far into details, I will only say that this costume was half sewn by me.
And Tracy Wilson cut off the skirt right in the locker room?
– Also true. In the original version, the skirt was very heavy, from a very dense and long fringe. In figure skating, it’s not so easy to guess with the costume if the master does not know all the features of the athlete’s body well. The problem is that my figure is not too standard, so dresses that perfectly fit many other skaters do not suit me. Someone likes heavy costumes, but this is definitely not my option. I like it when the costume fit the figure tight and when it’s light. Therefore, I had to remove half the rhinestones and half the fringe from the dress.
Is this the final version of the costume?
– No, of course not! I want to calm down everyone who panicked: everything will be fine.
So you already know that fans are in a panic?
– Well, the opinions “Take it off immediately!” reach Canada also…
Probably, it’s hard to live, when every step, every skate and every move is constantly under the spotlight of the fans’ attention?
– With all my openness, there are no so many close people in my life and whose point of view is really important to me. It is important for me to feel that these people are with me, that they support me. Thanks to this, I feel absolutely safe and don;t afraid of any pressure.
When you were working with Wilson and Bezik, did you ever worry that the audience may not like these programs that they will not be properly appreciated?
– For me, the main thing was not this, but the desire to try something completely new. You know, sometines there is a state when you want to change everything in yourself. I had such right after the Olympic Games. It seemed to me that I would not be able to live normally if I did not change myself immediately.
Nevertheless, you kept the same hairstyle for the free program.
– I had to do something with the bangs. The team leader of the Japanese team Yoshiko-san again helped me with this. She always has everything at hand, she always has necessary hair clips. Last season, when I needed patches for the legs she also found it. As for the hairstyle, I do not know if I want to keep it. But this is also a cool feeling – to understand that there are no dogmas: I will do as I want.
Red dress for the free program is also not the final version?
– I do not think so. It’s convenient, I like it very much. Perhaps we will want to make some minor additions: make it lighter, darken, add rhinestones. But this is really small things.
You train with Yuzuru Hanyu. Have you ever thought how he manages to get such depth and richness out of his programs?
– I think that every figure skater must come to this state himself. It is impossible to learn this, just standing in front of a mirror, and probably it is impossible to teach. I you can’t even born with it. The understanding of life, understanding of music much grow insede a person. For me, Hanyu’s skating is the skating of a man who has experienced and rethought a lot in his life.
Many skaters note that working overseas very quickly accustoms the athlete to independence.
– This is indeed so. I myself began to notice that I began to make more independent decisions, to show more personal initiative. We have quite a lot of free ice in the club, so you can ride on your own. Fortunately, my team is always there. They will always support, direct, say what I should pay attention to. I’m still not quite an adult. But, as it seems to me, I actively join this process.
Do you miss home in Moscow?
– I miss the relatives. Now my home is where my work and my team are.
by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya for rsport.ria.ru