Evgenia Medvedeva: “Princesses can also be “iron,” so willpower and femininity are not antonyms.”
Interview with Evgenia Medvedeva for & Days magazine.
source: 7days dd. 30th November 2022 by Tatiana Pustinnikova
Evgenia, in Greek, your name means “noble.” Do you think it is possible to be a noble person and at the same time compete with someone all your life?
Evgenia Medvedeva: The very concept of “nobility” originated in those days when there were knights, constant competitions, and duels. Therefore, competition and nobility go hand in hand, and every athlete is naturally noble.
Have you ever heard the phrase “But you’re a girl” addressed to you? How. being a titled athlete, do you not lose the princess in yourself?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I have always been quite feminine, and there was no boyishness in me. I did not go out for a walk in 30-degree frost until they put on a pink fluffy skirt over my bologna pants. Probably, there was simply no reason for me to be reminded, “You’re a girl.” For my parents, I was a princess. Let’s just remember that princesses can also be “iron,” so willpower and femininity are not antonyms.
If we talk about a steely character, to whom do you owe it? Who can you call teachers?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Of course, the coaches who led me to sports results. This is Lyubov Vitalievna Yakovleva, who helped take the very first steps in the world of figure skating. Next, the coaching staff of Eteri Georgievna Tutberidze, then Canadian coaches Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson. Many people invested in Evgenia Medvedeva’s success, and I will be eternally grateful to everyone.And there were actually a lot of teachers outside the ice. More than once, I was convinced that the more people you meet along the way – regardless of their age or profession – the better you will understand life.
The story of your parting with Eteri Tutberidze is not an easy one. How did you manage to restore the relationship?
Evgenia Medvedeva: The past must remain in the past. I don’t see the point in bringing it up now. The question here is not in one person, but in two. I’m also responsible. I am not God’s dandelion. But the most important thing is that now everything is fine and Eteri and I communicate normally.
After parting with Tutberidze, you left for Canada for some time. Could you live abroad permanently?
Evgenia Medvedeva: People live in both Russia and Canada. And these people are similar, except that they differ a little in their approaches to work. It’s great to go somewhere for a long time; it gives you the opportunity to really get to know another country. But after three months, it becomes hard, and I want to go home. So, probably not. I love Moscow. I won’t stop saying this: every time I walk around the center of Moscow, I fall in love with my hometown again, and I don’t want to change my place of residence at all.
You seem to know exactly what you want. Is it easy for you to insist on something? Can you say “no” to people?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Perhaps the moment when I learned to say “no” can be considered growing up. I felt that I was responsible first of all for myself, and then for my team. All proposals and requests must be measured against your capabilities before you can answer something. And it is important to say “no” in time because if you take on too much, you can let people down.
Athletes have to grow up early. Does this apply to you?
Evgenia Medvedeva: To be honest, as a child, I did not consider myself older than anyone. The fact that I don’t remember myself until I was seven confirms that I was a child after all. I just did figure skating and didn’t really think about what I was doing.
But have you already dreamed of something?
Evgenia Medvedeva: As a child, I imagined the following picture: I am in the dark on the ice in a shiny dress, a direct beam shines on me, and the dress shines. Well, I also wanted to become an astronomer, but it didn’t work out. But about the dress, very much so. (Laughs.)
You once said that you didn’t set yourself the goal of becoming a star…
Evgenia Medvedeva: Indeed, becoming a star was not my primary goal. I set other tasks: to overcome myself, to win the competition, to be head and shoulders above the competitor. Of course, popularity follows victories. But I still don’t consider myself a star. I understand perfectly well that there are much more recognizable figures.
They say you are preparing to open your own figure skating school?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I didn’t say that I’m planning it, there is no work in that direction. But I often give master classes. For example, this winter I will give twelve free master classes for everyone at VDNKh. I lived there until I was 15, and this is my favorite park of my childhood. I adored the donuts with strawberry milk at VDNKh! In winter, I often thought, “If only a large skating rink were built here.” I had no idea that everything would turn out this way and that I would be asked to give master classes in figure skating there.When I was a child, I remember dreaming of getting into the master class of the famous figure skater Irina Slutskaya.
You once said that you have an unusual phobia—the fear of moths and butterflies. Where did it come from?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Many consider this phobia to be strange, but I know people who, like me, are afraid of any insects. As a child, I was simply frightened of the nocturnal moth; it was very large. Then I looked at it closer and was even more frightened….I assumed that all butterflies were frightening. From that moment on, I decided that I was afraid of butterflies.
You could possibly be an astronomer, but you would definitely not be able to become an entomologist. However, if you had, you would most likely have more days off in your life. By the way, do you have any days off?
Evgenia Medvedeva: Rarely. On such days, I can get up at about 13:30, allow myself something extra in food, spend a lot of time on my phone, read a book, then go to bed and sleep until about 20:00. In the evening, I go to a cafe to chat with a friend or just stay at home. At 23:00, I go to bed and sleep until the next morning. This is what my day off looks like.
What do you think about when you fall asleep?
Evgenia Medvedeva: About how I will go to bed tomorrow. To be honest, I just love sleep. This is the best way to relax.
What else would you be able to do if not figure skating?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I can’t imagine myself as anyone other than a figure skater. But if we assume this, then my alternative life would be one hundred percent connected with creativity, with art. How exactly this would be, I can’t even imagine, and to be honest, I don’t want to think about it. I like my real life.
You perform in the show “Ice Age” again. What do you think contributed to its phenomenal success?
Evgenia Medvedeva: There are not so many unique TF formats in Russia, most of the projects are borrowed from the USA, Asia, etc. The Ice Age was invented by us, and other countries could borrow this format from Russia. I am sure that Ilia Averuh would have easily promoted such a product somewhere in Asia, where there is an increased interest in figure skating. In our country, too, figure skaters were always loved – hence the phenomenal success of the Ice Age. The project is already in its second decade.
How does this season of the project differ from the previous one for you personally?
Evgenia Medvedeva: This year, the Ice Age has been a little chaotic because initially we had half the time for filming and training as before. Last year, filming lasted three and a half months; this year, only one and a half. We had to prepare two programs in ten days, and this is difficult. We constantly spent time on ice, on average for eight hours a day. But of course it was worth it because the programs turned out great. Because it was such a difficult season, all the participants tried to support each other, and it was very atmospheric. Everyone fought, everyone tried, everyone gave everything they had.
After such intense work, where do you get the energy to recover?
Evgenia Medvedeva: It takes me a long time to recover. Sometimes it happens that the more I rest, the more strength I need to recover. Therefore, I try not to rest for a long time because then it will be difficult to enter the usual mode. I understand that I have a lot of work, but I have been living like this for many years, and this is normal. For me, this is usual.
Would you like to act in movies?
Evgenia Medvedeva: I had some experience in the TV series “The Last Axel”, but so far there have been no bright offers. Although the documentary “Medvedeva against Medvedeva” is coming out soon, which we have been shooting with the Red Square media group for almost four years now. Work on the film began in May 2019, at the same time, the vlog “A Day in the Life of Zhenya Medvedeva” was released in the blogosphere. So I let movie cameras into my life a long time ago. It will be announced soon where and when it will be possible to watch the film. Spectators will see training and how new programs are born on the ice – a lot of exclusives.
And what role does Ilia Averbukh play in your career?
Evgenia Medvedeva: You can say that now he is my main mentor. We’ve known each other since I was 15. And, as far as I remember, Ilia was always non-confrontational, soft, very inspired, and musical—a little bit in the clouds. If we have any disputes, then in the end I always admit that he was right. That is, in our tandem, absolute free will, but the final word is for the maestro. By the way, now Ilia and I are preparing the New Year’s show, “The Wizard of Oz”.
Like any girl, you probably have a picture in your head of what your family will look like.
Evgenia Medvedeva: I have a lot of work now, so the ideas about the family are a little blurry. And I don’t think that at the age of 23, and specifically in my life situation, I urgently need to start a family. But I don’t lack male attention. It’s just that personal life is personal, to tell less about it.
Can you say that your closest friend is your mother?
Evgenia Medvedeva: The older I get, the more things my mom and I have in common. And at the moment, my mother is a very close friend with whom I can share my problems. I know that she will always hear me and understand; she will understand very well.
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