Evgenia Medvedeva: Sport is primarily a discipline
I have already published partly translation of this videoconference with Evgenia Medvedeva, but I didn’t know that so many people would ask me to do translate it all )
So I’m going to do the full translation. But since this videoconference lasts an hour, the translation turned out pretty big, so I devided it on two parts.
Zhenya do you believe that name can affect human’s fate? Do you believe in meaning of the name?
– Yes, I believe. However in Russia we don’t pay much attention on this, but I believe in different signs, amulets, I believe in many things. In our sport you will start to believe in everything.
Do you want to try a quad jump?
– I think that it is possible to do a quadruple jump. As practice shows, a woman’s body is capable of this. Over the years, girls have been performing ultra-c elements.
So it’s quite possible, if you will work on this. The main thing is to prepare your body for this. And not only the body, you should also be mentally prepared. I tried with a belay, but haven’t jumped it myself yet.
All your fans know that you are fond of Japan, Japanese language and anime. They ask why you watch anime with voice acting and not with subtitles? Do you learn Japanese?
– Yes, I started to learn it, then dumped a little bit, but now I have a new wave of inspiration, I have already added more words into my vocabulary so I also try to learn grammar, but it is difficult. The next step for me would be anime without voice acting, with English subtitles. It would be ideal, because I learn English and try to learn Japanese.
Do you have time for that?
– I don’t have much time, but it’s enough time to watch cartoons.
Now you probably have a busy schedule, because the World Championships is soon.
– Yes, it’s soon. Can’t wait for it!
What schedule do you have now, do you have day offs? How many hours a day do you train?
– Yes, I have free days. Throughout the season, I have one day off a week. It’s standard, nothing ever changes. Usually I go to school, but since the World Championships is very close, I will not go to school on weekends to have a full day rest. What do I do in my free days? I can go somewhere to walk, go to the coffee shop, watch cartoons.
In addition to the World Championships, you will also have a World Team Championships and Unified State Exam. How do you prepare for it?
– I have individual classes. I study at the Sambo-70 school. Our school provides very good conditions, because combining the usual school schedule and my training schedule is very difficult, almost impossible. But the school meet me halfway and now I’m able to study.
What are you favorite subjects?
– Mathematics. I probably began to understand mathematics, here the main thing to understand.
Does mathematics or physics help you in performing difficult technical elements, understanding the processes?
– There are no just calculations in figure skating and to be honest I’m not good in physics, I’m good only in mathematics, well, algebra and geometry. Figure skating is a highly coordinating sport and probably the most important thing is to feel the movement and feel your body and then work on those elements that do not turn out. Sometimes it’s necessary to take by quantity. Do, do, do until you understand how it works. Fight, fight, fight and it will work out.
As a professional athlete do you have some special diet?
– I can’t say that I have to deny myself something completely. Of course I control what I eat. I can not say that I think of calories, but I understand what I can eat, what I can’t eat, what I need to eat now. Everything within the bounds of reason.
What do you think about crazy men with four five quads in the program? Because men’s figure skating reached a new quality level. What are your impressions and is there any limit of human abilities? Will we have jumps with five turns?
– I saw attempts of quadruple axels, toe loops in five turns. If everything continues to develop in the same way, then, probably, such elements, which are out of the ordinary yet, will appear in competitions.
Did you have any serious quarrels with your coach?
– We have never had serious quarrels. Sometimes we had very funny work-outs, because in the training process it is impossible to constantly concentrate on the same thing, on a routine. Some jokes, it really helps.
Is there anyone who inspires you in figure skating?
– I can’t name such person in woman’s skating, in pair skating it’s Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov and in men’s skating, of course, Yuzuru Hanyu.
There are questions about your personal life, but we do not know whether you answer such questions.
– Honestly, I would like to skip this question. I do not mind, but I think many people have “no no no” attitude towards this topic. But I would like not to answer this question.
What are your favorite short and free program?
– It is impossible to say, I always give an example when I am asked such a question. I’m asked this question very often, at almost every press conference, every interview, in the mixed zone after every skate. But it’s like asking whom do you love more son or daughter. Programs are those stories that you experience, pass through yourself, otherwise you can not feel the story. And if you do not feel your program, if you do not like it, then you can not fully convey the image. Therefore, with each program I associate some time fragment, fragment of my life and, of course, good memories in this regard. Therefore, there is no answer to this question.
You decided about your future profession quite early, that you will be a figure skater. But a popular question from the fans, whom would you have been if not figure skating?
– I have a lot of creative people in my family. I think that I would have been engaged in creative sphere. Because there were a lot of painters in several generations. When I really want, I sit down, start to draw, at first it doesn’t turn out well, then once I get my hand in, something interesting comes out. I think I would have been good in it.
You are thinking about developing your clothing line.
– I’m not thinking, it’s already done, it went on sale. I’ve already seen a lot of people who love figure skating in this clothes and I really like it.
How much do you sleep?
– At least eight hours, because recovery is needed.
How many hours do you train?
– Our trainings never start early, because Eteri Georgievna doesn’t like to wake-up early. The earliest starts at 10.30, choreography before the ice. 1 hour of choreography, then we go on the ice for hour and a half, then a break between trainings, in which someone goes home, someone stays at the rink. We lie, rest, someone does homework, someone studies with tutors. Break is about two hours. And then everything again. A warm-up hour, the second training. After the second training, we have a cool down exercises. We run, do fast walking, someone goes for a massage, someone goes to the procedures and then we go home.
Don’t you envy your peers who have much more free time, which they know how to spend.
– I am often asked this question. But I can not say, because I have nothing to compare. I’ve never had such a life that you go to school, study, do homework. Sometimes I imagine that I need to get up every day at 7 am, go to school at 8.30, do homework, come home around 5 pm, do all the homework for approximately three hours …. So only at nine o’clock in the evening you are free. You can go for a walk .. And then you go to bed at twelve. I don’t quite understand it, I have never had such a rhythm of life. And I rarely talk to my classmates. I am satisfied with my rhythm of life, I have the opportunity to see different countries. I have already visited many places. Somewhere I’ve been several times. I have been in Barcelona two or three times.
Do you have time to see the city?
– Yes, when there is a possibility. When there is where to go, if it’s not far from the center, then of course you need to use this moment. It happens that after the competition there is a free day, before the exhibitions. On this day, you can go somewhere, to see something.
Tomorrow is day off. How will your day off pass?
– Tomorrow I won’t go to school. Usually, on weekends, I go to school. Usually, I wake up, think that it’s day off and I’ll lie till three o’clock. But I get up all the time at about 8 am, it’s like a routine. I wake up even without an alarm clock. Therefore, at 10.30 am, the time trainings begins, I’ll get up, do a make up and go to so shop. Usually it happens like this.
Which country would you like to visit?
– I have never been to China. But I will fulfill my small goal, since for vacation first I fly for 5 days to Japan and then to resort in China. So this year I will be able to see China. When I was little, I really wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, this dream came true this season. The grand prix was in Paris and I was able to see the Eiffel Tower from different angles, I even saw the twinkling of Eiffel Tower, it was fabulous.
Fans ask whether you are preparing any surprises for the World Championships? Perhaps it’s connected with what now called “naughtiness” (about extra combinations).
– That’s not naughtiness! I think that there won’t be such surprises at the World Championship. I’m not going to do a free program with six combinations 3-3.
Everyone has already noted your nails.
– Flicker like a figure skater’s dress. I always have something flickering. I’m a skater, I can. And a girl!
Do you have plans to change your image on the ice for the next season?
– We haven’t thought about next season yet, haven’t searched the music and there are no specific ideas yet, so it’s too early to talk about it.
What happens in your head during performing of the programs? Do you count steps, elements, think about something, sing, read poetry or do not think about anything at all because you should think only about execution of the program?
– Rather, the last option, because the concentration is so high. When you skate the program, that sometimes you notice fatigue only on the last elements, when you have already completed all the jumps and you’re doing a choreographic step sequence, a spiral and you realize that you legs actually are tired and the head is almost turned off. Sometimes it happens. I never think of some topics during performance, because I’ve never tried. Maybe it would be even better, but I’d better not experiment. I’m very much concentrating on the elements.
Do you have any rituals? For example, on the eve of competitions you stop communicating with the outside world.
– Yes, I have such. When at the hotel I’ve already done my hair, my make-up for the competition …. Already there I put on the headphones and turn on the music. I do not know, it’s not even a ritual, I do not know how to call it, it just calms me down and helps me to settle on. I put on my headphones, turn on the music, I have a very large playlist, absolutely different music depending on my mood. And from the room to the exit on the ice, I’m always in the headphones. Sometimes I think that it is necessary to sell a tickets for my off-ice warm-ups, because it’s very similar to a rock concert. I walk, I sing, I do not notice anyone around, I do not control my face. Sometimes I catch very strange glances “What’s going on with her?” I sing, dance. I do not know if it’s good or bad, it’s just me.
Do you have any special compositions that help to set yourself before competition?
– I have, but I won’t say wich ones.
What habits of other people are driving you crazy?
– Maybe when a person forgets something. When I’m asked a question, I answer it clearly, but then in about five minutes I get asked again, I answer it, then in two minutes I get asked again and that’s starting to drive me a little crazy. I hate it when I am told something so many times. When I made it clear that I understood. For example, someone comes to me and says that someome calls me there and I, “Okay, I understood,” but it’s clear that I’m doing something. He comes to me again, “They call you there,” but I can not come up right now … .. I’m certainly not a master of explanations of the situation. But I’m saying this now and this starts to irritate me. (laughs)
Probably this is because you have a high level of self-discipline and there is no need to repeat twice. Have you always been so independent or you had to force yourself to be such a disciplined girl? Because super gifted people are often lazy.
– I think that it was brought up in me, because I was taught it from the very beginning, by family, by coaches, because sport is primarily a discipline. This is a clear discipline, because every day the training starts at a certain time and you shouldn’t be late. I do not even remember when I was late for training for the last time. Probably, this season it hasn’t happened.
Do you generally get late anywhere?
– I just got such a feature. For example, If to competitions, official praсtices we are taken by bus from the hotel to the rink, if for example, the bus arrives at 12 o’clock on schedule, I will be there at twenty minutes to twelve, to be sure that I’m getting on this bus. Because some kind of force majeure can happen, the bus can leave earlier, it happens. It can leave without me. Such also has happened once. This case frightened me very much. I had to go to the medal ceremony and the bus left five minutes earlier. It left without me. And I could miss the medals ceremony, but I got help, called a taxi and I got there even faster than the bus. This situation taught me. I’ll come twenty, twenty-five minutes earlier. This is not only the situation with the bus, I just got used so.
What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
– Many say think less, do more, but I say think more, do more. It’s very important to think, nothing good will happen if you will do without thinking.
Are you planning to do lutz-loop combination at competitions?
– I practice such combinations in training and yes they are more difficult for me than combinations with toe loop. I understand why. Lutz-loop, flip-loop are more difficult for me, because I’m doing these jumps with my arm over the head and I need to catch the position when I lower my arm. It’s understandable how to do it from usual bent. But since I do not do this jumps that way, only with one hand, so I have to catch the position and they are harder for me, but I try to train them.
How did you celebrate March 8 (International Women’s day) and what was the most touching gift you ever received?
– March 8, I celebrated at the rink. Honestly, with all the preparation for the main starts of the season, I can say that I do not notice holidays. And I can say for sure that I do not regret it, because I’m doing my favorite thing. I come to the training during holidays, yes someone congratulated and I received not so many gifts, because I’m surrounded mostly by girls. We just congratulated each other and went to work, to skate our programs. Nothing special happened on this day.