Evgenia Medvedeva: Toronto is really the place where I would like to work until the end of my career
Interview with Evgenia Medvedeva after Grand Prix Rostelecom Cup.
by Veronika Sovetova for tass.ru dd. November 18th, 2019
Zhenya, your birthday is coming soon. How are you planning to celebrate the 20th anniversary?
– There was an idea to go to a restaurant with friends, or to watch a movie, or just to go for a walk, or go to some club, but I realized that all this could turn into a photo shoot, not birthday. In the end, we decided – we’ll rent a room with girls and just spend this day together, chatting, having fun, listening to music, eating pizza. And yes, anticipating your question, I love tasty and unhealthy food.
Classic pajama party with pizza?
– Right. Favorite pizza – Four Cheeses. It’s so delicious! But one slice this is already a half-day norm of calories.
And then back to Canada?
– Yes, on November 20 I’m flying back.
After a short program at the Grand Prix in Moscow in the mix zone, I asked you how long you intend to continue working in Canada. Your answer was “While the legs are walking, while the arms are moving.” I even asked again, if you remember.
– The fact is that I found my place. With its difficulties, but Toronto is really the place where I would like to work until the end of my career in ladies’ single skating.
– I have many ways, many ideas. In my head there is no emptiness in this regard. There is plan A, plan B, depending on how it goes on. I think about the future, but as they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. I don’t have this “I don’t know what I will do after sports.” I know what, and I will do even more than now.
Here, in Moscow, I also heard a phrase from you: “Figure skating is my job.” But it was not always like that.
– It’s true. But let’s be honest. Now I live in Canada, and most of the costs from my prize money – those are open amounts, everyone can see them on the website of the International Union of Skaters – I spend on accommodation, food, ice, and coaches. Everything is scheduled. So yes, this is my job.
Many people, by the way, ask me a question: “Zhenya, you were third at the World Cup – it’s such a money! Why don’t you allow yourself to buy Louis Vuitton or Chanel?” But my main clothes are still black leggings and a training jacket. I’d rather spend on what I really need.
I often recall our interview in Marseille after the Grand Prix Final. Then I asked you what you cannot live without in this life. The answer then shocked me: “I will never go out without makeup and manicure.” I see manicure, but you look completely different – a minimum of makeup.
– In Marseilles, if you remember, I had enormous eyelashes, eyeliner. But now I like myself more. And yet, yes, I don’t show up without make-up, I just try to emphasize my facial features. And before that I changed them all the time – the shape of the eyebrows, the shape of the eyes with wings “to the ears”. Now, for me, the most important is basic care – creams, masks, peels.
Let me guess – Japanese or Korean?
– No, you won’t believe. They do not work for my skin, it doesn’t accept them. So nevertheless European brands are closer to me, only this year I realized this.
Do you have some female “Wishlist”? Things that you promise yourself in the future.
– You know, there is a Yorkdale mall in Toronto. There is an avenue of boutiques. Sometimes I walk, look around and think: “Well, what a beautiful dress!” And then – “And what will I do with them, where will I wear them?” I just have two routes: home – “Toronto Cricket Club” or “Toronto Cricket Club” – home. That’s it, I don’t go anywhere else. So I just admire, that’s all.
Is it expensive to live in Canada?
– I’m not complaining.
Have you thought what would have happen if you hadn’t decided to fly to Canada after the Olympics?
– I can’t even imagine it. True. Basically, I considered one way. Two, to be honest – either finish everything, or leave for Canada. I decided in favor of Canada, and it was the sharpest turn in my life.
I often recall the interview with your mother that we recorded back in Pyeongchang, right after your performance at the Olympics. There she said that you won your silver with injured leg. Do you think of those times?
– All the time. It will stay with me forever. Along with the eternal fear of serious injury. This is probably one of my most serious nightmares – injury and no chance for recovery. When you understand, that you have to go and fight, but in the end you will break. Literally. It’s like jumping into the abyss, into the well. But you have to jump there. But that was exactly what I wanted myself.
But now I have recovered, I am alive, everything is fine. Today I live listening to my body.
Do you often hold those two Pyeongchang silver medals in your hands?
– I have them in Moscow, and yes I hold them in my hands when I arrive. Because thanks to them, today I have what I have – amazing people nearby. If fate had been different, I would have never met them.
Turns out that what many people then perceived as your personal tragedy turned your life upside down?
– I initially thought that for the worse, but you see how it turned out. The opposite.
A year and a half has passed since the beginning of your collaboration with Brian. He declared approximately such terms till the first result. And so it happened.
– I can’t say why exactly such a period was supposed. I always want everything and as soons as possible. But in the end, it happened as he said. I’m incredibly proud of what Brian and Tracy did for me.
In general, it’s a big mystery to me how they tolerate me, but they continue to believe in me. Not every coach will withstand so many difficulties with his athlete, will continue to go, holding his hand along such a thorny path.
We go together every day and it’s great. I really feel that Brian really cares about me. Just look at him in the Kiss and Cry – how nervous he is. That means a lot.
I recently watched videos of your work with choreographer Shae-Lynn Bourne. It seems that you understand each other on the subcortex.
– This is generally amazing, what we do with her. I have never thought that I could work like that together with a choreographer.
I know how tired you are of questions about your plans for the ultra-c elements – quadruples, triple axels. But still I have to ask about it.
– I’m working on it.
And that is wonderful. In addition to competing with rivals, two moments after Grand Prix in Moscow really “hooked” me. The first one, when after the short program, in Kiss and Cry, you asked the fans with a gesture to calm down because the next participant, American Mariah Bell, should skate next. And the second is your video with the winner Sasha Trusova and her, to put it mildly, huge pink bear, which she tried to squeeze into the bus to the hotel.
– But you can’t imagine how funny it was. I saw little Sasha with this bear, shouted “Sasha, wait!”, Grabbed the camera. From the side there was a feeling that it wasn’t Sasha who carry the bear, but the bear carried Sasha in his paws.
As for Bell, I just put myself in her place. For example, I need silence before performance. And at that moment, when Mariah went on the ice, the stands still shouted: “Zhenya, we love you.” I was very pleased to hear that, but Bell was already called to the start. So that was just basic respect. I respect everyone who goes on the ice – we are all great hard workers, and deserve the audience to see our work.
After your performance at the Moscow Grand Prix, there were many comments from experts. We, journalists, love to reinforce our thoughts with the opinions of erudite experts. Most of all I remember the words of Alexei Urmanov: “There are stories, reading which, you don’t want to close the book until the last. This is the story of Zhenya Medvedeva.”
– I saw this post. And I was very pleased to read it. I also really do not want to close my book. I am sincere in what I do. While the legs are holding.
Related topics: Evgenia Medvedeva