Evgenia Medvedeva: When six-pack abs started to appear this greatly added confidence
Elena Vaitsekhovskaya’s interview with Evgenia Medvedeva.
by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya for rsport.ria.ru dd. 2d September, 2019
Right after the World Championships in Saitama, you said that you intend to change your body over the summer so that it becomes possible to solve more complex technical tasks. With such summer workload, did you succeed?
– Despite the fact that I performed in shows a lot, I had more than enough time to do everything I had planned. Even more than I expected. So, I managed to do everything. I changed my training outside the ice very much to develop muscles properly.
Usually, such a work isn’t quick. When did you realize that the result you are striving for starts to appear?
– Speaking specifically about working with the body, about increasing muscle mass, developing the right muscles and so on, I’m generally not a very fast person. I know people who only need to go to the gym for a week, and the body starts to get fit. But it doesn’t happen to me. Therefore, from the very beginning I understood that quick results should not be expected. You just need to work every day, monitor the regimen, and nutrition, and then maybe the result will come someday.
Well, when did the moment come when you looked at yourself in the mirror and said: “Oh! I did it”?
– When six-pack abs started to appear. This greatly added confidence. Well, then things started to go up. During training, I began to feel stronger, looking in the mirror, saw that I was becoming slimmer, all this added motivation to work on myself further.
I suppose six-pack abs are not the only goal.
– We work a lot on the legs muscles. Muscle mass during the summer work increased quite noticeably, my weight in this regard also increased, but, you know, it’s a different kind of weight. The fat layer always interferes, slows down the work of muscles. But when the muscle becomes powerful and well-developed, it gives a feeling of strength. On the ice, I constantly feel that the muscles have become stronger and sharper, I even started to jump with a different rhythm. True, I had to change the wardrobe: all the trousers became tight, but tops, on the contrary, turned out to be too loose. Actually, this was the first indicator for me that all the efforts in the gym were not in vain.
After the World Championships, you probably discussed with your coaches a plan for working on jumps, on complication the programs. To what extent have these plans been implemented?
– In this context “discussing plans” is a bit of a big word. In our country, such discussions are usually very abstract and take 2-3 minutes. “Let’s try?” – “Ok!”. We decided in advance that we would complicate the program in the technical part, have more complex artistic images, we also decided to sew cool costumes …
Asking about your plans, first of all, I meant jumps.
– In terms of jumps, in my short program, instead of a triple loop I have a triple lutz now, and in the free program I have two lutzes instead of flips.
Does it mean that you finally managed to overcome your problems with the wrong edge on the lutz?
– I can tell you for sure that it is incredibly difficult to fix the inside edge on the lutz. Therefore, I have to control every move in this jump. There is a progress in this regard and it’s significant, but absolutely correct execution is still given by great efforts.
Who, in your opinion, has the best lutz in the world?
– I like the way Nathan Chen jumps. I liked how Yuna Kim jumped triple lutz. It was always very correct and very beautiful.
Talks that you are actively trying to learn the quadruple salchow – are they just talks, or is there something behind them?
– We are working on this jump, and we are working a lot. But let’s not forget that I’m learning it just a month and a half.
The athlete usually immediately understands whether he will do this element or not.
– Good attempts happen, I understand that the element is absolutely real. I’m generally not the kind of person who rushes to show the others half work done. I have a goal is to show the quad in competitions.
How did you choose choreographers for this season?
– Yes, we decided right away that Ilia Averbukh would do my short program, and Shae-Lynn Bourne would do the free program.
– Just because we decided so. Ilia and I chose music together, although I was the first to offer Exogenesis, and the program was made in a few days right after Worlds. There were no questions at all with the Memoirs of a Geisha. As soon as I first heard the music, I knew that Shae-Lynn was the only person who could do this program. I can’t explain why. I just didn’t see any other choreographer for this program. In general, everything that Shae-Lynn does is very close to me. She has amazing feeling of music, movements, her programs are always different from the others and very recognizable. True, it is very important to perform these programs exactly as it was choreographed. Then they really sparkle.
Was it your first experience with Bourne?
– Not really. We met on shows, this year in Korea there was a case when I urgently needed a gala program. Shae-Lynn helped me a lot. She came up with a program to Alla Pugacheva song “Million Scarlet Roses”. Quite unusual things quite often happen in my career. For example, the step sequence in the short program choreographed by Averbuch was made by Jeffrey Battle.
How did he fit in there?
– When I returned from Moscow to Canada, I told Brian that we need to think how to make a step sequence. He instantly reacted “What is there to think about? Here is ice, and here is Jeffrey.”
What do you like the most about this step sequence?
– Weird question. I already like the fact that I have it.
Not so long ago, Tatiana Tarasova recalled in an interview how they worked on Mao Asada’s step sequences, where each step was thought out and put into the music. That’s why I asked you about it.
– In my opinion the most important thing about step sequence is to perform it on the level four. If you listened the third Exogenesis symphony by Muse, then you probably noticed how rhythmic this music is. I think, skating to it, it’s simply impossible not to get into musical accents.
What is the reason of your early arrival to Moscow?
– First of all, this gives me the opportunity to acclimatize before the test skates.
So you started to admit that acclimatization exists?
– Yes. Plus, I wanted to stay home longer.
Does it mean that before Russian Nationals in December you will also return to Russia well in advance?
– Yes. In general, I will try to do this before all competitions in Russia. Although it is unlikely to came in advance at the Cup of Russia.
Will one of your coaches came to the test skates?
– Tracy Wilson will be with me on a short program, and Brian will fly to a free program from Riga. One of his athletes performs in Latvia at the junior Grand Prix, so after Brian will rush to the airport.
CSKA still recalls with admiration how you worked there yourself last season. Now you are doing the same. Is it difficult, or has it become a habit?
– Not every athlete admits this, but working without his personal coach is always difficult. It doesn’t matter how motivated you are, how much you love to skate, just in training, every minute there are some situations that you want to discuss with someone, get an outside assessment. Especially, an assessment of a person who knows all your strengths and weaknesses. It’s also hard for me without Brian and without Tracy, but I don’t complain. In addition, in Moscow I don’t feel abandoned. There is Elena Germanovna (Buyanova), who helps me in CSKA, there is Irina Anvarovna (Tagaeva), who will definitely make a remark if she sees that my legs or arms are “hanging”, or something else from a choreographic point of view, so I’m not alone on ice. Moreover, safety doesn’t allow this.
At the beginning of your joint work Orser noted that it would be possible to really talk about some result in a year and a half, not earlier. This term expires in December. What changed?
– The work has become completely different. In the first months I had to adapt to some things, but now sometimes it seems that I have been skating in Cricket Club for many years.
Those shows in which you performed after the Worlds were perceived as a continuous stream of quite the same performances, or did you remember something special?
– It was very cool at Stars on Ice show in Canada. Kurt Browning performed there, with whom I had never talked before, although in principle we were familiar. Kurt quite often comes to Cricket Club to skate, but there we just greeted each other. Here, throughout the show, we talked a lot. Kurt turned out to be an interesting interlocutor. We did one job, talked about the same things, understanding each other perfectly, and that was great.
Does the show format allow to use them in training mode?
– It can be difficult. If after each show I had the opportunity to get additional ice, I could easily use this time for training. If at the same time there was an opportunity to work in gym, it would be great. But the problem is that there is no excess ice or a gym in the show, therefore, all such performances are held in the offseason, when most skaters haven’t begun to prepare for the next season yet.
But did you have such plans?
– Not completely. At that time, we hadn’t built a plan for general physical work yet, a nutrition plan, so all these shows actually went as “vacation”, instead of a trip to the south or somewhere else. So the beach didn’t happen this season, but this is for the best.
Do you adapt quickly to stage conditions during various shows?
– The hardest thing to skate in the dark. Although you get used to it. At first, the feeling of yourself in space is greatly lost: you don’t see where are the boards, where you jump, where you land, and this, of course, is hard. I always confuse the sides of the rink and I always afraid to end the performance not where I need to.
Is your life now strongly subordinated to some business projects?
– Since I’m still an active athlete, I can refuse of any project. In other words, no matter how many offers I have received, I will not do anything if this is to the detriment of my main job. Any offer is very carefully considered in terms of dates, travels, my busyness at one time or another.
Do you have to refuse a lot?
– I have to. In this regard, I understood a very important thing: if you want to achieve something global in your life, you need to be able to say “No” to people.
This is not always easy.
– I know. I had to feel very awkward about this when, deep down in my heart, I knew that I absolutely didn’t need something, but I couldn’t move my tongue to tell “no”. This is not necessarily about business contacts. Sometimes a person just wants to come to visit, I also want to see him, but I look at the clock and I understand that I can’t go to bed later than ten in the evening, if I have trainings the next day. And I have to come up with something so that the refusal doesn’t sound insulting.
How comfortable do you feel in public places when you come to Moscow? Surely they recognize you on the streets?
– This doesn’t stop me from meeting friends, taking a subway. In general, I calmly react to the fact that people recognize me. I like to meet people, I like to talk with them.
The first competitions is planned for you almost right after the test skates, at the Autumn International in Oakville, as well as last year. Why?
– Just Oakville it’s very convenient for us in every way. Half an hour drive from Toronto. As they say, we didn’t find a single argument against.
It is quite common for American and Canadian ice dancers to gain a competitive shape by the end of summer. And what about single skaters? Can you say that you are ready for the season?
– We don’t have any specific date when we begin to skate the entire program – all this happens as you gain physical shape. First, we skate parts of two or three elements and it even happens that you die already on the third element. Then you start collecting jumps, slowly adding step sequence, spins.
And then you go and do three run-thoughts per training?
– Definitely, that’s not necessary. But at the moment, I think I’m prepared for the season pretty well.
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