Evgenia Tarasova: Perfect athlete is the one who works like a clock
Interview with Evgenia Tarasova after European Championships 2019.
by Anatoli Samokhvalov for rsport.ria.ru
Zhenya, I have been watching you for years and I think you will be a perfect wife.
– While I would like to be a perfect athlete.
Who is a perfect athlete?
– The one who works like a clock.
Does he have a name?
– Samodurova. The other day she was the perfect athlete. She went to the ice and did everything, no matter what.
Have you been that perfect yourself?
– Yes, I had a good season, pre-Olympic one. Every competition Vladimir and I worked like a clock. Only at the World Team Championships I failed the jump and throw because of the injury, but otherwise, yes, I was perfect. Vova had mistakes, but not so significant. This season, Vova is perfect and I have problems.
Do you understand the mechanical reasons of these mistakes?
– There are no mechanical reasons. It’s in my head.
Do you get distracted by something?
– Worries. They are distracting. Many things have accumulated – all past season I had mistakes, the end of the season wasn’t the best. Changing the rink, changing coaches, changing the whole situation …
What worries you? Well, different coach, different rink …
– For eight years, every day I’d been coming to the “Vdohnovenie” skating rink like to my home. And then suddenly I need to get used to another place.
Did you feel some kind of protection before?
– Yes, we were all under the same wing. The schedule was always clear, always … In general, when I went to Vdohnovenie, I knew that I would not have any surprises. And in Novogorsk different things happened. Once we went to the ice, and they told us: “You will not have training now. Not your time. Come back in an hour.” It happened that there was no light on the ice. Maxim walked around and looked for the switch.
Life after the Olympics is not so fun?
– Yes, I agree. The Olympic season took all our emotions and strengths. We gave everything.
Is it one season at a time or you look further?
– We aim at World Championships. It’s our unspoken goal for this season. All competitions before -preparation. Although now I understand that such a goal is not quite right. It is necessary approach every competition as a battle for medals. At the European Championships we lost, but I can’t convince myself that this is just a preparation. No, this is a competition I lost. And then … I don’t make plans for three years in advance, but I want to perform at the Beijing Olympics.
Maybe you will reassess plans after this season?
– No, all roads lead to the Olympic Games. The Olympics in PyeongChang did not satisfy us. Neither me, nor my partner, nor our coaches. They did not give us what we wanted. Therefore, Beijing motivates us.
So post-PyeongChang depression continues?
– No, this is not a depression, just an aftertaste, which will not disappear soon. Although I try not to think about it – well, there was a mistake, happened what happened.
Speaking of you as an ideal wife, I meant the balance between a strong-willed inner core and great female charm. What in life can break you?
– After the Olympics, I heard from a closed one that I сouldn’t win. It stuck in my head and soul. It was hard for me to get rid of it. This was said at the time of stress and quarrel. But I went to the ice and skated, no matter what. I’m a vulnerable person, and it is easy to hurt me. Especially for those people whom I trust. Sometimes we had scandals with Volodya, but we still went to the ice and worked, because we knew where we were going. I don’t care what people whom I don’t know say and write about me.
What were the reasons for you and Vladimir to be offended at each other?
– The training process. When everything is fine, everyone is peaceful and friendly. Everyone smiles. But then fatigue accumulates, and after it mistakes. In such cases Volodya is not entirely restrained. He doesn’t care who made a mistake, he is extremely critical about it. He needs to fix everything quickly, right now, so that everything is perfect. But not always it turns out. And the swearing begins. Sometimes at such moments I realize that I need to shut up. He “shouts out” his suggestions – silence from me. But this doesn’t always work. Sometimes I myself ask for a harsh word. In general, all this is part of the training process.
And what about Vladimir?
– He pays no attention to me. I scream, but he may not respond. And I feel ashamed.
There were rumors after the Olympics that your pair could split up?
– They farfetched everything – bad skating at the Olympics, the end of our personal relationships. Of course rumours spread that we were splitting up. People thought that if we break up in life, we will break up on ice. But it wasn’t even a question. We figured everything out between us. Well, we broke up in life, anything can happen. But sport has nothing do with it. He is a good partner, I’m a good partner, together we can win. Why do we have to destroy it all?
But it’s hard for ordinary person to understand how can you…
– …broke up but but be together?
Yes. This is masochism.
– Maybe. It was difficult for us, but we understood that there are a lot of such stories in figure skating. People parted and won the Olympic Games. In sports, it is important to understand your priority. Vova and I decided that sport is more important. No need to lose our chance.
Nina Moser told me that when Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov’s relationships started she did not worry, because she saw how Tanya and Maxim treated each other, and was sure of them. Did she understand your situation?
– We haven’t really talked about this. I don’t remember that Nina Mikhailovna was either “against” or “for” this relationships.
Did Trankov share his experience?
– With me – no. We still have a good relationships with Vova, he can tell me something freely, just like I can. We just stopped living together.
Did the fans who demanded gold at the Olympics demotivated you?
– Nina Mikhailovna asked to put off the phones with Internet. I didn’t read, but they shouted almost everywhere that we had almost won gold. Everyone told us about it, journalists pressed, asked a lot of questions. In addition, we really wanted to win. The most dangerous thing is when you really want something and approaching the goal you start thinking that victory is yours. Then nothing good will happen. We just had to go on the ice and skate the program calmly. But we went to the ice with unnecessary emotions …
Before the European Championships, Nina Mikhailovna told me about new trends in figure skating, such as lightness, airiness. Do you react to the new directions of the International Skating Union?
– In any case, we need to adapt to the new rules. Every time they become more complicated. But, following the rules, we try to keep our approach to figure skating.
Maxim Trankov said that at last they explained to you that your style is wide skating, not rock and roll. But you and Vova said that you wanted to change.
– We didn’t get necessary points for the program we’ve refused of not because of the program itself, but because of the elements. With a clean skate, we also would receive 80 points. As for the Rachmaninov program we returned to. But we skated Rachmaninov with only one mistake, apparently, he really plays a big role.
But don’t you afraid that even if you win the World Championships, the judges will perceive you as figure skaters who took a step back and are not capable of changes in accordance with current trends?
– I don’t think so, because there’s a difference between short and free programs. Our free program is not classic. We decided for ourselves that choosing music in the future we should focus on a melody to which we can skate wide, in our own style.
It will not be “Tosca” and “Carmen”?
– I think no. I hope so. I would not like that.
So dynamic rhythms are really not for you at all?
– It seems so. We worked on the Olympic free program for a very long time both in terms of rhythm, tempo and breathing. It was hard, but we got used to it and did a good program. We won’t completely refuse of fun and interesting ideas.
You are an experienced pair. Your coach is actually on probation. Isn’t it a risk?
– There have become more responsibility. We have an understanding that we can’t let down. But this season I do the opposite. I make mistakes.
Did you ask Nina Mozer to come at the beginning of the season?
– Yes. At first there was a conversation that Nina Mikhailovna would come to us sometimes, but, as practice showed, for us it was worse without her. Much worse. We asked her to go with us to competitions, it’s more comfortable with her. She knows us so well that just a couple of words can change everything. Sometimes, the pair elements didn’t turn out at all this season, day after day, nothing worked out. Then Nina Mikhailovna came, said a few words to us and we did a perfect throw. I don’t know how she does it!
And what did she say?
– Made some corrections. Hold your shoulder here, hand here … She corrects everything very easily, this is the quality of the coach.
She told me that she easily corrected things that you learn with her. But she didn’t touch flip throw, which you had already learned with Maxim.
– Flip throw first came to us, then left us. I performed either perfect or I couldn’t do it at all and I flew almost upside down. Floating element.
Is there no leapfrog, when Maxim works according to his system, then Mozer comes and rebuilds everything?
– No, Nina Mikhailovna did the specific corrections. She influenced us psychologically before the competitions, when she told us literally a few words, and Volodya and I started with perfect motivation.