“Girls, look at me with my problems and don’t ever do this. This’s your health. Sports will end, and you’ll live with this body and psyche.” Betina Popova about eating disorder and other topics

Posted on 2022-11-03 • No comments yet


Former ice dancer Betina Popova about new competitions, Natalia Zabiiako, Davis/Smolkin, training during periods and eating disorders.

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source: sport-express, dd. 22d September 2022 by Dmitri Kuznetsov

About new competitions offered by FFKR

Betina Popova: I would like to say thanks to our figure skating federation for those competitions, the format of the season that was prepared. It’s a great motivation to keep skating, keep fit and try new things, compete. I think a lot of people had doubts.

New competitions, jumping competition and show programs competition – this is very cool, brilliant. When I saw this, I was overjoyed. A jumping competition has been a long time coming, especially in our country. I don’t think it makes much sense to hold it in other countries. In Russia it will be a very spectacular event. It will be super cool. But even more I’m waiting for the show programs competition. Firstly, these are retired athletes. Of course, I would like to see Zagitova, Medvedeva, aSlutskaya, Plushenko, and Yagudin.

And would you like to participate?

Betina Popova: No. I’m on the ice every day, I don’t want to go back there as an athlete. I’m more excited about the format. That is so cool. There is no such thing anywhere in the world. There were jumping competitions somewhere at some level, but this is something new. This will encourage creativity. And there will be extra motivation to stay in shape until the end of the season. Likes to our federation for what they have done. When I skated at the stages of the Russian Cup, it was a sluggish event, without spectators. A couple of people who happened to be there.

About Natalia Zabiiako

Betina Popova: I know Natasha personally, she is wonderful, I can’t say anything bad about her. She didn’t deserve all the negativity. Both because of the attempt to represent another national team, and because of the other. She collected all the burning topics. I don’t understand this condemnation, honestly. This is a person and her choice, which does not concern others in any way, she does not interfere with anyone. You can just wish her good luck in life.

I think people need to look at themselves more and pay less attention to others. If a person doesn’t do anything bad to you, doesn’t touch you, what can he be condemned for? What for? If you don’t like it, just don’t watch it. We already have a lot of negativity around us in such a difficult time. Perhaps people have internal experiences that accumulate and do not find a way out. And when someone appears, they say “FAS!”, and everyone rushes at him. There is no sense in this.

About the periods problem in figure skating

Betina Popova: These days, women train, perform. They take ordinary painkillers, but what else to do? In general, training can be canceled, but it is difficult for us to reschedule training. More likely no than yes. There is not much ice, time is always short. So everyone trains, learns to be in this state, you somehow get used to it over time. When it’s really bad – I used to be that I couldn’t stand – then you say: “I feel bad, please throw me overboard.” But in general, when you prepare for a competition, every workout is like a brick.

According to this logic, you can train with a broken leg.

Betina Popova: And some do it, yes.

About eating disorders

Betina Popova: I personally know a lot of girls, including active figure skaters, who have something to tell. And in my group there are girls who had problems, I try to find an approach to everyone. I remember myself, to what state they brought me, and what it has led to now – for me it’s a shock. Those people who did this to me should not be allowed near children. There should be certifications, something like that. There should be a work with coaches. There are super-wise specialists who will never allow this at their groups. And there are those who doesn’t care about these norms.

But they achieve results.

Betina Popova: Yes.

But it is necessary to fight with eating disorder, with the attitude towards it, right?

Betina Popova: For sure we can fight with this. When I was skating, there were more such problems. There are more sane people now. When I meet girls with the same problems, I say: “Girls, look at me with my problems, please don’t do this ever. This is a catastrophe. This is your health. Sports will end, and you will live with this body, organism and with this psyche.” All the fuss started with Lipnitskaya, it really was very strong at that time. This problem was very acute. When I skated, everyone around me was involved in this horror. Very sad. I am glad that these topics are being raised, coaching staffs are attracting nutritionists and psychologists. The situation is improving. It’s nice to see when the kids are in the hands of adequate people.

About Trusova

Betina Popova: I remember Sasha from the time of Plushenko’s Angels, where she was such a fairy, and I liked how she showed this image. I do not agree with the general opinion that she does not know how to skate, is not component and not lyrical. She knows how to reveal such images, they just don’t give her such. Sasha is already an adult girl, she has matured with Mark, she is not a child anymore, but a feminine girl, I think it is interesting for her to try herself in this artistic image.

About Davis and Smolkin and their “transfer” to the USA national team

Betina Popova: This is the most surprising thing that happened in the offseason. In general, all this is nonsense, in particular the latest launched news that they are supposedly members of the US team. To try out the programs, they may have wanted to skate at the Challenge Cup out of competition. You can’t come and say, “I’m Diana, I’m skating.” You need to be tied to a certain club, like we do. Here I understand Alexander Gorshkov (President of the FFKKR. – ed.), who says – there are no documents on the transfer, what do you want from me?

Do you believe in transfer?

Betina Popova: I think that at the moment it doesn’t matter at all whether they transfer or not. If the guys have the opportunity to perform, why shouldn’t they?

Isn’t this a betrayal?

Betina Popova: This is a very sensitive issue right now. There were no such problems before. May our skaters trained in America: Vika with Nikita [Sinitsina / Katsalapov], Zhenya with Vova [Tarasova / Morozov], and people left for other national teams to skate.

Probably, many were offended that they talked about plans to come to the test skates, and then they said about the documents, and not everyone believed.

Betina Popova: We don’t know, maybe they really were going to take part and there is a problem with the documents. In the USA, there is a different system, perhaps they have an agreement with the coach and do not want to lose the agreement. Let’s not forget that test skates are not a key competition that they are required to attend. It’s the start of the season. Previously, the test skates were generally closed for the audience.

About the future of ice dance

Betina Popova: The most difficult discipline for forecasts, because I don’t understand who will be there. Will Diana and Gleb come? I don’t see anything wrong if they don’t come, they can still remain members of the team. But they are qualitatively superior to all others in the fight for the status of the third number of the national team. If Vika and Nikita and Sasha and Vanya want to skipp Nationals, then Diana and Gleb will become the leaders of the team. It seems to me that the leaders of the national team will remain for this season – both Shcherbakova and Sinitsina / Katsalapov. Because… why not?

For you, Davis/Smolkin have a higher level than Khudaiberdieva/Bazin and other pairs? Remembering the criticism after the Russian Nationals.

Betina Popova: For me, Diana and Gleb have a higher level, yes, but I judge by the pieces that I saw already before this season. Diana and Gleb worked with Platov, with Hubbell/Donoghue, with many specialists, and to be honest, it’s visible. The guys are cool and progress incredibly fast.


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