“I don’t think Valieva’s case will turn into something good. I don’t exclude that there will be some falsification, just to denigrate our athletes.” choreographer of Tutberidze’s group, Alexei Zheleznyakov
Interview with choreographer of Tutberidze’s group, Alexei Zheleznyakov. About suspension of Russian athletes and how to develop figure skating during the ban, and also about Alina Zagitova and Eteri Tutberidze.
source: metaratings dd. 28th July 2022 by Ivan Pavlov
Alina Zagitova has recently complained that she faced a lot of hate because of the Ice Age show, which she hosts with Alexei Yagudin. How does Alina deal with such attacks?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: The more popular a person is, the more haters this person has. Every celebrity has sincere fans, but there are also haters. In general, there is a kind of people who always do not like everyone, especially successful ones. Alina has a lot of such envious people who sit at the computer on the couch or with a gadget in their hands. This is what I have experienced in my life too. I am also hated, but someone, on the contrary, supports me. I think it’s just not worth paying attention to.
With age and experience, immunity comes to such things, a kind of thick skin. I wish Alina to get this immunity as soon as possible and not waste time on these bilious people. We need to abstract from this. Everyone knows that the more popular you are, the more hate falls on you. This applies not only to Alina Zagitova, but also to any famous person.
Isn’t there a lot of hatred in figure skating? After all, it usually directed towards very fragile girls.
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I don’t even know how to explain it. I agree that the fan part of figure skating has become very toxic. Maybe this is because our sport has become very popular not only in Russia, but all over the world. The larger the fan base, the more abnormal and inadequate people there are. When you sometimes read the comments of the fans, you understand that a normal person cannot write this.
The same Zagitova has recently held an exhibition boxing match. What do you think about such image stories with transition of figure skaters into football or boxing?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I don’t see anything wrong with that. This is such entertainment for athletes and fans of different sports. No one takes such shows seriously, but this is done for the sake of drive and in order to eliminate the current stagnation. I am only for such events, I don’t see anything wrong with that. This attracts fans and ordinary people, which means it attracts more people to figure skating.
How long do you think the suspension of Russian figure skating will last?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I am not a Vanga, it is very difficult to predict such things. Until everything calms down, until the big people remake the world, this will not end. All this time the Russian sports will continue to be ignored. Everyone understands that Russophobia is now growing thanks to many. Let’s be frank, it’s all done by the puppets of the West, they sing to the tune of the West.
Now the task is to make everything Russian to be hated by humanity. And propaganda is a very strong and serious thing, you can win a lot in the information war. When this unipolar world falls and a complete redistribution of the world takes place, all this will end. But I want to believe that the end is near, and everything will happen quickly. But, unfortunately, this does not happen quickly. I think it will last another two years.
Can the Federation do something to get out of the suspension?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Whatever our figure skating federation does, now it will be impossible. Because politics has intervened in sports long ago and dictates its own rules. As I told you, puppet organizations will play and sing to the tune they are told. Therefore, all the actions of the federation will now be useless.
Tour of figure skaters in China or Kazakhstan – a possible story?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Why not? There are countries that are friendly to us, we need to cooperate with them. You can make some kind of Asian Cup – an analogue of the World Championships. This is what our federation can do: come up with some interesting competitions, cups and much more, until all this is over.
It’s the same with the show. I’m only for, if our guys go to participate in the show in China, they will be welcomed very well there. Well, there are plenty of countries that love Russian sports, figure skaters and Russian people.
How to motivate athletes in Russia?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: It is necessary to create interesting competitions, and international ones. But Russia should definitely become the organizer, and the country’s Figure Skating Federation should help in this. The state must help our athletes – you need to invest money in the organization, and everything will work out.
Are there any news about Valieva’s case?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I’m a small person, just a choreographer. I don’t know what and how is moving there, so I myself learn everything from the media, but I don’t communicate with Eteri Georgievna on this topic. In order not to hit painful place, I hid and wait.
I don’t think it will turn into something good, because politics has been in the sport for a long time. The people responsible for this will do everything to deprive Kamila of medals and drag this situation to the end. If they give the gold medal to Valieva now, it will mean that they lost. Therefore, they will wait until the last. I do not exclude that there will be a falsification of anything, just to denigrate our athletes. But I do not know the specifics and cannot say how it will be exactly.
How is Eteri Tutberidze going through the whole story with the suspension of our athletes?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: For a fan of his craft and a coach of such a high rank, international competitions are the most important moment in his career. Tutberidze has a steel character, and she will never show her emotions. But inside she is very worried. She has a hard job. In addition to keeping athletes in shape, they need to be stimulated and motivated to go forward somehow. In this regard, the coaches have a double burden.
Irina Slutskaya: “The athlete who is educated and can express his thoughts can work on TV. You can work on the technique of speech, but you can’t buy brains.”