“I have a feeling that our career was divided into two parts – before and after senior sports. This is generally different sports, I think many will agree with me.” Ice dancer Anastasia Skoptsova about finishing her career
A few days ago, world junior champions Anastasia Skoptsova/Kirill Aleshin announced their retirement from the sport. Nastya spoke about the reasons for making such a decision, future plans, the scandal with Nugumanova and much more in a long interview with Sport24.
source: sport24.ru dd. 6th June 2022
About retirement, regrets and future
Anastasia Skoptsova: In many ways, honestly, because of health. Because of Kirill’s health and mine in particular. This is the main reason. And we both wanted to try ourselves in different roles, in different areas. Kirill is an amazing coach. When we just started skating, I was far behind him in terms of level, and he, being quite young, explained everything to me very intelligibly. He has a talent for it.
We understood that because of health, the end of our career would happen soon enough. We could delay it somehow, try to continue our career with the help of medicine, but that would be quite problematic. Kirill finished almost immediately after the Russian Nationals. I knew right away that I couldn’t skate without him. Sports, figure skating doesn’t exist for me without Kirill, I realized that I couldn’t skate without him. I’m quite a difficult person to work with, and I think it wouldn’t have been possible without Kirill. Due to health problems, we were afraid that at some point we might not get admission to the competitions. At some point, Kirill came up and said that he wanted to try himself as a coach, I supported him. There were no resentments, we just talked, and almost immediately I realized that I would also finish.
I have a feeling that our career was divided into two parts – before and after senior sports. This is generally a different sport, I think many will agree with me. Probably, the main achievement in our career is Junior World Championships.
What was parents’ reaction? My parents have always supported me in everything, they said that they didn’t want to influence this decision in any way, it is only mine decision. They also often told me that they wanted me to study, to try myself somewhere else. But I myself understood that the world is so huge and doesn’t end with figure skating. I’ve always wanted to try a lot of things. The coaches were also respectful to our decision.
When we decided to end our career, the only thing that bothered me was that I haven’t skated “Frida”. Maybe I will be able to create a program to this music for some show. Our favorite programs? This year’s free program (“Romeo and Juliet”), tango from the last junior season and “Bonnie and Clyde”.
Now the feeling of the body is a bit unusual, but I still keep myself in shape, as if I can’t do without a load, I don’t perceive my body without it, in terms of — there are no those internal sensations. Therefore, I train in the gym, often on the ice, because I like to skate very much, I come to skate for myself. Naturally, there is weight gain, because when you almost always can’t eat something, and when you finish and you realize that nothing is holding you back, then the first week is just a gastronomic tour. But the visual picture is very important to me, so I take care of myself.
I read all the messages that fans write to me, I’m very grateful for the kind words. Of course, I also read negative comments about our pair, but, probably, with age and experience in this sport, I have received much more sad comments. Therefore, I got used to them, I already have immunity. I have no resentment about this.
Resume a career after two years in a different country and with a different partner? Pair sports are not so easy, you can’t just take a new partner and start to skate together. In addition, in a couple of years, figure skating will step forward so far that I won’t be able to keep up with it. And I either do it well or I don’t do it at all, besides, I want to be a journalist.
I’m very glad that I’m now in the Sport24 team, I’m glad that I can observe my favorite sport. I have a few more projects, but the main project now is journalism. I would also be very interested in becoming a choreographer. As far as I can see it, I have a good feel for music. I also dance on the floor – maybe that will help me.
About relationships in figure skating
Anastasia Skoptsova: Trusova and Kondratiuk? I was a little surprised, to be honest. Although I know that Mark is on fairly good terms with the girls of Eteri Georgievna’s group. I won’t say that it was expected, but I’m very happy for the guys, they are very beautiful. Every time I see their photos on Instagram, I’m touched.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov getting married? Vika and Nikita are one of the most beautiful couples I have ever seen (not only in figure skating). When I looked at them together, I was always very touched, so I’m very, very happy for the guys.
About scandal with Nugumanova and Rukavitsin
Anastasia Skoptsova: It seems to me that being a coach is quite difficult, each athlete needs his own approach. And blaming the coach for his methods is probably not very correct if these methods work. Since these methods obviously work for Evgeni Rukavitsyn, it means that he knows the approach to the athlete. It is difficult to judge some words when you haven’t personally heard them, but this is my position in life: if I haven’t heard some statements, I cannot be one hundred percent sure of them.
I know in the USA a lot of things make it to the courts, but I’m sure we have a slightly different mentality. Abroad, sport is a passion, it is often a hobby, and they treat it like that. We have it, probably … Sport is always at the forefront for those who are in the national team, this is a primary task, therefore the attitude is different, and the attitude of a coach is also a little different. With someone you need to talk softly, with someone you have to talk differently – I’m not a coach myself, so it is difficult for me to draw any unambiguous conclusions.
About increase of the age minimum
Anastasia Skoptsova: I would probably vote for raising the age minimum, because it’s about health of girls who, at a young age, are already forced to jump multi-rotational jumps. This greatly affects the joints and the fragile body, often subject to diets with a lack of vitamins, minerals, etc. It is very difficult to handle, and then, at a later age, serious health problems arise. It seems to me that the age minimum will help smooth the situation.
It seems to me that the number of figure skaters will increase, because they will approach senior sports more healthy, they will not have these forced preparations. I think we will see a lot more athletes on the world stage.
Do skaters need a psychologist?
Anastasia Skoptsova: One hundred percent, yes. I know a lot of talented athletes who can do everything in training, but when they go to competitions, they cannot show even half of what they do in training. Psychologists are very important, the psychological state greatly affects the sport. And why, I think, senior sports differ from junior sports, sinior athletes think differently, approach some things differently, they have a more holistic psychological picture.
Who is the funniest?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Everyone is funny! Dima Aliyev, Liza Tuktamysheva, Stasya Konstantinova.
Who is the most responsible?
Anastasia Skoptsova: I think everyone is responsible. I don’t know an athlete who would not come to the competitions.
Who is the most educated intellectual?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Probably Dima Kozlovskii.
Who are you most friends with?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Stasya, Zhenya Medvedeva. Kirill, Denis Khodykin, Jonathan Guereiro.
Whose style do you like the most?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Many of us look fashionable, dress stylishly. Of the girls – Sasha Stepanova, Vika Sinitsina, me (laughs). Of the boys – Dima Kozlovskii. I like the way Zhenya and Stasya dress.
Who loves to eat the most?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Kirill.
Who eats and doesn’t get fat?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Kirill (laughs).
Who is the most sincere?
Anastasia Skoptsova: If I say “everyone”, will it be strange? All.
Who is the most sensitive and vulnerable?
Anastasia Skoptsova: Sport hardens people very much, probably there are not very sensitive and vulnerable people here. All athletes are cold-blooded in a good way.
With whom can you talk heart by heart?
Anastasia Skoptsova: I can only talk heart by heart with a narrow circle of people, so these are only those people with whom I communicate.
Who have gone through the most serious obstacles?
Anastasia Skoptsova: It seems to me that everyone has their own very difficult path, we do not fully know all the moments.
Related topics: Anastasia Skoptcova Kirill Aleshin
Elizaveta Nugumanova: “Rukavitsin is still doing nasty things pursuing me. He tries to turn people against me, calls them, so that no one takes me to other groups, tries to find compromising evidence.”