“If there was an inhuman attitude in the group of Tutberidze, I think the athletes would leave. Everything is fine there”. Interview with Maiia Khromyh’s father
Interview with the father of Maiia Khromyh. About Eteri Tutberidze, her methods and Olympics.
source: matchtv.ru dd. 21st September 2022 by Sergei Podgornov
Maiia’s father, Vladislav Khromykh, is a well-known hockey coach. He won two Universiades in 2017 and 2019, and also coached a number of top clubs in the VHL, the second-highest hockey league in the country.
Maiia is a rather tall girl by the standards of figure skating, but she does the most difficult elements. Is she the tallest in her group?
Vladislav Khromykh: She may have been the tallest before, but now the girls have begun to level out. Maiia stood out in terms of height two years ago, probably.
Moreover, the info of her growth vary. Some write – 165 cm, others – more than 170. Let’s put an end to this dispute. How tall is Maiia?
Vladislav Khromykh: Now somewhere around 170cm.
Maiia started her way in figure skating in Nizhny Tagil.
Vladislav Khromykh: Yes, we lived there with the whole family, I worked as a coach in the Sputnik system. There was not much choice: if I’m on the ice, then the child is with me. Therefore, we engaged Maiia into figure skating. She skated, we watched her – something seemed to work out. Then, at some point, the whole family decided to go to Moscow for a try out.
It turns out that Maiia had a strong coach in Nizhny Tagil, if she was immediately taken to Khrustalny?
Vladislav Khromykh: For Tagil, we had a good coach – Anna Boldina. She continues to work there today. Maiia had enough ice, and there was enough physical training. In terms of physical training, she was well prepared. In terms of technique, Maiia lagged behind a little, but caught up quickly.
Did you plan that your daughter would make a professional career in figure skating?
Vladislav Khromykh: We went to try. First, Maiia got into the group with Anna Tsareva. Then, a few seasons after a try out, she made it to the group of Eteri Georgievna. This is a very strong group with the highest competition.
Do you know Eteri Georgievna personally?
Vladislav Khromykh: As a parent, I had conversations with her.
What kind of conversations?
Vladislav Khromykh: Motivational.
What did she ask you to convey to Maiia?
Vladislav Khromykh: Any coach wants the athlete to give all the best, show character. Eteri Georgievna asked us to support and motivate our daughter more.
There were rumors that when quads didn’t work out in training, Eteri Georgievna suggested Maiia switching to ice dance. Your daughter trained even harder in response. Does it look like a truth?
Vladislav Khromykh: Yes, it was so. Eteri Georgievna can motivate anyone.
In this regard, you are similar. You are always well heard on the bench, actively cheering the players.
Vladislav Khromykh: You can say so. I don’t like it when players go on the ice indifferent.
They say different things about Tutberidze. Some says that she is a ruthless tyrant, others – that she has the right, since she gives the result. Which side are you on in this debate?
Vladislav Khromykh: If there was an inhuman attitude in her group, I think that the athletes would leave. Everything is fine there – the working environment. There’s just a very high competition, no one relaxes, everyone works at full strength.
I know that coaches often notice each other’s tricks. Did you take something for yourself from Eteri Georgievna?
Vladislav Khromykh: No, but how will you take something? Figure skating is an individual sport, hockey is a team sport. Unless I noted some moments in communication with athletes. I paid attention to how personal conversations with parents go.
And how do they go? Everyone says that Tutberidze is as strict as possible.
Vladislav Khromykh: She communicates calmly, without pressure. Explains what are the problems, what needs to be corrected and what needs to be done for this. In some schools, it is forbidden for parents to watch trainings, in Khrustalny, on the contrary, it is desirable that one of the parents be present.
Are you proud that your daughter is in the strongest figure skating group in the world?
Vladislav Khromykh: Of course, it is prestigious, but I would also like to have some titles. Last season, Maiia made her debut at the Grand Prix stages, making her way to the Final. But due to the coronavirus, it was cancelled. Maiia was a candidate for a trip to the Olympics, participated in all pre-Olympic training camps. However, in the end, the strongest went.
Were you very upset because your daughter did not get to the Games?
Vladislav Khromykh: In the depths of our hearts, of course, we hoped for a miracle that she would be able to qualify for Beijing. Somewhere, perhaps, there was not enough consistency. But competitors are also very serious.
How did Maiia react to this situation?
Vladislav Khromykh: Of course she was worried. Maiia trained a lot. But, I repeat, as in any sport, the strongest went to the Olympics. In hockey, too, the best go on the ice. Especially since it’s the Olympics.
Did you watch figure skating at the Olympics? Who were you rooting for?
Vladislav Khromykh: Of course I did! Rooted for ours. I expected the Russian girls to win. Who specifically? At that stage it was difficult to say. Well, then there were incredible emotions, of course. Trusova jumps five quads, then Shcherbakova comes and skates perfectly, wins! Sasha’s emotions can be understood.
Is Shcherbakova’s victory fair?
Vladislav Khromykh: It’s not for me to judge. Judges are professionals.
But who do you like more Trusova or Shcherbakova?
Vladislav Khromykh: It wouldn’t be right to compare. I just see how they work, give all the best. Both are worthy of a gold medal. But the judges decided like this.
This is the problem. Eteri Georgievna always has the maximum competition in the group, and there is only one gold.
Vladislav Khromykh: Yes, there is not enough gold. First there was the trio of Kostornaia – Trusova – Shcherbakova, before them Medvedeva – Zagitova, then Maiia, Kamila Valieva and Dasha Usacheva came in. Now I know that there are even younger super promising girls there: Sofia Akatieva, Alisa Dvoeglazova, Adelia Petrosian is also strong.
At the same time, an age minimum was recently introduced. Now, at the age of 15, no one will be able to perform in seniors. Do you support this measure?
Vladislav Khromykh: Of course, it can prolong a career. But in general, everyone understands why this is done. To remove the dominance of our team. After all, not only gold was our, but, as a rule, the whole pedestal. Let’s see how the girls will skate at the age of 17 when they move to seniors.
The question is – will they retain the elements of ultra-c in this case?
Vladislav Khromykh: And also whether the complexity of programs change …
How did you react to the story that happened to Kamila Valieva?
Vladislav Khromykh: She came to win, and then …Such a trouble. This is all wrong, not in an adult way. However, she wasn’t the only one hurt. You can remember what they did with biathletes, how many years our athletes have not competed anywhere. The same Norwegians can take some drugs, they are all asthmatics. They go, they win, and no one pays attention to it. And here, without any evidence, a person is suspended. Probably, soon there will be a decision on Kamila.
How will this story end?
Vladislav Khromykh: I won’t dare to say. Now it is difficult to predict anything in the world.
Maiia, unfortunately, was injured in training the other day.
Vladislav Khromykh: Yes, the damage is unpleasant, but everything will be fine. In a couple of weeks (the conversation took place on September 14. – “Match TV”) she will return to the ice. It’s a shame that he will miss the test skates. Maiia prepared for them, skated the programs.
How many quadruples did she plan?
Vladislav Khromykh: Now they will need to be restored, it’s not so simple. In the free program, she planned two – salchow and toe loop.
By the way, do you distinguish jumps in figure skating?
Vladislav Khromykh: To be honest, I don’t know much about them. The main thing for me is not to fall.
Well, you probably know the axel.
Vladislav Khromykh: Yes, this is the most difficult and risky jump, I think. You can’t go wrong with it.
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