Ilia Averbukh: Mishin and Kolyada can still make some noise in men’s skating

Posted on 2020-08-27 • No comments yet


Ilia Averbukh about new free program for Mikhail Kolyada and contracts in figure skating.

by Dmitri Kuznetsov for dd.26th August 2020

Ilia, recently Tatiana Mishina said that you are busy at the Ice Age show and can’t put a free program for Mikhail Kolyada. And this raises the question what to do with the upcoming test skates.

Ilia Averbukh: The information is no longer relevant. About 10 days ago I was in St. Petersburg, and we put on a program for Misha. True, it didn’t work out to coincide in time with Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin, he was at the junior skates in Novogorsk, but we finished the program. We started working in Moscow, at the skating rink where the shooting of “Ice Age” is taking place, then I came to St. Petersburg and finished it.

Can you tell us about Mikhail’s artistic image?

Ilia Averbukh: It’ll be completely different compared to the past ones. The music was offered by the Professor himself, it is from the movie “White Crow” about Rudolf Nureyev. Misha likes the program very much. We will see different Misha, not the one we used to see.

The previous season was missed and it affects, it’s difficult to get into shape. But he works hard in training, it was a great pleasure to work with him, he is open for anything new. Of course, Alexei Nikolaevich always makes certain adjustments to the programs, he knows better, the execution of the elements is the main thing in the current figure skating. But anyway the program is done. The main idea is embodied in Nureyev’s life path – striving for a dream, his main dance, his sun, if you like. Keeping faith in himself.

How prepared is Mikhail for the season technically, did you see quads?

Ilia Averbukh: Honestly, I have not seen quads, but they are in the program, planned, and not one. Also triple axels. The content is serious. Further, Alexei Nikolaevich will complicate it based on Mikhail’s well-being, if he deems it necessary.

Did he call you?

Ilia Averbukh: Yes, it was his idea, he called and asked to work with Mikhail. Actually, I never offer my services myself, whoever wants to – applies. But when Mishin asks, there can be no two opinions.

They always talked a lot about Mikhail in the context of psychology. You spent some time with him, did you notice that the break was beneficial?

Ilia Averbukh: Misha has matured, I really saw a different approach. Many times I have heard the phrase that Alexei Nikolaevich told him: “Now we are not going to rush anywhere.” Misha himself admitted that the desire to do everything as quickly as possible, to jump as much as possible used to overwhelm him. And of course hindered. I don’t think 25 is the age when it is already impossible to show high results in men’s single skating. In this sense, cooperation with Mishin is positive news. I cannot but agree that with all due respect to Valentina Chebotareva, Mikhail should have made this transition earlier. But each athlete has his own path in life, and I think that Mishin and Kolyada can still make some noise.

Ilia, in conclusion, your speech for the introduction of contracts between coaches and athletes caused a heated discussion arose in the figure community. Do you follow it?

Ilia Averbukh: Yes, and I want to say that our people like to take words out of context! Thanks to those who supported, but some write that I almost called to disqualify Kostornaia for a year. I only spoke about the need for clear transition rules, which could include a clause on skipping the season. And now, if these rules had been in effect, Alena really would have to go on a break. Now she will perform, and I wish her success, like the rest. You just need to understand that the current “rules” of transitions allow you to do what business was doing in the 90s. And this can lead to the monopolization of the figure skating market by two or three clans. Pandora’s Box has already been opened, and we have little time to fix something. Nobody wants to enslave the skaters – we just need clear rules of the game.


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