Jelizaveta Zukova and Martin Bidar: “We have never had competitions that would last for almost a month in total. But we will be inspired by this Olympic atmosphere.”
Interview with Czech pair Jelizaveta Zukova and Martin Bidar about upcoming Olympics and Olympic village.
source: matchtv.ru dd. 30th January 2021 by Anastasiia Panina
The sport pair Jelizaveta Zukova and Martin Bidar have been representing the Czech national team together since 2019. Liza was born in Yekaterinburg, lived in Russia for a long time, and Martin managed to perform at the last Olympic Games in Pyeongchang with another partner. Beijing 2022 is their first joint Olympics.
Liza and Martin were among the first figure skaters to arrive to the Olympic village. In an interview pair shared their impressions of the most strict Olympics in history in terms of anti-covid measures.
Liza, Martin, the first unofficial trainings have started, the figure skaters are still in the minority in Beijing. How do you feel about everything that is happening?
Jelizaveta: This is the first such big competitions for me and for our pair together. We’re still getting used to it. Everything is so big, everything is new. I want to feel every moment, to catch the Olympic mood, so that it will be remembered for a lifetime.
The Olympic Village is big. We were only in our part so far, we didn’t go anywhere else. But what is there is very big.
What is your daily routine here?
Jelizaveta: It all depends on the training schedule. But every day starts with tests, this is a mandatory procedure – I don’t even know, unfortunately or fortunately. We take it as our responsibility. Then breakfast. Today we went to the training arena. So far, only two pairs have arrived, but we have already tried the ice. We slept badly today, as we have a six-hour time difference. We came back, had lunch, rested, tried not to fall asleep. Then in the evening we went to another training session, already to the main arena. It is different, of course.
In general, how do you rate the conditions? Ice, warm-up rooms, is there everything you need for training?
Jelizaveta: The arena isvery large – beautiful, cool organization. We liked everything. While it feels like we are flying somewhere (laughs).
Martin: I apologize for my Russian. I have something to compare with, still I was at the Olympics in Korea, and here everything is arranged much better for athletes. We like it.
Jelizaveta: Warm-up rooms, treadmills, rugs, rollers, a very comfortable surface. The ice arena is beyond praise. Everything is thought out as much as possible for the convenience of athletes, all that remains is to skate.
Many people complain about the cold in the rooms.
Jelizaveta: Housing here is organized in blocks, the four of us live in one block, but everyone has his own room. And two bathrooms. I have the opposite problem – it’s hot, I open the window all the time.
Martin: But the coaches also said that it’s cold in their rooms.
Jelizaveta: Yes, the coaches live in another hotel. But we have excellent conditions.
How long does it take to get from the village to the arena?
Martin: It’s always different, depending on the traffic, but somewhere around 25-35 minutes on average.
What about food in the Olympic village?
Jelizaveta: We have about the same set of products for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is everything you need for athletes. Salad bar, tuna, fish, fruit bar. Rice, baked vegetables, soups – you can choose according to your taste.
Do you have desserts? We have an indecently large selection of desserts at the media hotel.
Both: (Laugh.) Not much.
What are your plans for the end of the Games? The team event and the individual competitions for sport pairs are in the schedule like opposite ends of the Great Wall of China.
Jelizaveta: We really will have team competitions first, the opening ceremony. Official training has not yet begun, but on February 1, probably, everyone who participates in the team event should arrive. In the individual competitions, we start last of the skaters, and the break of almost three weeks is impressive. Never before have we had competitions that would last for almost a month in total. But we will be inspired by this atmosphere for the next four years, enjoy every minute.
Are you getting ready to skate both programs in the team event?
Martin: I would like to. I hope that we can qualify for the free program in the team event.
Jelizaveta: It’s nice that the Czech team will skate in a team event for the first time in history. It’s cool to try and find out what it’s like to be supported not only by the coach, but by the whole team. In addition, it is useful to try the ice before a individual competitions, to skate in front of the audience.
Are masks and other measures strictly monitored in the Olympic village?
Martin: It seems to me, like everywhere else lately. No one has to be reminded to wear masks, wash their hands, keep their distance and take all precautions.
Jelizaveta: We can be without a mask only during training. For example, no one told us that it’s required to wear masks on the street, but we all do this because it is actually a public place. I can say that no one finds fault with anyone, but mainly because there is nothing to find fault with. We are responsible for our own health, we must be tested every day, because the situation with the pandemic is very dangerous. And it’s good that the Games are being held, at least in this mode.
Liza, Martin has a little more experience than you in the Olympics. Do you asked him how everything was in Pyeongchang?
Jelizaveta: Certainly! Everything was different there, because those Games were held even before the pandemic. But no matter how difficult it is here with the restrictions, I’m just happy that we can be here, represent the Czech Republic. This is our pride. I realize that you need to live this atmosphere, in addition to even the competitions themselves. I want to enjoy these Games, despite all the prohibitions, rules and masks.
Martin: I’m glad that there will be an opportunity to watch other sports.
What do interest you the most?
Jelizaveta: I really want to go to the hockey final on February 20, because then we will have finished our competitions and it will be that rare case when someone finishes even later than us (laughs).
Martin: I also want to watch hockey, but in general everything will be interesting. We will choose as training allows.
Jelizaveta: And I would also like to see all the Olympic villages. There are three of them, as we saw in the presentation. There is a long distance between them, but it is possible to go and see them. Understand how other athletes live. We have already managed to look our part in two days – it’s cozy!
Related topics: Jelizaveta Zukova Martin Bidar