Kamila Valieva: “At the Olympics, in the short program I knew that a lot of people support me, love and believe in me. In the free program I thought that I was alone.”
Kamila Valieva spoke with Tatiana Navka as part of the lecture hall “Olympic Ice of new times” and also answered questions from fans. Below are the most interesting words of the skater.
source: sport24.ru dd. 23d July 2022
About current plans
Kamila Valieva: At the beginning of the summer, as usual, we started training camp. I was in time for a month of training, restored triple jumps, 3-3 combinations. Then I flew to Sochi for the wonderful show “The Scarlet Flower”, I really like to perform there. Usually we spend our days very actively – we train in the gym, on the ice, in the evening we also have something interesting. There are so many emotions every day, it’s indescribable. We arrived yesterday, and I will continue to train at Khrustalny. I’ll be flying back to the show soon.
On participation in the show in a pair with Dmitri Soloviev (ice dancer, 2014 Olympic gold and 2018 Olympic silver medalist in the team event – ed.)
Kamila Valieva: I really liked it, it’s something new. Of course, first it was very uncomfortable to skate. What three turns, what steps, what lifts? It’s like with single skating. The more you repeat, the easier and more comfortable it gets. By the first show, there was a lot to do, so much to remember. It was very, very exciting. In subsequent shows, you already get used to the role. As if you go out and live another life. We went to training with Dima, we complicate all the lifts. We even learned another new one, which Dima performed with Ekaterina Bobrova. We’ll train it a little more and put it in the show.
About the road to the Olympics
Kamila Valieva: There were two stages – before the transfer to Eteri Georgievna and after. I am very grateful to my coaches who raised me. They gave me technique and spins. My first coach in Kazan is Ksenia Semyonovna Ivanova. In Moscow, I worked with Marina Grigorievna Kudryavtseva, Viktor Nikolaevich Kudryavtsev also came to us. Many thanks to Natalya Petrovna Dubinskaya.
When I came to Eteri Georgievna, it was something new. They don’t run after you like they do in other places. Usually coaches follow your every step, and in Khrustalny for the first two years I learned to work independently. They prompted, but at the same time you try to understand what your mistakes are. Thank them very much. Now I can be not much depend on the coach. I can go to Sochi, start jumping and understand what my mistake is.
About leaving former coaches
Kamila Valieva: There is always some resentment. You lead an athlete from a young age, and when he suddenly leaves, it’s sad. My previous coaches took the transition to Tutberidze well. We said that we want to grow. My mother and I had an agreement: if Eteri Georgievna does not take me to the group, then I most likely finish with figure skating and try something else. Dancing, ballet – there was a lot of choice (laughs).
Kamila Valieva: Of course she is strict. And how can a coach be soft? It’s impossible. Eteri Georgievna often watches you go on the ice. Either you got involved in the work and they calmly talk to you, joke. Or you just go on the ice and you are somewhere else. In this case, she is trying to cheer up, because a missed training is a step back, and your competitor for the same training can take two steps forward. Eteri Georgievna worries about us and wants everyone to succeed.
About work at trainings
Kamila Valieva: When you win the Russian Nationals at a young age, you start to understand what you are working for. Some parents force their children to train. But under that pressure kids just can’t. There have been many times when they say to you: “You must, you must, you must.” Probably you must. But this can be said in other words. Until the age of 12-13, the child does not understand at all what he is doing and why. When I came to Eteri Georgievna and looked at the girls who jump 500 jumps per workout, and I came and jumped only 100 … It was a shock for me. For the Olympic Games, you do your best on the ice, in the gym, you do something yourself apart from training. When you understand what it’s for.
Mom chose the words well [for motivation]. There was no such: “Oh, you are so bad, you didn’t do it, how is it possible.” Yes, it didn’t work out today. But before that, did it work? So tomorrow it will work out. Or she said: “Let’s go to the gym, let’s jump together.” Support from the other side is very important. Behind the board there are coaches who demand a lot from you – sometimes they praise you, sometimes they don’t. And on the other end of the board it shouldn’t be like this. There should be family that both supports and demands from you. To keep it safe, shall we say.
Kamila Valieva: When you look at social networks, many people talk about the weight of athletes. Previously, many criticized for weight. As for me, now many have changed and began to study this topic. Of course, coaches often ask you to keep the same weight, but you don’t have to push yourself to the point where only the numbers [on the scales] matter. Some do not eat, eat only sweets and keep weight, but at the same time the psyche breaks down, because you are obsessed with weight. This is a hot topic that needs to be discussed, of course. Coaches are asked not to weight their athletes every day. I would like to start eating right, so that there are proteins, fats, carbohydrates. So that you can skate, jump, but at the same time keep the weight and weight yourself less often.
About thoughts to quit figure skating
Kamila Valieva: This was before coming to Eteri Georgievna. During a bad season, my mother and I had a conversation about whether I really want to do figure skating. My mother was very afraid for my education. At that time, I could still enter the Moscow State Academy of Arts, where you live, study and train. I was asked the question: “Do you need this figure skating?” I replied: “I really need it.” Okay, let’s go to Eteri Georgievna. If not, you go to ballet.
About plans after sports
Kamila Valieva: I would think about acting (laughs). But I still want to continue my sports career as much as possible. At 16, you can’t tell who you’ll be at 25. Just guess what you like. Acting in movies, becoming a coach – a lot of things. I would also like to try dancing on the floor professionally. I want to try all the styles. So far, the contemporary is getting better for me, it’s clear why. It’s something interesting and inspiring.
About short program to “Interstellar”
Kamila Valieva: We thought about music for a very long time. I suggested something, Daniil Markovich with Eteri Georgievna suggested something. Then Daniil Markovich suggested Interstellar. When I listened to the music, I immediately fell in love with it. When you just listen to this music, you immediately dissolve in it. I can’t tell the contents of the program yet, you will see everything a little later. Thanks to the coaches for finding this music. I love my new short program.
About quintuple jumps
Kamila Valieva: I thought about it. When I’m a little thinner and have more muscle, it’s much easier to jump. This is logical. If you bring yourself to a great shape and raise the height on the quadruple, you can try. It seems to me that this is possible. If a person does a quadruple at a low height, then there is hardly a chance of injury. Just like we prepare quadruples. If you do the triple lutz badly, with underrotation, then no one will let you try a quad.
About responsibility at the Olympics
Kamila Valieva: I entered the short program in the individual event and knew that a lot of people support me, love and believe in me. It was very empty at the Olympics, but you still feel the support. In the free program, as in all other competitions, you go in some kind of misunderstanding. At the Olympics, I wasn’t able to understand that I was supported. For some reason, at that moment I thought that I was alone, and for me it is very bad. It’s like you’re the only one going on the ice, that’s how it was for me. When I got into the initial position, it was already evident in my eyes that I had fear. I want to say a big thank you. While there, I cried every day because I saw a lot of support.
At that moment, Valieva began to cry, the audience supported her with applause.
Navka added: You probably know that you were supported not only by Russia, but in general by the whole world! You are now the favorite of the whole world. Despite all these sanctions, absolutely every person on the planet loves you. You must know this. Well, except, of course, these bastards, who generally came up with this whole doping story!” (laughs).
About international competitions
Kamila Valieva: Honestly, I’m more interested in our life, the life of Russian athletes. We follow international competitions when one of ours competes there. Maybe I will follow my teammates, Morisi Kvitelashvili and Nika Egadze, who will perform.
About raising the age minimum
Kamila Valieva: Difficult question. Some support it, some are against. I can’t decide either. It seems that it’s good, but at the same time, I myself moved to seniors at 15 years old. It’s a pity for the guys who were born in the second half of 2007, like Sonya Akatieva. She started jumping quads and triple axels before us, and she still has to wait and wait until she enters international competitions. Quadruple jumps are a risk. A couple of times you can land very painfully, then you get up carefully. When you know that you are working for international events, this is one thing. She has yet to go through a transitional age.
About relations with Trusova and Shcherbakova outside of training
Kamila Valieva: I don’t want to answer this question. This is personal life.
About the most memorable birthday present
Kamila Valieva: The most extraordinary gift was from Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin]. He gave a birthday present, congratulated. This was probably the most memorable – congratulations from the President of Russia. It was cool.
About the first major competition
Kamila Valieva: It was the junior stage of the Grand Prix in France. I was so scared, I just didn’t know where I was. I’m always worried, afraid to step on the ice in competitions, but at that moment it was just great.
Alexander Zhulin: “Classics develops skaters, but it’s not for everyone. Not for Hubbell / Donohue or Chock / Bates. Classics is useless for acrobatic athletes who don’t have ideal lines, you will never achieve a wow effect.”