Kamila Valieva: “What is happines for me? Happiness is when all my relatives and close ones are healthy”
Kamila Valieva about work on the triple axel, costume change for the free program, cancellation of the junior Worlds and plans for the New Year.
source: by Olga Ermolina and Tatjana Flade for fsrussia.ru dd. 7th December 2020
Kamila, at this competition you skated the short program with a triple axel for the first time. Did you purposefully prepare for this performance?
Kamila Valieva: Yes. At this competitions, the task was to try to skate with a triple axel, so I could do it more confidently at the next competitions.
Your triple axel is from a difficult entry and with your arms up.
Kamila Valieva: Because it’s easier for me to jump with my arms up. We just did not change the entry on my double axel and it turned out that it was already inconvenient for me to enter the jump without arms. When I did the axel without my arms up, I had a mistake that I “fell out” of the circle, to the right and flew at an incline. And with the arms up everything is more or less even.
I’m glad that at these competitions I managed to land the axel, because I worked on this jump for quite a long time, with some breaks.
Can you tell us more?
Kamila Valieva: I tried the triple axel for the first time a couple of years ago, when I did not even reach the junior level. I worked a little on it, tried it, tried it, then stopped. Then we resumed work in September after the junior Grand Prix in Chelyabinsk, but then I did not land it very well in training, and we gave up this idea. I tried the axel, but for certain reasons I did not start working on it.
All this time I was jumping axel as usual, without arms up. And before the start of this season at the training camp in Novogorsk, Eteri Georgievna (Tutberidze – ed.) said to everyone: “Let’s jump double axel with the arms up.” Three years ago I jumped it this way, then I forgot about it. And she said that it would be easier that way, and then it would be possible to jump the triple axel without arms up. In training, I jumped a lot with the arms, and it turned out that it was already difficult do jump it without them.
When did the triple axel become more stable?
Kamila Valieva: About a week before this Russian Cup. At each workout, I tried to do it at least once or twice, but not to much in order not to learn it with a mistake, but once or twice it is ok. At the evening workouts, it turned out better. So, little by little we have prepared it.
Was it your desire to show the triple axel here?
Kamila Valieva: Yes, it seemed to me that this is the best moment to try, to be more confident later.
Between the second and fifth stages of the Russian Cup, you had time to prepare. You took part in exhibitions at the Moscow Grand Prix, where you performed not just gala programs, but your competitive programs, with all elements, including a quadruple jump. That is, those exhibitions was a preparation for this Russian Cup stage?
Kamila Valieva: Yes, I wanted to try jumping a quadruple toe loop at the exhibitions, because I’ve never done it before. I thought it would be a good advantage for me, because if you do it at the exhibitions, with the lights off, then it will be easier to do it at competitions. Yes, that performance was rather a preparation for me.
To feel confident.
Kamila Valieva: Yes, after the exhibitions I felt confident, and then I came here to Megasport and again felt insecure. I do not know why. But it felt like I don’t know how to do anything.
But there are no spectators at the competition?
Kamila Valieva: Yes, I knew. But all the same … By the start, I calmed down a bit and went to the ice as usual. And at the training session before the short program there was a little… something like… Although I was told: there will be none of the important competitors, you just need to skate the program …But for me, it’s still a competitions no matter are there competitors or not. And my main competitor is me.
Following these considerations, in the free program you could not cope with yourself on a less difficult lutz? What happened to this triple?
Kamila Valieva: Since the past competitions, I’ve begun to think a lot about this lutz, how to jump it correctly, in the end nothing began to work out. Even when I was attempting a quadruple toe loop, I knew that I would do it, looking at how I would enter a jump, and lutz … immediately panic – what to do, what to do? I realized that it’s better not to think at all. After all I’ve jumped it before.
Indeed. What can you tell us about your programs now. Did you understand and feel them better now?
Kamila Valieva: I skate the free program more confident than in September at the test skates. In the short program at this competitions I was a little uptight because of the axel, so at the next competitions I will try to be calmer and do everything more quickly.
Are you planning to jump a triple axel only in the short program?
Kamila Valieva: I don’t know yet. Everything is possible.
Your free program was choreographed to the music of Ravel “Bolero”. Skaters used it quite often. How did you react when the coaches said that you will have such a program?
Kamila Valieva: I was a little surprised. I thought they would offer me music with lyrics, something like “Exogenesis”. And when they said: “Bolero”, I did not understand. I thought, how to skate it? But, I hope, with each competitions I will do everything more confidently, bigger, so it looked more like a skating to the Bolero, not like something similar.
Perhaps you have watched ballet to better understand this music, other performances?
Kamila Valieva: Yes, I have watched Maya Plisetskaya, my mother and I also visited the Novaya Opera theater. I practiced this program in front of the mirror, on the floor. To make all the positions clear, so that everything looked harmonious as a whole.
You’ve changed the costume for the free program. Why?
Kamila Valieva: Because there was a lot of things on the previous one – in front, on the back. It was too heavy for me. And also there was a skirt. We decided that we need something different. Without snake eyes on the back. I like the new costume more.
But the plot of the program has not changed?
Kamila Valieva: No. It is still a snake. We just decided to go without the snake on the costume. In the short program, I, for example, portray a bird. But there’s no bird on my dress. We decided to do the same with the costume for the free program.
Although the color of your costume in the short program someone associates with the sea waves, but you music is “Storm”.
Kamila Valieva: Yes, I read about it. But in this program I’m a bird. In the free program – a snake. I imagine that I am doing movements that resemble a snake, trying to show something smoothly, something more sharply, so that it looks like a snake.
Snake is a dangerous animal.
Kamila Valieva: Actually, I’m afraid of snakes. In my life I have never had to deal with them. But I saw big pythons on TV. So scary! It’d better even not to come close to the screen.
Exactly. Kamila, this season at the Russian Cup you compete at the senior level, but you still remain in juniors. Does it motivate you?
Kamila Valieva: I am glad that I can participate on the senior level. This is also an experience before the senior season. It’s better to test yourself here first than at the senior Grand Prix.
How did you react to the news of the cancellation of the junior World Championships?
Kamila Valieva: I was upset because I wanted to go to the junior Worlds again. Rather, there was some kind of disappointment that it was canceled. But it was canceled for a reason, health is more important, I think.
Perhaps, the performance at the Junior Worlds was the main goal for you? Where to look for motivation now?
Kamila Valieva: You can always find motivation. Of course, I would like to participate in the World Championships again, to try myself at the international competitions, because this would have been my first international competitions of the season.
Since many international competitions, including the junior Grand Prix, have been canceled due to the pandemic, how important is it for you to participate in competitions, because someone thinks they shouldn’t be held at all?
Kamila Valieva: I think it is right that our federation held the Russian Cup, because it is still a competition. Because without competitions it would be very difficult next season. Because you forget what it is like to compete, this excitement, the atmosphere of the competitions. If there hadn’t been such competitions, it would have been very difficult for everyone. It seems to me that it is better to try something at the stages of the Russian Cup, even if it does not work out right away, but then you can refine, work on, and reach the senior Grand Prix, improving your skating and programs.
Because of the current situation in the world, have you rethought something for yourself? For example, what is happiness to you?
Kamila Valieva: Happiness is when all my relatives and close ones are healthy. If there is health, then everything else is good. And this is not even related to the current situation. When your relatives are healthy, this is already happiness. Everyone is alive, everyone is healthy, so there is nothing to worry about.
After this competitions there will be the Russian Nationals, then the New Year holidays. Looking ahead, where are you going to celebrate?
Kamila Valieva: We want to fly to Kazan to visit our close ones.
Delicacies, sweets …
Kamila Valieva: I don’t know about sweets, but my grandmother and my aunt will be there. This is good. I have not seen them for a long time, I want to come and see everyone.
Will you take your dog with you?
Kamila Valieva: We’ll think about it.
Kamila Valieva: Now there are certain difficulties because of the quarantine. For example, we wanted to bring him here, to the rink. He is small, weighs less than two kilograms, put him in a “carrier”, we were not going to let him out, but at the rink we were told that we must have a permission for a dog. Sasha Trusova, who also came to the competitions with a dog, had such a certificate. My mother did not argue, she said – ok, and took Lyova to the hotel.
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