“Katia came for some small adjustments. And she skates better than ever!” Brian Orser about Ekaterina Kurakova
Translation of an article about Ekaterina Kurakova.
original article: sport.poinformowani.pl dd. 30th July 2023 by Emilia Sokolik
In early July, Polish figure skater Ekaterina Kurakova surprised fans with posts on social media. Unexpectedly, she appeared at the Toronto Cricket Club in Canada, where she used to train under the guidance of Brian Orser.
The news was surprising because just two months ago, the Polish Figure Skating Association announced her transfer to IceLab Mediolanum Forum, where she was supposed to train with Angelina Turenko and Alisa Mikonsaari. “Our athletes will have very good conditions there and a team of specialists,” assured Magdalena Tascher, the representative of the association. “Forum Mediolanum is located in the province of Milan, but in a separate town called Assago. A group led by Barbara Fusar-Poli trains there daily. It is part of the IceLab club, which has its main headquarters in Bergamo.”
It is worth mentioning that Canadian coach Brian Orser was Katia’s main coach when she was still competing as a junior, starting from the end of 2018. He recalled her arrival in Toronto as follows: “She brought charm, she brought enthusiasm, and she is very hardworking.”
Under Orser’s guidance, Ekaterina achieved 10th place at the European Championships and 7th place at the Junior World Championships in the 2019/2020 season (pictured). Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the Senior World Championships and prevented Katia from returning to Toronto. In the following season, Brian Orser provided her with guidance via Internet, and then the skater moved under the wing of Italian coach Lorenzo Magri, with whom she trained until March 2023.
Recently, Kurakova has been intensively working on her programs for the new season. Choreography for her short program was done by Ivan Righini. Katia collaborated with him last season, which resulted in successful performances to Elvis Presley’s music. Additionally, he has prepared a completely new exhibition program. Will it surpass the popularity of the previous performance to music from “Pirates of the Caribbean”? We will find out soon.
For her new free program, Kurakova entrusted Benoit Richaud, who was previously the creator of her Olympic programs. However, this time both of them are trying a slightly different style: “I would like to show that I am not only a smiling, cheerful girl, but I can also be serious, maybe dramatic or sad. I feel that I should show myself from a more mature perspective,” the skater announced during a live session on her sponsor Chique Sport’s channel. The samples she shared on social media were enthusiastically received by fans.
With the choreography for both the short and free programs ready, Katia headed to the Toronto Cricket Club, where she used to train alongside Yuzuru Hanyu and Jason Brown. In July, during a training camp, she worked under the guidance of Brian Orser, Tracy Wilson, and other coaches from the club’s team. The jumps she showed during the sessions in Toronto looked promising. Coach Orser was also pleased, saying, “Katia came for some small adjustments. And she skates better than ever!”
The skater herself shared positive impressions. It is a tradition at the Toronto Cricket Club to ring a bell every time a program is executed flawlessly. “The most beautiful way to end Friday: skate the free program clean and hear the bell ring,” Katia praised her success.
At the end of July, the skater returned to training in Italy. “In the upcoming season, her coach will remain Angelina Turenko. At the same time, the skater will continue to receive support from Brian,” the Polish Figure Skating Association announced on Facebook. Will this approach help address Katia’s issues with underrotations? We hope so, as in the new season, she will face strong competition from experienced rivals as well as skaters making their senior debuts.
Unlike the previous season, Kurakova received an invitation to only one event of the Grand Prix series – Skate America from October 20 to 22, 2023. Although the skater finished the season in 8th place in the International Skating Union ranking, her 16th place at the World Championships and distant position in terms of the best total score of the season were not enough to secure a second GP event. However, Katia may still be directly invited by the organizers, as some spots were left for them to determine later.
The question also remains as to which competition Kurakova will open the new season with. Last year, it was Lombardia Trophy in Bergamo, where she won a bronze medal.