Maria Sotskova: With my sizes it will be a feat if I jump quad
Interview with Maria Sotskova
by Dmitri Kuznetsov for sport-express.ru dd. 21, February 2019.
You didn’t go to the Russian Cup Final, what about the Universiade?
– Yes, it’s in the plan.
So, if Elizaveta Tuktamysheva or Stanislava Konstantinov withdraw, will you go?
– I’m preparing, but we’ll see. I was told to be in shape and of course I want to perform there.
The season will be over soon, it seemed you tried to have a restart. Does it turn out?
– Yes, the season was hard and failed. But after the previous two or three years of consistency, this was predictable. The Olympics took a lot of strength and emotion, it was hard to readjust. I changed the style, worked a lot on the PCS and as a result the technical part suffered. There’s no certainty about the Universiade, but I would like to show a decent result there. But in general, I need to focuse on the next season, think what to do, in which direction to work to avoid such failures. I need to get in shape, review everything.
I would like to talk about the future. First, how to improve the technique? Is your attitude to the quads changing, will you try to learn them? Is it possible to win without them?
– There’s no definite answer, this is an individual question, depends on the person. Now all the girls are progressing very fast, many of them have triple axels, quads. Probably, it is possible without quads, but it is necessary to do difficult combinations, put them into the second half. Then you can fight. I can say about my quadruple – with my sizes it will be a feat if I jump it. It is traumatic, especially in my case, and emotionally difficult, but nothing is impossible.
Next season, competition will intensify after because of the juniors. Does it affect you?
– We have always had a strong competition, but I’m more interested in my own shape. Therefore … it’s not like the current situation doesn’t concern me, but I can’t do anything about it anyway, so why bother?
You talk about problems with physical condition, growing up. Is it possible to fight with it, to slow it down somehow?
– Everybody goes through this period, every girl, there were no exceptions. Someone copes with it, someone not quite. The body grows, everything changes and it becomes very hard to work. I spend a lot more energy than before, but still this is not enough.
Perhaps, on the contrary, take a pause?
– A break is not about me, I have a hunger to work. I need to endure these features of the human body. Then everything will work out, it will not last forever.
You said that growing up also affects you mentally, that you started to think more. What about? Studying? Or is it just a self-reflection?
– No study during the competition and training! (Laughs) Before I just went to the ice and skated everything like the machine. With age, doubts have come and the realization of the importance of the events: what kind of competition is it, what will happen next, why am I doing this? I thought it was bad when I was all in myself and did not hear the audience. However, it turned out that a too close contact with the audience during the program is even worse. Of course, figure skating is an art and interaction with the audience. But it takes time to put everything together – the elements and PCS.
Don’t you think that the rules of figure skating are not in your favor. Is it possible to forget a little about the image, just do your jumps and took a high place?
– I would not say that some skaters forgets about the image. Everyone is working on choreography, they come up with beautiful programs, costumes and hairstyles. The main thing – everyone is in the same conditions. If you put on a beautiful dress and just skate around without jumps, they will not give you anything, and vice versa. Those win who have a combination of all the skills.
This year, you didn’t skate well at the Russian Nations. This season is an exception, but usually the national team was decided at the Russian Nationals. Is the system fair, when one competition decides everything?
– As far as I remember, in recent seasons, people who showed themselves well at the Grand Prix, GPF got into the national team. All of us are not robots, there are failures, but usually the leaders also performed well at the Russian Nationals. So the selection goes gradually, in stages. The federation, everyone follows this and takes it into account.
Let me ask directly, who should go to Worlds, besides Zagitova and Samodurova?
– Listen, all girls equally deserve it. They should skate at the Russian Cup Final and let the judges decide.
Do people recognize you on the streets?
– Yes, it happens, sometimes I’m asked to take a photo on the subway or on the street. It’s nice when people are interested, know our sport, because we do everything for the audience.
Recently, biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova published a tough post on Instagram with a general idea: “Fans, lets you run the race, and I will eat chips and look at you.” It caused a heated discussion. Do athletes have the right to use social networks as they like or it’s not their personal business anymore?
– It’s a fine line. It doesn’t matter to what extent, but we, sportsmen, are media personalities, we have a large audience. For example, people badmouth our footballers, but they still post photos with a hookah in a karaoke bar. Of course, people immediately start to write negative things. Probably the biathlete just can’t stand it anymore. Probably they write her lots of things too. Athletes have the right to relax, to express themselves as they want, but it is not always worth posting for everyone to see. I know from my own experience after one interview, that any word can be used against us.
Is it the interview where you said that in Elena Buyanova’s group there is no such pressure as in Eteri Tutberidze’s group?
– Yes. I didn’t want to offend anyone and didn’t say anything bad. But people inflated a scandal, argued that I didn’t have the right to talk about things did not know. But I just expressed my opinion, answered the question.
And faced with haters?
– Yes, the haters attacked me. First, it was under the video in “Vkontakte”, then moved to other social networks, news, and as a result I started to receive endless messages on Instagram saying that I had no right to say that. I kept silent.
Is it necessary to fight with it somehow? You probably notice the hysteria around Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva this season.
– Yes, there’s a great hype around girls. I don’t think that it affects them, they don’t care what people write. They go on the ice every day and work, all of us. I don’t know why people write all these comments. Apparently, people are bored. Of course, I also read what they write about me, because I’m interested. But if see something a negative I close it and don’t think about it.
In the summer you entered GITIS. How do you find study, what is it like to combine?
– It’s fine, I passed the first session, I like it very much, while it turns out to combine. There are no indulgences, they allow me to skip some lectures, but I pass all the exams like everyone else. Well this was actually a difficult life choice … At first I wanted to study medicine, then I realized that it would be hard to study and that it’s a hard work with people. Then I thought to enter the Higher School of Economics. I really didn’t want to study at the University of Physical Education.
But in the end I chose GITIS, I set myself the goal to enter it, I was preparing for a long time, studied the history of the theater and ballet. The exams were hard, I thought I’d turn gray. I came as an athlete, without experience, and there were people from the Bolshoi Theater, dance troupes. I thought I had no chance, the competition was more than five people for one place. But I was so interested, I wanted so much so in the end I passed, I achieved my goal. Hopefully, it will be the same with the closest goals in figure skating.
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