Marina Zueva: Figure skating is 50% sport and 50% art

Posted on 2017-11-30 • 7 comments


Short interview with Marina Zueva, translation. About Maia and Alex Shibutani, men’s figure skating and Patrick Chan.

Marina, what Alex and Maia lack to defeat the world’s leading duos Virtue / Moir and Papadakis / Cizeron?

– Alex and Maia won Skate America today – everything was enough. When they meet (in the Grand Prix final) with other duets, we’ll see what happens next.

The situation when you coached constant rivals (Virtue / Moir and Davis / White, whom Marina coached for more than 10 years-the author’s comment) was it comfortable for you personally?

– For me it was comfortable. It’s rare situation, but it happens. For me it was not a problem, because each student I give everything I can and create the same conditions to win. The one who is more healthy and prepared at the time of the competition, because in sports a lot depends on health or injuries, that one wins.

In professional figure skating you started as a choreographer. Do you feel more like a coach or a choreographer now?

– Figure skating is 50% sport and 50% art, especially in ice dance. I believe that choreographic education is necessary for a coach, even if he does not do programs. A coach works on programs every day and should have an idea of the choreography, choice of music, it is important to have versatile knowledge. This applies not only to ice dance. In Russia I worked only with pairs and singles, I started to work with dancers already in Canada and America.

Speaking about single skating, with the development of the jumping complexity of the programs, do you think it is possible to set and successfully solve artistic tasks?

– Of course, strategy is very important here – which jumps to put in the program. This is the work of the coach, the choreographer follows the coach’s instructions and listens to the requests of the athlete. Of course, this situation is new. Last year, I had to answer this new challenge for the first time, programs with lot of quadruple jumps. This is a completely different work of the choreographer – to make a wise layout of the program. There has never been such an experience, everyone who is doing it now – putting, for example, six quads in the program – does it for the first time. This is a challenge, an experiment, this is a serious work of thought. Here you need reason and skills rather than inspiration. Well, of course you need an inspiration too.

Athletes come to you in American, Michigan from around the world. How do you think, what does “brand” Marina Zueva mean to them, why do they come?

– In some cases, they come to get specific help in choreographing and working on programs, solving some technical issues, but also for them it is an opportunity to get energy. From me personally. I am happy to share all my strong positive energy with them.

At that moment, American journalists approached Marina to clarify the situation with her other skater – Patrick Chan.

– You should ask Patrick himself. He’s in Vancouver now. He must decide everything for himself. I adore him, I’m ready to start working at any time. He is the best “performer” in the world. This was him who began a new era in men’s single skating. Patrick is still young, he should continue to skate, as long as possible! I experience his problems together with him, fatigue, all this is not easy … But his skating is unique, unforgettable, no one can compare with him.

by Victor Burdman for

Ok, the last paragraph really scares me(


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7 Responses to “Marina Zueva: Figure skating is 50% sport and 50% art”

  1. skating fan says:

    I got intrested in figure skating when I saw in Sochi Stolbova & Klimov’s FP to the Addams Family- and I was really excited to see my first OG as a fan, knowing more about this sport. But now, I don’t know, perhaps I’m little fed up with the Olympic season. For three seasons in the row, there weren’t so many old programs, injuries, mental breakdowns or other issues causing that skaters suffer and are overworking themselves, which is sad. Or maybe my perception of this season is wrong?

    • FS Gossips says:

      Oh, this season is already to dramatic and I’m afraid to think what can happen next. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Olympics, because it’s become more and more about politics than about actual sport.

  2. Lotte says:

    The paragraph about Patrick is pretty much disturbing… Do you know what she’s referring to? Does Patrick think about quitting?

    • FS Gossips says:

      No, I don’t know what she was trying to say, except for “He has some problems, but she isn’t in a position to speak about it” and that’s sounds very disturbing( So, I quess it’s not injury

      • Lotte says:

        I love Patrick and I hope it’s nothing serious. I’m worried whether he has some Gracie-like problems. If so – Patrick, it’s no shame to suffer from depression.

        • FS Gossips says:

          Patrick is a special skater for me, so I really do care what’s going on with him. But I don’t want to make any guesses and feed the rumours. Of course it’d be much better for him to make some comment. Short comment about his plans would have been enough.

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