Mark Kondratyuk: likes Orwell, paints and dreams of getting to the Olympics
Interview with Mark Kondratiuk. Mark is 17-year-old single skater, bronze medalist of the 2021 Russian Nationals, participant of the Channel One Cup. Besides, he is also a painter.
source: sovsport.ru dd. 31st May 2021
You made a splash at the Channel One Cup this season. Tell us how did you qualified to participate there?
Mark Kondratiuk: Skaters were invited there based on the results of the Russian Nationals, as well as some skaters who did not participate there, but objectively they are top athletes.
Such a competition was held for the first time. Share your impressions, did you like such format?
Mark Kondratiuk: I really liked it, it was something new. In fact, such formats already exist. For example, World Team Trophy or team event at the Olympic Games. But I haven’t been to such a team competitions, it was the first time for me, and it’s very cool. I especially liked that this is not just a competition, where everyone is for himself, but a really big work by a close-knit team. During these three days we’vs became a kind of family and sincerely supported each other, worried, helped. It was great.
You were the last chosen to the team, or rather, not even chosen, you just went to Zhenya Medvedeva. Was you upset?
Mark Kondratiuk: No, absolutely not. I understand that out of all six athletes, I am objectively the least to bet on, who just became the third at the Russian Nationals. I have no other merits, I was a dark horse. If I were in the place of one of the captains, I would do the same.
If next year the Channel One Cup takes place again and you’re invited there, will you take part in it?
Mark Kondratiuk: I will definitely go If i qualify. I liked it very much, I will be glad to participate. But it will depend on my skating and results.
How is the selection of music for programs carried out?
Mark Kondratiuk: Always different. Sometimes I bring something, often choreographers or coaches offer. This is an individual moment. In my case, choreographer suggested the short program and the free – Svetlana Vladimirovna (Sokolovskaya, Mark’s coach). She said to listen the tracks from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and choose the pieces that I like. I chose it and brought it to the choreographer. By the way, I was praised for the choice. The process is very creative and it’s great.
Have you already chosen music?
Mark Kondratiuk: Yes, the music has been selected, the programs are almost ready. The free program will be to a medley from a rock opera, but I will not say anything about the short program, let it remain a secret. The only thing I can say to intrigue you is that we have chosen the music from one famous TV series.
What is the current goal?
Mark Kondratiuk: Next year I want to go to the Olympic Games.
Have you ever had moments when you wanted to give up everything?
Mark Kondratiuk: It happened.
What helped to overcome this state?
Mark Kondratiuk: I divide such moments into two degrees of severity. The first is when you’re tired after training, you don’t want anything, this happens often. But these are fleeting thoughts that pass quickly. But the second degree happened only a couple of times. In those moments, everything was so bad that I wanted to leave the sport. One of these episodes, when I was ready to really give up everything, happened last winter. It so happened that I ended up in the hospital with a serious problem, after which I was scared to jump and nothing turned out in training. At that moment I realized that I could not do anything, that I no longer wanted to try.
I called a friend who finished her career. We agreed to meet and talk about what to do next. I was determined to quit. It so happened that I still went to the competitions, but I was sure that after that everything would be over. By some miracle, I skated very well there, and it became a turning point when I realized that I still need to continue and overcome difficulties.
What advice would you give to beginner skaters?
Mark Kondratiuk: Follow your dream and do everything to achieve it. Despite any difficulties. Sorry for the banality, but these are really sensible words (laughs).
Let’s talk about art and your hobbies. What and when prompted you to be creative?
Mark Kondratiuk: In the spring of 2017, I first visited London and went to an exhibition at the Tate modern museum, I did not understand anything. At that time, it seemed to me that this was some kind of nonsense. However, when I returned there a year later, I realized that it was a masterpiece. However, when I returned there a year later, I realized that it was a masterpiece. And these two events inspired me so much that two weeks after returning to Moscow, I was closely engage in this activity.
Top 3 Favorite Artists?
Mark Kondratiuk: Malevich, Basquiat, Hieronymus Bosch.
What inspires you to paint?
Mark Kondratiuk: Any manifestation of creativity. It can be books, music, paintings, movies, whatever. Some people are inspired by nature, but I am inspired by these things. But that doesn’t mean that I copy. I take some images and, if I may say so, experience.
Did you have a creative crisis, and if so, how did you overcome it?
Mark Kondratiuk: In quarantine, I had a complete breakdown, I fell into apathy. I got the feeling that everything I had done before was just not good enough. I don’t like it, but I can’t think of something new. I got out of this state when the I realized that soon I would go to the training camp, see my friends, go on the ice and stop just sitting at home because of the pandemic.
When was the last time you created something?
Mark Kondratiuk: Just a week ago, I’m getting ready for the exhibition.
When are you planning to hold it?
Mark Kondratiuk: I will try very hard to organize it in the summer.
Talking about exhibitions. Were those that you have already had successful?
Mark Kondratiuk: I think no. I am glad that I was able to organize them on my own, but, based on the number of visitors, I cannot name them as such. 200-300 people for me are neither fish nor flesh.
The question that interest all your followers: why do you use the combination of numbers 99 in your social networks?
Mark Kondratiuk: In fact, there is nothing mystical about it, as many people think. At the very beginning of my career, I was very worried about public opinion, and I did not want to face some kind of hate of my works. Therefore, I took the alias ninety.ninth. Now I don’t care, but I decided to keep the nickname as a keepsake. I like these numbers since childhood, in different games I also used two nines.
Now all your works are similar in style, are you considering an option, that you will change it?
Mark Kondratiuk: If I finish everything and the exhibition takes place, then you will see new styles there. I’ll tell you a secret: it won’t even be painting, but some kind of graphics.
You are known to read a lot, what are your favorite books?
Mark Kondratiuk: Pelevin “T”, “1984” and Orwell’s Animal Farm.
What about your top favorite movies?
Mark Kondratiuk: The Great Gatsby, The Fool, The Big Lebowski.
What are your positive and negative qualities?
Mark Kondratiuk: Openness, kindness, positivity. I would single out procrastination from the bad ones.
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