Mikhail Kolyada: “Returning is always difficult and interesting.”
Interview with Mikhail Kolyada. About returning to the international arena, Worlds, changing costumes and the concept of freedom and happiness.
source: olympicchannel.com dd. 11th April 2021, by Tatjana Flade
If you analyze your performance at the World Championships, what will this analysis be?
Mikhail Kolyada: As I’ve already said, returning is always difficult and interesting. Of course, there are shortcomings, we’ll work on them very hard. Alexei Nikolaevich leads, and I just follow him. I do what he says. If we take into account the free program, then initially the (quadruple) salchow was planned as the first element. But the coach said that we skate with two toe loops.
How did you feel at the World Championships in the short and free program? In the short program, you got into an early warm-up, almost like in Boston in 2016 where you skated in the first warm-up.
Mikhail Kolyada: Now I got into the third one. Everything was fine in the short program, because I understood that the strongest guys would skate after, therefore, we woldn’t skate at the same training sessions. This circumstance did not add additional nerves. It was a good, working performance.
Many athletes are very nervous about the short program, because a lot depends on it. American Vincent Zhou, bronze medalist of the last World Championships, for example, did not get into the free program.
Mikhail Kolyada: Yes, he didn’t succeed. It is clear that many guys did not have competitions this season except for the Grand Prix, which took at home. Those for some guys it was the second, third competition, fourth … I think it was easier for the Russian skaters in this regard, because for me, for example, it was the eighth start, not taking into account the test skates. We competed a lot, and showing programs in public is not the same as showing them in training. People of a serious level performed in Stockholm, and it was in my head that it was the World Championships and, of course, it was necessary to approach it with maximum responsibility. Not everything worked out in the free program, but in terms of the emotions it was the best performance.
What other positive moments from your performance at Worlds can you point out?
Mikhail Kolyada: I can’t describe right away, there are a lot of moments. Of course, you can and you need to analyze each performance, you need to think and plan how to move on, what needs to be done for this, to work out the strategy.
There were no popped jumps.
Mikhail Kolyada: Yes. That’s what we are working on.
How do you see your development in general this season?
Mikhail Kolyada: My answer is simple – I saw the development, felt it and I’m not going to stop there. I started to work with Alexei Mishin only in mid-June and will continue to train according to his system.
Before the World Championships, you unexpectedly changed your costume for the free program.
Mikhail Kolyada: There were contradictory opinions about the costume. The idea was a ballet training costume. We couldn’t make a complete copy, because the ballet dancers have different ones … it just won’t look good on the ice. And so it looks nice and seems clear that it will be a ballet. Wearing this costume, I even began to feel a little differently. As I said earlier, the feeling of the program comes to me from what I wear. If I’m wearing a jacket, I start to make some movements that are not typical for me, but it all comes from the artistic image – some manners, moves, facial expressions, literally everything starts to change. When I put on a new costume for the free program and look at myself in the mirror, I want to stretch out, to grow another couple of centimeters. I like the costume. I looked at myself on the screen and realized that if you do not know me personally, no one will say that I am 168 cm. Maria (Evstigneeva – designer) is great.
When did this costume appear?
Mikhail Kolyada: Not long before the World Championships. I tried it a couple of times in trainings. One day Alexei Nikolaevich just came and said: “We will make a new costume.” I said, “Okay.” We phoned, sent a sketch, agreed and sewed everything. By the way, I like that the costume doesn’t have a single rhinestone. Rhinestones are not needed there. Yes, maybe it is not as light and airy as the previous costume, but it is also good in its own way.
The color of the first costume is very beautiful. But this one, gray, in my opinion, also suits the image well.
Mikhail Kolyada: But the contrast is good. The ice is white, I am all gray-black, that is, you can see me well.
Your program “White Crow” has become very popular, it was received very well. Maybe you want to keep it for next season?
Mikhail Kolyada: I can’t answer this question now. I want something different, I want to try myself in some other style. I think we will change both programs. But as practice shows, Alexei Nikolaevich, most likely, already has some plans in this regard.
This season you offered the music for the short program yourself.
Mikhail Kolyada: Yes, Alexei Nikolaevich immediately agreed, and there were no long disputes about the music.
Which image is closer to you?
Mikhail Kolyada: Oddly enough, the artistic image of Nureyev is closer. I just feel this particular music better, accents, every wave of my finger. I am not a ballet dancer, not even close, but for some reason this program awakens emotions in me, which, one might say, create something unique.
It seems to me that this program suits you also because it is deep.
Mikhail Kolyada: Yes, this image touches your soul. The music is so heartfelt and the program, everything came together very well.
I think that “White Raven” suits you very much for another reason. I remember that in one of the interviews you once said that in childhood you felt like a black sheep. Why?
Mikhail Kolyada: There are many reasons. One of them is sports. I couldn’t just go for a walk with the guys after school, because there were trainings. Everyone has three months of summer vacation, and I have three weeks.In kindergarten, I remember, I trained in the morning, so my mother was bringing in dinner time, I had dinner, went to bed, and the children did not understand where I was in the morning. I do not remember whether I told them or not that I do sports. I can’t say that I’m not like everyone else, no, every person is unique in his own way. I see a situation and begin to examine it from different angles, sometimes I see some small details that many would not notice. Over the years, this has become more and more apparent.
It feels that you have your own perspective on everything.
Mikhail Kolyada: It’s true.
The uniqueness is interesting.
Mikhail Kolyada: In general, I can’t imagine if I was born, say, in the Soviet Union, I would not be able to come to terms with the fact that everyone has everything the same: white shirts, blue jackets, red ties.
Without freedom of choice.
Mikhail Kolyada: As for me it’s unacceptable. Of course, I cannot say this for sure, since I was born after that era, but judging by the stories, everything was so
Of course, for a certain period of time I can concentrate and do everything the same way. For example, if you take the training process, then I try to do everything step by step every day, from day to day the same thing, a system appears. Then I understand that this is what drives me forward. But sometimes the soul asks for a flight.
That’s exactly what Alexei Nikolaevich said, that you needed a system.
Mikhail Kolyada: He immediately understood that. And I, as it were, did not understand then why it’s necessary. I think that there is no question that he could not answer.
What does freedom mean to you?
Mikhail Kolyada: I consider myself a free poet. Of course, I have obligations to my family, to myself, to my coach. In general, no one cannot forbid me to do something. For me, freedom is freedom of action. When I feel the flight of thoughts and understand that they hear me, whether at home or on the ice, then I am happy.
What is happiness for you?
Mikhail Kolyada: For me, life is happiness. I am happy when I come home, happy when I go on the ice. I feel this state literally from every day and action.
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