Mikhail Kolyada: “There will be something interesting, most likely will show it at the Russian Nationals”
Interview with Mikhail Kolyada. About programs and preparation to Russian Nationals.
source: fsrussia.ru 12th December 2021 by Olga Ermolina and Tatjana Flade
We agreed to make this interview on the day of gala exhibitions at the Iceberg arena in Sochi. Misha immediately agreed. I must say, we have never had any communication problems. The stereotype that Kolyada is taciturn, ignores the media, was mostly invented by the journalists themselves. In all his interviews Kolyada repeated many times that he prefers not to speak, but to do. But in life, not everything succeeds at once and turns out smoothly. To avoid mistakes, you need to gain experience, and, gaining experience, you make mistakes. In Sochi, Kolyada won his second silver at the Grand Prix series and qualified for the Final, becoming the only Russian athlete in men’s singles skating there. His performance on the Olympic ice in Sochi wasn’t perfect. We started our conversation summing up the results of this competitions.
Misha, what are the pros and cons of the Grand Prix in Sochi?
Mikhail Kolyada: I’ll start with the pros, because it’s important for me at the moment. After unsuccessful jumps I managed to pull myself together and finish the program – this is a pros. Of the cons – I didn’t show all the elements in the program, although I know for sure that I can do them, but I could not get them together. I know why this is happening, but I don’t want to talk about it out loud. Seriously.
Things you don’t want to talk about are they fixable?
Mikhail Kolyada: Yes. I think we will change something in the near future.
In training or in programs? You can make changes in your trainings, you can change the order of the elements or something else?
Mikhail Kolyada: As for the elements, maybe. Alexei Nikolaevich has certain thoughts on this matter. This morning (the day of gala performances at the Grand Prix in Sochi – ed.) I didn’t manage to try it well, although I consider training before gala as a regular training. But there were a lot of people on the ice, the light was constantly changing, there were many confusing factors. But I think we’ll get to the point where everything is more stable than it is now.
Probably, at the “home” event there was more desire to show yourself, and this is always difficult. Right?
Mikhail Kolyada: It was a little more difficult. At home, you always want to show your best sides, and this is the main difficulty – not to show yourself on thousand percent, but to do exactly what you can.
Before this competitions, you had to go to the Challenger in Graz, but you had to cancel the trip due to illness. How much did it complicate the further preparation?
Mikhail Kolyada: Almost the whole our group got sick, that’s why it was decided to skip the competitions in Graz. Why take risks? To take pills and skate programs in such a state?
Of course, after the illness it was a little harder to prepare for the Grand Prix. For a while, I didn’t skate at all. Then I had to recover. But overall, I think the preparation went well.
Liza Tuktamysheva admitted that she was very worried while waiting for the test results. And you?
Mikhail Kolyada: I will say this: thank God, it was not a covid. Seriously. Getting sick is generally unpleasant.
Two Grand Prix are behind, you qualified for the Final, the only one of our male single skaters. What does it mean for you?
Mikhail Kolyada: To be honest, I tried not to think about it. I just worked and didn’t look far ahead. I just concentrated on what I was doing this day, this minute.
And yet, the Grand Prix Final is a prestigious competition where six strongest skaters participate.
Mikhail Kolyada: It’s great that these competitions are held at such a fast pace – I came, warmed up, one warm-up, I skated and I left. That’s all.
Like fast chess.
Mikhail Kolyada: Exactly.
Let’s talk about programs. You had several options for the short program, in the end you chose The Nutcracker. Will there be any more dramatical changes?
Mikhail Kolyada: We discussed with the coaches and there will be something interesting that we most likely will show at the Russian Nationals.
Which program is closer to you – Schindler’s List, The White Crow, which you skated last season, or The Nutcracker? After all you suggested Tchaikovsky’s music.
Mikhail Kolyada: In terms of the emotional component, “The White Crow” is closer to me, because I skated it more. The “Nutcracker” is only now starting to shine, and I’m just starting to deliver this program. I like that in current version of The Nutcracker, first there is a little “wooden” choreography, and then – classics, classics.
Initially, the entire program, from the first to the last movement, was choreographed in a classical way, and Alexei Nikolaevich did not like it. We started looking for new options, did the second, third program, but in the end we returned to where we started.
But I must say that Ilia Averbukh added a lot of new ideas to this program. It so happens, a creative person seems to go into a trance, a Muse visits him, and then very unusual interesting ideas are born. Honestly, it was hard when we were finalizing The Nutcracker. I had to get up very early, I wanted to sleep, but, overcoming all these difficulties, I was drawn into this process, I became very interested in what we were doing. When I returned to St. Petersburg and showed the program to Alexei Nikolaevich, he took it carefully, but looked closely and said: “Yes, we will keep it. Good!”
“The Nutcracker” and “The White Crown” are balletic programs in some sense…
Mikhail Kolyada: But in the “White Crow” it’s not pure classics, although there are lines, everything should be beautiful, but without rigid frames. Everything about this program is so fluid and it looks good. And I feel the music well and I can express it, present it. It seems to me that there’s not too much classics in both programs – classic moves are well combined with everything else.
This’s Olympic season and you have experience of preparing and performing at the Olympic Games. What would you take from the past experience and what would you give up?
Mikhail Kolyada: It cannot be compared. Not at all. I understand that a lot of mistakes were made then. I admit that. But I have admitted it, realized it and continue to work. And I will continue to work.
I have already said that for me the only difference between the Olympic and non-Olympic seasons is that another competition added – the Olympics. And every competition of the season should be approached calmly and consciously. Alexei Nikolaevich had much more Olympics than me. And I rely a lot on him in this matter, because he knows how to lead an athlete to any competitions.
What does Alexei Nikolaevich say?
Mikhail Kolyada: Smart things. Many things. But I don’t want to show all my cards. Alexei Nikolaevich is a wise man. I’m learning from him. Every day.
Lately, there have been many dramatic changes in your life. Who at this stage has the greatest influence on you?
Mikhail Kolyada: Dasha. My wife. This is true. With her appearance, everything has changed in my life: perception, attitude, vision and awareness of what was happening around, and some kind of clarity appeared. I have become a different person next to Dasha.
And the black and white world became colored.
Mikhail Kolyada: You could say that.
Some people often look back and fix on their mistakes. Others immediately forget about the bad things and go ahead. What category do you belong to?
Mikhail Kolyada: Neither one nor the other. I’m one of those who learn from their mistakes, look ahead and do not forget to watch you step. Because if you go uphill, you see only the top in front of you and forget to watch you step, you may not get there.
You just need to work. And gradually, step by step, move towards the goal. There is no other recipe. Sitting in a chair and meditating for hours will not help.
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