Mikhail Kolyada: We skaters are like soldiers
Translation of the short interview with Mikhail Kolyada. About Olympics and Worlds.
Can you say that the bronze of the World Championships is a great ending of this difficult season for you?
– Performance in Milan is not the one I was pleased with. But the overall result I think is very positive. Our team did a great job, we came together before the World Championships because we understood: it’s always very difficult to start after the Olympic Games. And this bronze for me is an additional motivation to work seriously next season. Of course, it’s too early to talk about plans, but I think we must go forward, move towards new goals.
How do you assess your performance at the main сompetitions of the past four years – the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang? On the one hand, silver was won in the team event, on the other hand individual event were a pretty screwy competitions for you…
-I went to Korea, like into complete unknown, but with the feeling of a grandiose holiday. After all, I haven’t been at the Olympics before. And in this country I had only been on a transfer to a plane. Four performances per competitions it’s unusual. Not everything turned out at the Games, I could have skated better, but many athletes have been going to these competitions all their life, and I’m among them. And I liked the team event more – teammates really supported and physical resources, apparently, were exhausted there. Excitement played a cruel joke. You can make excuses for a long time, but I will not do it. In general, if we talk about my failures at the Games, the season turned out to be instructive. I think that the Olympics were the beginning of a long, but interesting journey.
The famous Canadian specialist Brian Orser, watching you from the outside, concluded: your current problems are not connected with technical level or physical readiness, but with psychology …
– Perhaps Orser is right. In fact, I do not feel big problems with my head, but with three quadruple jumps planned in the program and they are all different, then it’s really hard to focus.
What experience have you taken from this season?
– Back at the “bronze” European Championships in Moscow, I made sure that it is necessary to work harder. And my opinion has not changed. The more you work, the greater the confidence not only in practices, but also in competitions. This is very closely related. So I’ll have to learn new multi-rotational jumps.
To learn more multi-rotational jumps? But after all, the International Skating Union talk about the upcoming radical changes in the rules of figure skating – about reducing the time of the free program, in order to increase the number of participants, about limiting the number of quadruples …
– We skaters are like soldiers. What rules will be developed for us, we will compete in accordance with them. If it’s necessary, we will shorten the free program to keep within the allotted time. However, there are talks about these changes, but nobody knows the future. Today, figure skating has reached such a level that the participants of the World Championships jump all quads which are possible. Except the axel. It’s incredible. To complicate step sequences and spins. Earlier figure skating looked cool, beautiful, but in a different way. If only we could use the time machine to move back and change something. Because to do six quads it’s cosmis. Any health isn’t gonna be enough.
A whole industry works on two-time Olympic champion Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu – in particular, on trips to the competition he is accompanied by a whole team of bodyguard. And what about Russia?
– This is a philosophical theme. In Japan, figure skating is the number one sport. In Russia it’s not that popular in comparison with football. But those athletes who want to shield themselves from the public, find such an opportunity. But I like it when fans communicate with me, give gifts, take autographs, ask to get a photo. It’s very nice.
by Vladislav Panfilof for vecherka-spb.ru