Misha Mitrofanov: “I tried to persuade Audrey and show her that there are excellent universities in Boston city too. But if it’s her dream, she should follow her heart.”

Posted on 2023-07-05 • No comments yet


Interview with American pair skater Misha Mitrofanov about ending his partnership with Audrey Lu and teaming up with Alisa Efimova.

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source: MatchTV dd 4th July by Maksim Khorenkov

Misha Mitrofanov was born in the United States; his parents moved from Russia in the 90s. Recently, the 26-year-old figure skater changed his partner and started performing with Alisa Efimova, who has already switched federations three times. The coaches of the pair are also originally from Russia.

In an interview with “Match TV,” Misha talked about significant changes in his career.

Why did your partnership with Audrey Lu end?

Misha Mitrofanov: Audrey really wanted to go to university, and I suggested she apply somewhere in Boston, but she dreamed of studying in California. Since we train in Boston, I realized that we wouldn’t be able to work together anymore. I tried to persuade her and show her that there are excellent universities in this city too. But if it’s her dream, she should follow her heart.

It was very difficult because we skated together for six years, became very good friends, and I considered her my little sister. Now we don’t communicate much; she’s busy with her studies. I also have little free time: either I skate or train children.

Can we say that Lu has definitively ended her career?

Misha Mitrofanov: Yes. When she went to university, she ended her career in pair skating.

Did you immediately start looking for a new partner?

Misha Mitrofanov: After the split, I wondered whether I should continue. I decided that I wanted to pursue it further and started looking for a new partner a couple of weeks later. I realized that the dream of making it to the Olympics is still alive. I have to strive and do everything possible for that.

Why did you choose Alisa Efimova as your partner?

Misha Mitrofanov: I met Alisa when she was working with Tamara Moskvina in St. Petersburg. We trained there for three weeks with my former partner. When I found out that their pair with Ruben had split, I messaged her and offered to try skating together.

Alisa is great; she skates well. Adaptation will take time; in July, it will only be a month since we started working together. However, we have good communication, both of us speak Russian, and the coaches are also Russian speakers.

Did you consider other potential partners before her?

Misha Mitrofanov: There were other options, but Alisa was the best fit based on our body parameters and height. We quickly came together, and so far, things are going well; we immediately felt a connection.

Did you help her with the adaptation?

Misha Mitrofanov: Yes, I help as much as I can. Alisa is a great person, very independent. I have nothing but respect for her.

You work in the USA, but everyone around you speaks Russian…

Misha Mitrofanov: It’s a big plus that we all share the same homeland; it helps. Our coaches came to Dallas in the 90s and lived there for a long time. Then the opportunity to work in Boston appeared.

You mentioned that you dream of competing in the Olympics. There might be problems with Alisa’s passport.

Misha Mitrofanov: We’re sorting that out. I think there won’t be any problems; we have a plan of action.

What are your current goals?

Misha Mitrofanov: In this season, we can’t compete. The task is to perform well at our domestic competitions, prepare properly for the next season, and understand each other as best as possible.

You mentioned working with Tamara Moskvina. Can you tell us about that internship?

Misha Mitrofanov: The federation offered it, knowing that I speak Russian. Russia is one of the strongest countries in figure skating. Naturally, we immediately agreed.

Moskvina has a high level of training process; we understand why Russians skate so well and strive for such a system. My coach, Alexei Letov, built a similar system in Boston. Tamara Nikolaevna deserves respect; I only enjoyed working with her. It’s evident that she loves this sport and knows everything about figure skating.

Let’s imagine that they offer you such an internship now. Would you agree?

Misha Mitrofanov: Yes, of course. But I understand that it’s practically unreal now. If they offer it in the future, I’ll agree.

How much longer do you see yourself in figure skating?

Misha Mitrofanov: I won’t linger. If there’s a reason to continue skating, I will. Currently, there is such a reason. If it disappears, then it’s time to finish.

You mentioned that you were interested in becoming a doctor in the future. Is that still the case?

Misha Mitrofanov: Not anymore. I’ve almost finished university, but I realize that it’s not my path. I plan to pursue management in hospitals, dealing with financial matters and administration.

Your parents immigrated in the 90s due to the difficult situation in the country. What kind of business did they have?

Misha Mitrofanov: They were distributors of chewing gum and candies. They sold that business a long time ago.

Does your family often reminisce about those times?

Misha Mitrofanov: Yes, sometimes my grandmother tells us stories. We have nothing but respect for that time. There were both good and bad moments, difficult ones. There were different stories related to criminal. One of them was when a package was sent to my father, but my great-grandfather opened it, and there was a bomb inside that blew his hand off. It was horrifying.

Throughout their time living in the USA, did your parents ever consider returning?

Misha Mitrofanov: Moving back is difficult. They used to think about it before, maybe going back… But in the end, they decided to stay.

What are they currently doing in the States?

Misha Mitrofanov: My mom is a realtor, selling homes in Texas, and my dad is involved in monitoring and oil analytics in the stock market.

Do you like any Russian music?

Misha Mitrofanov: I like “Lyube” and “DDT.” My parents used to listen to them live.


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