Natalia Bestemianova: Stepanova and Bukin are better than our first pair, but no one listens to me

Posted on 2017-03-22 • 1 comment


Only a week till World Championships, I think almost all figure skating fans super excited to watch the battle of quads in men’s figure skating, but among Russian fans…..even with Evgenia Medvedeva who most likely will become first Russian lady to win two titles in a row….it’s all about ice dance. What can I say? National tradition) And Natalia Bestemianova is already throwing gas onto the flames.

Translation of her recent comment about upcoming Worlds.

Whom do you follow closely?

– You probably know that Andrei’s son (Ivan Bukin) is skating at a high level. Before this season, we for the first time ever helped him. Previously, coaches did not allow Andrei to the training process. Probably, it was right because he’s  a dad. But last spring I called the coaches and said: “I can no longer wait, I am tearing apart from the desire to help! I can be really useful. If I will interfere, tell me. But I can only help with Andrei, it will be more convenient.” It seems that everyone is satisfied with our cooperation. The main thing is that athletes are satisfied.

Who else from the current skaters do you sympathize?

– Together with my husband Igor Bobrin, we participated in the training process of Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. When he was moving from juniors to the senior level, we worked with him several times a year: he came to us to Moscow, we came to him to Japan. This lasted several years, until he left to train with Brian Orser. He still greets us on the holidays. On the 30th anniversary of our theater he sent flowers, on the card it was written “To Sensei Natalya and Sensei Igor” and added congratulations and wishes. Signed “Your student Yuzuru Hanyu”.

An unforgettable thing happened at the Sochi Olympics. We arrived at the hotel for a meeting with the Japanese producer of ice shows. We entry the hotel there Yudzuru’s mother, father, representatives of the federation, judges are standing in a semicircle and bow to us and stand so for a long time. The girls at the reception were bug-eyed with surprise! Unforgettable feelings.

Who else?

–  I always look forward to Zhenya Medvedeva’s performances. She’s an extraordinary figure skater! I wonder how Maxim Kovtun will skate at this championships. He’s very good athlete.

What prevents him from achieving more?

– Nerves. I hope he learned to deal with them.

Stepanova and Bukin were fifth at the European Championships. What do you expect from them at Worlds?

– I’m expecting good performance. I’m sure they are better than our first pair (Bobrova / Soloviev- ed.). Believe me, my opinion is not biased. But no one listens to me. At the European Championships, all efforts were thrown to make the first pair champions. Stepanova and Bukin were sold and pushed aside. They put an Israelies, who had never beat them before, higher. As a result: Bobrova / Soloviev – third, Stepanova / Bukin – fifth, and all this mouse fuss did not bring anything good either one or the other.

Apparently, this is done for good purposes, to move up our leaders with an eye to the Olympics.

– It’s impossible to move up those who are not moving up. It was a shame. The judging panel, that was at the European Championship, must be dismissed from judging for many years. How can it be that at first one winner of the short dance was announced and in two hours – another. Such has never happened!

People have been talking about judging in figure skating as long as this sport exists. A new system of judging was introduced and it does not help. What to do?

– To train and be better than your competitors! Tatiana Anatolievna (Tarasova – ed.) has always taught us: you should be way better and they will not dare to underscore you.

by Oleg Chikiris for


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One response to “Natalia Bestemianova: Stepanova and Bukin are better than our first pair, but no one listens to me”

  1. Themainfan says:

    S/b need to start training to get more than level 2 elements like they did in euro short dance! So many level 2 elements is a sign of total incompetence either of skating or coaching!

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