Nina Mozer: Transfers this offseason remind show, and the result requires silence
Nina Mozer in an interview with “Soviet Sport” told about young pairs, why experienced pairs should not stay in sports for too long, Dmitri Aliev and Mikhail Kolyada and what she thinks about transfers of Eteri Tutberidze’s athletes.
by Oleg Chikiris for sovsport.ru dd 11th August 2020
This year the rules for the Grand Prix series have changed. Unlike previous years, each skater or pair will have not two qualifying stages, but one, so it will be similar to national championships. How do you feel about this ISU decision?
Nina Mozer: How can you feel about it? Life forced ISU to make such a decision. We have a pandemic in the world, and the international federation allows athletes to participate in competitions at least in this way. This is a new reality, force majeure.
Do you think ISU will be able to provide proper judging of such events with international judging teams? Or will only ours judge in Moscow, and the Japanese in Japan?
Nina Mozer: ISU cannot influence the decision of states during a pandemic. Now it is difficult to argue about judging teams at the Grand Prix stage in a particular country. Which country will be closed to citizens of certain countries. For example, the other day the European Union published a list of countries for which entry is open. Russia is not on this list yet.
In the last year or two, you have not been coaching a specific pair, you have provided consulting services. Are you going to work closely with anyone in the coming season?
Nina Mozer: I am the head coach of the school on Vorobyovy Gory. After the Games in Pyeongchang, I formed several junior groups. After a two years, these guys can seriously compete at a fairly high level.
Alina Pepeleva and Roman Pleshkov became the fifth at the national championship. Now we have made a new program for them. The guys have a very serious potential, I look at them and just enjoy it. This is a young beautiful pair, which has no analogues in Russia.
Another pair of ours – Diana Mukhametzyanova and Ilia Mironov won silver medals at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in January.
In general, there are four groups in our school, each has four pairs. All groups are very interesting. Young, ambitious coaches work with them.
I come – I look, I suggest. When you work all day at the boards, your eyes get blurry, you don’t notice some things. And so, with a fresh eye, I can see some nuances, and suggest something to our young coaches and their guys.
What are your first competitions on the calendar?
Nina Mozer: You can’t rush with young pairs, you can’t force preparation. Moreover, when there is such an unusual season ahead when nothing is really clear. Therefore, we have focused on calm work.
Nina Mozer: Junior test skates start in Novogorsk. We sent a letter to the federation asking them to give us the opportunity not to participate in these skates. We have just put new programs, they have not been prepared yet.
In your favorite pair skating, new strong pair have recently appeared only in Russia. Were you surprised that it was Aleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii Kozlovskii who made the breakthrough to the very top?
Nina Mozer: A holy place is never empty. Experienced pairs left, their place was taken by young, talented guys. Ksenia Stolbova and Andrei Novoselov did not continue their career. Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert had to complete their career due to health problems.
Therefore, everything did not happen suddenly.
After the Olympics in Pyeongchang, the teams of other countries also renewed. From the experienced pairs, only the Chinese Wenjing Sui – Cong Han remained. But here everything is obvious, they will skate until the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Speaking of a breakthrough, I would speak not only about Boikova and Kozlovski, but also about another young pair – Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin.
You mentioned Stolbova and Novoselov. Why did they decide to quit?
Nina Mozer: I have worked with this athlete for many years. I will say that she is very talented. And I don’t want to say anything more about her.
You said that the pair Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert ended their careers. How is Alexander’s health now?
Nina Moser: Now everything is ok. Sasha can’t do sports professionally, but his health is fine. I think soon our paths will cross. Apparently, we will work together, but it’s too early to talk about it.
Apollinaria Panfilova and Dmitri Rylov moved to seniors, having won almost all everything in junior competition. But they don’t have triple jumps. How do you see their perspective?
Nina Mozer: There’s no perspective, there is nothing to do without triple in senior competitions. You can skip this in juniors. But in seniors pairs jump not one, but two side by side triples. They have clear technical gaps.
For example, our pair Diana Mukhametzyanova and Ilia Mironov jump triple lutz and triple flip. They are 10 points ahead of Panfilova and Rylova in these elements.
But at the Youth Olympics in Lausanne, your pair lost to Panfilova and Rylov …
Nina Mozer: The guys are just younger, they did not have time to prepare some pair elements – lifts, twists. But time will tell what both couples can achieve in the future. Junior and senior sports are two big differences.
Do you have any information whether the pair Alena Savchenko / Bruno Massot will return to the sport?
Nina Mozer: I read that Alena wants to return, but Bruno doesn’t. He also had back problems. On the one hand, it’s good that such skaters are returning. On the other hand, it’s not very good when people don’t leave for a long time. The judges get used to them, the authority of the athletes puts pressure on them, and the judges are set for high marks. Because of this, young people lose motivation, which affects the development of the entire discipline.
Let’s move on to men. Breakthrough of Dmitri Aliev, who won the European Championships, will it last long?
Nina Mozer: Dima is a unique talent. He needs to get stronger psychologically. Any athlete experiences discomfort while waiting for the start. As soon as Dima has confidence in himself and discomfort before the start is transformed into normal pre-start excitement, he will become a fighter.
Aliev won the European Championships, but there are no Japanese or Americans …
Nina Mozer: That’s right, but I saw Aliev at Skate America, where all the strongest skated. He looked decent against the background of such rivals. Dima took second place after the short program. And for the first time I saw Aliev in the short program at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, and I really liked his skating. Since then, he has improved.
What are the chances of Mikhail Kolyada to return to the elite with the new coach Alexei Mishin?
Nina Mozer: Professor Mishin knows how to do very good things. Misha was devoted to his previous coach for a long time (Valentina Chebotareva – Ed.), he did not want and did not try to change. Kolyada is very light, high-speed. He has a lot of advantages. And it is quite possible that in the experienced hands of Professor Mishin we will see a new Kolyada.
We cannot skip the topic of several girls leaving Eteri Tutberidze.
Nina Mozer: In general, I do not want to talk on this topic … For me, this is some kind of show. Let’s talk about the girls when the competition starts. I think this change of coach is a significant step backward.
And this endless publicity, constant discussions in the media, posting their personal life on social networks, in the end, girls won’t benefit from scandals. Why is there no such publicity in pair skating, ice dance?
The result requires silence. Eteri is a wonderful specialist and she gives results. We need to support her.