Sara Hurtado: “When war in Ukraine started, our day to day routine, workplace, our home and our professional project fell apart. We barely had three days to leave Moscow and bring Kirill’s wife and child.”
Interview with Spanish ice dancer Sara Hurtado. About environment and war than affected her career and decision to retire.
source: lavanguardia.com dd. 25th June 2022 by Sergio Heredia
Video-converting the interview with Sara, the interview says that in the background the song of the birds in her garden in Las Rozas can be heard.
Sara Hurtado: I am lucky. I can’t complain.
Have you heard of garbage? I had the opportunity to face this porblem a few years ago, when I joined the Athletes for Good program, a charitable initiative of P&G and the IOC, and I went to see the Ecomar project (Ecomar fights pollution and waste in water). Suddenly, I found myself visiting rivers and lakes, touching and weighing the waste that we throw into nature.
Does it make you doubt the human being?
Sara Hurtado: It makes me quite sad that we tend so much to denaturation. Everything is throwaway, we consume thinking only of the economic factor, and we do not consider what is behind a product, what materials are used, where they come from. Luckily, I see awareness in the children, in the youth that comes after us, the kids who came with me to collect trash in the lakes and rivers.
Where does this awareness come from?
Sara Hurtado: I find it shocking to see the poles thawing. Think that my sport, figure skating, is born from that environment, from the ice, from the frozen rivers and lakes and from the people who, decades ago, put bones to their shoes to move around. When I think about it, I feel like the foundation of my sport is gone. The disease of the planet is caused by us, not to mention wars…
Let’s talk about wars. You have also been affected…
(A few weeks ago, Sara Hurtado and her skating partner Kirill Khaliavin announced that they were retiring from figure skating; together, they had been Olympians in 2018)
Sara Hurtado: Definitely! The war in Ukraine has accelerated the process. When everything started, our day to day routine was dynamited. Our workplace, our home and our professional project fell apart. We barely had three days to leave Moscow and bring Kirill’s wife and child. He already had Spanish citizenship, but he had been born there and had done his military service. They could call him up at any moment, they could give him weapons…
What happened later?
Sara Hurtado: We’ve been thinking about it for months now. The pre-Olympic year was difficult. We had emptied ourselves to be in Beijing 2022, but we had not achieved it. It was already clear that we would not have strength for another Olympic cycle. Maybe we would have gone for another year or two… Everything got broken when the war started. We had to come to Madrid, we didn’t have ice hours or coaches, we didn’t see a way to resume trainings. The Ice Federation raised the possibility of going to another country, but the effort was expensive and we did not have the motivation we used to. I didn’t expect to see myself like this, starting from scratch again. I thought that, at this point in my career, and with my sporting status, I would have everything figured out. And yet, I saw myself as in my beginnings, and also disoriented.
What will you do now?
Sara Hurtado: I give lessons. I’m still on the ice, but behind the boards. I have four girls between La Nevera de Majadahonda and the Ice Palace. I help them with the creative part, with step sequences. Together with Kirill, we are also taking a junior ice dance pair. They will show themselves very soon. Remember the names: Sofia Val and Alexandre Gnedin.
What should we expect from them?
Sara Hurtado: I hope they will be better than Kirill and me.
And then she traveled to the past, to her beginnings in skating, when she was an eight-year-old kid her parents had taken her and her brother Javier to that ice rink in Majadahonda, instilling in her the passion to figure skating.
Sara Hurtado: Skating found me. I told: ‘I’m staying’.
What about your brother?
Sara Hurtado: Well, Javier was there for a while. Then he became a chef. But look: his name is Javier and he was born on April 15, 1991, the same day as Javier Fernández, my other brother. How curious life is, right?
Related topics: Sara Hurtado Kirill Khaliavin
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