Sofia Samodurova: “Mom suggested me finishing my sports career. But I like what I do, the training process itself”
Interview with Sofia Samodurova. A couple of hours before the show in honor of Mishin’s anniversary, Sport24 correspondent talked with Sonia about this season competitions, plans, criticism of judging, hobbies, tattoos and friendship with Liza Tuktamysheva.
source: sport24.ru dd. 16th March 2021, by Konstantin Lesik
Sofia Samodurova: I wish all the best to Alexei Nikolaevich! First of all, health. And good athletes.
Such as you.
Sofia Samodurova: Not really. Better (laughs).
Do you remember your first meeting with him?
Sofia Samodurova: I came to the group of Tatyana Nikolaevna Mishina and Oleg Stanislavovich Tataurov, who worked in our team then. At some point, Alexei Nikolaevich came to look at me. I performed all the jumps one by one, starting with the toe loop and salchow. So it came to the triple lutz, which I did not jump then. Fell the first time, the second. But I did it on the third try.
For this Alexei Nikolaevich presented me a gift box: there was perfume, body cream and something else. It was incredibly nice.
How would you sum up this season?
Sofia Samodurova: I am satisfied with the last competition – the Russian Cup Final. Although it started quite dramatically, the first element did not work out (Sofia doubled a flip, – ed). I just wanted to get off the ice not even finishing the program. I never make mistakes on the first jump. Moreover, in the first half.
But I am glad that I was able to pull myself together and finish the program. Thanks to the unreal support of the audience. I really enjoyed it. I haven’t had such feelings for a long time.
This season all your major competitions were held in Russia. How do you like this format?
Sofia Samodurova: It’s good that we had competitions. No matter where. The main thing is to get feedback from the audience and to please the coach. Of course, I would like to go abroad. But this format also worked out well.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Sofia Samodurova: To master the triple axel. And to start preparing programs. It is not clear yet about the training camps.
Are you planning to keep the programs for next year?
Sofia Samodurova: I already have an idea for the new free program. There are some thoughts about the short one, but there are many questions. All this should be discussed and agreed with the coaches. Of course, I will change the programs. We need to keep up and try to make the programs better and better.
Is the triple axel close?
Sofia Samodurova: Now we work more on fully rotation than on landing. Last year I landed it, but there was a big under-rotation. If Alexei Nikolaevich says that triple axel is coming soon, it means that it will be soon. I feel that I can do it, I feel the progress.
In one of your interviews, you mentioned a quadruple toe loop…
Sofia Samodurova: Last time I tried it about a year ago. In the meantime, all my efforts are aimed at the triple axel.
What are you missing to finally master it?
Sofia Samodurova: If you look at my double axel, you will see that I am flying head first. It’s hard to switch and not do it on a triple one. This inclination is not needed before the jump, I need more stopper and more height.
Is the unpleasant period of growing up, when skaters have problems with jumping, behind?
Sofia Samodurova: This period fell on the last season. It was hard then. But I fought. And in my opinion I performed successfully. I did not give myself a slack at the main competitions. Now these problems are gone. My shape has stabilized, I can go forward.
I have no problem keeping the weight anymore. Issues with extra pounds are a thing of the past. I don’t even want to think of my shape that summer (laughs).
Do you have to watch your diet?
Sofia Samodurova: The main thing is not to eat something flour, sweet in the afternoon. But sometimes I allow myself to do it. I look at my condition.
In your interviews after the performances, we can often hear criticism of the judging. Is it emotions or do you really think that you should be scored higher?
Sofia Samodurova: To some extent it’s emotions, but this season at some points I am ready to argue with the judges. Even Aleksei Nikolaevich told me that in some moments they could have gave me more points. Therefore, there are moments where I disagree.
You already have 15 thousand subscribers in tiktok.
Sofia Samodurova: Wow, I don’t even follow this. It’s just for fun. There is no content plan and some goal.
Now you’re a first-year student at Lesgaft university. Is it difficult to combine study with training?
Sofia Samodurova: Somewhere easier, somewhere it’s hard. In general, it is difficult, but possible. I do not miss trainings, they are above all. And the teachers understand this. Although not all of them (smiles).
You have a lioness tattoo in your subscapularis. Why did you do it?
Sofia Samodurova: This is my zodiac sign. Many people associate me with a lioness. And I have a fighting character, even Alexei Nikolaevich says that I am like a tank. I think this is the perfect tattoo for me.
In one of your interviews, you said that your mother suggests you finishing your sports career. Has it changed now?
Sofia Samodurova: She doesn’t persuade me. Just suggests. She understands that it’s hard for me. After all, there are unsuccessful trainings. This is my mother, she worries about me. Like any mother.
(Sonya suddenly had tears, we take a short pause)
Is something wrong?
Sofia Samodurova: No, no, it’s alright. It’s just that my mother is abroad now. I haven’t seen you for a long time, I miss her. Now she has left for Kazakhstan. Works in a construction company. She’s a very demanded person in this business. She should come back at the end of March.
How do you find motivation?
Sofia Samodurova: I just like what I do. The training process itself. This feeling intensified after the free program at the Russian Cup Final. I left the ice and realized that I enjoyed it, gave all of myself on the ice and get the energy back from the audience. I get new strengths and the even bigger motivation to work.
Of course, there were thoughts of giving up and leaving sport. Mostly last season. But I calm down very quickly, thinking to myself: “What are you doing, you like it.” Still these are all short-term emotions. There have never been any serious intentions and discussions with the coaches about ending my career.
Do you have any age mark to which you would like to skate?
Sofia Samodurova: I live for today. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.
At the Russian Cup Final, you waited for Liza Tuktamysheva for about ten minutes while she was giving an interview. And then hugged her very warmly. Do you remember your emotions at that moment?
Sofia Samodurova: I was very and sincerely happy for Liza. We communicate very well. I communicate well not with everyone from the group. Maybe with two people. And Liza is one of them. I just know how she trains. I know how long she has been going to this World Championships, how she gives all of herself on the ice.
A person fights in competitions, finds motivation to continue performing, although this year she will be 25 years old. It worth a lot. I am sincerely happy for her.
Have you started to communicate more closely lately?
Sofia Samodurova: Yes of course. Especially this season. In the summer we spent a lot of time together, walking. And somehow we got closer.
Did you like her photo session?
Sofia Samodurova: Yes, why not? Very beautiful!
There were many comments.
Sofia Samodurova: This is the magazine “Maxim” after all. Whoever goes there, it will always cause great resonance. And unfortunately you won’t do without negative reviews. Someone takes it fine and someone says: “Oh, what a horror.” I really liked it. But the most important thing is that Liza liked it.
Could you take part in such a photo session yourself?
Sofia Samodurova: I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it (laughs).
The fans were invited to ask Sonya questions in the author’s telegram channel. We publish some of them.
What would you do if not figure skating?
Sofia Samodurova: The first option is vocals. I sing every day! The second is dancing. I started doing it recently. Perhaps, after the end of my career, I will try to realize myself in singing: you can find a good studio, record your song. I’m not sure about the album yet. I don’t know if I have enough vocabulary and inspiration (laughs).
Do you have best friends?
Sofia Samodurova: Yes, there are two of them. Also figure skaters – Alina Solovyova and Sonya Shevchenko. Sonya lives in Moscow, but we are great friends at a distance, we talk on the phone.
What is your most memorable competition?
Sofia Samodurova: European Championships 2019. I have only positive emotions. Although I don’t watch those performances. And I don’t recall it on purpose. It was and it passed. There is no such thing that I am nostalgic, open YouTube and turn on performances in Minsk. I watch my performance only right after competitions in order to analyze mistakes.
I can also single out the World Championships and the World Team Trophy. Then we had a very close-knit team – everyone supported each other. In addition, at that time our team had such reputable personalities for me as Vika Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, Natasha Zabijako and Sasha Enbert.
Do you have something to say to the fans at the end of the interview?
Sofia Samodurova: This season, the support of my fans has never been greater. I remember how they stood up for me when I did not agree with the judges. I read a lot of comments: “Sonya is fighting”, “Sonya is great.” I will say this, I coped with this season largely thanks to your support. Thank you very much.
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