Stanislava Konstantinova: “The worst thing you can do trying to defend Daria Usacheva is to start blaming her coaches”
Russian skater Stanislava Konstantinova talks about Daria Usacheva’s injury, quads in the short program and figure skating loosing its popularity in the world.
source: sport24.ru dd. 14th November 2021, posted by Evgeni Semenov
Daria Usacheva’s injury
Stanislava Konstantinova: I say from the side of an athlete, this whole situation is as terrible as possible, because any injury, no matter how serious it may be, is always a great pain for an athlete. When you are preparing … You work a lot, you can endure a lot of pain and still want to meet the expectations of the fans, judges, your own and you want your work to be paid off. And of course, sometimes you close your eyes to some serious moments, but when this all happens on the air … I was wildly outraged by the heated discussion of this situation. In my opinion, this is absolutely unethical, in my life I’m of the opinion that I do not say anything at all about other people’s health, because this is purely personal, health is the most important thing that we have, and to argue what exactly, where, when – to me it seems terrible.
Dasha is only 15 years old. To make diagnoses, post some x-rays, it’s terrible. She is primarily a child, she is 15 years old. She can see all this, read all of this, let’s just support Dasha and wish her to recover quickly and please everyone on the ice again. The most important thing is health, and there is no value in life if you do not have health.
Hate towards Tutberidze’s coaching staff
Stanislava Konstantinova: There was hate towards the coaching staff. Injuries happen to everyone absolutely, and these are unpredictable situations. We all work, we all try to do better than we can. Blaming someone else for this, I think it’s just awful. The worst thing you can do is to start blaming her coaches, trying to defend Dasha. I believe that you just need to write “Dasha, get better” and support as much as possible the coaches who have a really difficult season, who have a lot of athletes, and not criticize your own idols and blame them for some things. To be honest, this angered me wildly, and I was shocked.
Honestly, I don’t understand when the same Dasha is strongly criticized, that she does not have quadruple jumps, triple axel, and then her coaches are attacked, that they overload someone, that they do not protect someone. It seems to me that the fans should cheer for the athletes, not drown them. I just want to wish it.
Tyktamysheva and quads
Stanislava Konstantinova: She probably doesn’t need them. This is a very big risk, and she scores well. I think it is very difficult to compete with Kamila Valieva. It’ll take much more energy for Liza to work to on quads. Working on them is half the battle, the second thing is to do them at least several times per workout consistently, and the third thing is to collect them in the program. And to collect them together with triple axels – I don’t know how much time is needed and how much attempts and mistakes it will take, and Liza has her wonderful stable content, with which she can always be in the top three and certainly fight for leadership. So I think quads are optional.
It seems to me that it is necessary to work on one particular jump, so that you have it in your arsenal. So that there was either a triple axel, which can be performed two times in a free program and one in a short program. This is a great advantage. Or, for example, a toe loop or salchow. I think this is a good chance for older skaters. And of course, girls with quadruple jumps and triple axels – it’s high class. And not everyone can afford to learn this, because we all know that the joints are not made of iron. And it’s also can be very traumatic. It’s one thing when you jump when you have 40 kg of weight, it’s another thing when you jump at the moment when you have 50 kg of weight, these are completely different things. And then I don’t know, I don’t jump quadruples myself, so I can’t judge it.
Gleikhengauz proposes to allow quads in the short program
Stanislava Konstantinova: I have a mixed feelings. On the one hand, why not show what you can do, it’s very cool and phenomenal if a person jumps quads. Another question is that Russian is not the only country who has figure skating, there are other countries in the world, and other athletes skate there. Not all athletes who now go to the international competitions are 15 years old. They are all already established athletes, and some of them perform for a very long time. Imagine what interest other countries would have. Why should they invest in figure skating at all, develop it, if it is easier for them simply not to compete there, because Russia is still winning?
That is, it seems to me that you shouldn’t stop progress, you shouldn’t limit the number of quads, but again, you need to make sure that figure skating does not lose its relevance. The interest in figure skating is growing in Russia, but it is lost in the rest of the world. People are no longer interested in watching this. I’m a fan of figure skating, my mother and I will always watch it in front of the TV at any time of the day or night. But let’s not forget that people are really interested in athletes who have a history, who have gone through some difficulties, who can express their own thoughts, who have gone some way. Many foreign athletes are supported and loved. I’m really worried that figure skating is losing interest all over the world, because there is no exciting moment.
For me personally, as a spectator, the most interesting event was the World Championships in Boston, when Ashley Wagner was there, when Zhenya Medvedeva was there, when Lena Radionova and Anya Pogorilaya were there. And when Anya Pogorilaya, with an absolutely unstable season, jumps into the top three with amazing performance and emotions, tears, when Zhenya, the debutante of the season, wins the World championships, when Lena Radionova, the most stable favorite of the season, suddenly does not make it into the top three, when Ashley Wagner delivers the skating of her life in Boston and also crying, falling on the ice at the end of the program – it’s very interesting, very cool. I cannot share my enthusiasm from this atmosphere and from the atmosphere when I see quadruple jumps. But it’s exciting, it’s cool. It seems to me that over time, probably we’ll be very old then, figure skating will come to the point when it’ll has it all.
“Quadruples need to be allowed, and the rest will catch up.” Can you imagine how many people will get injured? Imagine how many people will quit figure skating, because they will think: “What am I going to do, I’m already 30 points behind after the short program, and I it was my maximum.” For example, I have a bad axel, I am not talking about myself, and I cannot learn the triple and what should I do. A skater makes a lutz-toe loop, but her solo toe loop is bad, and she physically cannot quad lutz. This whole story “whether the rest will catch up or not” … Let’s start with the fact that quads are made by some of the most gifted people in figure skating. Gifted both in technique and in everything else. This should be a great coincidence in one person. And it seems to me that this is a rather controversial point to cut down so all the others. But probably if I jumped quadruples myself, I would say: “Come on, let us jump the quadruple!”
Abroad, they will not sacrifice education, they will not sacrifice health.
Didn’t you look with bated breath at the confrontation between Alina and Zhenya at the Olympics? And there was no such thing that the one who fell more, lost. They really looked at the program, looked at the emotions, at the energy.
Stanislava Konstantinova: I would be very interested to hear more about their process. They are a rather closed coaching staff, and they always have some kind of secrets, some kind of conspiracies. It would be interesting for me to see all this work, even if there is some kind of bad word slip through or something may even be harsher than usual. I am ready to watch, ready to learn, I think that we all have something to see there, honestly. I really miss this, because I admire their work, whoever says anything about some controversial points, but the result is obvious.
About inviting Russian skaters to represent other countries
Stanislava Konstantinova: Our country does not like to share skaters, because our compatriots are in quarantine for two years, and someone is simply not released at all.
Related topics: Daniil Gleichengauz, Daria Usacheva, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Eteri Tutberidze, Stanislava Konstantinova
“I will never value a judge’s opinion more than my own, so we rely on our instincts.” interview with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
I like the way she speaks, she has mature opinions.