Stepanova and Bukin: “No matter how much we want to compete with the best, we still understand that there’s a pair that no one can compete with – these’re Papadakis and Cizeron.”
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin summed up the results of the season and shared their impressions of participating in the first Olympic Games in their careers.
Ivan Bukin: The main theses of this season? Complex, interesting, memorable.
Alexandra Stepanova: I think it will not do without such a word as experience. This is an incredible experience that we, unfortunately, could not get before and finally got it now, this season. This season has been highly anticipated Olympic experience.
About emotions after a positive test for coronavirus and preparation for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing
Alexandra Stepanova: When was it scarier, before the 2018 Olympics or before the 2022 Olympics? Feelings were completely different. I remember very well when they told us in 2018 that we were not going, it was a shock. When we were given hope, we began to train, to prepare. And then, when they say again that you are not going, it pressures a lot.
Here the situation was completely different. I was the center of this whole situation, because whether we were going or not depended on me and on my health, on the tests that I had to take every day. This lasted a long, this was painful and very, very nervous.
Ivan Bukin: I want to say that we did not think that we would not go. We took tickets, we did our best to get there, we had no thoughts that we would stop in Novogorsk and say: “That’s it.” We did everything so that tests were negative, so that we flew to Beijing, and there be as it may. But, thank God, everything turned out well and got to the Olympic Games.
Alexandra Stepanova: When we arrived, and my test again was positive, we were hysterical. But when we went to these tests, Alexander Vasilievich (Svinin) said: “Well, at least we have already got there.” Compared to previous experience, we at least got there.
Then, of course, when the test was positive, at night we sat with Vanya, talked for a long time, because it was very hard, of course. But, thank God, the next day we took tests, and I mine was negative. We had two days to train before the Olympics, ha ha.
Ivan Bukin: What did we feel after the negative test? First, there were two tests. And when there was one negative, we decided not to talk about it at all. When came to do another one, it was very nervous, because if at least one of these tests had been positive, then she (Sasha) would have been taken to some kind of covid hospital, and then there would have been no options, we would not have had time any way.
We didn’t really touch on this topic, I went to the dining room, brought her food, we talked, slept badly, because of the time difference. There were a lot of emotions at that moment, and because of this, we went to a short dance with such joy … This is probably one of the happiest short dances in our career. It didn’t matter that there were few people, it didn’t concern us. We’re here, we’ve been skating, we’ve had fun.
Taken together, we can say that there was more good than bad. Even taking into account the fact that it was two weeks of great nerves. When we arrived, performed, we went for a walk. Our psychologist Zhanna was there, she has been there since the opening. She took us everywhere, went to souvenir shops, went to KFC.
About mistake in the free dance
Ivan Bukin: When the first test in Beijing was positive, we thought that that’s it, we are no longer participating. On the one hand, we were very upset, but at the same moment we still relaxed. This is a wild nerves, we resigned ourselves to the fact that everything was already over, we already had some plans, if anything, at least we will see, feel the atmosphere. When we performed, the short one was a joy, because everything happened. And the free dance was different, because the responsibility.
Alexandra Stepanova: There were such thoughts, since we have already shown one program, we want to show a second one, and even better. Of course, such thoughts are present and it is good that we had such zeal. But, unfortunately, miracles do not happen.
Ivan Bukin: Such a feeling: a short dance is an exhalation, pleasure, and free dance was the one that always happens: nerves, concentration, everything inside, from element to element. Of course, this small mistake knocked us out a little, but in the end we talked.
Alexandra Stepanova: To be honest, it did not just knock out a little, because we had literally one element left to the end, and we were shocked. We didn’t have run-throughs, we assumed that it would be difficult for us. It was hard, but we kept going. But such a small mistake – and that’s it. It killed me to be honest.
Whether they wanted to quit everything because of not high scores in competitions.
Ivan Bukin: I can say something impulsively about different things, whether it about some kind of competitions or our current problems. But now, we, probably, have slightly outgrown all these experiences, we clearly understand where we are going, the story that we want to make. I think it concerns us less now. If something is not going well, we go and work twice as hard on this element, trying to fix all the mistakes that come up in competitions. We are determined as much as possible to skate in such a way that there will be no questions to our skating.
Previously, this concerned us, we were worried, after all, this is such a moment, you really work, but something is somehow wrong, it seems that you did it, but not every judge can explain why it so, but for the most part, returning home, we continued to work, improve, tried to do everything on maximum in order to improve ourselves.
Alexandra Stepanova: We were angry, but at the same time we did not throw skates. Some kind of psychosis, perhaps, verbally, we could sit with Vanya in the room and speak very emotionally, but alone there was no such. We will discuss something right away, like some kind of hot wound, we will express everything. There were no thoughtless actions, such as, for example, not coming to training, there was no such despair, we still returned.
About Papadakis and Cizeron
Alexandra Stepanova: No matter how much we want to fight with the best, we still understand that there is a pair that no one can compete with – these are the French.
“Whom you defeated in juniors,” journalist Andrei Zhurankov objected.
Ivan Bukin: It’s a completely different time. Many compare with this, but I believe that there is a junior career, and there is senior career – these are completely different things. As for the fight and experiences, these are two different worlds that are difficult to compare. The French are really cool. This season, for example, I like their free dance a little less than the previous ones. This one is too deep for me, I did not reached that depth to understand it.
Alexandra Stepanova: We all understand perfectly well that these are French and no one is close to them, no matter how much we would like to, this is different. And when we say that somewhere we were underestimated, still, when we review it, we understand that it’s not a situation when there is no one close to us. Of course, if you compare with the 15th place of the European Championships, it’s understandable. But with those with whom we are competing, well, objectively. Yes, in some ways we are better, but in some ways we are worse. And the French have minimum of these disadvantages.
Ivan Bukin: We have a real understanding of the situation. We understand that work, work, work and be both 50 and 200 head and shoulders above.
About new programs
Alexandra Stepanova: This year we would like to involve Maxim Stavisky, we would very much like to work with him. Since we have a large team now, I think that everyone will make some contribution.
Ivan Bukin: He suggested the music.
Alexandra Stepanova: We told him that we wanted, sent some music, but he got it. He got it with one message, we liked it.
Ivan Bukin: You know this music for sure.
Related topics: Alexandra Stepanova Ivan Bukin
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