Stephane Lambiel: “It upsets me that now everything is about four rotations in the air”

Posted on 2021-11-09 • 3 comments


Stephane Lambiel about Russian figure skating school, Mikhail Kolyada and increasing numbers of quads in skaters programs.

photo by Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novisti

You are famous for your incredible spins and very good interpretation. However, not all skaters now pay due attention to non-jumping elements. Do you have a feeling that balance is shifted towards technique?

Stephane Lambiel: Figure skating has evolved in some aspects. It was also necessary to land quads back in my time. But it upsets me that now everything is centered around four rotations in the air.

Compared to my time, figure skating has lost not only in artistry, but also in quality, because we want more rotations in the air. I’m an old school, traditionalist, a lover of cleanliness: I like clean technique, clean figure skating.

What I want the skater to show on the ice is not only deep emotion, but a deeper performance in general, the one that the audience can feel a connection with. And this cannot be achieved by artistry alone, something more is needed.

What perspective on figure skating do you convey to your athletes as a coach?

Stephane Lambiel: I try to convey what I love, my vision, which was formed when I watched figure skating on TV as a child. I know how much work it takes to master quadruple jumps, but I don’t think rotations should be the only detail worth working on.

There is the quality of the take-off, the quality of the landing, how exactly the jump should be performed. We must pass this on to the new generation. Not just one aspect. It is important that our skaters have a wider perspective.

Recently, Russia has almost no competition in Europe. Does this trend bother you and how can it be changed?

Stephane Lambiel: I love the Russian school, I admire the great Russian coaches. I worked with Alexei Mishin, I know Tamara Moskvina well. They are the pillars of the Russian figure skating school and create Russian champions. And coaches just like them, for so many generations. The Russian figure skating school is a source of my inspiration, and I grew up on it.

Russians have been dominating for so many years. When I was growing up, the Russian school was the best, and now it is also the best. Figure skating culture in Russia is simply extraordinary. I remember winning the World Championships in Moscow in 2005, and it was amazing to win gold in a country with such a history.

Now Russia is a leader, but it was also a leader before. We should be grateful for what we have learned.

At the Grand Prix in Turin, the second place was taken by Mikhail Kolyada. Before last season, he switched to Alexei Mishin. Has his skating changed a lot during this time?

Stephane Lambiel: I admire Alexei Mishin, and I like the way Mikhail Kolyada performs. I know how Mishin works because I worked with him when I was an athlete myself.

He is an excellent strategist and, like no one else, knows how to make targeted changes in order to save the athlete’s energy. I am sure that their tandem will be very successful.

source: dd. 8th November, 2021 by Ekaterina Efimova


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3 Responses to “Stephane Lambiel: “It upsets me that now everything is about four rotations in the air””

  1. Carol Birkland says:

    Stephane is right. Today’s singles skaters are so intent on preparing for the next jump that they communicate very little. They do not have the time to connect with the audience. This is what the points system has brought us. I just cannot connect emotionally with these skaters. They don’t even look like they are enjoying the experience. I sense very little joy in their skating. Nothing is happening between the jumps. It is boring. That is why I like ice dancing and pairs. At least I can connect with them emotionally.

  2. Agreed! Whatever happened to the high scores and the artistic and what they are wearing and the piece of music that they choose to skate to I think they focus too much on the quads and that was not what figure skating was about.

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