Tatiana Tarasova: “Not every person can be made a great athlete”
Video interview with Tatiana Tarasova made on the eve of her birthday. Partly translated. Tatiana Tarasova talks about the end of her sports career, commentary work, why in men’s figure skating there were no bright stars after Plushenko and Yagudin and many other things.
source: by Lina Fedorova for Nice Ice Baby youtube channel
I read in your book that from the age of 6 you were an independent child, and your parents were not even present at your trainings.
Tatiana Tarasova: No, they weren’t present. It was really odd, since all the children at that time were accompanied to classes and someone was with them. Mila Pakhomova was with us, Mila Pakhomova’s mother. But my parents worked and no one was at trainings with me. Well, nothing special. I did my laces myself, dressed / undressed herself, walked back. We lived nearby, so I needed to go only by tram. You just take a tram and you will come straight to the house.
Can you say that you lacked that support from your parents at that time?
Tatiana Tarasova: No, I can’t say that. I had been going to trainings myself since I was 6 years old. What kind of support did I lack? Parents sent me to the rink, so I was doing it.
At what point did you realize that you won’t be able to go on the ice as an athlete? And at that moment, how did you realize that something needs to be done next?
Tatiana Tarasova: I didn’t understand that, my father did. I didn’t get it. I rushed about and was in serious condition. I wanted to throw myself under a tram, a trolley bus, or something else. It was all ugly, I thought my mother would be upset. Hmhmh, well, so to speak, it was my dad who told me “Go help your colleagues. Go to work. There is no one to work …”. Then there really was no one to work. “There is no one to work, go on the ice and try to improve, try to help and start your labor activity.” I was 19 years old and I am very grateful to him that I started this labor activity at the age of 19.
Please tell us what the Lesha Yagudin was like, that Lesha who came to your group and managed to win more than one heart, including yours.
Tatiana Tarasova: Of course I can’t sing this song about him “You haven’t changed at all”, of course he changed. Well, a lot hasn’t changed. I have always loved him both when he came and when he left. And, he’s a very good person. And he is a reliable person. I love his involvement. I love when he takes on reading such a books, American real estate, and studies them with great interest for a year or two. When he complete studying them, I will buy a good apartment.
There was some pressure, there was pressure on Lesha when he competed, even from the federation. When he was told straight off “You will fail”
Tatiana Tarasova: I don’t give a damn about it
How did you support the athlete who …
Tatiana Tarasova: Well, we agreed and why should I not support him? Was I supposed to trust some jerks from federation who told him it was over? Well, I know my profession a little, I know who I’m taking, and what I can do with this guy. The rest does not interest me at all. Who said what. Yes, a lot of nerves were spoiled because the Russian judge has never put him even close to Zhenya (Plushenko). He’s always put him second. And I consider this pretty illegal. Let it rest on the conscience of those people who judged. And who gave such orders. I still defeated them.
I’d like to talk about your duo Bestemianova-Bukin. Certainly an authentic pair, you called them so. And it’s no secret that this pair was one of your favorite.
Tatiana Tarasova: Well, I can’t say that. They all were my favorites.
Tatiana Tarasova: Before that I had Moiseeva and Minenkov. And they, of course, were the most beloved, because they were the first. They were the first, they were unique. And no one except them has skated as touching as they skated. And no one conveyed music like that and no one had such arms, such hands. And such a dramatic talent as this pair had. Of course it was a delight to go to workout every day. To face with some miracle. You teach, you have it in your hands and you do it right. You know, this is Nikita Mikhalkov’s favorite word “Turns out”, this “turns out” (says it breathy). At first you walk like a goof, and then you start to succeed. And it turns out, and it turns out, and it turns out. And then competitions has already begun and it also worked out. And then competitions and championships. And from small competitions and championships in Moscow, we grew up to huge competitions – Europeans, Worlds and the Olympic Games, and this also worked out. I came back in such a deranged state, I don’t remember how the years passed. I arrived in such a deranged state and I say “Dad, we are second at the Olympic Games. Dad, my pair Moiseeva Minenkov, we became the second. Pakhomova – Gorshkov are first and we are the second. We beat all the Americans, all the Canadians. This is my pair, since the youth category.” Dad said, “You know, daughter, they fire us for the second places.”
Tatiana Anatolievna, going back to our times, are there such duets now that you can single out? Our duets. Are there any duos that take your breath away when you watch their skating? Or is it not working out yet?
Tatiana Tarasova: If there were such, I would say so right away. But since you have to think, something turns out, but something does not. You are happy when something turns out. The performance turns out, but places do not. There are good ones, but there are no outstanding ones. It happened that Papadakis Cizeron were breathtaking. Not in every performance and not always. But it happens that when they catch their wave, it captivates.
After the era of Plushenko / Yagudin, there were no such stars in our figure skating. Why do you think this is happening? Are they coaching worse, or training? Or what? What has changed?
Tatiana Tarasova: Such were not born.
So you think they were just unique people?
Tatiana Tarasova: Well, of course. No, not every person can be made a great athlete. Not everyone.
Maxim Kovtun. What led this talented guy astray?
Tatiana Tarasova: Nothing. This is his essence. He cannot go all the way. Well, not every person can go to the end. He feels sorry for himself. He wants, but does not know what needs to be done for this. When it’s hard for him, he doesn’t believe it will be easier. That’s it. I feel really bad for his ability. But ability is one of the qualities that should accompany an athlete, must accompany. There is no character. No, like a rag. Only scandal. If you listen to the coach, you will succeed. If you don’t listen, nothing will work out.
I would like to talk about your husband.
Tatiana Tarasova: I was very lucky in my life that I got married. And he married me. Vova. Because I was married for 33 years to a great man, to a great musician, to a talented teacher, an absolutely brilliant performer. I traveled with him to the cities. At the end of any piece, the audience jumped up and broke chairs in standing ovations. He has had an overwhelming success always and everywhere. In Japan, in America, in Canada, in France and wherever we were with him, everywhere it was amazing. He was a light, cheerful person.
Your father loved him very much, right?
Tatiana Tarasova: Yes, he could practice 24 hours a day, and it was fun. Of course, he was very helpful with the music, very helpful. He often disagreed with me a lot. He often helped, but often disagreed.
Is it hard for two creative people to get along in the family?
Tatiana Tarasova: NOT! Not at all, why should it be hard? We look in one direction, love each other and understand why and how to live together. And what values we have, and how we help each other. And there is a lot that doesn’t need to be explained, because we are creative people and we have the same thoughts. Moreover, we are teachers. My house in America was full of my students and Vova was in demand there. I was at his house in Hanover, I did everything I could. All I could do was give food. They didn’t work with me, but we’re still friends. They adore me and remember everything that I did for them, and all the time when I had money, I put them in all their pockets. My dear lovely children who all became teachers.
Tatiana Anatolievna, you talked about admiration and I can’t help but remember the interview given by Maxim Trankov. In the ranking of the most influential people in figure skating, he called you number one.
Tatiana Anatolievna: Aaaand?))
Do you agree with this?
Tatiana Anatolievna: Don’t you agree?)))
We agree one hundred percent.
Tatiana Anatolievna: Well, me too.
Who do you feel more now?
Tatiana Anatolievna: I do not feel like a pensioner.
In no way it was on my list. National team consultant, coach or more commentator?
Tatiana Anatolievna: I would feel like a coach best. Because I am a coach. And this is my profession. I love it more than anything else. And I don’t love anything else as much as I love coaching. But unfortunately, not that I’m complaining, but I didn’t get a school. And I have no ice and I cannot. Otherwise, I would be a coach. Of course, I would coach both pairs and single skaters, and I would coach ice dancers. And I would live happily ever after. I would not fail anyway. As a commentator I am dependent, and I love independent professions. I depend on whether they call me to comment or not. Whether the manager likes me with my comments or not. I cannot depend on one person, even though millions of people love me and wait for me when I talk about something. And as a team specialist – yes. I can and I know, yes. I look, I look, and so I can tell each of these young talents who skate in the national team. I could say how and what, in my opinion, what is needed. I can be happy for them, for the pair skaters. And I’m grateful to Trankov. Look, he put me first. I’d be glad if I was a coach.
Going back to your current activities …
Tatiana Anatolievna: By the way, since childhood I was very fond of commenting.
I remember that after Zhenya Medvedeva’s performance at the Olympic Games you said the following phrase “I want her to win.” Was you upset when you saw the final result?
Tatiana Anatolievna: Well, somehow this is not the right word “upset”, which fits there. Half of the people were happy, half of the people were crying. This is already a great victory for our sport. Everyone is happy. Or everyone is unhappy. The main thing is that we have a medal. That’s all.
You got the TEFI award for that broadcast.
Tatiana Anatolievna: A good scolding!
Why, if not a secret?
Tatiana Anatolievna: I do not know why.
Well for what?
Tatiana Anatolievna: I don’t know.
On television, it is clear what is the main award and what is the main award for a coach?
Tatiana Anatolievna: The most important reward is when you know that you have done everything in your power, everything that you have planned. And he did everything that depends on him. And it doesn’t interest you anymore. That’s all.
That is all? The work is done, the result is achieved.
Tatiana Anatolievna: That’s all. No, nobody is happy anymore. Nobody goes crazy. You already knew it had to be that way. And here it happened. That’s all, bravo.
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