“They told me lose weight and look for partner myself. Basically, they kicked me out.” Sad story of the Russian pair skater from Mozer’s school
Interview with Russian junior pair skater Diana Mukhametzianova. About break-up of her pair with Ilya Mironov because of Nina Mozer’s decision, coaches demands to lose weight, trust between a coach and an athlete and a cute story about Yuzuru Hanyu.
source: matchtv.ru dd. 29th November, 2021 by Marina Tchernysheva-Melnik
In recent years, pair Diana Mukhametzianova and Ilya Mironov, athletes of Nina Moser’s school, was considered one of the most promising among their peers. They won silver in the Junior Grand Prix Final and the Youth Olympic Games, and performed the most difficult elements. Career was on the rise, but last season was unsuccessful and, as it turned out, put an end to the history of this talented pair. The skaters were parted by the coach, but guys only became more friendly with each other. However each now has his own path in sports. Diana Mukhametzianova told Match TV what she had to endure in recent months and how she works with Pavel Sliusarenko now.
When and why did your pair with Ilya Mironov break up?
Diana Mukhametzianova: More than a year ago, puberty started and, accordingly, I put on weight. Because of this, there were problems with the elements, last season I did not work well. But since Ilya and I were a pair, then the problem is also common. He tried to cheer me up, and none of us until the last moment knew that parting was coming. I accidentally heard that this is possible. I asked Ilya, he replied: “I don’t know anything, everything is fine, don’t panic!” And in January of this year, Nina Mikhailovna Mozer gathered us with the coaches and announced that the pair Mukhametzianov – Mironov didn’t exist anymore. I still don’t really know the reason. Yes, initially my puberty interfered, but I tried to control myself all season, lost weight. The body was developing – it’s natural. After that conversation it was so painful, bitter! Still, Ilya and I have skated together for 3.5 years, achieved good results for the junior level. And to ruin everything just because of one unsuccessful season … Moreover, the reason is obvious and happens to every girl. In general, I do not understand.
Are you sure that it was solely a Nina Moser’s decision? But what about the position of your direct coaches?
Diana Mukhametzianova: Yes, it was Nina Mikhailovna who decided everything. After that, my mother asked my coach Arina Andreevna Ushakova directly: “Are you interested in my daughter as an athlete?” She answered in the affirmative, and I continued to go to trainings.
How did you pair with Vladislav Antonyshev appear?
Diana Mukhametzianova: The coaches decided to try it, so Vlad and I began to skate together. But the joint performances did not work out. I still don’t understand why. In training, everything was clean, but at the competitions I was confused, did not understand what I was doing here. Our last competition the Cup of Russia in Syzran ended sadly. Soon the coaches announced that they were breaking our pair, because there was no result. I tried to argue: “We skated together only three competitions, we did not have time to accelerate.” But I was told that that’s all. Vlad was given another girl, and I was told to lose weight and look for a partner myself. Basically, they kicked me out, and it came as a shock. We also lost the thread of trust with Arina Andreevna. In recent months, she often scolded me, did not want to understand in some moments. I stopped feeling needed. I felt that they put an end to me as an athlete. That the coaches no longer see in me that Diana they saw in 2017 when I came. That is, people whom I believed do not believe in me. So, it’s necessary to look for a coach who will believe.
And that turned out to be Pavel Sliusarenko.
Diana Mukhametzianova: Yes, in October I came to see him in Perm. I was already in good shape, because in a couple of weeks we called up with Pavel Sergeevich, and he set a task about my weight. I quickly lost weight thanks to the correct balanced diet. In Perm, I showed my jumps, and Pavel Sergeevich immediately said that I was in excellent shape, he was ready to take me to the group. A week later, I already moved here. My mother and I found an apartment for rent and moved.
Do you live alone in a new city?
Diana Mukhametzianova: My big family lives in 3 cities. Mom and my younger brother and sisters have moved to Moscow long ago – we all moved together from our native Kazan for the sake of training at the Mozer’s school. Dad has been torn between Kazan and the capital all the years: work at home, and family in Moscow. Now Perm has been added. In principle, I am already an adult, and there is no need to patronize me. But, of course, I will be glad when my relatives come to visit me.
Ilya has recently said that your relationship became warmer after breaking up on the ice. Perhaps this is the story of the transformation of hard work into communication without mutual obligations?
Diana Mukhametzianova: When Ilya and I teamed up, we did not communicate at all and did not even perceive each other on the ice. We were small, the difference in three years was felt. We often quarreled, each fought for his “I”. Then the joint results brought us closer together. And in the last season, which turned out to be a disaster for me, Ilya was very supportive. After we were separated, at first there was something strange between us. Of course, I have no offences against Ilya – I just grieved very much and was closed. And now we communicate well, we wish each other good luck before each competition.
Five years ago you switched from single skating to pair skating, although you previously went to the training camp with Alexei Mishin and thought about trying to join his group. Why did you change your mind?
Diana Mukhametzianova: Everything was decided after I broke my leg and my mother and I realized: something needs to be changed. It was logical to try pair skating, because at the age of 13 I had very good physical parameters. Small stature, ease of jumping, plus interest in lifts and twists … A little earlier, in January 2016, I really liked the atmosphere at Mishin’s training camp in Tartu: such a calm, kind, positive Alexei Nikolaevich. I was used to strictness. Carolina Kostner, Liza Tuktamysheva, Andrei Lazukin skated nearby – for me it was incredible. I enjoyed every day of this training camp, and joint photos still hang at home in a prominent place. The coaches liked me, my mother and I were offered to try. We honestly told my first coach about this, but she answered: “It’s too early, no one will take you.” Her words stopped us, and we abandoned the idea of trying out. Now I understand that it was for the best. After all, an injury happened soon, with which it is difficult for a single skater to continue her career. We have clearly chosen a different type of figure skating and aimed at pair skating.
You and Ilya performed very complex elements, combinations that not everyone can master. What was the secret?
Diana Mukhametzianova: I think that we both had a good base from single skating. Both me and Ilya performed all types of jumps, many triples turned out. Coach Arina Andreevna, looking at how we do everything solo, said: “This is your business card!” And gradually we learned to do our difficult jumps in sync.
How did Nina Mozer participate in the training process?
Diana Mukhametzianova: She was always in touch with the coaches and sometimes came to the rink. She analyzed the performances of all the students of her school, gave advice after each competition. Our pair with Ilya were coached directly by Arina Ushakova and Philip Tarasov, they were helped by Vladislav Zhovnirsky and choreographer Tatyana Druchinina.
Who is your team now?
Diana Mukhametzianova: First of all, my coach Pavel Sergeevich Sliusarenko. I came to the try out and he took me into the group. I feel very comfortable in the new atmosphere! Before that, they scolded so much, but here they praise and encourage. When something works out, Pavel Sergeevich says: “Well, you see, you did it! It is necessary to consolidate the success, go and jump more. You will succeed!” I get inspired, I jump, and they praise me. When it doesn’t work out, they calmly point out the mistake and encourage me to try again. Yes, not everything goes smoothly. But I feel that people here believe in me. I’ve been waiting for this for so long! By the way, I will approve our interview myself, without a coach. Pavel Sergeevich said that he trusts me (smiles).
Your coach also works in the team of Eteri Tutberidze – he helps to prepare Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov for the Olympic Games. How does he allocate time and attention to you?
Diana Mukhametzianova: Pavel Sergeevich still spends more time in Perm and manages to help me a lot.
Which competitions of yours takes a special place your heart at the moment?
Diana Mukhametzianova: Junior Grand Prix Final in Turin in 2019. There we moved up from third place to second, and in general there were a lot of positive moments. I talked and took pictures with Yuzuru Hanyu – he is one of my idols. In person he’s so smiling and kind! I asked Yuzuru to share some of the toys that fans give him. He gave a couple, and I kept Winnie the Pooh as a keepsake. It’s cool – a fairy-tale character from Yuzuru himself!
Daria Usacheva: “The first days after the injury, I felt guilty and upset that I lost the opportunity to get to the Grand Prix Final. But I want to compete this season and will do my best for this.”