Victoria Sinitsina: “We knew that we won’t hear our anthem at the international competitions any time soon, so we wanted to enjoy this moment.”
Victoria Sinitsina about emotions from success at the World Championships, the difficulties of preparation and plans for the future.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 21st April by Rustam Imamov
A truly “golden” season. Are you happy with everything?
Victoria Sinitsina: Emotions are amazing! The season was tense, difficult, there were many different obstacles. Nikita and I are very happy that it took place, despite missing preliminary competitions, we went to the World Championships, and then to the World Team Trophy. And brought gold medals. It’s very cool. There are many thoughts, emotions overwhelm. True, we are still a little tired after the trip, so we still can’t fully believe what is happening to us. But little by little, the understanding of success is coming, now I can believe it much more than right after competitions.
You had two very different medals ceremonies. In Stockholm – in an empty arena, without a national anthem and Russian symbols. In Osaka, there were spectators, anthem, and besides, the whole team was next to you. How different were these two ceremonies for you emotionally?
Victoria Sinitsina: In fact, in Stockholm, the medals ceremony, despite all the restrictions, was still special. I don’t know why, perhaps because it was such a difficult competitions for us, first of all psychologically. So during the ceremony, I was both happy and completely devastated. Of course, we really missed our flag and anthem, but in our hearts we played the anthem and imagined the flag. The most emotional moment was when Nikita and I were hanging medals for each other. It was very touching.
In Osaka, the awards ceremony was equally important. The whole team understood that, probably, we won’t hear our anthem at the international competitions any time soon, so we wanted to enjoy this moment. We sang it loud with all the guys, guys from other countries heard us, but we didn’t care, we stood proudly and sang. We had the right to.
Does performing in a team imposed a certain responsibility on you, or should the World Team Trophy be perceived as a show competitions and there was not much nerves?
Victoria Sinitsina: No, this is a huge responsibility for each athlete at such competitions, because we went there as a team. And the result depends on everyone together, but at the same time on each separately, on each performance. And you can’t let the team down, we are fighting for victory as a team and together we get medals. There was excitement, but we were cheering for each other, supporting the guys as we could.
At the same time, you probably knew that the first numbers of US and Canadian teams in ice dance withdrew, and you are going there in the status of the reigning world champions. How did you react to the news about substitutions in the competitors’ teams?
Victoria Sinitsina: I will not hide, we understood perfectly that the Russia has a very good team. Of course, we going to fight for the first place. It’s good that everything turned out well, all the guys in the team did great. I remember how we were cheering for the girls on the last day of competitions, at the moment when Liza Tuktamysheva skated, we already guaranteed ourselves the first place, won on points. Anya Shcherbakova was the last to go on the ice, then she said that she skated without such a pressure, so she decided just to enjoy the process.
That is, the absence of main competitors at the team event did not affect the attitude?
Victoria Sinitsina: The attitude was different not because of the weakened competition, but because we understood that we were performing these programs for the last time, and we wanted to enjoy the skating. Plus team spirit, cheering in the team box, flags. This is one of the nicest and most enjoyable competitions in my career. Therefore, there were no problems with motivation, we wanted to show our maximum.
Since we are talking about performances, do you have any thoughts about programs for the next season?
Victoria Sinitsina: We started to think about a free dance even before the World Championships, and now we have several options from which we will choose. We are still thinking about rhythm dance. ISU announced that for the Olympic season it will be blues, street dancing. So we select music according to the rules, now we are still in search, there are no specific ideas yet.
Do you have music that you always wanted to skate to, but so far there was no such opportunity? And why?
Victoria Sinitsina: I don’t know, it’s hard to say. There were certain dreams, but this music has already been used so many times … Usually, everything I wanted, what I dreamed about, we skated it.
That is, if you refused of music, then because of the unwillingness to repeat after someone else?
Victoria Sinitsina: Sure. Still, novelty means a lot, in figure skating the same music is repeated very often. Sometimes, even within the same warm-up, one after another. I personally don’t like it.
For example, what did you want and refused? Surely something from the golden fund: “Bolero”, “Swan Lake”, “Carmen” …
Victoria Sinitsina: I really like “Carmen”, I would like to! But it was repeated so many times. I also like Swan Lake. In part, we already skated it, we had a waltz from this ballet, so, one might say, a little dream came true. I also like Bolero, but again, it’s hard to show something new with this music. Lots of good music. It’s not that I dreamed of skating to these compositions, it’s rather an undying classic, which always touches the soul. It evokes emotions both for those on the ice and for the audience.
How do you feel about risky and unusual programs? For example, the previous rhythm dance of the French Papadakis / Cizeron and the free dance of the Americans Chok / Bates to Egyptian motives?
Victoria Sinitsina: Why not, it turned out well. You can choose any theme, any music, I am for non-standard approaches and experiments. The main thing is that the melody suits the pair and the movements look natural. The most difficult thing is not to prepare the elements in training, but to be able to give emotions at the competitions, to perform the program. To skate a program in such a format will be cool and at the same time difficult. Still it requires more energy than a rhythm dance. But the primary question is how suitable such music and the character of the dance are for the pair.
Coming back to competition, were you upset that the French Papadakis / Cizeron would miss the Worlds?
Victoria Sinitsina: To be honest, I missed them.
That is, all these conversations on the Internet reached you, that even if you have gold, it should be taken into account that the main contenders were absent…
Victoria Sinitsina: Gold is gold. In this regard, I have no worries.
Perhaps now you have gained an important strategic advantage over Papadakis and Cizeron? Still you won the World Championships, the World Team Trophy, now you are the best pair in the world … And where were the French for a year and a half – no one knows …
Victoria Sinitsina: I will say this, in no way we wanted to give up. We didn’t have much time to prepare for the Worlds, but we managed to prepare, came and skated cleanly. In general, there were no thoughts that someone would come, someone would not. First of all, we are happy with our gold medal.
That is, it is already the problem of the French that they did not come?
Victoria Sinitsina: Absolutely.
We don’t need to worry about your health now, right?
Victoria Sinitsina: Now everything seems to be fine, thank God. Therefore, very soon we will start working on new programs. And at the same time, we continue to keep healthy, because it is required. It is always required.
Are you talking about recovery procedures after suffering a coronavirus?
Victoria Sinitsina: No, in this regard, everything is ok, everything is fine with the lungs. This is about the knee, I need to work on it constantly, do certain exercises in order to keep it in condition needed for sports. Every injury has consequences, and now I need to take a responsible approach to health issues.
It is generally believed that ice dance is a safer sport than pair and single skating, but surely you also have your own risks?
Victoria Sinitsina: Of course, we do not jump quadruples, we have no throws and perhaps the load on the knees and joints is not as strong as from jumps. But we have our own complex elements that require serious physical activity. In any case, the knees, back, ankle – all these are areas where injuries often happen. The workload is very high and I cannot say for sure that we are safe. For example, many complex lifts are very traumatic.
Now there is a tendency, at least in Russia, of particular popularity of single skating, while pair skating and ice dance remain in the shadows. Although some time ago, ice dance was very popular. Are you upset that everything is happening this way, and are there any thoughts on how this can be fixed?
Victoria Sinitsina: Now we have such a generation when ladies’ single skating is very popular. But if we think of 2006, the Turin Olympics, then ice dance and pairs were insanely popular, and ladies were a little behind. Perhaps after a while men and pairs will be popular. Or ice dance. Now is the time for girls, they are great, but we also do our best. And the maximum in order to move our discipline forward.
Are there any changes in the rules possible in order to make ice dance more understandable and interesting for an ordinary spectator?
Victoria Sinitsina: Unfortunately, we do not influence the rules and do not change them. ISU do this. So far, not all the subtleties of the new rules have been announced, not everything is clear. I think that on the eve of the Olympic season, nothing will change dramatically, but after the Olympics in Beijing, some changes are possible. What they will be – time will tell.
As for further plans and preparation, will the training be going on probably, for another month and a half?
Victoria Sinitsina: Yes, we are preparing new programs, making a framework, a skeleton of new programs. Then we go on vacation at the end of May and in two weeks we’ll be back on the ice. There will be serious preparation, training camps, and very soon a new season, test skates and the first competitions.
Do you have any ideas for a vacation spot? Nowadays, it’s not easy to choose…
Victoria Sinitsina: I have ideas, but I don’t want to reveal them yet.
Is it Russia or foreign countries?
Victoria Sinitsina: We will try to go abroad. I really want to go to the sea, to a warm country.
I think you will start preseason early, considering that the next season is Olympic?
Victoria Sinitsina: In fact, we, as usual, consistently make a training plan for ourselves, and we stick to it. We always have a vacation at the end of May – June, at the end of June-July we start skating. The main thing is to go on the ice rested, ready, healthy, with new programs and to work, work, work again. It won’t be easy.