Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Leonova `The Olympics are my current goal' for sport-express.ru
`You have no idea how much do I look forward for the official skates. I want to show everything I worked on so much'.
In Sochi during the test skates the 2012 world silver medalist Alena Leonova showed her new programme to `Carmen'. We spoke a day before in Novogorsk
EV: After your triumphant season 2012 was it painful to become a 2nd sort skater, which many considered you a year later?
AL: There weren't many things that upset me,though how fast the judges turned their backs to me was upsetting. You can gather it from your 2nd mark. Of course I wasn't at my best. The season was a failure.
EV: Did you analyze why it happened?
AL: First of all the preparations went all wrong. I mean the camp in the USA. I still love working with Nikolai Morozov, I know he believes in me. But back then it just happened that by the end of July I still didn't have any programmes. Neither the SP nor the LP. I joined Mao Asada's show in Japan, had a great time skating there, but it was still just a show. From there on everything fell apart.
EV: Was it different this season?
AL: I was very reluctant going to the USA. I feel uncomfortable there when everything is so far away. Here in Moscow I can catch a flight and be at my mother's in St. Petersburg an hour later. Or she can come and visit me. I hate the thought it's impossible there.
Nevertheless this year the USA camp was productive. First of all I worked a lot with Leonid Raitsyn. Second I was able to sort out my eating habits, loose weight without being hungry. I hate recalling how I was eating a breakfast only and then fall apart in the evenings. It's hard holding it together when you are constantly hungry.
Work with Raitsin helped my jumps take off, it became easier. It is what Nikolai Aleksandrovich says. I tend to believe the easiness came with the weight loss.
EV: I.e. now it's the right time to make the jumping part more difficult?
AL: I attempt it on the practices only for now.
EV: It must be not too nice for a coach when the skaters leave him. How is the mood in his much smaller group?
AL: It haven't changed much for me - we were not working together anyway. Florant Amodio's departure was quite sudden. He just got up and left when we were in California. I read later he was no longer working with Morozov. On the other hand each athlete goes where he thinks is the best for him.
EV: Did you know Miki Ando asked to come back to Morozov's group?
AL: I know Miki was looking for a coach and I know she said in the past Morozov is the best specialist she can think of. I know Morozov declined. I wouldn't personally mind - practicing with such a sparring partner is great. I would never ask Morozov to take another skater for my comfort though.
EV: Did you like working with Oksana Grischuk in California?
AL: Loved it. When she was showing us the steps Nikolai Aleksandrovich kept repeating: `Look closely, there is no other place you can see something so extraordinary. She herself has no idea how great her blade control is. It's really cool'.
EV: Was it hard to repeat after her?
AL: You bet. I was freaking out. But it somehow worked in the end.
EV: Your music choice for the LP - `Carmen' is quite controversial
AL: I had that in mind. Guess everyone in figure skating has to go through `Carmen' at some point. Guess I have to skate to the `Swan Lake' next. Just kidding.
EV: But what were you thinking about when choosing that piece?
AL: I just wanted to skate to that music. I was looking for a strong female character to depict. I didn't want to skate to `suffering about nothing'. So it just happened. Just that I don't kill myself in the end.
EV: What will you take with you from the last season?
AL: The failure. It changed the way I see the sport. It's not that I feel old or think about retiring. More like I want to try new things. I decided I will go on skating after the Olympics, nevermind how the season will work for me. But my current goal is the Olympics.
EV: Do you sometimes get a feeling while you set your goals and go for them the real life goes by?
AL: No. It's sometimes hard, but I have enough support.
EV: Not so long before interviewing you I was talking to a known coach and she said sometimes the work is so hard the skaters start looking who to confide in. Who do you confide in?
AL: My mother. She can explain things and calm me down.
EV: What is your mood towards the first season competitions?
AL: I really look forward for the test skates. It never happened before, but I really want to show what was I working on the whole summer.
EV: And see what will you have to compete with to make it to the team?
AL: I already have an idea - I saw recordings from the first test skates.
EV: What do you think about it?
AL: That everyone were working hard. The competition will be fierce.