Joubert, the season after…
The french skater is starting the new season today. He comes back to the criticisms developped after his olympic disaster (16th).
He has hesitated a lot. Even more as he sprained his left ankle on a quadruple salchow yesterday evening in Poitiers. Brian Joubert has nevertheless chosen to impose to himself the Orléans Masters in which he didn't succeed much. For the last 2 years, he has suffered national set-backs which have hurt his prestige. Of course, not as much as his olympic disenchantment. And even if he won a bronze medal thanks to a pride reaction, the critics remain harsh. Did he take them into account ? He explains himself.
"The people who call me "petit con" (don't know how to translate that, stupid brat would convey part of what it means, except that it's not exactly that) are right. For 2 years, I have been a "petit con"!" (Brian Joubert, L’Équipe, Feb 20)
"I'm still not perfect but I think I have evolved, I'm more ready to listen to the people in my circle. I don't know if I was being pretentious in view of the stake, but I want to be more open."
"My mother told me : "you never had a teenage phase, you're doing it right now." It wasn't the right time."
(Brian Joubert, Feb 20)
" I was going through a difficult period in my private life and I took everything by the wrong end. It is still a bit there, but I'm getting better. As I'm moody, everything may go right on one day and get on my nerves the next. But there are ways to have discussions now, I control myself more."
" Brian is an emotional/sentimental guy, he needs stability, to be reassured. It's a good thing he's making up with Véronique Guyon (*)." (Charles Dumont, DTN, June 10)
"I'm still working on myself. But without a shrink, just with the people close to me. Véronique helps me a lot, she's open, listens to me. With her, I feel confident. And I know we are on the right track. If I hesitated to enter the Masters, that's because we've begun a heavy technical work. I don't want to see our collaboration questionned if there are errors in Orléans."
"Coaching Brian is a fight, he cheats on many things." (Didier Gailhaguet, president of the FFSG, Feb 18)
"I've disappointed a lot of people, especially the people close to me, and it will take time to gain their trust back. Did I cheat ? Maybe unconsciously. With my weight for example ... When my head is a mess, I compensate with food. For those last years, I knew we were heading for disaster but I remained silent. Now, I've decided to lower my competitive weight (from 77 to 75 kg) because I'm getting older, it's more difficult to recover. I still have 1.5kg to lose, but I'm already ready physically to handle my two programs that I do every day. It wasn't the case last year."
" Has he come to terms with the Games ? Is it constructive to go to Worlds or is it a way to protect himself from a depressive mindset, had he taken a break." (Makis Chamalidis, psychologist, March 24)
" I couldn't have a break, end my season after the Games. It would have ruined me. To go to Worlds was risky, but I needed to. But I felt fed up this summer. After 10 days of holidays, I went back to Courchevel at the begining of July, but I didn't want to. I couldn't even remember the choreography of my new free program. After some galas in Korea, I cancelled a summer camp in Canada and I had a 3 weeks break. Then I did what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do. Without thinking about figure skating."
"I'll end my career at 2012 Worlds in Nice." (Brian Joubert, Feb 20)
"I've started to do galas again and that's a good thing. But I need the stress of the competition. And I don't set a limit, as long as I wish and as I progress. If I'm behind the times, I won't mess up and I'll stop. But that's not the case. To go to Sotchi in 2014, I think about it sometimes. But to think seriously about it is a mistake, it's premature."
" Are we going to see him happy again ?" (Benoît Lavoie, international judge, March 24)
"Happy, I am every day when I push the door of the rink. I'm happy to hurt myself. I feel more free too, even if that's contradictory since Véronique is handling everything. But, as a matter of fact, it takes a weight of my chest. And it reassures me."
(*) She was her coach since the age of for until October 2003. They teamed up again for a season in 2005 (note from me : actually, they didn't "team up" ; Depouilly left in the middle of the season and she accepted to come back to help Brian ; she already knew problems were ahead then)
and found each other this spring after Depouilly's departure.