Michal Brezina: `The quad is not everything' (after CoR interview)
Brezina's after CoR interview for Sport.Ru by Julia Tihonova
their timing beats me - why publish NOW a month old interview??
JT: You had to change boots between the competition. Quite an extreme start of the season. How is the breaking going?
MB: Better. The boots are softer than they were in Paris. The LP showed I felt more comfortable - got a level 4 for the spins and was able to land a quad.
JT: You are one of the not many skaters who decided to participate 3GP events. How does it feel? Is it too tiring? Too much pressure or you don't mind competing more?
MB: Actually I used to compete in a lot of competitions - 2 JGP events and right after the seniors competitions. So it's not new to me. It's just that I didn't have to travel so much as junior. This fall I've been to the USA, Paris, now Moscow. Think I get more tiring from travelling rather than competing.
JT: Jet lagged?
MB: Not at all. I never suffered from the jet lag and I still don't.
JT: Comment on your skates this season. Are you satisfied with your level? Or was your main goal to make it to the GPF?
MB: I qualified to the GPF before the CoR, so there was no pressure on me here. I just wanted to compete again before the GPF. I think my skates improve every time. Every time I make some minor mistakes, but integrate harder elements. The quad, for example. And I was finally able to do the spins the way they were choreographed. I get better every time and hope to show clean skates in the GPF
JT: You mentioned the quad as some sort of achievement. What is it for you: something you must do, a challenge or just yet another element?
MB: I try to think of the quad as of yet another element. If you go on thinking `it's a quad!!! you must land it!' it won't work. Hence I try to consider it as any other jump which I just have to do. It's how I thought about the quad in Moscow and it worked. I was unable to land it in Paris doubling it. It's just a matter of the attitude: I can't think of the elements during the skate, I just want to perform them well.
JT: You put the quad in your programmes when you are ready to land it or is it a compulsory element?
MB: Usually we put it when it's ready. For example, it was not ready in Paris , but it was before in LA. But my coaches decided I shoudln't do it - there was no need. Only one of the skaters who participated there attempted the quad and there was no need taking the risk - I had more than 10 points gap from the 3rd place. But when I saw the list of competitors in CoR I realize I must do the quad, as well as in the GPF. But still - the quad is not everything ,there are many other elements in the programme which must be performed on the top level.
JT: Let's talk about your SP. Why did you decide to keep the last year programme? Do you like it so much or you didn't have enough time to create a new one?
MB: Last season finished later than usually and we simply didn't have enough time. Another reason was because I only performed it 3 times last year: in the nationals, Europeans and Worlds missing most of the season recovering from the injuries. I was told the programme is really good, the audience liked and, frankly, I like skating to this music myself.
JT: There are some photos where the top part of the custume is different from the one you wore in the competitions. Is it a new costume or one for the exhibitions?
MB: Actually the black is the new costume. The half transparent was made first. I had to change it because the judges said they can't see the move of my body - I blend with the ice. If I want to get the points from the judges they have to see what I do. So we changed the costume to a completely black one, which doesn't blend with the ice.
JT: Last year you kept your old LP. Is it a habit?
MB: Not at all. We just didn't have a clue what to do in the LP. We were unable to come up with the music or a character. We didn't like anythig, so we kept the LP from the previous season. It was my coach's idea - I was trying to find some music, but didn't convinse him. But think we'll change the LP next year.
JT: This year's LP can be divided to 4 musical parts: rhythmic, fast, slow and rhythmic again. The programme is quite complicated. Do you use the slow part for resting or do you find it easier to skate it with no stops?
MB: The slow part lasts just for 1.20, but it's the longest slow part I've ever had. I don't get to rest there - its' packed with the elements - a lot of moves and all the jumps - there is no time to rest.
JT: Are you comfortable with the new LP?
MB: Yes, very. I get very tired because the programme is so complicated. The steps sequence right after 3 jumps and when I do all the jumps at the beginning of the programme and then the steps I get very tired and just glad when that part is over. But there are still 2 more minutes to go. It's quite hard and complicated, but I like it, the fast music gives me an energy boost.
JT: So you prefer to skate to a fast music rather than lyrical?
MB: Camerlengo offered some classics. We'll see, perhaps we'll find something, we haven't yet discussed that. Right now it's just an idea, but perhaps we'll find the right music.
JT: Who usually choses the music?
MB: Usually it's Petr Starets, Pasquale Camerlengo and I. We gather and listent to various things and decide on the direction. Then we choose the music.
JT: Who has the final say?
MB: No one. We discuss everything with the coach and the choreographer. No one has a right to say we'll do this or that. We always compromise. We're a team.
JT: You switched to the seniors recently, yet you are 10th in the Olympics and 4th in the Worlds. Do you consider yourself a newbie or an experienced skater? What are your relationship with the younger skaters?
MB: When I switched to seniors Pluschenko, Lambiel and Joubert still skated. Their level was incredibly high, thye were unbeatable. The generation is changing now. When I started participating hte senior competitions it was much harder to make it to the top, to compete with them. But now.. .look at the Japanese skater: he skates well and wins. Had he started participating the seniors competitions when I have he wouldn't stand a chance to win the GP. No one cold beat Lambiel or Pluschenko if they skated on their usual level. Now there is no one unbeatable. There is Patrick, of course, but he is my age. There is no one like Pluschenko: 3 olympic medals and I don't even know how many titles. He's a legend! He was a legend when I just started participating the senior competitions. It was hard to compete with the elite skaters of those time. It's much easier for skaters who become seniors now than it was for me.
JT: You have to compete the young skaters and you look more experienced compared. They have no legends to look up and thye just move forward...
MB: Yes, think we had more respect to the `older' skaters. Pluschenko, Yagudin - we were their fans with `Oh my god! No way!'. The young skaters now just move forward. Actually I was the same in my first year in the seniors: I was 4th in the Europeans right behind Pluschenko, Lambiel and Joubert. I was able to show in the Olympics I don't care what others think of me. But with the time the attitude changes, you change, the skaters change and now I'm competing with the `younger'.
JT: When you set a goal does it matter how you get there? Or just getting there is important? Do the other skaters have influence on you?
MB: If it's about the competition the medal as such is never a goal. It doesnt' work for me. I comepte with myself. I want to show everything I can do on the ice without looking on the others. I want to prove I can skate better than I did before. I don't need to compete with the others, I just move forward. I always try to beat myself.
JT: You mentioned you might want to become a coach. Of course you are still young and I hope you'll compete for many years. What do you think your future will be like?
MB: I'd like to remain in the figure skating having dedicated to it most of my life. Perhaps I'll try something new when I stop competing, but in the mean while I consider figure skating as my main future direction.
Nice interview and thanks for the translation. Find it kind of funny/cute that he sort of considers himself to be an "elder statesman" now that he is in seniors.
- Rep Power
haha, it's interesting Brezina thinks he's one of the older skaters now, cause I always consider him as one of the young/new ones
Just out of curiosity, was this translated from English to Russian and back to English again? . . . Or does Michal also speak Russian?
Jumps and spins and steps all must be done at the top level now. Like you need a quad and level 4 spins and good step 3/4. Can't be like spins 4, steps 3 near 4 no need for quad.
I think it was. At least some of the expressions in Russian made me assume the original interview was in English.
Originally Posted by Doubletoe
- Rep Power
Loved the interview - so sincere.