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    Volosozhar/Trankov `We like being a pair with no style' by Simonenko

    We like being a pair with no style
    (my commments)
    AS: Taniana, Maksim, first I'd like you to elucidate on something you mentioned in the press conferencei n Sheffield: you said you think pairs skating is going too much for the elements level and its' a wrong direction.

    MT: It's just my point of view and I realize other skaters might like the direction. I'd like the pair skating to develop more in the choreography. I'd like it to resemble the show more. Chasing the elements we stopped noticing things. For example that the lifts are not as beautiful as they used to be. Many difficult positions look awkward.
    TV: They look bad. We give up the beauty for the pairs skating.
    MT: People do some weird things on the ice and gain points. The split twist performed from the steps are small and not breathtaking. I think some elements shouldn't have levels at all. For example I think the 3 split twist should be marked by it's quality. If it's high and with a split - the points should be higher.

    AS: I.e. the problem is the rules that make skaters do what they'd rather not?
    TV: It's not so much of a problem....
    MT: Just something we don't completely agree with. But again, it's just our point of view.

    AS: Perhaps in order to make pairs skating more like a show the lyrics should be allowed, just like in the ice dance?
    MT: Am all for it. In the test skates our SP for Evanscence music with the voice looked 80points. Not the 72 we keep receiving. But we are not allowed to use the lyrics. Beats me why.

    AS: Lack of competition and withdrawl of Savchenko/Szelkowy meant none of the medalists were truly satisfied with their placement. At least that was the impression....
    TV: Indeed, have we beaten the 3 times world champions, which is what we were preparing for we would be happier.
    MT: In GPF we missed a bit. We wanted to compete against them again in the Europeans. But they withdrew, we made mistakes - hence there weren't too many emotions. Let me put it that way: have we skated 2 clean programmes and placed behind the Germans we would be happier, than winning the way we did.

    AS: You're kidding
    MT: Not at all. It would be a real competition, a real sport.
    TV: Remember how Pluschenko and Yagudin used to compete. Everyone were expecing the next battle on the ice, it was interesting. We want to have the same kind of competition, not just automatically receive a medal

    AS Guess it would make pairs competition much more interesting. In Sheffield there were many mroe journalists in the mixed zone during the subgles skate than during the pairs.
    MT: Of course. On the other hand what are we supposed to do? A step back and create an artificial competition? All the Russian skating should stop progressing and just wait for the others to keep up with us? the europeans have the ice and the opportunity to work. Go ahead and work
    TV: You should also keep in mind that 2 leading pairs were missing in the Europeans. Besides the Germans Kawaguti/Smirnov didn't compete. They won the Europeans before and would be aiming for the gold. Had Yuko/Sasha and Aljona/Robin skated the interest would be higher.
    MT: Indeed. Instead we had a Russian Nationals 2 in Sheffield. Not many were interested in that.

    AS: Did you expect Savchenko/Szelkowy to actually withdrow? Many thought it was a mental game.
    MT: We thought so too at the first that they were trying to toy with the judges' emotions...
    TV: But after their training before the SP it became clear they probably won't skate.
    MT: When we were leaving the hotel I left the room and saw Robin. He made that gesture looking at me... then I understood they will not be competing. We were quite upsed.

    AS: Why do the skaters always say: we don't think about the placements or the rivals during the skate, yet you are so upset the rivals didnt' compete?
    MT: You are mixing different things. We do want to win when the competition is good. It's one thing. When we skate the programme, of course we are not thinking about hte placement. We just do our job. How do you imagine that - we do the jump and immediately think `ha, here is our medal'?
    TV: When you skate you don't have time to think of anything else. Not about a medal or anything else.

    AS: The journalists speculate based on the marks how many times a skater can make a mistake to remain in the lead, how to change the programme and give up a hard element. Do you do such calculations?
    MT: No. It's useless. Figure skating is such a sport, where, for example, Patrick Chan can fall 7 times and still win. The old 6.0 system was not clear, so is the new. Changing the programme in the pairs skating is impossible. That is if you're skating on the top level. Perhaps the pairs who do double throws can afford that, but we can't. It's the same with the jumps.

    AS: Many claim the pairs skating became more like the ice dance. Do you agree?
    MT: I think it's the opposite- the ice dance became more like pairs skating. We performed the step sequences before, while the dancers started making pair spins.
    TV: Though indeed our step sequences are more dance like, but it's because the rules are more strict. We have to show difficulty. But yes, in general the ice dance is moving to our direction. Sometimes we thing they'll start doing throws and splits soon (laughts). As for the lifts- stuff they are doing now not all the pairs can repeat.

    AS: Do you think the 3.5 and 4 throws should be forbidden? Just like the back flip
    MT: I would forbid it. Don't see a point perfoming them and when I'll become a coach I will not teach kids doing the quad throws. If the quad throws will become a compulsory element I'll stop coaching. The quad jumpst are only performed by the guys, and not even all of them. Yet here the girls are flying high above the borders, hit the ice and I just don't get who would want to look at those horrid falls. Remember how the Chinese skater fell from the quad throw in the Olympics? Yuko Kavaguti with her dislocated shoulder? How now Aljona Savchenko fall? There are girls who are looking for excitement and trying to do the quad throw. If I were a coach I wouldn't allow it. And wasn't it the whole quad throw story with Yuko and Sasha that took the Olympic Medal from the Russian team in Vancouver?

    AS: I doubt Aljona is looking for excitement.....
    MT: Everyone wants to win. And take risk. In Aljona and Robin's case I don't understand what is it for. They win as it is. If they skate cleanly they beat us. The throw itself doesnt' add much. There are components..

    AS: Tatiana, if the coach said you have to learn a 3.5 or a 4 throw, what would you say?
    TV: I'd liek to try. It's scary. We practiced the quad throw and split twist on the floor with Stas (Morozov). But it's different on the ice. The muscles would do the rebolutions, but to overcome the fear in your mind...

    AS: Nevertheless, the answer is `yes', you would do a quad throw?
    TV: Yes. I would try. But if the partner is afraid to throw me, I'd give it up.
    MT: I'm not afraid. I can throw... If Aljona asked me to do a throw quad with her I would. Or any other girl. But not Tanya. I have only one partner who I waited for for 5 years. I don't want her to injure herself. It's easy enough to get injuried as it is, why push it?

    AS: How would you rather be rememebred: as world and olympic champions, or as skaters who created something special on the ice. For instance so people would remember you as `Volosozhar/Trankov, those who were the first to skate to hard rock, Evanscence'?
    MT: First we'd like to become world and olympic champions. We don't have those titles yet. that would be enough. We are not attempting to get into the Guiness book of records, we are not that ambitious and don't need to be in some lists of achievements.
    TV: But yes, of course we'd like to become like Lambiel, who might not have conquired every high of figure skating, but is much more loved than many olympic champions.
    MT: BTW, the version of Evanscence in the Worlds will be different very... hard. In general we want to be different. We want to try everything and not repeat a thing. We are glad that after 1.5 years of performing no one says `Volosozhar/Trankov style'. We like being a pair with no style. We want to be a pair that can perform any programme. A lyrical, a technical - whatever. That's what we aim for. We are not there yet, but it's our goal. Perhaps this is how we will be rememebred.

    AS: Are you sorry now you didn't start skating together earlier?
    MT: It crosses our minds. But then we try to push those thoughts away. We just enjoy what we have now. Why tease the gods? Everything works fine, we are moving up, whats' the point thinking of the past?

    AS: You were asked about skating with the previous partners many times before, so I wont' repeat that question. What did working with your previous coaches teach you?
    MT: We are grateful to all our previous coaches - all gave us something important. I learned something from every specialist I worked with. It's countless. For example Moskvina was the one to teach me the lasso lift. Velikov turned me into an athlete. Another coach taught me not to repeat my mistakes. There is so much you can't name it.

    AS: As far as I know Maksim you were assisting Nikolai Velikov, trying out as a coach?
    MT: That's right. It's hard to tell whether I'm any good. Guess I'd rather be a choreographer.
    TV: Maksim is very creative. Almost all the music that we skated to - both in the competitions and the shows was Maksim's idea.

    AS: Do you have ideas for the next years?
    MT: I do. There are several programmes we'd like to skate. There is also a dream related to a certain piece of music and a certain role I'd like to play.

    AS: Are you saving it for the Olympics?
    MT: I don't know yet. We'll see with Nikolai Morozov when and where I should do it.

    AS: And the last question - I can't avoid asking you about Twitter, where you, Maksim, seem to be the most active among the Russian athletes. What is `Twitter' for you - a way to express yourself?
    MT: I got hooked on `Twitter' not so long ago. It's convenient - Ican read the news, ask someone a question and receive an answer fast. It's more of a way to communicate, we'd rather express ourselves on the ice.
    TV: I'm still a beginner in `Twitter'. Write almost nothing, but find it very interesting to read people like Galustian (think it's a Russian comedian), he is so funny. We don't know such people in person, but we have a chance to communicate with them through the `Twitter'
    MT: Exactly. For example I do't know roman Shirokov in person, but thanks to `Twitter' I can talk to him. Someone said that my twitter will be more popular than Shirokov's soon. I doubt. Took a look - I'll need a million years to have as many followers as he does (btw, Trankov is Tankov_jr in twitter if anyone is interested to follow)

    AS: Have you tried writing in livejournal?
    MT: I have a livejournal account, but it've been a while since I wrote there. I used to, but stopped. `Twitter' is faster, more convenient. The technology develops so much now. We usually log in to the net from the mobile phones. Livejournal interface is inconvenient for the mobiles. Besides, there are more people in twitter who are interested in what I say. Another thing is when you are a public figure people start demand things. For example in livejournal I was told many times I should not write this, I should not say that, I mustn't curse. In `Twitter' I can be myself. I write what I want the way I want. And I can always say it wasn't me. It was someone else imposing being me.
    Last edited by TAHbKA; 02-07-2012 at 12:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you!!

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    Thanks a lot, TAHbKA. A really interesting interview.

  4. #4
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    Thank you.
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    Then we will all burn together

  5. #5
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    I <3 Maksim Trankov. Thanks for the translation.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Great interview, thanks!

    I had to at evanescence being "hard rock", it's pop rock lite

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    MT: The quad jumps are only performed by the guys, and not even all of them.
    Could someone please show Maxim these helpful links? Very few girls have done quads, but it's by no means impossible --even more so as a throw jump.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adbq89r-8pw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCW5eHCWsbw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyYJRzF1xwo

    And thank you for translating TAHbKA. V/T always give interesting interviews.

  8. #8
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    His point was, he wouldn't do them because the risk of Tatiana being injured wasn't worth the risk. I tend to agree.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    and these too...I love teams willing to take a risk and move the sport forward, where would we be today without team willing to take risks? There is nothing wrong with quads.

    Z/Z 2006 Chinese Nationals
    K/S throw quad 2009 Russian Nationals
    K/S throw quad 2008 World Championship
    Vise/Trent 2007 throw quad TEB
    K/S throw quad 2009 European Championship
    K/S throw quad 2008 European Championship

    Sometimes you have to be willing to take the risk to get reward. Falls happen even on triples, he should know that by watching Tatiana fall on triples. The most innocuous looking falls can be just as damaging as the ones that look painful and Tatiana was higher on that triple than Yuko was on the quad, Yuko just rotated faster. Some skaters want the risk and for some it pays off; sometimes it doesn't, that's why it's called risk.

    And wasn't it the whole quad throw story with Yuko and Sasha that took the Olympic Medal from the Russian team in Vancouver?
    Really? I thought it was Trankov falling in the short program that helped take the Russian team out of the medal hunt? And that was just on a triple so doesn't that count? Besides K/S didn't do a quad in Canada.

    The fact is, this is a sport, and he hasn't stopped doing triples just because he fell; he got up and tried them again even though pairs in the 70s and 80s thought they were dangerous. This IS a sport. I hope they continue to push themselves as well.... not just choreographically but physically. It would be a really shame if they have peaked.

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    Why? They will stay till the Olympics and then they'll stop competing. They've both already said that they plan to move on with their lives after Sochi. Then they can do shows, coach or choreograph as the opportunities present themselves. Or maybe, make very beautiful babies.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Kudos to him for not wanting to risk the health and safety of his partner unnecessarily.
    I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields

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    I love them and their approach to skating!
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  13. #13

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    That was a great interview. Maksim answers were so refreshing and funny.

    Thank you so much for the translation!

  14. #14
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    Many thanks, TAHbKA!
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    I wish Trankov tweeted in English so I could follow him!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    His point was, he wouldn't do them because the risk of Tatiana being injured wasn't worth the risk. I tend to agree.
    Oh, I agree a quad throw is high risk element and in their case not something they really need. I also agree that sometimes these high risk elements could end up in bad falls and serious injuries -especially when the pair trying them isn't ready for the high risk skill. That said, I didn't see any need for him to bring gender into it and mention the fact that not all guys do quads, so why would the poor little girlies try the quad throw?

    Not the right move for him and Volosozhar, fine. Something that's a bad idea for pair girls *in general*? Meh, there's a reason why I found the go-for-it attitude in Rena Inoue, Sarah Abitbol, and Meagan Duhammel appealing. It's pretty clear quad or 3axel throws aren't the right move for everyone, but that has more to do with built, partner timing and personality than actual gender.

    And even if I don't agree with Trankov on this issue, it's nice to see skaters be outspoken and direct in interviews.

  17. #17
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    I truly love and adore these two as skaters and as people. I agree with so much of what they said in this interview. Thanks for sharing and translating.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    In `Twitter' I can be myself. I write what I want the way I want. And I can always say it wasn't me. It was someone else imposing being me.


    That boy has a sense of humor.
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  19. #19
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    It's Max, he's just being a drama queen. He can't just say "a quad is an element that I don't want to try because I don't think the risk to my partner is necessary at this time." No, he has to say he would never try a quad throw, wouldn't even coach his students to try a quad throw, and would quit coaching if it became necessary.

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    But not Tanya. I have only one partner who I waited for for 5 years. I don't want her to injure herself.
    Maxim's attitude aside, I adore the relationship these two have. He basically worships her. It's really cute.

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