Article about Julia Lipnitskaya "Pertfect skate" (February-March 2012, around the World Junior Championships) http://ffkm.ru/images/mf/Figurist_2012_1-2_25-26.pdf - page 18
"I'm not talking about Julia before the world championships," - says her coach Eteri Tutberidze by phone. "I would praise her, because it's impossible not to, and it isn't a right thing to do before important competition. Talk with Lipnitskayas, and let's postpone our conversation until after Minsk."
A conversation with Julia and Daniela Lipnitskaya began with them telling how three years ago the two of them, mother and daughter, were making difficult decision: to continue Julia's figure skating lessons or quit it altogether and start living like normal people.
At the time, Julia was the best skater in the figure skating school [in Ekaterinburg] and could do double Axel when she was 10, but on the country level, in her age group, she "had nothing to catch". "We went to Russian Cup series, and we realized that our level was far below from that of Moscow and St. Petersburg athletes, - continues Julia's mother. - So the question was, what to do next? "
But first they had to figure out where to go and to whom, so Lipnitskayas began a search of "their" coach. "At competitions, we were surreptiously watching the coaches — Julia admits. - My mother told me: look who would you like to train with? I liked Eteri Tutberidze right away, I told my mama that I would like to train with her. We then talked about her like that: look, there is ''our'' coach coming".
Eteri Georgievna learned that story after Julia began training in her group. "I remember that competition, but I had no idea that I was watched that closely by someone - smiles Eteri. - I was there with Sasha Deeva and Kamilla Gainetdinova and tried to prepare each of them for for the skate. Kamilla had to be guarded from communication, and Sasha, on the contrary, needed to communicate as much as possible. And I was trying to do it all at once, I imagine how funny that must have looked."
However, even having made the choice, Lipnitskayas didn't contact the coach at once, because they still thought, maybe it wasn't worth an effort to try to change something. But, as the saying goes, it's better to do and have a result than not to do and forever ask yourself a question "what if?" So they decided to take a chance, because, as we know, there is no harm in trying. "We did not set an appointment with Tutberidze, and when we went, we simply called the rink and asked the administrator to tell Eteri Georgievna that we were going to meet her."
Now the whole story sounds like an interesting episode from the newly crowned World Junior champion's life, but the day when Daniela Lipnitskaya was starting her car to get her daughter to Moscow, they were only sure of one thing: if Eteri Tutberidze didn't take them, they wouldn't continue their attempts, they'd simply quit figure skating. As they now both recall the two days they spent on the road, they didn't think about the future or the past, they were not afraid, they just were going to try the only chance they gave themselves.
When they had got to Moscow and found the rink, Julia went to the practice on the same day: "I remember that I was impressed with the level of skating of the group, I wanted to train there no matter what. Eteri Georgievna told me to do a double flip-double loop- double loop jump combination, I repeated it all practice and I was very tired, because I wasn't used to it." "I got her on the ice, and went to wait in the car - says Daniela Leonidovna. - On the first day, our practice, both on ice and off ice, lasted 9 hours. I was sitting in the car and thinking: what we got ourself into? "
After the conversation with the coach who said, "I take her", they had to go back home to finally pack their belongings and move to Moscow. It took a week to settle all issues with work, an apartment, a school and a cat, then two days' journey by car and after one night in Kazan, at eight p.m. they were in Moscow. "We called the apartment owner with whom we had an agreement about an apartment rent, but no one answered - wide-eyed, says Julia. - And here me and my mama sitting in a car near Auchan, it's almost midnight, and we have nowhere to go, and don't know what to do. " Lipnitskayas called several agencies and found a place to live by midnight, and the next day Julia went on the ice.
Julia Lipnitskaya started training in Eteri Tutberidze's group in March 2009. And if Julia now says that she was impressed by the group, we have to reveal that the group was equally impressed by her. First of all, by her hard work, ultra-fast learning ability, and the unique flexibility she demonstrated during her spins. By the way, she performed her spins for the first time only two weeks after she came, and the coach initially took her because of her double Axel, even though, as Julia notes, "My Axel technique wasn't that good and we spent a lot of time trying to fix it. "
In this first week, it became clear that the coach and her new student found each other. "The first week we were dying from exhaustion - says Julia's mother - because they were not used to work like that. But we all know that if Eteri Georgievna wants something from an athlete, she gets it. She started working with Julia very seriously from the first day, and Julia was doing her best at every practice, because she wanted very much to catch up with «those Muscovites»".
Eteri Tutberidze and Igor Pashkevich soon taught Lipnitskaya all the triple jumps. In the fall at the Moscow Cup in her free program she showed all the triple jumps, except maybe triple loop. "It isn't my favorite jump because I don't understand yet how I have to jump it so that it works out each time - says Julia in all seriousness. - Yes, I do it in practice, and in the programs, but I cannot fully control the trajectory of the jump. "
Julia now does in practice all possible triple jumps combinations, including the most complex triple Lutz–triple loop, but at first, she admits, she couldn't do edge jumps, such as Salchow and loop. "I was killing myself trying to do Salchow at first, because I learned to jump it the wrong way as a child. I remember how Eteri Georgievna asked me: why did you think Salchow should be done by a straight line? "
"I would never say that Eteri Tutberidze was formerly an ice dancer, not a single skater – Daniela Lipnitskaya says – because she understands jumps very well, all the minute details. She explains them so well that whoever comes to her starts doing them. "
To achieve this effect,coaches usually use the method of sparring. In this group, sparring is present in excess. "Polina Shelepen technically is a very strong skater who can jump all triple jump combinations, and if Julia has just mastered them, Polina learned them long ago. It absolutely doesn't matter for her which of triple jump combos to do, she can do them all and she has a good technique. It pushes Julia to be better, and if something doesn't work, and she sees that Polina does it, she will go and do it just out of competitive spirit, "- says the coach. Surprisingly, it did not prevent the girls from becoming friends, despite being rivals on the ice, they communicate very well in everyday life. Maybe it is because of Polina's very friendly and soft character, but at competitions the girls feel much better when they are together than by themselves. " At the Russian Cup final, when it was unclear yet if Shelepen would go to the Junior Championships or not, Julia told me: "At Worlds I'd better be with Polina, I would like to be with her," - says the coach.
Recently Eteri Georgievna with her students reminds more of a mother with daughters. "Well, they are really like daughters to me, - smiles Eteri and then continues seriously: - Sometimes, I refuse to take an athlete to the group, not because it's a bad skater, but because it isn't 'mine'. When it's 'mine', I see it with inner eye."
"Eteri Georgievna is like a self-updating program, she always comes up with something new. I am very happy to skate in her group. The only thing is, she wants my life to be only about figure skating, and I want to do many other things... "
The first on the list of 'many other things' is the desire to ride the horses that are waiting for her every summer at her grandmother's in a village near Ekaterinburg. "It's just regular horses for work - lights up Julia - but I like to ride them, and if not for the contact with Rostelecom, I would love to do it."
As a child, Julia wanted to be a veterinary to "treat animals," or a horse breeder. The question: "What about the dream of becoming a famous figure skater?" the girl answers very seriously, "You know, figure skating is such a sport where everything is so unsteady, you can never plan ahead, you have to live only by the present day. For now, I'm not going to quit figure skating, what next — we will see. "
Next on the list is the desire to travel the world and enjoy the sights of nature: "I really want to see the world, especially mountains, seas, lakes, and so on. I do not care much for architecture, but I like the nature photos from all over the world." In addition, in her spare time Julia likes to draw, especially animals, and "if I had time, I would do it all day." And she likes to make bracelets , to crochet and knit, to make clay figurines and listen to music. But out of all of the above she manages only to listen to music – Julia does it all the time, even falls asleep with headphones, but everything else only in rare leisure moments between training and school.
Like the rest of children nowadays, she takes her iPad everywhere and all day is walking around digging some interesting stuff and educational programs from the Internet. Some of these studies are related to the 7 th grade course whichJulia finished this year in school N113. "We switched to home education and take all the exams for the year at once one by one. This year we had eight, so they saw me at school exactly eight times. Physics, algebra and geometry are easier than humanitarian subjects. And from now on I am going to start studying English properly because this season I was traveling to international competitions and realized that it is necessary ", - says the girl. And also there is taboo to talk about figure skating at home, and if the mother wants her daughter to watch someone's skating videos, she has to send her a link via Vkontakte, then there is a chance she will see it . "This is a real problem to make Julia watch figure skating on TV or the Internet — Julia's mother complains. - It's good that last year the Worlds were in Moscow and she saw it at all live. "
"Who did I like? – muses Julia. - I do not know. Perhaps, most of all I liked Carolina Kostner, because her skating is very powerful and she has good height on her jumps. " The conversation reveals that she watches Patrick Chan because her coach tells her to, but he doesn't touch her soul. That she has a lot of respect for Evgeny Plushenko because of his character, and among pairs and dance teams she watches only those she knows personally, the exception is Sui - Han who do quad throw and quadruple twist.
Russian Championship last year was the occasion when Julia was not just noticed but already memorized by experts, journalists and the audience. That once again rise a question: how a child of 12 - 13 years of age can cope with all the attention and won't it lead to a star syndrome? "What's a star syndrome? - both mother and daugther are genuinely surprised and then Julia, a little confused, says: "I don't like giving interviews very much, but we have a contract with Moskomsport that regulates all our interactions with press. In general, the only way to deal with the attention is to ignore it." But journalists still attack,for example, try to compare her to Sasha Cohen. This year both of Julia's programs — short program to"Black Eyes" and free to "Romeo and Juliet" – were choreographed by Nikolai Morozov, who either accidentally or deliberately reminded everyone about Cohen's programs. The third, gala number is set to Lara Fabian's song «Je t'aime», but, according to Julia, "Dark Eyes" suits her the best of all three. As for Sasha Cohen, Julia says earnestly: "I haven't heard about her until this year, when people started comparing me to her, I didn't know her at all. I looked up her videos, but did not find anything in common."
This year, Julia participated in international competitions that began for her with junior Grand Prix where she won everything, including the final. "So far, I like to compete, - she says - and do not worry a lot before that, because we are doing a lot of run-throughs, and this is just another of the same - and that's all. "
"In my opinion, Julia is one of those people who exceed in everything they do, - says Eteri Tutberidze. - I see her character first, and then her abilities and talents. And by nature she is a fighter, not a quitter. "
Preparation for the World Junior Championships began almost immediately after the Russian Championships, where Julia Lipnitskaya placed second behind Adelina Sotnikova. Besides working on jumps, coaching team focused on the basic skating and choreography, inviting a well-known specialists Sergei Chemodanov and Ekaterina Zhurina. Seeing how Julia is concentrated on every practice, Eteri Georgievna still worried about her, because she saw the girl getting tired from successful, but very difficult season. "It happened so that since the middle of November we started competing and competed non-stop. First Grand Prix, then Grand Prix final, then the Russian championships, then Russian Cup Final and, finally,World Junior Championships - too much for a 13-year-old girl. In the last weeks before the Worlds, we made an emphasis on choreography, every gesture, and even every look. I was worried about her, because I saw she was tired, but it had shown not technically, but emotionally, because you cannot skate beautifully every day. But she managed"- summes up the coach.
If after the short program audience at the World championships applauded loudly, after the free there was a standing ovation. In Minsk, Julia Lipnitskaya left her competitors no chances in both program. Total score of 187.05 points was the best result in her first international season.
After all the congratulations, in the mixed zone, I asked Eteri Georgievna: "You came here to win, didn't you?" – she answered: "We came here for the perfect skates of the programs, and, of course, we all hoped that the perfect programs would bring us first place. I sincerely believe that Julia is such a brilliant, such an athlete that should come to competitions for the first place. And that it is my responsibility to prepare her for this result."