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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    This actually strikes me as a fairly common sentiment. I'm a Kostner fan from way back, but it seems as though a lot of people have only warmed to her in the last couple of years or so. At least Leonova isn't suggesting that Kostner's programs weren't good, just that she didn't get them.
    Except she really has to look at her own programs before publicly dissing her competitors and saying she isn't impressed at their programs. When was her last masterpiece?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    I find it interesting that she dumped Aranjuez because it was too much "like a funeral", so went back to Adagio for Strings?!
    Yeah, I felt the same... how is she self-aware enough to see that her other programs were duds, but then goes back to Adagio? I guess at least funereal is the correct interpretation for the Adagio music, which it isn't for Spanish music. Her comment about the music needing to turn her on was interesting. It seems like she either needs something upbeat with a character so she can really get into it, or something really slow so she can just forget the music and only concentrate on jumps (I much prefer the former!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    I don't understand why people who are interviewed, even just occasionally, don't get the PR thing (and I have advised people on this professionally and once it is pointed out most people really get it) - I suspect she is just not very mature in publicity terms. When an interviewer throws you one of those questions that has an obvious negative answer (and they will) just turn it around - "It's more about wanting to be as comfortable as I can be in preparation for an important competition and I am definitely most comfortable at home. That's what's best for me. "
    Consider that her answer is the politically correct one in Russia. I can't recall a Russian interview with a skater that trained in the US that didn't have a question about how they liked it, and usually prodding them to diss it. No surprise that they took that quote as the title of the article either. She managed to make it clear she prefers Russia without saying anything too awful about the US.

    Sure, these articles get translated but they are mainly meant for the Russian audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badams View Post
    I don't think it's a big deal if she doesn't love the United States. I'm sure Russia is a lovely place, but I wouldn't feel comfortable spending huge gobs of time there. Doesn't mean I hate Russia.
    Exactly. I'm American, but I appreciate Russian culture and Russian skaters. I doubt I would be fond of their accommodations and food, though. I wasn't offended at all.

    Here's one of her blogs about the USA (bonus photo of her in a bikini ): http://en.alena-leonova.ru/blog/dail.../2012-07-07-40
    Please don’t think that I have completely turned into an American and forgotten about my dear Russia! I am missing my motherlad very much, and as for American habits, I’ve adopted only the American smile.
    Now I’d like to tell you about things we are doing in our summer camp. First of all I must say that the first three weeks we were living a life of vagabonds, that is, we changed three hotels in 20 days. For two weeks we were staying in New Jersey and a few days ago moved to Danbury, Connecticut. The point was that our coach Nikolai Morozov had been searching for a rink where it would be possible to work at nights. In his opinion, nighttime is the very right time for choreographing programs. Now we have finally settled here until the end of August.

  3. #23
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    I am assuming the article was done in Russian, and then someone translated it into English? I think that's important to keep in mind. From what I read from the above translation, the only thing Leonova said was that she was "uncomfortable" in the USA. My bet is that the majority (or even a good majority) of Americans would say the same thing about being in Russia.

    Regardless, I appreciate her candor.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Kostner used to be terrible, IMO. Really awkward and gawkish and it's only in the last two seasons or so that she's bloomed into an absolutely extraordinary skater who just has the whole package.
    +1

    I actually think that there are a fair number of skaters who have "grown" technically and artistically. Kostner just had the unfortunate -- to my mind -- experience of medalling at events very frequently even when she had big problems. Kind of like Sokolova.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Everything? We can't be that bad.

    What accommodation is she talking about? I have several Euro / Latin American friends who are more than happy to debate the quality of life in America. However, one thing they praise is the quality of accommodations here (more space, comfort, privacy, etc.)
    Daily Life in America

    Please don’t think that I have completely turned into an American and forgotten about my dear Russia! I am missing my motherlad very much, and as for American habits, I’ve adopted only the American smile.

    Now I’d like to tell you about things we are doing in our summer camp. First of all I must say that the first three weeks we were living a life of vagabonds , that is, we changed three hotels in 20 days. For two weeks we were staying in New Jersey and a few days ago moved to Danbury, Connecticut. The point was that our coach Nikolai Morozov had been searching for a rink where it would be possible to work at nights. In his opinion, nighttime is the very right time for choreographing programs. Now we have finally settled here until the end of August....

    [She describes her training regimen]

    Oh well, having some rest also figures in our plans. Once we even went to the ocean’s beach. I’d love to go there every day, but unfortunately the road takes too much time, about one hour and a half. Sometimes we do shopping or go to the movies.

    In the end I’d like to tell you once again that all of us are awfully homesick and at times wish we were in Novogorsk.


    She has also expressed some distinctly peculiar -- and closed-minded -- views about North American food:

    My First Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Part One

    I love how she calls it her "first." They had already had wonderbabies in Russia back in 2010.

    First of all I’d like to say something about how we were fed. In a word, badly. When I first came into the canteen, my eyes were immediately caught by the tables near the McDonald’s. I was surprised to see athletes in Russian Olympic uniform sitting at these tables, and understood at once that there was nothing much to eat. I walked around the room, looking at the smorgasbords, and, could you believe it, didn’t find anything appetizingly-looking. There was one table with sushi and other Japanese food. The mere look of it made me feel uneasy: everything that was on it appeared to have been made clumsily and in haste. Finally I just took some lettuce and a piece of roast beef, the one that was less burnt....

    Now I’d like to describe a wonderful recovery house, which we visited twice. It was a real paradise! ) I got there by chance. I had a half-day-off, and Alla Yakovlevna suggested that I should join the ice dancers. Of course, I agreed. The house was about 15 minutes’ drive from the village. Seemingly, those 15 minutes couldn’t change anything. But it turned out that at Olympics everything is possible! It felt like we’ve came to another planet. The mountains, the ocean beach, the view over the downtown… Fairy-tale surroundings! The house looked rather plain. On entering I felt homey at once ) On the first floor there was a lounge, on the second - rooms with physiotherapy devices. And there was a wonderful chef ) The very scent of his cookeries made one’s mouth water. We ate borsch as the first course and calf as the second.
    You can take the girl out of Novogorsk, but you can't take Novogorsk out of the girl.

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    I just remembered a lady in the row behind me this year at TEB telling her companions a tale of woe that has been Pechalat/Bourzat's life in Moscow

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Except she really has to look at her own programs before publicly dissing her competitors and saying she isn't impressed at their programs. When was her last masterpiece?
    But she was asked about what she saw at Euros. And she didn't compete at Euros

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    She has also expressed some distinctly peculiar -- and closed-minded -- views about North American food

    You can take the girl out of Novogorsk, but you can't take Novogorsk out of the girl.
    As a fairly picky eater, I'll give anyone a pass for sticking with what they like/are familiar with - especially in a situation like the Olympics. Every culture has its customs and preferences; I mean, I live in a place where we eat salad for breakfast, which I'm sure many people find strange and unappetizing.

  8. #28
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    Does every Russian interview have to have some sort of American dig?

    I understand that they're being "honest" and "un-PC" and Americans are just too "self-censored" and "boring" but this is getting so repetitive to the point where I feel it's rehearsed as well. It would be interesting to see someone make a dig against Russia (like quiqie mentioning how Pechelat/Bourzat were having a trying time there) or a Western European country, or China, or Japan, etc., and see how celebrated those comments would be.

    However, I do understand Leonova may have truly not have a good time during her time in the U.S. for valid reasons.

  9. #29
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    ^Salad for any meal would be unappetizing for me. The very word makes me weep

    Quote Originally Posted by quiqie View Post
    I just remembered a lady in the row behind me this year at TEB telling her companions a tale of woe that has been Pechalat/Bourzat's life in Moscow
    Tell us more!

  10. #30
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    Plus one! Once I saw Irina Slutskaya take the ice at a Champions on ice show in Spokane. Even though she did a western theme skate hardly anyone applauded her before or after the skate. I was ashamed. I am sure very few ice show fans in Spokane knew who she was.
    Later, I heard her quoted as saying something to the effect that "All American audiences want to do is sit in the stands and eat their cheeseburgers". Like Suze, there are days I don't like this country either....translating from one lanuage to another is not as easy as people think, given culteral differences. Russians sometimes do come across as proud and arrogant. Even when they dont mean to be. I remember Yasa and Yuri being introduced on TV when they did their gala performance at SkateCanada about 1992 as the "proud" Russians.....well, I dont know if they are proud or not...they certainly have reason to be....whenever I talk to them, I just see two well mannered polite friendly people. It would be interesting to talk one on one with AL....I know I wouldnt feel comfortable living in Russia...I am sure she has her reasons for not feeling comfortable here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suze View Post
    I am glad she didn't provide some vague responses and expressed her opinion in that frank manner. Perhaps it's due to the cultural difference between the US and Russia but I find many of the American athlete interviews generic and self-censored while Russian athletes aren't afraid to name names and express their grievances without resorting to some beat-around-the-bush statement.

    It's perfectly fair to say she doesn't like America. On some days, even as an American, I don't like this country either

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    ^Salad for any meal would be unappetizing for me. The very word makes me weep :
    Oh god, never come to Israel. We have salad with everything, all the time.

    Is it possible that you have never tried the right salad? Do you just dislike them in general? Because I agree that in some places the vegetables really are

    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    It would be interesting to see someone make a dig against Russia (like quiqie mentioning how Pechelat/Bourzat were having a trying time there) or a Western European country, or China, or Japan, etc., and see how celebrated those comments would be.
    Well, I did mention the Orange Team interviews, when some skaters were asked to trash competitions they'd been to. Does that count? I remember JW in Sofia came up in one of those.

    Also, Scott Moir thinks the WTT is stupid, does that count as not liking Japan?

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    Plus one! Once I saw Irina Slutskaya take the ice at a Champions on ice show in Spokane. Even though she did a western theme skate hardly anyone applauded her before or after the skate. I was ashamed. I am sure very few ice show fans in Spokane knew who she was.
    Later, I heard her quoted as saying something to the effect that "All American audiences want to do is sit in the stands and eat their cheeseburgers". Like Suze, there are days I don't like this country either....translating from one lanuage to another is not as easy as people think, given culteral differences. Russians sometimes do come across as proud and arrogant. Even when they dont mean to be. I remember Yasa and Yuri being introduced on TV when they did their gala performance at SkateCanada about 1992 as the "proud" Russians.....well, I dont know if they are proud or not...they certainly have reason to be....whenever I talk to them, I just see two well mannered polite friendly people. It would be interesting to talk one on one with AL....I know I wouldnt feel comfortable living in Russia...I am sure she has her reasons for not feeling comfortable here.
    I thought the infamous cheeseburger quote was about Sarah Hughes?

  13. #33
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    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post

    You can take the girl out of Novogorsk, but you can't take Novogorsk out of the girl.
    Word. She couldn't sound more provincial if she tried even though she is a Moscow resident IIRC.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    The only thing I have to say is I doubt Russian fans/ press would appreciate it if an American skater who was training in Russia went on and on about how much they hated Russia.

    I have no problem with Leonova stating that she misses home and prefers Russia because that's her home and her country but...

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    Tell us more!
    Nothing to tell, really - that was a narrative of what Nathalie says in every interview when she is asked about their life in Russia they are still my favorite ice dancing team, though

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiqie View Post
    Nothing to tell, really - that was a narrative of what Nathalie says in every interview when she is asked about their life in Russia they are still my favorite ice dancing team, though
    I thought it's always about how life in the US is easier but in terms of culture she preferred Russia?

    There are more foreign skaters training in the US than US athletes training elsewhere, so that might account for some of the disparity in the comments.

    Lucinda Ruh had some comments about various training locations in Frozen Teardrop.

  18. #38
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    A lot of Russians are rather preoccupied with disliking the US. This was striking to my parents when they visited Moscow about 6 months ago. Being able to communicate in Russian, they'd asked why the resentment and the stunning answer was: "They don't help us." Not sure what that meant and why/how the US is supposed to help Russia but there it is. Not representative of the majority opinion by any means. However, the general sense of resentment is there.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Kostner used to be terrible, IMO. Really awkward and gawkish and it's only in the last two seasons or so that she's bloomed into an absolutely extraordinary skater who just has the whole package.
    I quite liked her 06/07 SP (Canon in D) and 07/08 SP (Riders of the Storm).

    Liked the interview. Given that all that Leonova said was that she was uncomfortable with everything, I don't see the big deal.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post

    Also, Scott Moir thinks the WTT is stupid, does that count as not liking Japan?
    But you see where that moment of "honesty" got him as a North American/Canadian! His comment about hating that competition was said in a moment of frustration in the K&C, and I don't think anyone thought it meant he disliked Japan, but some people still won't let that comment go.

    (Let me be clear that by "some people" I don't mean the Japanese fans - not at all! He and Tessa have often skated in Japan over the years, they have always spoken highly of their experiences there - in fact they have said it's one of their favourite places to skate, and the Japanese crowds have always been wonderful and supportive. )

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