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    Mar 2002
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    Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Pogorilaya `In Beijing I showed all I can do'

    Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Pogorilaya `In Beijing I showed all I can do' for
    Fame landed on Anna Pogorilaya. It happened when she won the GP in Beijing, beating not only the 3 times Russian national champion and the European silver medalist Adelina Stonikova, but the world champion Carolina Kostner. Right after she landed in Moscow Anna was interviewed by Sport Express.

    EV: Anna, your junior career was not as shining as of Sotnikova, Tuktamysheva or Lipnitskaya. What kind of injury did you have that caused you sitting out a whole season a couple of years ago?
    AP: I had schlatters on both of my legs and I had a concussion at the same time - I was entering a jump and someone ran into me. It was a shame: I was a hopeful.

    EV: You were told so?
    AP: Of course not. But I was 2nd in Russian nationals, then in URS nationals and it was obvious am not lacking a talent. And then....

    EV: Was it a bad concussion?
    AP: I remained conscious, but but can't recall anything except for the ambulance. I was told not to do any physical activity for 2 weeks, but who listens to those doctors. When I was diagnozed with Osgood–Schlatter disease I was also told I will not be able to skate anymore. Indeed I couldnt' sit in the spins, had to skip a lot of elements. After the concussion I came back on the ice a week later when it was obvious there would be no complications.

    EV: When is the earliest you remember being on the ice?
    AP: At the age of 4. WE were already competing and I would always lose because I was forgetting the programme. I recall mother applying make up on me for the first time - she painted my eyes like not many adults have.

    EV: You liked the make up?
    AP: Yes. I don't use it outside the competitions. But I apply my own make up for the competitions. I keep updated on the new tendencies, come up with something new. For instance for my `Cat' exhibition in Beijing - everyone were shocked when they saw me walking out from the hotel wearing the make up on the way to the rink.

    EV: How seriously are you taking your skating now?
    AP: Very. Of course I wanted to stop skating - probably like anyone else. When things don't go as you expected, when you have a disagreement with the coach. There were times I left the rink for a whole week. But a couple of days later I realized I have to go back, apologize to the coach and the parents.

    EV: Do the studies take a lot of time?
    AP: I study a lot at home and many times it happens I come to school and figure I already learned what they study now.
    Of course I put most of my efforts on the subjects I will need for my finals: biology, algebra, Russian. I study French at school - we have a very strict teacher. History - that I study myself. Some subject I'm allowed to miss, but the sports teacher always asks I come to his lessons. He doesn't like it when I skip.

    EV: Does he know on which level you compete?
    AP: Yes. He even asks about the jumps sometimes, though I think he can't really tell the difference.

    EV: Do you have a feeling the sport deprived you from the childhood?
    AP: I think my childhood was just fine. We would play outside despite 2 trainings a day. Besides we have an awesome group - everyone are friends, we can talk to each other. And if it wasn't for the skating - who would let me skip the school so much?

    EV: The programmes you skated in Beijing: is it your top or are you trying something harder in the practices?
    AP: I do twice more the amount of elements on the practices. As for the elements - that's it. That's my top for now. We were unable to compile a harder programme.

    EV: The only thing that would be more complicated that comes to my mind is a 3lz/3loop that Sotnikova did in the SP
    AP: I guess Adelina is more comfortable doing that combination. I'm more comfortable with lutz/toe loop. The base difference is not that big, so my coach and I decided to go for the more comfortable combination where I'm more confident.

    EV: Are you afraid learning new jumps?
    AP: I was attempting a 3A. Thought it will not be too painful to fall. I fell on my knees underotating half a revolution. After that I'm afraid even attempting that jump. So we postponed it for now.

    EV: What is the hardest thing for you in a competition?
    AP: The actual competition. I more or less learned to leave all the nerves in the hotel. I just put the earplugs on the rink and put something uplifting like `Everybody dance now!' and off I go. The legs stop being stiff.

    EV: What is harder on the `stiff' legs - jumping or skating?
    AP: Jumping. I can always make the steps a bit easier, especially the jump entrance, but the jumps... Besides, there are so many -first lutz/toelopp, then loop/oyler/salchow and then a stand alone lutz which is not the easiest one either. And the steps that must be executed fast with the arms and the body moves and I should hit the music. Just as well there is a slow part after that where I can catch my breath.

    EV: Were you taught how to breath right?
    AP: No, it just works out somehow. I guess you just have to run your programmes through again and again, then you'll be able to breath.

    EV: When your parents took you to the rink was it to improve your health or for the medals?
    AP: to stop me from running on the walls.

    EV: You were running on the walls?
    AP: Quite literally. We had a wall bars installed and I learned to climb it before I could walk. So I would climb the bars, then get on a tv - remember those huge old tvs? from there I would jump on a couch, from the couch on a swing and then back to the bars.

    EV: Many skaters said the senior skating compared to the juniors is like a war. Did you have that feeling?
    AP: If anything quite the opposite. There are skaters who just project niceness. Kostner for example.

    EV: I read your interview were you speak warmly about Kostner. And Sotnikova - you mention her `terrorizing' you in the practices.
    AP: I was totally misinterpreted and was surprised to read what they wrote. What I meant to say that Adelina's ability to concentrate before the competition amazed me. I've never seen such thing before - she becomes a different person on the ice. As if there is a wall between her and the rest of the world. Of course the expectations of Adelina is so much higher.

    EV: Guess things will be expected from you as well now.
    AP: I don't know. It would be nice to make it to the GPF of course, but it's still not a goal anyone set for me.

    EV: What are your goals?
    AP: Now I really want to compete in Paris. It's a shame there isnt' much time between the competitions - I'd like to work more on the programme. Last year in the Junior worlds my components marks in the SP were higher than here in Beijing. I'd like to work on that. So that the gap between me and Sotnikova on the components will not be that huge.

    EV: I recall in the JGPF you were standing in the corner where Lena Radionova was interviewed as a winner and you looked so upset.
    AP: That's how I felt back then. It was upset loosing to the American. The coach explained I had to work harder. I couldn't understand why was I 3rd. I skated like never before, I did so many 3lz in every practice.. I was lost.

    EV: Among the skaters you'll be competing with in the Russian nationals who is the most dangerous?
    AP: Julia Lipnitskaya. She is the most consistent skater and she aims for the Olympic team, unlike me. Though my job is just to go out, think of my own programmes and skate, not think of who will I be competing with

    EV: Speaking of which, do you mind hearing many specialists don't consider you for an Olympic spot?
    AP: I'm well aware of that. If I'm not meant to go to those Olympics - be it.

    EV: Do you talk to your parents about it?
    AP: No. I think if I should start talking about the Olympics they'll decide I have a `star stickness'

  2. #2
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    Thanks. Interesting interview.

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