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  1. #1

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    `We can't afford mistakes this season' Vaitsekhovskaya's interview with Trankov

    `We can't afford mistakes this season' Vaitsekhovskaya's interview with Trankov for sport-express.ru
    The world champion who I met with right after Volosozhar/Trankov came back to Moscow from Korea stunned me right from the start. When asked when exactly their season began Maksim replied `it haven't even really started yet'.
    And immediately added: I'm used to count the first competition a beginning of the season. So far it've all been the off season training.

    EV: When have you started working on the new programmes?
    MT: Right after the team championship in Japan which took place in the middle of April. After which Tanya and I went for a couple of days to Sochi.

    EV: To finalize yours and Tanya's move to that city after the Olympics?
    MT: Yes. Right now there is nowhere to move to - there is no place to live. Perhaps Tanya and I will open our own school in Sochi after the Olympics. We went there to discuss all that with the Krasnoyarsk leads. Right now we have nothing - we don't owe any apartments, the odds to get one in Moscow are low - the current major of town wouldn't grant the athletes flats for any achievements. All the ice rinks are packed and there is nowhere to work. So why not move to Sochi?
    Right after that we went to Mexico for a vacation. We were there with Bourzat and some other skaters. Quite by chance we all ended up in the same hotel.


    EV: What do you mean by chance?
    MT: You know, Cancun is a place where many skaters who train in the USA come for their vacation. We went to a camp in the USA after the vacation to start working on the programmes. After that we skated in a couple of shows.

    EV: Which programmes were you skating in the show?
    MT: This time we were skating to the live music. We had 5-6 shows and then went to Korea to join Yu Na Kim's show there.

    EV: Does the Korean shows differ from the Europeans shows?
    MT: They are more demanding -there are several group numbers, so for the first couple of days we had to work really hard. David Wilson, who choreographs for Yu Na a lot was choreographing it. Besides they were using quite a lot of Korean special effects. The organization was amazing.

    EV: I heard the Chinese are known for their special effects in the shows.
    MT: We never had a chance to skate in the shows in China, but , as far as I know, the skaters dont really like participating them

    EV: Why?
    MT: Too much work. The demands are too high. I head people were skating almost the whole day long - there are no vacation days, no days to overcome the jet lag. Right after the landing everyone is taken to the ice, while the conditions in which they live and move from place to place are not the best. Of course it is well payed, but it's not much fun skating in Chinese shows. The level is not that high either.

    EV: Do you keep the Olympic programmes a secret yet?
    MT: As usual. We were able to use our very old ideas. Nina Mikhailona is still not quite certain about them though.

    EV: Why?
    MT: Perhaps she is not sure it's the best thing we could choose.

    EV: What do you think?
    MT: We already showed the programmes to some of the specialists, and everyone who've seen them liked them. Despite us using an `overused' music. But I think we'll be able to surprise as early as in the SP. It's different from all our previous programmes.

    EV: So how are you going to surprise doing the standard elements list to an `overused' music?
    TM: With our skating. We managed last season, even though many told us using the `Godfather' music was a mistake

    EV: I.e. you reckon you'll be able to interpret the used pieces like no one did before?
    MT: Exactly. At least like no one did before in pairs.

    EV: How had things changed now that you are not the only top pair in Mozer's group?
    MT: I cant' say anything had changed. In the USA we were training on the same ice with Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov, but we could just as well skate with Bazarova/Larionov or alone. We don't feel any lack of attention from Mozer, especially since she wasnt' choreographing our programmes or working on the technique with us. She is first of all the manager. So yeah, things became harder for her - there is much more work, but if Mozer thinks that's what is needed for our Olympic results - that must be right. We got used trusting the coach completely in those matters.
    We are quite friendly with each other, there is no envy. Tanya and I help the guys with some lifts. It's easier for us as well. It must be much harder for the new pairs though - they have an exact plan for every day. Whether it's dance, gym, choreography or weight lifting. It happened that we would only see each other in the morning during the breakfast and then not cross passes for the whole day.

    EV: Was it equally hard for you and Volosozhar during your first year with Mozer?
    MT: We knew in advance we'd have to pack a 5 years work into 3. We were ready for it and knew what we were stepping into. It was really useful we were invited to many shows from the very beginning. Ksenia/Fedor and Vera/Yuri don't have such an opportunity, so they have to go through the same school in training only.

    EV: What does participating the shows contribute to your training?
    MT: For example during the Yu Na Show we skated with Kurt Browning. He is a legend for me - not only because he is the 4 times world champion. I was his fan when I was a kid. To skate on the same ice with him is an experience. There is so much to learn from him. That was one of the biggest impressions from our trip.

    EV: Were you disappointed he is not as he used to be when he was young?
    MT: At the age of 47 he is landing tripple jumps holding an umbrella. Except for the lack of hair nothing tells how old he really is. In many things Browning is far better than our single skaters. The spins, the steps...

    EV: What are you plans for the next USA training camp?
    MT: We are going to finish working on the programmes in New Jersey and will start polishing them.

    EV: Did you decide on the location because Tatiana still needs the American doctor?
    MT: Not only. Nikolai Morozov works with his group not far from there. It's convenient: he choreographed our programmes and we need his help constantly. By the way during the first training camp in the USA we went to Igor Shpilband. We didn't have a lot of time to work with him, but he choreographed an exhibition for us. Despite having to leave he spent 2 days working with us. Oksana Grischuk helps him a lot with the ice dancers now.

    EV: What was your biggest USA impression this summer?
    MT: My mother came with me to the USA. We went to the viewing point in New Jersey with a wonderful view on New York. I dreamed taking my parents there and showing them the city. I didn't get bringing my father there...

    EV: Do you miss competing?
    MT: I don't like competing that much, so no, I don't miss it.

    EV: Do you feel it's the Olympic season?
    MT: We do think about the Olympics, but not in details yet. There are still many `steps' before. When the Europeans will be over we'll concentrate on Sochi.

    EV: Is your first competition this season the USA Grand Prix?
    MT: No. After the internal skates in September in Sochi we plan going to Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf. to show the programmes and check how the judges and the audience take it. We can't afford mistakes this season.
    Last edited by TAHbKA; 07-08-2013 at 10:38 AM.

  2. #2

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    "EV: Were you disappointed he is not as he used to be when he was young?
    MT: At the age of 47 he is landing tripple jumps holding an umbrella. Except for the lack of hair nothing tells how old he really is. In many things Brawning is far better than our single skaters. The spins, the steps..."

    He was asked about Kurt Browning. I like his answer.

    Earlier in the interview, it sounded like they plan to retire after the 2014 Olympics and settle down in Sochi. I am surprised that they cannot find an apartment in Moscow. Is it lack of availability or affordability?

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    We were able to use our very old ideas. Nina Mikhailona is still not quite certain about them though.
    We don't feel any lack of attention from Mozer, especially since she wasnt' choreographing our programmes or working on the technique with us. She is first of all the manager.
    Makes you wonder about what kind of coach she is. And, yes, this definitely works for Trankov. And gives an idea why he couldn't work with other coaches...

    No news about programs, I'm bored already without even seeing them.
    Pity, such a waste, the pair with amazing technical abilities and zero interest to make something original and new...
    Last edited by reut; 07-08-2013 at 10:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reut View Post
    Makes you wonder about what kind of coach she is. And, yes, this definitely works for Trankov. And gives and idea why he couldn't work with other coaches...

    No news about programs, I'm bored already without even seeing them.
    Pity, such a waste, the pair with amazing technical abilities and zero interest to make something original and new...
    Their goal is to win the OGM; not risk losing it by doing something risky. IMO that is the wise approach. There are no bonus marks for 'original and new' unless it's ice dance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Their goal is to win the OGM; not risk losing it by doing something risky. IMO that is the wise approach. There are no bonus marks for 'original and new' unless it's ice dance.
    I completely understand their choice. But can't respect it. And of course can't be glad for it, because, as I mentioned above, I see it as a waste of their abilities.
    Last edited by reut; 07-08-2013 at 10:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reut View Post
    No news about programs, I'm bored already without even seeing them.
    Pity, such a waste, the pair with amazing technical abilities and zero interest to make something original and new...
    I agree. This is a partnership I was really looking forward to, but it's been such a disappointment. I didn't expect groundbreaking, innovative stuff, but they have produced one uninspired program after another - I'd actually argue that their programs together may be worse than what they did with their previous partners. What a waste.

    And contrary to what Maxim says, they can certainly afford mistakes and a bit of risk-taking, considering the extent of the politikking push they have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I agree. This is a partnership I was really looking forward to, but it's been such a disappointment. I didn't expect groundbreaking, innovative stuff, but they have produced one uninspired program after another - I'd actually argue that their programs together may be worse than what they did with their previous partners. What a waste.
    Their programs were OK, it's just they could be so much better. I don't care about the medals (they do naturally), me as a spectator I care about interesting programs, and I'm disappointed...

    And contrary to what Maxim says, they can certainly afford mistakes and a bit of risk-taking, considering the extent of the politikking push they have.
    Politikking will be HUGE, especially because other Russia's "Olympic hopes" either dropped or went from gold to "at least bronze" (in ice dance, for example). Still I understand their wish to be clean. Still I don't respect their choice to be, once again, on the safe side.

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    No matter how much of politiлking one think they have they still aren't allowed to blow their chances at these Games. They are against S/S and never have won against them unless they were better. And if they will with mistakes against clean-ish S/S they'll be skinned.

    I, for one (and yes, I'm a hage fan)б would love to see them in a really classical program after three years of partnership.

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    So, which warhorse will they use then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    So, which warhorse will they use then?
    Something that has not been used too much in pairs, apparently. Carmen??

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    One thing I like is that they don't disdain the senior Bs like many high profile contenders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yunasashafan View Post
    Something that has not been used too much in pairs, apparently. Carmen??
    Nah, not likely. It's probably someyjing from the Russian classical music, since they've done Swan Lake and Romeo&Juliette, may be it's simething from Rakhmaninov? Or Borodin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knigolubka View Post
    Nah, not likely. It's probably someyjing from the Russian classical music, since they've done Swan Lake and Romeo&Juliette, may be it's simething from Rakhmaninov? Or Borodin?
    They've already skated to Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev). Has Borodin done anything that would be considered a warhorse (a quick scan of his compositions at Wikipedia says no, but I'm probably missing something)?

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    The Firebird?

    Please don't let it be POTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    They've already skated to Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev). Has Borodin done anything that would be considered a warhorse (a quick scan of his compositions at Wikipedia says no, but I'm probably missing something)?
    Yes, the Polovtsian Dances from the opera "Prince Igor", it's been done quiete a lot, especially in ice dance. I'd love them to do something else from Prince Igor, there are a lot of music that'd suit them

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    I think they are doing exactly what they need to do for themselves. An OGM will open many doors for them and they are looking for what happens after February. Experimentation doesn't put points on the board and that is what is important for them. For a pairs team to reach OGM level in only 3 years is an extraordinary accomplishment even if both members were experienced skaters. They still had to learn to skate together. The amount of trust the female partner has to place on the male is difficult. Female pairs skaters are tiny but they have the heart of lions and Volosozhar is a lioness.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    They'll have been together for nearly four years by the time of the Olympics, and have actually had a fairly similar career trajectory to Sale and Pelletier - who were not as successful before teaming up as V/T had been. Yes, they're doing what they need to, but I'd like to think of champions as challenging themselves to do more than check the boxes; the truly memorable ones go well past that. V/T appear content to be acceptably good when they could legitimately aspire for great. I find that disappointing.

    Perhaps the similarity will continue with another pairs scandal and a new scoring system?

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    I'd be all for a new scoring system, but I don't want anything to tarnish their win. Hopefully, the judges and myself will be happy with their skates and they'll get that OGM and they won't give a damn what the fans grouse about. That being said, Max will change things if they get negative feedback at the senior B. He wants to win. And the about Morosov can start now, but his choreography wins points and that is the ultimate goal.

    S/S have tried edgy and experimentation and it didn't win them the right color medals so there is a lesson to be learned here.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    S/S have tried edgy and experimentation and it didn't win them the right color medals so there is a lesson to be learned here.
    They won Worlds four times, with quite a few diverse and interesting programs during that time (and in the years when they only medalled). I think the lesson is that it is possible to be rewarded for difficult and interesting programs even if they're not perfect and you aren't from a super powerful federation. Their failure to win an OGM in 2010 wasn't due to edgy programs; as S/S programs go, Out of Africa was fairly conventional. It was just not a good season for them.

    So if anything, I think their example should show exactly the opposite of what you suggest...

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    They won Worlds because they're good and because the competition wasn't that strong. V/T were their only real competition and V/T beat them easily this last season. S/S will be the interesting element this year. Last season was one of their bad seasons (they seem to alternate them so hopefully this year is a good year) and they almost didn't medal at all at Worlds. Will they make the throw3A a standard part of their programs or keep it in reserve? Will Ingo go for edgy or be conservative and try to win? Sadly, both teams will quit after Sochi. :
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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