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  1. #1

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    Ermolina's interview with Volosozhar/Trankov `Next 4 years will be interesting'

    Ermolina's interview with Volosozhar/Trankov `Next 4 years will be interesting' for fsrussia.ru

    OE: What have you noticed during the Worlds?
    TV: There will be big changes in pairs skating. The level is very high, even though not all the Olympic leaders participated.
    MT: It will be interesting to see who will retire and who will stick around next season. We spoke to many guys but not many have decided yet. Some are changing partners. As for the changes - the next 4 years will be really interesting.

    OE: Aljona Savchenko announced she will continue skating with the French Bruno Massot. What do you think about it?
    MT: It's hard to comment. Of course Aljona wants to use another chance. Reckon they are talking about representing France. Then they'll have to sit out at least for a season. Since Tanya and I are staying, Stolbova/Klimov are there, both Canadians, the Chinese - it won't be easy for Aljona and Bruno
    TV: They will have to start from the scratch.
    MT: We know what they will be going through. We can only wish them luck. And it will not be easy for them. Taking their age and all. But let's see. Savchenko/Szelkowy were a very interesting duo. It's one of the first mixed race pairs, they stood out. I can only support Robin here - to skate for 11 years and then... Instead of joining a show, go on a tour and earn money he remained jobless and throw away. I could understand if they haven't had any good results and titles as I didn't have with Maria Mukhortova at the time. We were not invited to any shows anyway and had nothing to lose. We parted because we were not progressing. Savchenko/Szelkowy is a different story. To dump the partner when they had show contracts signed is not a nice thing to do. It's their business. I spoke to Robin recently. I know he is not happy about it.

    OE: Your partnership with Tanya was an obvious success at the very beginning. You both considered being good partners. But it's not what one can tell about Savchenko/Massot.
    MT: Creating a new pair is always hard. Also keep in mind we paired up before the Sochi Olympic and it was our goal. We did all we could for our goal, all of use - the team of about 15 people gave up everything they could. Will they have the same conditions? Tanya skated in Steuer's group, she knows how they work.
    TV: It will be hard to create an amazing pair with Ingo's help only. Besides, France has a good duo - James/Cipres.
    MT: Should James/Cipres find a good pairs coach they will progress. Their now coach - Claude Peri-Thevenard is the singles coach. They are learning the pairs elements from the videos. Every competition they learn new things and gain experience. I know they are looking for the pairs elements coach who will help them along with Peri-Thevenard. Should they find such a specialist I think they will improve - they are a good pair. For 2 years they have been in top 10 in the Worlds and top 5 in Europeans, they are fighting for GP medals. They have a huge potential. Their jumps are the best. So Aljona and Bruno will have competition on the national level.
    Besides, the different technique. It's not as if you can pair with someone experienced and just go ahead skating .That doesn't happen. Many little things are important in the pairs skating. The speed- the skaters have to be in the same speed. Bruno is very tall, not like Robin, so they will have to adjust to many things. It's a bit work. We know it because Tanya and I had to go through all that ourselves. During the first half a year nothing worked.
    TV: Aljona is patient. I think she will hold it for another 4 years.
    MT: At any rate it will be interesting if there will be another good pair in figure skating.

    OE: You mentioned the Canadians among the good pairs. Before the season began many things were said about Duhamel/Radford. They were predicted to medal everywhere, yet it didn't happen at the Olympics.
    TV: You know, their sbs 3lz is like a mist - you can't see anything through it. Though the other Canadian pair - Moor-Towers/Moskovitch is much better. я пара Мур-Тауэрс – Москович.
    MT: All the world says Moor-Towers/Moskovitch are better.
    TV: Both in their skating and in their pairs looks.
    MT: The Olympics showed who is who. Moor-Towers/Moskovitch beat them clean in the most important competition.
    TV: They were 5th. Duhamel/Radford - 7th.
    MT: The Olympics always put things into places. In the Worlds Duhamel/Radford skated their LP so so and got a bronze. Last year they were fighting for the bronze and even got close to the Germans, this year the bronze looks more like a by chance thing.

    OE: You talk in length about your training mates Stolbova/Klimov. What did you think about the other Russians - Antipova/Maisuradze?
    TV: They skated well here
    MT: It's good for a debut, but they have to get better. I think they can show a more mature skating. Nodary is a very experienced partner. They should skate more maturely, do harder lifts, skate faster.
    TV: Perhaps they wanted to be remembered, hence they did some original things. Though they are not really rewarded under the current rules.
    MT: But their coach Arthur Dmitriev who at the time coached me is a great specialist in technique. If they will get ready for the next season with programmes full of transitions they have a chance. They reached their goal in Japan - finished top 10.

    OE: They told after the competition they are learning a quad throw and already do a quad split twist. I.e. they are trying the harder elements.
    MT: Like the baby Chinese? And where are they placed with their quad splits? I think their throw jump is still a far cry from a quad - they land their tripples on 2 feet. Besides, it's dangerous - the girl is tiny.
    I frankly don't get what is it for. Their technical mark is quite decent without it. They have to check what they are lacking in the protocols. Their components are weak because their programmes are not great. I would put a stress on the skating skills, choreography etc. Tanya and I showed you can win the competitions without the ultra-c elements. Is it worth the effort? Should you go for the quad throws, 3lz etc if you can win the worlds with an 1A? Like it happened in Japan.

    OE: What can you tell about Bazarova/Larionov?
    MT: They stagnated. The problem was her health and jumps. Vera would get really upset every practice. Nina Mikhailovna was trying to make it all better, but it didn't really work. For example everyone starts the warm up with the jumps, but they finished the practices with it. Otherwise there would be problems. Of course they need to change something. They did a right thing switching coaches. Just that the timing was wrong. Besides, they were not in shape at the end of the season. Last year was not so great either. So during the summer they were working on getting back into the shape. Then they had to take care of Vera's health and only then started working.
    They deserved much more this season. They lost points on silly small mistakes. Besides, that hurricane Stolbova/Klimov happened and wiped all on it's way. Vera and Yura were mentally uncomfortable with that - they used to be n.2 or n.3 in the national team - they were following us and felt comfortable. They didn't really have a competition. And here they had to compete every practice and prove things. They grew together with Ksenia and Fedor during the season, but it happened they didn't compete in the team event. It was a blow for them. They just couldn't deal with the competition.
    I don't know what will happen to them. Will they continue? As far as I know Yuri didn't plan to retire yet. But i don't know what are their plans.

    OE: Olympics were a success for you. After you said you'll take a break and come back for the Russian nationals. Had the plans changed?
    TV: Yes. We will participate the GP

    OE: Why have you decided to shorten the break?
    TV: We decided start the season in stages.
    MT: We have not decided yet what we'll do with the end of the season. I have to recover from my shoulder injury - one of the ligaments there doesn't really exist. On the other hand we need to know how the forces are divided for the next 4 years. The Worlds will be in China, so there will be Chinese pressing there. Besides, Chinese teams are really good

    OE: Had the experienced Pang/Tong retire?
    MT: Think so. Not quite clear what is going on with Peng/Zhang. Zhang was saying he'll teach her everything and let her skate with someone younger. They have another good team who competed in Cup of China. And the junior world champions Yu/Jing. Surely there will be more good pairs. But Russia's state of pairs is quite good too.
    TV: Most important is to keep what we already have and be a strong team. We have Stolbova/Klimov. Also Tarasova/Morozov - the junior silver medalists. It's a good thing they are not champions going into the seniors.

    OE: Why?
    MT: The 2nd place is better for the future. There aren't any world champions who made it to the seniors level. Through the whole history of figure skating only one pair - Gordeeva/Grinkov became world champions after being junior world champions. I was a junior world champion, came to my first senior competition and became last. It was a blow. I had no chance. Take the little Chinese- Sui/Han. They won the junior worlds 3 times. There was a moment when they placed high in the senior circle as well,but in the end their biggest achievement is their placement in 4CC. It's not even the level of the Europeans.

    OE: I.e. next season your main competitors will be Chinese, Canadians, French... Americans?
    MT: There are no Americans at all. Simon Shnapir mentioned problems with his knee and he didn't know whether he'll keep skating. Coughlin said at the beginning of the season he'll have to decide. Taking John didn't make it to the worlds and Olympics their funding must be quite low now. In order to train in the USA you either have to come from a well off family or show good results. If Coughlin did not recover after his injury and there is no funding, while he has to feed a family - he is an adult guy, guess he'll have to get a job. Things are much harder in the USA in that. If you have a job you don't have enough time to train. So I think the main competitors will remain the Chinese, Canadians and Russians. In Europe - the French and the Italians. Though it depends on whether the Italians will continue - Ondřej Hotarek was not sure whether they will.
    TV: They also have some funding problems, besides, it's hard to find a pairs coach. Of course it's important for them to participate the Worlds, but they understand the best they can hope for is top 5. As for the Euros - they said there are many good Russians. Should the Russians sweep all the podium there is no point for the Italians to keep skating.
    MT: Ondřej is 30y.o. Stefania is gettimg married to an American. Perhaps it will be easier for them to join the shows and just earn money.
    Generally the state of the pairs in Europe is not clear. There are hardly any pairs left. The good Israeli team split. I think it's a bad thing for the pairs skating in general. There should be some diversity and competition in order for the sport to move forward.
    I guess it will develop anyway, thanks to the Olympic team event. Everyone saw you can medal as a part of a team and become a real Olympic champion. I guess it will develop in the USA, who will want to become more than just bronze medalist next time. I'm quite sure all 4 disciplines will develop in the far east.
    Of course after the Olympics many pairs will broke and many new will be created. It will be an interesting 4 years, more interesting than before Sochi - back then only Tanya and I were the new team, the rest were the experienced, well known. We will now get to see a lot of new names, hence Tanya and I want to participate the GP and learn who will we be competing with in the future.

  2. #2

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    Thanks as always TAHbKA.

    This interview was particularly interesting for me as Max and Tat (are willing to admit) they pay close attention to the competition. Lots of skaters instead say I am only concerned with myself. But they had all the skinny on everyone. Being on the GP will be good for them and everyone else. I hope there is more pairs competition for them even if it is a result of the team event as they suggest.
    Figure skating is hard.

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    Amusing read. The level of bias, gossiping and snark is higher than usual even for Trankov.
    Especially I loved his critics about "not great programs" and the fact that "Tanya and I showed you can win the competitions without the ultra-c elements". Yes, probably they won the components mark with their masterpiece programs, definitely.

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    Thanks to Max for telling us not just his own but everyone else's future plans!

    And thanks as ever for the translation, TAHbKA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    Thanks as always TAHbKA.

    This interview was particularly interesting for me as Max and Tat (are willing to admit) they pay close attention to the competition. Lots of skaters instead say I am only concerned with myself. But they had all the skinny on everyone. Being on the GP will be good for them and everyone else. I hope there is more pairs competition for them even if it is a result of the team event as they suggest.
    They were interviewed in Japan where they came to WATCH the competition. It would be weird if they said they only focused on themselves while sitting in the crowd and did not watch the others skating....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    Ermolina's interview with Volosozhar/Trankov `Next 4 years will be interesting' for fsrussia.ru

    MT: We know what they will be going through. We can only wish them luck. And it will not be easy for them. Taking their age and all. But let's see. Savchenko/Szelkowy were a very interesting duo. It's one of the first mixed race pairs, they stood out. I can only support Robin here - to skate for 11 years and then... Instead of joining a show, go on a tour and earn money he remained jobless and throw away. I could understand if they haven't had any good results and titles as I didn't have with Maria Mukhortova at the time. We were not invited to any shows anyway and had nothing to lose. We parted because we were not progressing. Savchenko/Szelkowy is a different story. To dump the partner when they had show contracts signed is not a nice thing to do. It's their business. I spoke to Robin recently. I know he is not happy about it.
    I don't always agree with Maxim but he managed to say what I think word by word here. I wish Aliona well but if she is to represent France I wish Vanessa and Morgan do even better to be honest. I'm kind of wondering now if this pairing is just some DG style trade off to have Ingo coaching in France, or will they remain in Chemnitz?

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    Max is such a gossip guru, he managed to spill news about so many pairs team in such a short interview.

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    That was a great interview. Interesting to hear his opinions on ALL the other pairs.

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    Thank you so much for the translation, Tabhka. We are indebted to you, quiqie, and others who keep us up to date on all the Russian interviews!

    This one was especially interesting, with all the gossip/news about other pairs. I am crushed to hear that Marissa & Simon may not continue . . . but suspected it might be a possibility . . . sigh . . . we will see. And, as to Aliona, wow, Maxim in particular does NOT like her, does he? For all their success, I think V/T are a bit afraid of Aliona!! They know she's probably the only one with the skills and the--you know--to really take it to them. Okay, maybe Ksenia has all that too. :-)

    It's interesting and a little surprising that V/T want to continue when S/K have emerged as obvious, and highly capable, successors to their throne. V/T could be in for a constant battle the next 4 years! Perhaps the prospect brings out their competitive streak.

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    Volosozhar talked about their own plans in this English version: http://en.itar-tass.com/sports/726036
    “It’ll be difficult enough to compete at this high level during all the four years to come,” she said. “In the coming season, we plan to appear at the Grand Prix stages, and as for the European and World Championships, we’ll take a decision on them later.”

    Tatiana also said Maxim and she were eyeing the production of new programs.

    “As usual, we’ll begin a staging assembly in May - we’ll go to the coach Nikolai Morozov in the U.S. and he will definitely produce a program with us or, maybe, a couple of programs,” she said.
    Re-posting from the other V/T thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    Vaitsekhovskaya wrote in her blog
    `As for the good news - Volosozhar/Trankov decided not to be silly and will come back to the GP wanting to add the missing trophy to their collection - the Cup of China. So I really wish them to get that GP when the ISU will start assigning'
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    I think Maxim genuinely feels bad for Robin. He's saying what a lot of people are thinking... I am sure Robin expected to start skating in shows (and there are so many opportunities in Europe and Asia right now) and make a good living. Now what?

    I wouldn't be surprised if Maxim & Tati go on to have a long and successful coaching career after they retire. They both seem to be really bright and have a ton of skating knowledge / insight. Not all great skaters have that.

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    I hadn't thought about Robin, but that is really sad.

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    One can always count on Trankov to give entertaining interviews

    I think that while some of it might have been a tad self-serving, they've managed to be honest, thoughtful and quite on the mark regarding just about every pair that came up. Very interesting read, and thanks for translating, TAHbKA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by morqet View Post
    Thanks to Max for telling us not just his own but everyone else's future plans!

    And thanks as ever for the translation, TAHbKA.
    yes, great read! Thank you TAHbKA!

    Loved how he snuck in the "and you can win with a 1a" dig
    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    And, as to Aliona, wow, Maxim in particular does NOT like her, does he? For all their success, I think V/T are a bit afraid of Aliona!! They know she's probably the only one with the skills and the--you know--to really take it to them.
    or maybe he just plain doesn't like her. Or maybe, as a male partner, strongly empathizes we the male partner's perspective. He seems to talk to the other guys a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    One can always count on Trankov to give entertaining interviews

    I think that while some of it might have been a tad self-serving, they've managed to be honest, thoughtful and quite on the mark regarding just about every pair that came up. Very interesting read, and thanks for translating, TAHbKA!
    I think his love for pair skating in general came through. He seemed to actually want the other European as well as asian and American teams to do better.
    Last edited by berthesghost; 04-01-2014 at 03:16 PM.

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    He doesn't want pairs skating to decline which is real issue given the changes in junior age limits. It's always better when there is a high level of competition. I think he assessed the situation quite well. And, it's expected that all the pairs skaters know each other very well. They've competed against each other for years and worked together in shows. I think he and Tanya understand Aliona's desire for that elusive medal, but also empathize with Robin's desire to quit and make money. Unfortunately, those are not reconcilable and someone is not going to be happy. It's just going to have to play out. I also think V/T are going to take it year by year. If they feel good, they'll compete. If they reach the point they want to do something else, they'll stop. Both of them will be 30 soon and the urge to have a family may hit one or both of them. I'll be happy with how ever many comps they decide to do. At least one member of almost all the senior pairs teams are at the 30ish mark, so I suspect several of them will call it quits before 2018 rolls around. There may be a lot more shuffling of partners to come. And, there are some excellent junior pairs (in Russia and China) waiting to move up. I think this will be an interesting and unpredictable quad.
    Adelina Sotnikova defeated the curse of Esta She is indeed the Greatest Of All Time!

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    It's very rich of Trankov to lecture other teams about working on transitions and choreography.

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    fascinating! Thanks, TAHbKA!

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    I find it extremely interesting that they are committing to the GP but seem to backtracking already on Worlds saying his shoulder needs rest and obviously knowing that S/K are coming on strong and that there will be a big Chinese push.

    Hilarious how much tea Trankov was willing to spill on the other pair teams. Granted the questions were pointed but he put a lot out there. Its like he knew what info all the fans wanted.

    I like the comment that he sees the team gold as a real Olympic Championship. That kind of thinking amongst all the countries is what will make this event truly great going forward.

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    Thank you very much for the lengthy translation!

    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    And, as to Aliona, wow, Maxim in particular does NOT like her, does he? For all their success, I think V/T are a bit afraid of Aliona!!
    Whether the latter is true or not, I think Maxim feels bad for Robin, who has been treated quite poorly by Ingo and Aliona over the years being publicly blamed for the team's failures in public and having to deal with Ingo and Aliona's private drama backstage. It's one thing to want to switch partners, but to demote Robin to "10th in the world status" now after all of their mutual successes is just... And while Robin may have made the more glaring Olympic errors, Aliona was hardly perfect all the time herself. Just look at their 2013 Worlds LP where she doubled most of the triples or that Europeans performance where she fell out of a SBS spin and stood around for minutes...

    Considering it seems Robin wanted to retire after 2010 and Aliona and Ingo persuaded him to stay around another four years already, I don't think it's unreasonable of him to have hoped they would be able to reap the rewards of skating professionally in shows together. Now, he pretty much has nothing. Yes, it's her life, but in the end it seems that one cannot expect much loyalty from her as a partner. She comes across as someone who wants to win (not a bad thing) but at all costs. I hope she does not ruin even more pairs in her quest for Olympic gold if she decides that Massot is not working out, after he dumped Popova for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatefan02 View Post
    It's one thing to want to switch partners, but to demote Robin to "10th in the world status" now after all of their mutual successes is just... And while Robin may have made the more glaring Olympic errors, Aliona was hardly perfect all the time herself. Just look at their 2013 Worlds LP where she doubled most of the triples or that Europeans performance where she fell out of a SBS spin and stood around for minutes...

    Considering it seems Robin wanted to retire after 2010 and Aliona and Ingo persuaded him to stay around another four years already, I don't think it's unreasonable of him to have hoped they would be able to reap the rewards of skating professionally in shows together. Now, he pretty much has nothing. Yes, it's her life, but in the end it seems that one cannot expect much loyalty from her as a partner. She comes across as someone who wants to win (not a bad thing) but at all costs. I hope she does not ruin even more pairs in her quest for Olympic gold if she decides that Massot is not working out, after he dumped Popova for her.
    That's not what Savchenko did; she said that when they paired up, Szolkowy had been just 10th at JW - the implication being that a skater can have much more success in the right partnership, so Massot's record being weaker than hers by far was not a concern.

    Is there any indication that Szolkowy wanted to retire in 2010? I've never seen anything suggesting it. And if he wanted to make money doing shows, he could have started with the shows in Japan. I get the feeling that he's just had enough, period, and wants to move on with his life. And Aliona only wants to move on with her skating career. Both decisions are reasonable, and I hope that they'll be able to sort out their current issues and remain on good terms.

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