Vaitsekhovskaya's interview with Lipnitskaya `The skater shouldn't look overweight' for sport-express.ru
Everything was working just fine for her till last December. Her first senior GP event Lipnitskaya started with beating a 2 times world champion Mao Asada in the SP and becoming 2nd overall. Yet it was the first sign of things going wrong: the new boots harmed her feet. Then the injuries began. The highlight was a fall during a practice which caused a concussion, after which Lipnitskaya had to withdrow from the Russian nationals. Being beaten by Elena Radionova in the Junior Worlds was the end of the season. Hardly a successful season
We met on an ice rink near Moscow during the open test skates.
EV: Julia, when you first started competing internationally many noticed while you had a perfect technique lacked the emotions.
EV: Now it seems as if you lived a whole life during the last year and you burst with emotions.
JL: I'm glad if it shows. I find it hard to judge myself.
EV: Do you feel your skating had changed?
JL: We worked on that quite a lot. I think only now I start skating as I should - sometimes it's hard to show such emotions during the practices. Had I tried doing that every time I don't think I would last for long.
EV: Usually skaters can show the emotions after living through something themselves, after tragical moments in real life.
JL: I had a whole year of drama. The season was bad from the very beginning - starting with those damn boots. When I recall it now I can't even name everything that went wrong. It was just one huge black hole. I was injured all the time - one thing followed another and caused the third. That fall during the practice was not even the worst thing.
EV: How were you dealing with your attempts to move forward and being thrown back every time?
JL: I wasn't alone. The support from my mother and friends really helped. Of course it was hard to recover after the injures - I thought it was all behind and could move on and then the next misfortune happened. It's hard to be motivated in such a state. I didn't want to skate my programmes because I kept thinking I will be in pain again. It was so difficult. I don't even want to talk about it.
EV: How did this season begin?
JL: With a camp in Novogorsk. I began the season slowly, wasn't doing any jumps at all at the beginning. I was warming up, spinning, doing general things. Then slowly started skating the programmes without the jumps and only later integrated the jumps into the programmes. And it worked out. I was skating a full run through with the elements before this test skate.
EV: Who chose the `Don't walk out when in love' for you?
JL: I heard the music. Once, twice, three times, five... and decided to try skating to it.
EV: Do you have enough time to think about anything but the elements during the skate? I.e. does the music invoke any feelings?
JL: I think first one has to skate the programme on an autopilot. Only then you can start thinking about the emotions. Then the emotions are there, but don't take off the attention. I once tried skating with `the emotions'. I was smiling, moving my head, arms... and missed 3 elements. Then I realized that the emotions are nice, but they are useless in our sport if they come without the elements.
EV: Is your set of mind before the skate important?
JL: Yes, very.
EV: Can it be artificial?
JL: This is what my coach does.
EV: Does she tell you good things or bad?
JL: Whatever is needed. But she always manages to find the right words. Sometimes I come with no mood at all and don't want to do a thing, but then I listen to the coach and things start working.
EV: I think the easiest must be to make you angry
JL: It's not that easy. Though I can be angry for no evident reason.
EV: What had improved compared to the last year.
JL: Everything. Sorry...
EV: Why sorry?
JL: Well, you know, perhaps it sounds not quite modest. But it's true. If you recall how it used to be: I would be set into the right mood before the skate and then go to the ice, do one jump - and that's it. Either I would fall or pop the jumps. I couldn't skate a single programme clean. Even during the spins I would travel. It's hardly surprising I ended up falling. I used to rewatch my skates before and understood I don't really have steps or transitions, but I have the elements and the spins. And then suddenly they were gone as well.
EV: Perhaps it was not just the injuries, but the growing up?
JL: I didn't really grow. Or gain weight. Though wait, just before the beginning of the last season I gained 5-6kg. I looked in the mirror and whoo-ha, there were 2 Julias there. I went back to normal only after the first test skates. But yes, I was ashamed to walk on the ice during the practice. I think the skaters shouldn't look overweight. Or dress so-so. It's a public spot and we should look appropriate.
EV: You are training together with Sergey Voronov
EV: Does he motivate you?
JL: I think it's the other way around. Actually it took me a while to get used skating with him on the same ice: he usually works with a background music. I got used to skate with no music at all and I only put it on when working on certain programmes parts. But then when I skate clean I see how it motivates Sergey - he is trying to skate clean as well.
EV: What are your goals for this season?
JL: We switched to a lutz/toeloop - we used to replace it sometimes with a toeloop/toeloop. We moved the 3F to the 2nd part of the programmed, made the LP harder, moved some of the jumps to the 2nd part of the programme. I would love to be able to skate it all clean.
EV: While you were recovering from your injures did you watch the other skaters?
JL: I was never really interested in figure skating. If I have free time I prefer to watch a movie.