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Arthur Dmitriev (sr) interview

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by TAHbKA, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    About Gerboldt/Enbert, Arthur Drmitriev jr. By Andrey Simonenko

    The main sensation of the Russian nationals in Saransk were the Gerboldt/Enbert's making it to the team. The pair was created from the ex single skater and the Universiade 2009 medalist managed to come 4th and will participate the Europeans in Bern. The success doesn't make their coach - the two time Olympic Champion Arthur Dmitriev over optimistic. In the interview by Andrey Simonenko from r-sport he is quite strict about his son's leaving the coach

    AS: Arthur, about two months ago you said you understand Katarina and Alexandr's odds to make it to the team are close to nill.

    AD: And I stand behind my words. We are going to the Europeans only because our rivals skated badly. That's it.

    AS: So strict? How about the progress in their elements? The throws? In Saranks Katarina landed much more than she did at the Autumn.

    AD: It's not about the throws. By the way, technically she've been ready for a while. Just that they lacked experience, so she failed them. Towards the Nationals the guys were in a much better shape and gained some experience. On the other hand she failed the 3S. Landed the throw but missed the jump. I mean - everything is freshly sued and tears all the time. And of course, we have to admit - had the others skated clean we would be 5th. But we were given a chance to be higher and we took it.

    AS: Think you are underestimating - it was a different skating they showed here and before. Isn't it?

    AD: Well, we were working all the time, of course. So the hard work payed off.

    AS: How important the Europeans are now? It would be a shame not to use the chance and during the 1st year of the pair's existence.

    AD: Ironically, the Europeans will be much easier for them than the Nationals. There will be less strong rivals than in Russia. And they have nothing to loose in Bern, while in Saransk there was quite alot at sake.

    AS: What do you mean nothing to loose? What about a chance to participate the worlds? Don't you assume for a second if they skate well in Bern they might be sent to Japan?

    AD: No, I don't. I don't think their skating in Bern will change the Federation's decision.

    AS: Even if they beat Bazarova/Larionov?

    AD: Well, I do believe in miracles, but not to such an extent. I mean - if Bazarova/Larionov will fail all of their elements and my pair will do everything clean, then may be, otherwise - no chance.

    AS: The timing of Enbert's army service is really bad - it falls on their Europeans. When was he drafted?

    AD: At the Autumn. He is serving in the inner forces (am not sure what exactly is it). He spent several days in the army barracks. Thanks to the St. Petersburg sports committee support he was able to take his oath as a team member of the country and then was released to train. He has to serve on 30/12-4/1 and be there for at least another week, but we don't know for sure yet.

    AS: Wasn't it possible to release him during such an important stage of his career?

    AD: There is a chance. We sent the letters to the Ministry of Defense signed by ministry of Sports, the heads of Figure skating Federation etc. I hope they will take things into an account. Besides, their qualifying to the Europeans should be counted as well.

    AS: I'd like to hear your thoughts on the skating of another pair from your group - Yuko Kawaguti/Alexandr Smirnov. Do you think their not so brilliant skates are due to all their summer injuries?

    AD: Yes, of course. They are still not in their usual shape. And my personal opinion they'll only gain the shape towards March and the Worlds. Of course they are getting better with the season, they are better, I can see that, but they are still far from being 100%.

    AS: Will the more or less failure in Saranks spoil Kawaguti/Smirnov's chances to be judged fairly at the Worlds? I mean the known fact the pair n.1 title now belongs to Volosozhar/Trankov, though the difference between them is not that huge...

    AD: Everything will depend on how ready they are. Volosozhar/Trankov will not participate the Europeans, while Kawaguti/Smirnov will gain the experience and participate in Bern. We'll see how things go towards the worlds.Most importantly now there are many interesting and very different pairs in Russia. And all of them are top class.

    AS: 7 pairs.

    AD: And it's wonderful. I always said it's nice winning when the field is strong. Especially when so much work is done - am talking now about Gerboldt/Enbert. It's just that we were given a chance a bit earlier than we expected.

    AS: Are you worried they might get star-sickness?

    AD: No. What am I here for? If needed - I can put them back on the ground and fast. Within half an hour, I'd say

    AS: Did you ever have to?

    AD: No, not yet.

    AS: Another issue I'd like to talk about - your son's Arthur Dmitriev jr. participation in the Nationals. After the SP he was 2nd with a minor difference from the leader, but he didn't hang on at the LP. Was it the pressure?

    AD: No. I think it's the coaches switch he went through recently - switching from Alexey Mishin to Elena Buyanova-Vodorezova. Of course it's all very complicated. Arthur've been skating with the new coach for just three weeks. He still skates the same programmes choreographed by Mishin. They didn't even come up with the common language with the new coach yet, and it's very important. It's a process that takes at least half a year. Besides, Arthur is not yet the top class skater, who can change things so rapidly. We'll see how things work out, but right now the lack of communication between the skater and the coach is obvious.

    AS: How did you take his parting with Mishin and moving to Buyanova?

    AD: Badly. Really badly. I think one doesn't betray his coach, especially such a coach as Mishin. But that's my personal opinion.

    AS: Did you try to talk him out?

    AD: Yes, I did, but, unfortunately, it was too late. It was decided by my ex-wife (Tatiana Druchinina) and him. I couldn't defer the decision.

    AS: Arthur jr. explains his switch by the lack of attention: Mishin is mainly working with Gachinsky...

    AD: You know, you can explain anything. When I will try to explain you something I'll come up with a million of truthful reasons, and they all will be truthful. Again, not the truth, but truthful.

    AS: I.e. they will sounds plausible?

    AD: Yes.

    AS: Another question I can't avoid: six years ago you organized an ice show in St. Petersburg. Do you think of going back to producing shows?

    AD: No, I have the followers - Ilya Averbukh, Zhenia Pluschenko. Many guys who skated in my shows remember those days with warmth. It was cool to organize shows on such a high level after the long break.

    AS: Why wasn't it successful? Was it not yet the time for `The Ice Age'?

    AD: No, I just didn't have money for it. Am a poor man. It's as easy as that

    AS: Does your work make you happy?

    AD: Yes, I'm glad I work as a coach and indeed happy. I've been doing it my whole life.

    AS: Do you see your coaching future in Tamara Moskvina's team?

    AD: Yes, absolutely. There are no other options. Our team is really strong and it's not only my opinion. Our rivals agree.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
    orientalplane, LynnW, Rock2 and 7 others like this.
  2. Sedge

    Sedge Well-Known Member

    Google mechanical translates one piece of text this way.
    I wonder if that is really what he meant or if it means "a lot of interesting couples all of them different".

    I look forward to your translation Tabkha
  3. vmfan89

    vmfan89 Member

    Thank you Tabhka!

    I have a question about when they talk about Enbert's army service. Is this mandatory for all men in Russia or is Enbert part of the army? How does it work exactly?
  4. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Wow, he is tough, isn't he...
  5. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    Am not 100% sure, but as far as I know those men who go to the uni don't serve in the army (at least not immediately), so it might be the reason many Russian skaters are in the Sports uni.
    Am also not certain how skating in TSKA which is the army club works exactly.
    And if am not mistaken Enbert is not the first skater to be drafted - a couple of years ago it was erm.. can't remember who - one or two of the usual blond pups - Griazev? Borodulin? Menshov? Someone of that crowd.. And again, if am not mistaken the army service was the reason Kulik didn't come back to Russia till he was out of the drafting age.

    Am a bit :huh: on the Dmitriev jr part....
  6. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Sounds like a bad divorce. His ex-wife took part in the decision, therefore it's wrong and immoral. I'm sorry Artur Jr is caught in the middle of that, and publicly to boot.
  7. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    He does seem tough! "Maybe if B/L fail all their elements" will G/E beat them! LOL! And about Dmitriev Jr maybe the Russian word that was translated as betray is less harsh than that? He really opposed Dmitriev decision to move and is not shy about saying it!
  8. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

    I think he just grew up in the old-school... he was a real product of the Soviet training system... remember his dismay in '92 at not having the Soviet flag when he and Mishkutenok won? I don't think they switched coaches back in those days...
  9. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Michalle hit the nail on the head, imo. Artur Sr. is from the old school. He joined Tamara Moskvina's group when he was 16 years old and stuck with her throughout his eligible career. He had to compete with Oleg Vassiliev, Denis Petrov and Anton Sikharulidze among others for Moskvina's time and attention. He probably feels that his son ahould be willing to compete with Artur Gachinsky for Mishin's time and attention.
  10. Yehudi

    Yehudi Snarks about Volchkova with love

    Artur sr has never been one to mince words. If he thinks his partner is fat, he'll go out and say it. He said in the past his son was a dunce when he tried to coach him so his critiques aren't surprising
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  11. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Where did that come from? That's not what he says at all.

    Thanks for the translation, TAHbKA! :) Indeed he sounds very severe. I feel for Artur Dmitriev Jr. Whatever he achieves in figure skating, his father will have achieved more before him. To add insult to injury, he doesn't even have a first name of his own. :(
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  12. let`s talk

    let`s talk Banned Member

    Military service of 1 year is mandatory for all men 18-27yo, except those who chose the alternative civil service (based on religion or moral reasons, also available for Nothern indigenous people of Russia, 1.5 year, mainly in hospitals, care centers, orphanages, as builders, etc.). In fact there is a long list of those who cannot be drafted: men with health issues (the second most popular reason), being a uni/postgradute/doctorate student (the first most popular reason), being the only guardian of disable parent/grandparent/sibling or of an underage sibling, being a single parent, having two kids or more, having a disable child under three, done military service in another country, permanently living abroad, being a son/brother of a military who was killed in action, being arrested/convicted or under the criminal investigation, etc. There is one more way to "escape" the army service- a fancy bribe to a local military boss. No statistics on that. :lol:
    Still men in most cases listed above can get only a "delay," and, for example, after the uni graduation they have to join the army. But many universities (not all) have so-called "military chairs." It's some kind of division or a faculty in the uni where boys go through some military crap while being at home and keep studying. After the uni graduation they don't have to join the army.
    The CSKA is in Moscow. Probably you mean the local St-Petersburg SKA based in Yubileiny. If he is a member of any local SKA or the CSKA, it means he is in the army (SKA stands for "sport army club). They are free to do with him what they wish, which in reality means he will keep skating and training as an "army member", not just a regular skater, but occasionally he has to visit some real military services. I am not sure I follow the chronology of the events that Dmitriev briefly described. My understanding is that in autumn Enbert was drafted like a regular guy to the Internal Troops, then the FS people started the paper work and blah-blah, resulted in his being "moved" from one division to another and ended up in SKA.
    No, the Russian word is not less harsh and means exactly what betrayal means.
  13. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Setting aside Dmitriev, Jr., Artur sounds very pragmatic, and definitely not over-promising on Gerboldt/Enbert, no claims of politiking, things take time. I think that's a very good thing. TAHbKA -- thank you very, very much for the translation.
  14. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known Member

    I just love how Russians and Eastern Europeans are just blunt and direct. Being Eastern Euro I understand the culture well enough. Part of it is, sure, Soviet, hard azzed training style, but a lot of it is that these countries are different socially than North America.

    Here, we spend so much time building the self esteem of the kids, avoiding directness by couching everything we say as to not offend. The downside is that we end up looking like we promote and celebrate mediocrity, while we're emotionally fragile and have little desire to achieve. Most countries are not like US and Canada in this way. They are direct in how they work and they don't really put up with hyper-sensitivity. If your kid's lazy he's lazy...he doesn't "occasionally lack motivation" or whatever. It's said clearly, and you just deal.

    So it does seem harsh, but personally I just love the direct style. I think it's generally well-intentioned, although it makes Russians look cold in American media.
  15. Simone411

    Simone411 Covfefe! FSU Uber fan!

    I have just one question. What rock have you been hiding under?
    Rock2 and (deleted member) like this.
  16. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    Would you just love it if it was about you? Shall we see?

    Really??? Seriously??? It's different?? Wow. thanks for telling.

    As a mediocrity myself I wish I were encouraged and had my self esteem built by the system education. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive family, so when the education system and the sport system of the USSR treated me like shit I didn't end up being broken and thinking I'm useless at the age of 6. Am sure you would love to have that happening to you.

    And if the kid doesn't have any particular talent but is a hard worker we will not wait to find out - we don't want to deal with the mediocrity, only with the real talents. So let's kick out all the kids at the age of 6 and give them no chance.

    I wish that wonderful style was applied to you. For the rest of your life preferably. It makes Russians look frozen and scared senseless. Not look - it's what those kids are.

    Back to the original subject - am trying to find Athrur Dmitriev jr. interview with an explanation on his coaches switch and I see nothing. Either am not looking deep enough (which is probably the case) or he didn't want to comment on that (then his father's speaking of his reasons even a more low of a thing to do)
    CynicElle and (deleted member) like this.
  17. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Oh about the word "betrayal" and the Russian word.

    The son of two-time Olympic Champion Artur Dmitriev refused to comment on his reasons to switch coaches, stating that "that is personal", but said that the main change after he joined Elena Vodorezova's group is that he started to train more. "Before, my back bothered me and I could not train at full strength. Now I finally can do it and I am looking forward to working even harder, aiming at the Olympic Games in Sochi."

    according to this he is really not going to comment on the coaching switch

    TAHbKA and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Autumn_girl

    Autumn_girl Active Member

    Oh, I assure you, there are enough of crazy parents in Russia who don't believe when the coaches or other specialists tell them "Your kid has no talent, maybe you should try something different". They find new coaches and push their poor kids even harder, make them train more and more...
    And you are right, but there are always two sides of every story. It's much worse to realize that you have no talent after years of practices when sport is everything for you and you have no hobbies, no friends, missed school too many times and maybe even have some health problems. And yes, there are selecting systems in sports school in Russia but it's the only way it can be when parents don't have to pay for practices
  19. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    It may be sometimes useful to use that direct style towards your students or your children, but I can't see any positive outcome of making such comments to the media. Figure skating is a judged sport, perceptions are important. He should take a leaf out of Moskvina's book.

    When a two-time olympic champion, an icon of the sport such as Artur Dmitriev says something, it has a lot of weight for the judges and everyone else. He says about G/E's chances of beating B/L:
    Such nonsense! :huh: That's not at all how the judges saw it at the Nationals. I only saw the LPs yet, but B/L skated as cleanly as they ever have in their lives, while G/E had a crashed twist, completely botched SBS 3salchows and two iffy lift mounts and they were still only 7 points below B/L in the LP!

    B/L have to make just one mistake - which they are perfectly capable of - and Gerbolt just has to rotate - not land - her salchow and the difference would vanish even if G/E made as many mistakes elsewhere.

    I only hope Enbert doesn't lose too much training with this military service thing and they show Dmitriev! :HA!:
  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    True, but in a free market system skaters can decide at any point to cut back on their training and turn it into a hobby instead of a vocation, while also enjoying other hobbies, friends, school, etc. They may even be able to work with elite coaches if they can pay the coach's fees and fit into their schedule, even if they're not aiming at elite competition. It's not a choice between devoting everything to becoming elite or leaving the sport entirely.

    On the other hand, talented athletes with little money have no means to become figure skaters.
  21. ElizabethAnne

    ElizabethAnne Active Member


    Love this bit. Good interview. Thanks for posting it
  22. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    I'm referring to this part, but of course the rest is just my opinion.

  23. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

    I have always liked Artur (Sr.) and I appreciate everything he said about his skaters. Interesting stuff. I have to give Artur Jr. points for his choice not to comment publicly on the reasons for his coaching change - very diplomatic and in the end, perhaps very practical too. A good choice that his Dad might have mirrored but I think we're seeing some personal resentments from Senior toward his ex-wife played out here and that's sort of sad - being someone who has been divorced with kids involved, it's always good not to squish the kids in the middle.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  24. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what you saw in B/L free skate but it was not their best outing, as a matter fact it wasn't a great skate for either pair. Both made mistakes and B/L were ahead by 13 points, that is quite a bit to make up, it won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight I don’t think he is being mean he is being realistic.

    Neither Katerina or Alexander have great skating skills to begin with so they are going to need time to develope them; they are not V/T by any stretch of the imagination and he knows that.
  25. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Nobody is comparing them to V/T, who are in another class. Actually, if V/T progress at this rate none of the current Russian pairs will be comparable to V/T. ;)
  26. let`s talk

    let`s talk Banned Member

    LOL at google mechanical translator :lol:
    I assumed google misused "to like" with "be like." He said "in Russia we have many pairs that are different (are not similar, are not like) from each other."
    I am sure you had other skills, in spheres other than sport. Nothing wrong with that: being a mediocrity in one field but having a talent in another.
    Yeah, like with those e-mails from one judge about someone's transitions... gosh forgot his name...:cold:

    As for Artur, he was giving an interview to the Russian media. In that culture Fatherhood counts first, politics and coach-hood second. He is first of all the father who is talking about his son. And the father CAN be direct to or about his son. Mentality is not universal.
  27. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known Member

    Sure, lay it on me! As long as it's factual and not rude. There's a difference that not everyone understands.


    "you are not a talented skater" = fact (potentially)
    "you are an idiot" = rude (no point to the comment other than to be hurtful and contains no information deemed to be fact)

    that kinda thing...
  28. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known Member

    Oh I believe in support and building self esteem...except I favor being more realistic. I tend to see two approaches to this.

    The first I find more common. We try to tell people/kids that they are awesome at something when they actually aren't. Sure they end up having strong self esteem but unfortunately an unrealistic picture of their talents and abilities.

    This leads me to the second school of thought, which is mine. I believe everyone has some sort of talent and ability while similarly they lack talent and ability in other areas. My philosophy is to -- where it's my place -- help people realize where they have limitations. In short I feel it's ok to diplomatically tell someone they suck at something...but that's all ok because we all do. I'm not about convincing them they are great and special if they are not. This is what's missing right now as we overcompensate under the guise of building self esteem so we create unrealistic perceptions.

    I see this in the work place a lot, so I'm left having to sit 25 year olds down and point out their development areas because no one ever does. I'm direct about it so they know what they're not great at (I share all the positives, too). I provide examples and then I work with them on a plan to improve. On occasion I have had to sit some of them down after a period and tell them they are not going to succeed in this line of work so they should look at exploring their talents in other areas. In all cases but one I got great feedback that I pointed out things that no one ever did and they felt their life and work would benefit from my generous, direct and insightful feedback. Throughout my career I have had consistently strong feedback (documented) from subordinates.

    So, it's about being imperfect and being ok with it, not convincing people of something that's not true because you don't want to make them sad.
  29. Prancer

    Prancer Strong and stable Staff Member

    Yes, if that is true, that is one thing, provided, of course, that the speaker IS telling the truth and is not simply mistaken.

    But IME, there is an entire philsopophy of teaching that has nothing to do with "truth," but rather with using abuse to drive students, which I believe is more what TAHbKA was talking about. The method actually works well with perfectionists, who will drive themselves to their limits to eliminate their flaws, if by well you mean pushing talent to the limit. But the system destroys many, including a lot of very talented people who would thrive under other systems, and often exacerbates the neuroses of the perfectionists with devastating personal results.

    Experiences vary; I have never come across this sort of thing except in a very narrow slice of the middle class. I HEAR about this a lot, but I just don't see much of it. Whatever we may experience personally, even a brief glance at a few stats will tell you that there are far more abused and neglected children in the US and elsewhere than there are spoiled hothouse flowers. As an educator, I see a lot more students who are stressed out by expectations than I do students who think they are fabulous just because. This is not to say I never see the latter, just that I don't see much of them. That's because I don't see just successes (people who graduate and get jobs), but also failures (people who don't graduate and don't get jobs). I see far more students who consider themselves stupid, who think they can't succeed, who have no faith in themselves at all because they have always been told the "truth" about themselves by helpful people who want to make sure they don't get swelled heads, than I do students who think we should be grateful just to experience their nearness. And some of those students who consider themselves stupid quite frankly are. But some of them aren't; the "helpful" people were mistaken (or, often, cruel), and the damage done by their "honesty" is great.

    Most of the students I see--and again, this is just personal experience here and it would be a fallacy to consider my personal experiences some sort of measuring stick for the entire country--seem to me to be quite aware of the fact that they have flaws and have pretty balanced views of themselves, although they are young and so usually limited in experience.
  30. Simone411

    Simone411 Covfefe! FSU Uber fan!

    The point I intend on making is that most parents don't give their children a pair of rose-colored glasses and tell them that they excell in something that they really don't excell in. The child would be devastated when reality hit and feel like a complete failure. Most parents try and help their children to discover what they do excell in and go from there.

    I'm not saying that it isn't done, but where I come from (in my neck of the woods), children aren't given false hopes and dreams to depend upon.