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Nina Mozer interview: There is no point of leaving good in search of something better

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by quiqie, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

    Nina Mozer interview: "There is no point of leaving good in search of something better"


    Next year, Nina Mozer will bring her skaters to the Sochi Olympics to fight for gold medals. For Tatiana Volosozhar this will be her third Olympic Games. For Maxim Trankov - his second. For their coach - her first. This was the starting point in our conversation several days after Volosozhar/Trankov had became World champions for the first time in London, Canada.

    EV: Olympic Games are considered special event, incomparable to any other competition. Do you agree with that?

    NM: Not really. I have never been to the Olympic Games myself, but I always understood that it is completely different professional level. When I watched Olympic games on TV, I was mostly interested in its sports component. I tried to understand how the result is influenced by psychology, other things. But I don't have a feeling that Olympic Games are that much different.

    EV: What Olympic performances were the most memorable for you?

    NM: Pairs skating in Salt Lake City. Not the fact that there were two gold medals, but the skating of Russian and Canadian pairs.

    EV: Which one should have won, in your opinion?

    NM: What do you expect to hear from a Russian National team coach? In all seriousness, I just enjoyed the skating of both pairs, not trying to separate them. It is judges' work. I liked some things better about Lena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, and some other things - about Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

    EV: Doesn't it feel like a deja vu? A year before 2002 Olympic Games Sale and Pelletier became World champions. Now two strong Canadian teams emerged among the top pairs. Do you consider them potentially dangerous competitors?

    NM: When the grown up, experienced skaters team up, it is always interesting. I remember Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moskovich back when they first appeared in 2009. I watched all Grand Prix events then, videotaped all the performances to be able to rewatch them if necessary. I remember Meagan Duhamel as well since when she skated with other partners. Same with Eric Radford. They teamed up around the same time as Tatiana and Max, and before that, Eric skated with one of his previous partners in Ingo Steuer's group. Ingo even had an idea to pair up Volosozhar and Radford. I give full credit for this team's great performance of such a difficult program to their coaches, Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte. I like this coaching duo so much that I've been following their pupils for many years.

    EV: Duhamel and Radford must be on top of that list?

    NM: What I don't like about this particular team, it's their height and weight difference. Although they made a great progress this year. They are very serious competitors. But to pair up a petite muscled girl and tall refined partner, it is very difficult technically. They have completely different muscle structure. When Meagan needs to bend her knees just a little on an entry to a twist, lift, or a throw, the partner has to go almost all the way down on his knees. This is why Duhamel and Radford have a very particular technique of performing pairs elements. It isn't evident in the short program, but in the free, where there are three lifts, technical problems immediately become obvious. At the World championships in Moscow, which was Meagan and Eric's first competetion together, she broke his nose coming down from the twist. Their throws are very small, she basically just jumps while the partner stands by her side.

    EV: I never noticed that.

    NM: At first, I didn't realized myself what was so striking. It was Maxim who noticed that first. He has a good eye for such things.

    In addition, Duhamel has male body type, she has male muscle building. And not very straight legs. It is good for skating, makes easier exiting jumps. But aesthetically it is a big flaw: air positions during spins often looks sloppy. In this regard, I like second Canadian pair better. Partners are very well matched in speed and movements. When they perform pairs elements, they look like one. Such harmony is very good for pairs skating. Like Tatiana and Maxim. When skaters jump, they take off at the same time, land at the same time, and do it all with good speed, it always leaves very powerful impression.

    EV: Are you planning to add some new elements in the Olympic season?

    NM: We learned two completely new lifts this season. There won't be any significant changes in the rules before the Olympics, so we don't plan anything new. To leave good for the better, in my opinion, is not right. We just need a good program, to find the style that will benefit us the most. Of course, there will be some minor changes, but most technical element will be the same.

    EV: And the layout?

    NM: Except for one jump, that we moved to the first part of the program before the World championships, most of the difficult elements are already in the second part. The lifts, the throws. We decided to leave triple twist in first half. It looks the best when performed on "fresh" hands and legs, we wouldn't want to make it look worse. We just need to skate good and pretty.

    EV: What are your plans for your new pair - Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov? When did you make a decision to take them into your group?

    NM: The thing is, I never look at other athletes thinking that I might take them. I never had any such thoughts about Vera and Yuri either. When in London they asked me to take them, I'd thought long.

    EV: About what?

    NM: When you have two top level pairs in your group, you cannot put any of them on the second place. Each has to get their share of love, attention, care, professional attitude. Franky, most of all I want Russian pair skating to be strong and competitive on every level. Therefore, I agreed.

    EV: You were not fazed by the fact that Bazarova needs to recover fully first, and only after that to start training?

    NM: It was the first clause in our agreement, and the process has already begun. It isn't only about Bazarova. I pay great attention to such things. What is the point of setting big goals if an athlete lacks health to achieve them? It is ignorant. And sooner rather than later it will lead to serious problems. Therefore the first thing is treatment, and second - functional and physical preparation. We have enough experts to help us.

    EV: How are you going to deal with the problem of lodging in Moscow?

    NM: It is not a problem. Actually, we have already discussed the details. The main thing is that Vera and Yuri understand: they come to Rome, and they are ready to adopt the Roman style.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
    alilou, Anemone, geoskate and 7 others like this.
  2. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Hm, there must be cases where both coach and skater are at their first Olympics, but are there any other examples where the coach has less Olympic experience than the students? That is quite interesting.
  3. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    "In addition, Duhamel has male body type, she has male muscle building. And not very straight legs"
  4. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

    Great interview, and I totally agree with her views on M-T&M and D&R.
  5. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    So do I, but I am still surprised that she said it so openly. :lol:
  6. kosjenka

    kosjenka Pogorilaya’s fairy godmother

    I love Russian skaters and coaches giving interviews to Russian press. You get to know so many things :D

    I cannot remember from atop of my mind - did Mozer coach Totmianina&Marinin before they went to Vasiliev?
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Count me in with the same opinion on D/R and M-T/M.

    Glad to hear she thinks V/T need better programs.

    Many thanks quiqie!
  8. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, quiqie. I agree - another interesting interview from a Russian coach.
  9. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    no. Think it was pavlova
  10. SLIVER

    SLIVER Well-Known Member

    Couldnt agree more about D/R and MT/M, I hope to see the latter pull ahead next year!
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting interview. Thanks for posting it.
  12. Eladola

    Eladola Active Member

    I didn't know they train in Rome, Which rink is that ?

    Anyone else besides V\T train there ?
  13. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

  14. Eladola

    Eladola Active Member

    Obviously she meant to say "When in Rome":)

    I think i lost it when the word "Lodging" was used, I don't know what that means,
    Just assumed they were talking about how will she handle with them training in moscow,
    Asuming she doesn't live there
  15. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

    She lives in Moscow, it's B/L who need accommodation, and in Moscow, to find something might be tricky. But apparently not for Mozer's group.
  16. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Interesting observations about D&R and MT/M. I've always found something mismatched off in D/R but never quite defined what it was. This is an excellent description and I agree with it, except with the statement that Duhamel has a male body type, which is completely incorrect. She has a muscular and compact female body type (as does Joannie Rochette). Just because a woman is muscular does not make her any less female or feminine than women who are built like Sasha Cohen or Katia Gordeeva.
  17. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

    Mozer gave more of an analysis of D/R than her own pairs. :lol: Maybe this is just the typical blunt, overboard Russian interview (was it really necessary to say Meagan has a male body type?), but deep down she also may be a little concerned about the threat D/R pose and was taking advantage of this opportunity to do a little public bashing. :lol: D/R's SP score was quite close to V/T's score at Worlds (and had 2 pts over V/T in base value), and without the 2 URs, D/R would have had the highest base value in the LP as well. D/R's unorthodox technique she mentions has also helped them to be quite consistent. On a normal day, D/R have no chance of getting close to V/T regardless of base value, but say V/T have multiple major errors, that may get too close for comfort. Even if she happens to consider V/T a virtual lock to beat D/R (which is pretty much the case), she also coaches B/L now, and ideally for her, she'd want to get that team back to being good enough where they can beat D/R like they did at last year's GPF. To her credit, she did at least have a few kind words to say about D/R, their coaches, and also MT/M.
  18. Belinda

    Belinda Member

    Perhaps Moser feels that the Russian tradition of ARTISTIC pair skating is under threat. I hope to see at least two Russian pairs on podium to show to the world what pair skating is all about.
  19. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    I don't think she was bashing D/R at all nor was she intending an insult by the male body type comment. Males typically are more muscular, especially, in pairs. I think it's just a difference in expression. Some people are quick to find "bashing" when none was intended and are quick to fail to realize there are cultural differences in language and expression.
  20. 2sk8

    2sk8 Active Member


    Great interview! quiqie - thanks for translating.
  21. jdonavan

    jdonavan Active Member

    Typical entertaining Russian Interview, very blunt but pretty accurate.

    It is nice to read someone being very true in their opinions...I would however love to see an American/Canadian coach get away with these type of comments...they would be strung up on the stake by their federations!
  22. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    I think the issue Meagan has on the jumps (and it is particularly with the Lutz, both solo and thrown), is that she tips her head forward and slightly up when she jumps, and has a tendancy to wrap the free leg too which, when she rotates, gives a funny impression of her head flapping around (as it is slightly forward), plus her free leg flapping around (due to the wrap).
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  23. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    Off course, you would not see a witty reply from a Canadian coach talking about Vera Bazarova's body and jumping technique. :EVILLE:
  24. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Well, we did see US coach (Frank Carroll) talking about Liza Tuktamysheva a year or two ago, so what's the difference?
  25. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    The Canadian coach would have said it in a polite and PC way. I loved the bat comment from Carroll though. He let the claws out for once. As the Olympics arrive, we'll see more catty comments like that from all over the place.
  26. care bear

    care bear Active Member

  27. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

    Would "criticism" have been a better word? It's not that I thought she was inaccurate, it just wasn't a very kind way to say things. :lol: I realize their are cultural differences and so many of the Russian interviews are blunt like this. I appreciate the honesty. But why throw stones when you live in a glass house? We all could go on and on about Bazarova's jumping technique for sure. Still a nice interview to read though. I guess in a way it's a compliment to D/R that she has observed them so carefully.
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Mozer was asked specifically about the Canadian teams in the context of 2001-2 with S/P and then a follow-up question about D/R. She gave a complete answer, and it was pretty amazing that she said there were some things she preferred about S/P. While we're all :cheer2: about B/L moving to her, she's much more cautious, and her concerns are more about getting Bazarova up to the physical level where she'll be competitive.

    From the dates, it seems like she's been keeping her eyes open. D/R aren't in the same position as S/P coming into Sochi as the reigning World Champions, and D/R didn't beat a relatively weak (for them) S/S, but I don't see them retiring before they have a shot at a world title, i.e S/S and V/T leave the field, and Mozer likely is looking at them in terms of how they will compete against B/L and her future teams.

    Russian coaches in general have the same physical aesthetic that the Russian ballet companies have: a world in which Bazarova is the physical ideal, Duhamel is built like a man, and Virtue is a heifer.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  29. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    What was Slutskaya, in terms of this physical aesthetic?
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I don't remember any of the Russian coaches talking about her, but that could be my memory.

    On the other hand, Russian singles skaters are not held to the same exacting standards as Pairs and Dance women. Think of what Mozer said about Duhamel's physique: "It is good for skating, makes easier exiting jumps."