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TAT interview: I don't like the word intrigue

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by quiqie, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member


    Tatiana Tarasova: I don't like the word intrigue

    IR: Tatiana Anatolievna, how would you define, what is the main intrigue of Zagreb?
    TAT: I really don't like the word intrigue...

    IR: The main question.
    TAT: Zhenya Plushenko came to Zagreb. It's one of the main questions for us. It's not even about his participation — his shape, his condition, his, we hope, of course, win. We all believe in him, we see him overcome himself, what he's been like at the last Russian National Championship, how his mind and body, after many years, had remembered what they had known before. If only he stays healthy, then Plushenko will do everything that he needs. It's a big challenge for Zhenya, and I would want him to really benefit from his truly hard work, so that he can close this page and start a new one.

    IR: Do you think that Plushenko should succumb to the increasing pressure and go to the World championship to increase the Olympic quota at home Olympics? The pressure is really huge.
    TAT: I think this decision can be and should be made by two persons only. Zhenya himself and his coach Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin. What they decide, so it should be.

    IR: What do you expect of Maxim Kovtun? He was named for the team instead of Konstantin Menshov and it has made a big uproar.
    TAT: I expect him to show everything he has.

    IR: Is he going to include quad toe loop and quad Salchow?
    TAT: Of course. Maxim will include two quad jumps, but we are going to decide which jumps right before the competition. Besides, I would like you to mention, that his primary coach is Elena Buyanova, not I. It's some strange tale written everywhere, that his coach is Tarasova. I emphasize: Buyanova. Yes, I am also his coach, but I'm the second coach. I am asking not to mix these two. Don't try to cause a disagreement between us. You know, the work of the main coach is kind of overlooked in passing. Don't do that. It's a pleasure for me to train Maxim. Co-train. I believe in him. And I am not going to listen to some other coaches' opinion about him.

    IR: People are already talking about a medal for Kovtun. Isn't it a bit early?
    TAT: If Maxim does everything... You see, the boy is only 17, but for some reason, none of many the articles on that matter that came out recently, mention that he's only 17. And another candidate for the same spot, Konstantin Menshov, is 29. Why has noboby written about that? How long are these lies going to last?

    IR: Valentin Piseev has repeated it many times in his interviews.
    TAT: Only Piseev! By the way, what Kovtun does at his 17, only Yagudin and Plushenko had done before. But Maxim doesn't do it any worse. And now the responsibility is huge.

    IR: Volosozhar/Trankov again are going to compete against Savchenko/Szolkowy, whom they still haven't been able to beat. Sometimes they lose only by decimal points, but still lose.
    TAT: Yes, we didn't have an opportunity to see Tanya and Maxim on the same ice with multiple world champions Savchenko/Szolkowy this year. That's why Zagreb is going to be such a treat. Tanya Volosozhar always shows what a great pairs partner she is. I have to say, that Alyona Savchenko is also in a very good shape. Having skated for so long and having won all the possible medals, she still is learning a new throw, triple Axel. I was at their practice with Robin and saw it.

    IR: I've heard that Savchenko/Szolkowy's programs this year are not very impressive. Do you agree with that?
    TAT: I never make such conclusions ahead of time. And I won't say before the competition who I like the most. It's tactless. I simply believe in Tanya Volosozhar, but it happened so that she met another outstanding pairs skater on her way, Alyona Savchenko, who, like Zhenya Plushenko, follows her own, special way.

    IR: You make an accent on female parnters in these teams, does it mean that you think they are the leaders?
    TAT: Many things depend on female partner, it's true. Psychological aspect will play a big role: who will cope, who won't be scared. Tanya and Maxim have very intersting programs this year. They included six difficult elements into the second part, they have already shown us at Russian Nationals how it's done. It's a calculated risk, now everyone tries something they are going to show at the Olympics, to try themselves, if they can do it. You have to start getting ready to such difficult rules that there are in pairs skating from childhood, but Tanya and Maxim got them in adulthood. Volosozhar and Trankov are taking risks, but you have to keep in mind that they are not young children for whom it's easier. But the more valuable their risks are.

    IR: Alexander Zhulin said quite confidently, even before Pechalat/Bourzat had withdrawn, that Bobrova and Soloviev are ready to fight for European title. Zhulin is one of those coaches who take full responsibility for their words. Do you like the work he's done with Bobrova and Soloviev? Do you think they are ready to become European champions?
    TAT: I always like Zhulin's work. His creativity, and especially — how interested he became [in his work] lately. I agree: when Sasha says something — he knows what he is saying. If [you] look at past competitions, that you base [your words] upon — so far Katya and Dima haven't competed with the French for the first place. Zhulin's words, for me, mean that now he's got his team on the level which will let them expect to win. The more so that the French team is now out... But the Italians Cappellini/Lanotte are also to taken into account.

    IR: If the French team haven't withdrawn, I don't think the judges would let anyone beat them. In ice dance skaters have to wait in the queue for years and years. Will this conservative practice change sometime?
    TAT: I don't think it's just about queue. For exampe, I'm not a fan of the French team at all. But as a professional, I cannot help but notice their creative fire every year, new elements, constantly appearing in their programs, their consistency. I have to notice what I see. But the basic skating of our teams — Bobrova/Soloviev and Ilinykh/Katsalapov — is much better, than Pechalat/Bourzat. But ice dance is not only basics. It's elements, their difficulty, their novelty. Music. Fusion with music. Interpretation of music. Creation of artistic image using elements of dance. Our teams have it all. I, for example, liked very much lena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov at the Russian Nationals. Their make a progress, I cannot help but notice that.

    IR: After the World championships in Nice, you couldn't help but critisize them: «Ilinykh has lost herself and is barely walking. She lost her edge and herself»
    TAT: Yes, I said that she was «walking». But maybe she was «walking» because of nerves. Now she has an edge and the program is based on skating. I think they are capable of much more than they do, Lena and Nikita are very talented. Now they perform their program quite clean.

    IR: «When will Ilinykh and Katsalapov finally live up to their potential» - it's a very popular refrain and it's still relevant.
    TAT: When they skated their «Schindler's list» program at the Junior Worlds, I started crying at the first beats of that program, and it's not easy to make me cry because of skating. They have everything, they need to develop that. They can do more difficult things.

    IR: We didn't have a European ladies champion since Slutskaya. Can Tuktamysheva or Sotnikova win in Zagreb? It seems that both girls are in transition period. Liza's injured, Adelina is struggling with nerves.
    TAT: Adelina also has injuries. Transition period for both gilrs isn't over yet, but they came close to the point where they can cope with themselves. I see Adelina at practices all the time, she looks confident, strong and very good in every aspect.

    IR: At practices – yes. But in competitions, she sometimes has meltdowns...
    TAT: Yes, she does.... We know. It is the transition that cannot be avoided during puberty. At the Russian Nationals, Adelina did everything, even if she was not perfect, she did maybe 70%. I'm glad to say that. Liza and Adelina are talented girls, but their growing up is a complex process that cannot be over in half a year. Actually, no girl of their age shows consistent results in the world figure skating.

    IR: Baiul became an Olympic champion, at about the same age.
    TAT: And it was the end of it for her. Therefore, we cannot set a goal to win European championship for Liza or Adelina right now, because no one has ever achieved such goals. Slutskaya didn't turn into a seven-time European champion, breaking a record of Katarina Witt and Sonja Henie, overnight. Ira had landed on her back many times, had sometimes five falls in one program. Let's remember Maria Butyrskaya as well. She became a World champion only at 26. Before that, she happened not to make top-24. So excuse me, it's not like with mushrooms that you plant out today and they are ready by tomorrow... At the same time, no one in our team goes to Zagreb to just skate. Everyone has a chance.
  2. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Do the Russians like this idea of the ladies only becoming good at age 25? It's fairly absurd. I think she is being coy. She knows that Liza and Adelina are considered real contenders because they are young. The fact that they are having troubles in puberty is not a good sign for them for Sochi, and she knows this. She is trying to brighten perceptions.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Jeschke

    Jeschke #teamtrainwreck #teamschott

    thanks for the link.

    i like her appreciating words about savchenko
  4. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    Yes, Tarasova, you are the second coach of Maxim;)
  5. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    Yikes... She was quite honest about her feelings about the French and I agree. I think that their basics are neglected for creativity. I also agree that their creativity and style is mesmerizing however other top teams skate the elements better. This has particularly costed them against the top 2 teams. Pasquale was very ambitious in his comments pre season that they are competitive against Meryl and Charlie or Tessa and Scott. Just not true. As a matter of fact, Zhulin is correct that his team has been gaining on them.
  6. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Interesting bit about the feeling kovtuns age compared to menshov's is being under reported. Seemed that was almost front and center.

    It is pretty clear the pressure on plushenko to go to worlds is increasing. Kovtun, voronov, or even menshov really I guess might even have more pressure to place top 10. So really be perfect. The one spot vs two spot issue and what would really be the vest thing for medals is interesting.
  7. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

    I am no dance teknik but for me every movement in P/B is sharper than B/S or I/K. Maybe they don't have the speed of these 2 but they have cleaner lines and more unison that these 2
  8. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    I agree and I think P&B do have good basics. Bobrova and Ilinkyh struggle with posture, so I wouldn't say they have better basics until they can achieve those deep edges while actually standing up straight.
  9. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    It's interesting to me that she sees Kovtun vs. Menshov from a longetivity perspective rather than a individual achievement perspective (that is, 'Kovtun is young and has many competitive years ahead of him', rather than, 'Menshov beat Kovtun and therefore deserves to go'). Or maybe she is just justifying a decision in favor of her own pupil (second coach pupil, that is).

    I don't have a strong opinion about the decision, but I think most North Americans would side with Menshov.
  10. EuroWaltzing

    EuroWaltzing New Member

    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    I agree - For now, PB have better connection with audience and their movements look more confident in their choreography. Also, their lifts and steps are usually sharper and look more easily executed (not saying that they are easier lifts, but that they make them look easier)
    But I feel like BS have improved significantly and IK have improved too. I don't know what will happen this year, but I feel like next season, BS can be on par with PB or even better. And I LOVE Zhulin's choreography!
  12. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I really adore Tarassova for the work she has done in the past, what she made of skaters, how she formed programmes of perfect art and for her dedication. But I really disliked parts of that interview – it’s just open proof how much she is politicking her students an in order to do so, she does not refrain from recklessly harming other athletes’ careers (talk about her not liking intrigues! :rolleyes:). And her interview is full of contradictions / double standards:

    On one hand she states how much it should have been stressed that Menshov is 29, but on the other hand she demands more time for the girls bringing up Butyrskaya and her winning Worlds at age 26 as an example.:shuffle:

    Talking about the men - why stressing that Menshov is 29, 35 of 25? If he skated well the season then he skated well. If Russian Fed considers skaters as no longer promising due to age, then they should play open cards and simply introduce an age limit, as from TAT’s interview it’s just so obvious that this was the decisive factor. :mad: And I guess everyone following FS a bit in more detail is pretty much aware that Kovtun still is a junior as he only had results in juniors so far. And with Kovtun sure having shown impressive technical content, but it’s not only Kovtun or Yagudin or Plushenko (as he compared Kovtun to the latter ones) who had likewise great technical abilities as juniors – wasn’t Ilia Klimkin the first male skater to land two different quads in 1999 when he was still eligible in Juniors? And I wouldn’t say that Ilia Kulik’s technical abilities were worse than Kovtun’s that age, considering the fact that quads were done less frequent than today that time and as a result of that there also was less focus on such jumps in practices. The same is the case for Urmanov who, if I remember it correctly, did quads in major senior competitions at age 17, 18, when quad attempts in competition were still considered to be a sensation.

    In fact Russia had a lot of talented juniors in the past, but not all of them were able to live up to that potential. The only one who I consider being technically in a completely different league already in juniors is Plushenko and I think Kovtun is nowhere near to him. However, figure skating is no jumping contest. I don’t think TAT does him any favour with only focusing on the technical aspects. :(

    As for the girls – it’s interesting how TAT mentioned how important it is to give to the girls more time to develop when she obviously takes a completely position if it comes to the men. But I definitely agree here: Russian Fed is currently pursuing a quite risky approach with pushing pre-puberty girls the way they did and do, as they have huuuuge pressure on their shoulders in next years being usually the most difficult ones for the girls when their bodies change. :fragile:
  13. VALuvsMKwan

    VALuvsMKwan Wandering Goy

    I'll bet you that TAT dislikes intrigue (not the word, the act) about as much as she disliked munching down American "French fries" wearing a bluish fur coat at Skate America in Pittsburgh. :sekret:

    Which means she revels in it. IMHO.
    skatemomaz, alilou, jamesy and 3 others like this.
  14. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Good point. :lol: She is very transparent. She wants Kovtun to go, so the age thing is a justification. If she had a different agenda, she would be making the exact opposite argument.
  15. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

    What about the Kween? :lol:
  16. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I think she is just speaking the truth. A lot of female skaters have an uneven trajectory due to puberty. You can't expect them to maintain a steady course when their bodies are changing so dramatically, although a few do. We have a lot of teen phenoms, and then a lot who don't hit their stride until they are older. Suzuki, Kostner, and Shijuka being examples.
  17. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    You know, they could have found a more flattering picture of TAT. I feel that she is making excuses for Adelina and Liza, comparing them to the late bloomers in ladies skating. OTOH, the amount of hype they both received raised everyone's expectations to a ridiculous level. I'd love to see an evolution, especially from Adelina. I do believe she is a special skater.

    WRT to what TAT said about Ilinykh in Nice, not only jumps but also basic skating can suffer from nerves. I've seen it with Sasha Cohen when she'd have nice deep edging in a show program only to revert to surface skating in competition. I also feel that she is saying whatever few encouraging words she can manage about I/K for politics sake ahead of Euros and that her real opinion on them was voiced in Nice.
  18. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    The strategy has not been a bad one. They have a competitive field at home and are in the ladies game. It is the first time, I believe, the Russians have followed a "normal" strategy of youth. There are younger ones than Lipnikskaia who look even more promising. Ladies has never been an old woman's game, and a consistent Russian contingent wasn't happening until they started actively developing many young girls for singles.

    From the looks of it, their outstanding young ones in the past have been the athletic oddities-- like Slutskaya, Volchkova, or Sokalova--skaters whose muscularity and bulk would not work for pairs or dance. The girls today resemble more the American "baby ballerina," determined young Russians with both bodies for jumping and a mental awareness of interpretation and performing. If you want to corner the market and increase Russian medals, you cannot wait for unusual athletes like Slutskayas to happen. You develop winning ladies the proven way: by advancing the young ones with promising physiques and mental skills (including musical sense) for singles, and then encourage them to compete with each other.

    I think the Russian ladies field will be interesting and dynamic for years to come if the Russian powers don't start doing weird political nonsense, like punishing skaters harshly for lapses.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  19. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
  20. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    She looks these days like she gave up the fries. :)
  21. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    Great interview, strong lady, enjoyed reading it! :kickass:

    And I especially enoyed reading how they are all rallying around Zhenya, as it should be...
  22. bek

    bek Guest

    Urmanov and Kulik became Olympic champions. In terms of Klimkin, Russia had a deep field back then....

    I don't think its so much age as the fact that one guy is Russia's best hope for the future, and another guy frankly isn't. I don't believe in age limits but I do think its smart for federations to put consideration in giving the young ones chances. I remember saying last year that this year the Japanese fed should do (what they could in relation to the skaters skating) to see Hanyu is on the World team, because Hanyu is their long term future.

    Menshov has had a long time to prove he could be successful on the World state and has not been...The Russians can't just look at Plushenko they have to start investing in their young. Kovtun could be a real key to getting Team Gold in Sochi and could be very successful in the long term. However they need to get him out there to compete....

    And considering how well Kovtun did, I think the decision can be argued as justified.
  23. Lyinna

    Lyinna Member

    Acting like she did in K&C after Maxim's FS doesn't help her case. She's clearly involved in his career.
  24. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

    I hate the word hype. Both Adelina and Liza were fabulous as juniors and they deservedly got a lot of attention for it. After Slutskaya, the Russian ladies went through a dry spell and having a group of very talented girls coming up in juniors created a lot of excitement. Beyond that, it is FANS that seem to put unrealistic expectations on these girls. To me TAT isn't making excuses so much as stating the facts. The talent is still there, but they're also growing and learning to adapt to their bodies. Give them time.
  25. bek

    bek Guest

    What excuses. Neither girl has even been to Worlds yet. Neither Kim nor Asada became World Champions THEIR first year as Seniors (Meissner did the year before and didn't do much else later).. The pressure of this level of competition is immense and both girls are going into it with a lot of expectations. They both need time to get use to those expectations and this level of competition. If two/three years from now neither girl has gotten it together than we can talk, but then we can point out Kostner.

    And I wouldn't call Kostner a late bloomer...She was well hyped from a young age as a potential World/Olympic champion...It just took Carolina a long time to figure out how to compete at this level. But I recall Kostner's worlds debut were people were talking about how she was talented enough to maybe even win Gold in 2006. And it looked like with her World bronze right before the Olympics that it could maybe even happen.

    Even Plushenko with all of his talent, took some time to get use to this level of competition..So I think at this point good for Tarasova for giving excuses for those two girls. Saying they are a disappointment isn't exactly going to help their confidence.