Aleksei Mishin's 80th anniversary: interviews, documentary, skating show

Ka3sha

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Alexei Mishin celebrates his 80th anniversary on March, 8th

Several interviews have been published (to be updated...):
'My youth has not passed, and old age has not come yet'

There was also jubilee show at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St Petersburg yesterday (Plushenko, Tuktamysheva, Kolyada, Trusova, Samodurova, Zagitova, Sinitsina/Katsalapov, Stepanova/Bukin, Aliev, Ignatov, Samarin and many others)
Reports and videos from the event:
Mishin's students celebrate him and he celebrates and thanks them
Videos can be found here:
Pictures:


Channel 1 will show 'Factory of the Champions' documentary featuring Mishin's students, colleagues, friends and family


Tamara Moskvina's quote from yesterday's show:
Alexei has this magnetism.
(Addressing the audience) Who brought you here? What brings you here? It's Mishin's magnetism. At first, he drew the knowledge from his father, school and university. He draws good students. He made great skaters out of them, who drew medals with the skill they got. And now you are all here, and not just you. The whole world is now overcoming the distance and looking at the achievements of Mishin's students and continues to admire him.
(Addressing Mishin.) Please, do not turn off your magnet for many, many years to come.
 
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Ka3sha

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Anastasia Panina's interview with Alexei Mishin: 'I won't change my life for fewer wrinkles, flat stomach and youth'

- Eighty is a beautiful number, Alexey Nikolaevich.
- I was born on the 8th of March, and my mother's friends said: “What are you doing? It's an International Women's Day, you should have given a birth to a girl on such a day. " She answered them: "Lesha is a gift to all women in the world on March 8th."
The hero of the day is worthless by itself. I am sure that the fans who came to my show were interested in seeing Alyosha Urmanov, Zhenya Plushenko, Liza Tuktamysheva, and many other skaters there, my unforgettable partner Tamara Nikolaevna Moskvina - “unforgettable” must be changed. Although, let's keep it this way, it will be a joke.
My anniversary is a whole era in Russian and Soviet figure skating. Not only mine era, but also those people who were with me.

- Let me ask you questions not related to skating today. What is happiness?
- I will answer with the words of the great Marquez. Not literally, maybe, but this: 'I will not trade my wonderful life, my family, my friends and the work I have done for fewer wrinkles, a flat stomach and youthfulness.'
Happiness is when in adulthood the thought "Oh, if I could have a second chance, I would have spent a completely different life." doesn't come to you.

- Do people need to learn to forgive?
- There are two positions. One is that you must firmly follow your principles, convictions, remember all the bad and dishonest things that have been done to you. But life gives us a lot of examples, when over time you begin to forgive someone who did wrong to you. You attach less importance to it or you just forget. I appeal this position much more, because the ability to forgive shows the wisdom. And in life it is much more practical. It is simply unwise to die boiling with anger against someone who has treated you unfairly.

- What is friendship?
- Many people believe that true friendship is when you are ready to do everything for a person. And it seems to me that real friendship in its simple human understanding is when you enjoy communicating with a person and want to do it as often as possible. Self-sacrifice and heroism are optional signs of friendship.

- How to deal with injustice?
- I don't know the absolute recipe for everyone. I can tell you how I fought injustice.
I was a successful athlete, a successful coach, was already the head of the department, when the Soviet bureaucratic machine restricted me from traveling abroad. My athletes went to European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Games, and I flew as far as Khabarovsk, from where I had to return home. The students flew over the Strait of Tartary and landed in Japan, while I returned to Petersburg.
I said: aha. Won't you let me go abroad? I'll write a book. I worked on it with inspiration. Perhaps, this is the best book in my life - it is about the technique of figure skating.
I think everyone will find their own way to overcome injustice.

- Where to look for inspiration?
- You don’t need to look for inspiration. It should come by itself. You just have to make sure that the aunt muse comes, and you don't let her go.

- To be honest, I was waiting for an answer like "nature, fishing, loved ones, art" ...
- You see, inspiration is still nowhere to be found, because it comes by itself, and you just need to recognize it.
I will give one vivid example from my life, and besides me, it also applies to my wife Tanya. We didn’t have grandchildren for a long time. Then a grandson appeared, and he made our life better, more beautiful! I did not expect myself ... Pure inspiration, new interest in life, we began to spend time with him with such pleasure.
He is a smart guy, well versed in the phone, in the computer, in games, plays tennis, but that is not at all that makes me happy. Not when he cleverly hits the ball to the left and right. I'm happy that he just exists. I don’t know what child psychologists would say about this, and it’s difficult for me even to formulate my feelings - it’s very emotional.
You know, many grandparents begin to study English with their grandchildren, they like that they have become the best in the group, have achieved success in tennis or figure skating. I say to my grandson: thank you for being there. Whether you are smart or stupid, good or weak tennis player, obedient or naughty, know that you bring me joy by just being here.

- How to understand that this is love?
- Well ... (Long reflection.) In general, I like your questions. I have not met an interviewer for a long time whose questions I would like - please leave this remark of mine in the final text.
What is love? Many smart people have said that love is a kind of madness. So, if you feel that you are going crazy in relation to your object of love, it means that it is love. If you calmly analyze and evaluate the beauty of the face, eye color, body configuration, character and position in society, then this is not love. Love is pure madness. I would also add a thought, but I'm afraid I will be judged.

- Maybe, and let them judge?
- Let. Love is when you want to hug her and not break your hands all your life.
 

Frau Muller

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Wow, excellent words of wisdom from Mishin. It’s incredible that, for a while, the USSR didn’t allow him to travel. Come to think of it, we never saw him in intl events, by the boards, before the early 90s with Urmanov, did we? Not like Moskvina & the rest during the 80s...Tarasova, Zhuk & others.
 

Ka3sha

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Alexei Mishin skating on the pond at the Yusupovsky park in Saint-Petersburg

The first figure skating World championship was held exactly at this location 125 years ago :)

Full Channel 1 documentary:
 
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Frau Muller

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Alexei Mishin skating on the pond at the Yusupovsky park in Saint-Petersburg

The first figure skating World championship was held exactly at this location 125 years ago :)

Full Channel 1 documentary:
I know! I’ve skated there!!! It’s within walking distance of the Mariinsky Theatre (Mecca of Ballet).
 

Taso

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These questions are beautiful, and I appreciate Mishin for saying such. Anastasia Panina....any other interviews she has done?

And such kind, truly mature answers. I adored his responses, especially regarding the importance of others throughout his entire career, forgiveness, and pure love for his grandson.

His last answer sounds like a Russian idiom. I'm not understanding it (or perhaps this is something I don't grasp). Can someone elaborate?
 

Ka3sha

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TASS interview was translated by FS-gossips: I see myself as a long-liver of figure skating
Alexei Mishin: Historically, they consider me a coach of men’s single skating, but when they ask whether there is a specificity of working with women or men, I want to say that the one who absolutes this gender principle, he is wrong. Because the technique is the same for all bodies, both for men and women. This is the mechanics of movement. And it is practically indistinguishable in this aspect. If we talk about purely human relations, then I have developed such a careful, polite attitude towards girls, little girls who train with me. I will say that there is a serious disadvantage in this, because some rigidity would only help me.

Men or women, who are you more comfortable to work with now?

Alexei Mishin:
Probably, I will give you a not quite adequate comparison: a dad and a child come to the zoo. The child looks, and there are birds, animals, wolves, tigers, giraffes. Well, who does he like better? He likes all. So it is to me – I like to work with young girls, following the example of the metropolitan pioneers we work with all the little ones on the triple axel, quadruple jumps. Here is Misha Kolyada, an artist of body movements, Liza is worthy of admiring her talent. So I cannot divide, especially on the basis of gender. Of course it is interesting to work with people who go up, ascending. And with those who “support” themselves, I would use this term – you “graze” them carefully. But such athletes do not cause much interest to me.
At the age of 80, you are taking three athletes to the World Championships – Tuktamysheva, Kolyada and Semenenko. Already an achievement.

Alexei Mishin:
I would describe this event as “a fortunate coincidence.” Let’s not fly into the skies.

Have you already studied your competitors?

Alexei Mishin:
Very strong rivals. I think that I will fully express the position of the leadership of our federation, of all figure skating fans. First of all, we must perform in such a way as to win the maximum spots (for the Olympics – ed) in all disciplines.

Returning to the heroine of the Russian Cup Final Liza Tuktamysheva. I still remember that little girl from Glazov at the senior Russian Nationals in Kazan – 2009, where 12-year-old Adelina Sotnikova and Liza became the best. It’s 2021, and Liza is still with you. Weren’t there any moments of doubting to give up everything?

Alexei Mishin:
In difficult moments of her career, difficult for our union, I told her: Liza, I will go with you to the very end of the path. And we are still going this path. Therefore, I think that my answer sounds completely true and completely answer your question.

After her success at the Russian Cup Final, you called Liza the Statue of Liberty for women’s single skating. Who would you compare your other students with?

Alexei Mishin:
Evgeni Plushenko most likely can be compared to a tank that was moving forward. And what crunched under its tracks? The bones of the rivals. Urmanov, in the heyday of his talent, was probably the Jesus Christ of figure skating. He skated flawlessly, flawlessly. Can Christ be criticized? So it was impossible to criticize Lesha Urmanov. And every time there is a certain regret associated with this, because this terrible injury at the World Championships in Lausanne knocked him down. He could have accomplished much more.

If we talk about Lesha Yagudin, I think we need to answer with his words in the title of his book – he was going right through. Well, and Artur Gachinski … All the skaters I listed were artists in their field. Artur Gachinski surpassed them all. Yes.

Explain please.

Alexei Mishin:
You know, the thing is that you approach the assessment of a person’s talent and his artistic talent, mixing in there a broth from places and medals which is completely inappropriate in this case. And if we cut off this sauce, which is about medals, longevity in figure skating, in the brightness of victories, a slightly different picture appears. But it is distorted. If we speak refined, then this is the person with the brightest talent.

Sonya Samodurova?

Alexei Mishin:
I train different facets of talent, one is strong, the other is strong-willed, the third is flexible, the fourth is musical, the fifth is jumpy. And Sonya Samodurova is smart. And mind is also a facet of talent.
Can you imagine the day when you tell your students: “Guys, that’s all.”

Alexei Mishin:
Probably, when I am completely “cuckoo”. The answer to your question sounds, probably, quite the opposite – the athletes will come, look and say: “That’s it, cuckoo, ciao”.

You said a few years ago that your happiest birthday hasn’t come yet.

Alexei Mishin:
When a boy is scolded for an act, he begins to come up with some explanations. So am I.

You have a lot of joy and passion in your life. Your country house. During the quarantine, you settled there and, as far as I know, completely went into physical labor and landscaping.

Alexei Mishin:
First, I want to say that quarantine is a tragedy for modern humanity. But for me it was a complete holiday. Of course, I grieved for those who left us. But I dug, we built a court, made a road, planted a lot of trees. I have seven to eleven nights a year – in Cyprus, in Rhodes, this is a wonderful time. Lindos is probably the best place on earth, although you can’t say that absolutely.

Second point. I got sick. Positive test. The wife says: I will be here with our grandson, go to the country house. I left. And there I enjoyed this two weeks. The temperature was 37.1 one day, the rest I felt pretty decent. There was weakness and drowsiness. I went to bed and slept every day from three to five.

I have a very unconventional attitude towards the ********* that has visited us. How did the skater’s season go? For years, decades, a century. The World Championships ended – the athlete came somewhere, performed for a week or two, then went on vacation for a week or two, came to the skating rink, and again – programs, hurry, injuries, hurry, breaking into new boots, hurry, music, elements … He ran, ran, ran according to the season, stopped – did not have time to turn his head, and it’s necessary to run again.

And then he ran, ran, ran, stopped – and there was nowhere to run, it was impossible to go to the rink. He opened the blinders, looked – and who was running next to me, I saw him, but did not really consider. And what about myself – ran, where did I run? And the moment of comprehension has come. Online trainings and performances appeared. People took care of their health. It is difficult if you do not delve into this problem. And my words will seem superficial, frivolous. I read in one book – an architect in Japan, plot ten by ten steps. To build a pagoda there, he came and sat and watched for a year – what happens in the spring, whence the wind, whence the birds, whence the clouds. Probably, this is an exaggerated example, but I think that a person, a coach, an athlete, at some point also needs to stop, think, and release his intellectual capabilities. Free and give them some kind of freedom. If you think about it, that’s probably right.

At this time, journalists often called me and asked – well, that’s it? Now they will forget how to jump – a season without jumping? No, this pause even moved the jumping component. I think, in artistic terms, contemporary figure skating will only benefit. Therefore, I do not have a negative attitude towards those breaks, those pauses that this tragedy, which has visited all of humanity, projected onto sports and figure skating. I do not presume to speak for the whole sports, but for figure skating, I think, I will say with confidence. There were positives here.
Open the secret – how to learn to live so brightly and deliciously?

Alexei Mishin:
You should take an example from me. And treat life as if it were endless. There are two striking examples in my life. My dad, when he was about 95 years old, he was saying: “I am not an old man, I am a long-liver.” Now I see myself as a long-liver of figure skating.

The second example, very striking, is the actor Vladimir Zeldin. And it was not even Zeldin himself who gave me this idea. One of the women who attended his funerals said: “This man has lived a life without a period of old age.” And this wonderful formula, this thesis – it makes me stronger.

@Taso, Anastasia Panina has been doing most of the interviews for Match TV recently.
You cand find her interviews and articles here:

As for the last answer - it means to never ever ve separated from eacj other
 
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