Alexei Mishin, new interview “Don’t put words in my mouth”

Tinami Amori

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Alexei Mishin interview “Don’t put words in my mouth
Fontanka.ru, by Artem Kuz’min. https://www.fontanka.ru/2018/11/29/100/
(Mishin speaks in complete sentences, hooray. Some “idioms” and “figuratives”, so here it is).

Alexei Mishin: "Compared to Britney Spears, Tuktamysheva’s show number is epitome of virgin handling of her beauty."
Editorial: They say about Alexei Mishin that he invented modern figure skating. He is one of the most decorated Russian trainers. Under his guidance trained such superstars as Alexei Urmanov, Alexei Yagudin, and of course, Evgeniy Plushenko. Today his biggest star is a 21-year old Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. After staying off the radar for quite some time, she returned with a bang so loud that even Medvedeva/Zagitova standoff was forgotten.

Q: At the start of the season Elizaveta Tuktamysheva surprised all. What about you? (were you also surprised?)
M: She did not surprise me. She made me happy.

Q: All the hoopla around Tuktamysheva, does it bother you?
M: I am not worried about “the hoopla” around an athlete; I think it is dangerous when “the hoopla” inside athlete’s mind.

Q: And how is Elizavet is doing?
M: So far I don’t see much “hoopla” inside of her.

Q: But if you do notice something like that inside the athlete, how do you fix it?
M: If I notice that an athlete is allowing himself to fall into it (although in my group it would be rare, and usually coming from outside), I tell them: ju-st-lis-ten-to-m-e! And, also I say few “chosen” words to them, which are not publishable on the pages of your respectable newspaper.

Q: Any regrets that you have agreed to (let Elizaveta) do that number with undressing?
M: No regrets. It was me who initiated “off with the jacket”. Because Liza is portraying the character in Britney Spears’ clip, so one must stay “in character”. If we compare what Britney Spears actually “does” in the clip, then Tuktamysheva’s show number is epitome of virgin handling of her beauty. Look at the clip carefully.

Q: Yours and Liza’s stories (testimonies) do not match. Tuktamysheva said that this show number was suggested to her by her boyfriend, and that you were initially quite skeptical about it.
M: The music was suggested by her boyfriend. The choreography was done by (our group’s) choreographer, Tatiana Prokofieva. The idea for “dismantling of the frock” is mine.

Q: (when asked) to evaluate her chances of winning Grand Prix (final), Elizaveta joked and said that she “will bring back Gold only if she burgles a jewelry store in Vancouver”.
M: I think it is the smartest thing she said so far on the internet.

Q: Do you approve of such healthy assessment of one’s abilities? What about the desire to be always first?
M: Her concept is closer to mine, and I probably would give a similar assessment. Because for journalist to ask an athlete what place he/she plans to take at a competition, given the uncertainty of the outcome and win, is quite tactless.

Q: One more of your students, 16-year old Sofia Samodurova, also made it to the GPF. How do you assess her chances?
M: Have you noticed that I am trying to stir the flavor/style of “questions by the press” in the right direction, but I see my efforts are fruitless. The girl is a good skater. She is on the up-rise. Let’s wish her the best.

Q: Absence of Medvedeva in the GPF – is it a tragedy?
M: For her it is a set-back. But for the world of figure skating, this soon will not even be remembered. I remember how once, before his win at the Worlds, Plushenko did not participate in previous Worlds. His absence was forgotten. Same here. People will remember what she does in the future, Medvedeva’s successful performances, or unsuccessful.

Q: What is Kolyada’s problem, given that his skates with constant falls are now subjects of everyone’s ridicule?
M: I think that even his devoted coach, Valya Chebotareva, would not be able to give you an answer. Therefore how could I? I think there is no answer to your question.

Q: In your coaching career have you ever came across a skater with similar problems?
M: Not in such an acute form. I never had an experience with an athlete with such high mastery (skills/abilities) with so many failed skates.

Q: So is the problem “in the head” or “in the technique”?
M: Don’t put words in my mouth.

Q: Are you concerned about the current level of hysterics around (the sport of) figure skating?
M: Figure skating is now following examples of some (Reality) TV shows, where people fight about who cheated first, who second, who slept with whom, arguing paternity tests. Coaching changes, personal issues in athletes’ lives after all should not be (used) to entice so much of unhealthy attention.

When Elena Sokolova transferred to me from Kudryavtzev, we went to Piseev, who was the president of FS Federaton at that time, and as he said it “the divorces happened, happening and will happen. the coaching changes happened, happening and will happen”. Lets concentrate and see at who (after the change) skated better, and who skated worst, and what changes took place. And the rest does not requires such attention. In my recollection, the situation with Zagitova/Medvedeva is only a 2nd high-profile case of unhealthy attention. The first one was when Ulanov left Rodnina and partnered with Smirnova. At the time there were even reports that some (people/journalists) were trying to watch them through a key hole, what they do, how they live. But years later it became history. I think it will be the turn out the same.

Q: Tutberidze herself said that at the Olympics Medvedeva asked why could she not keep Zagitova in Juniors one more year. And then many took Medvedeva’s side, claiming that she deserved the Gold. From the point of view of a coach, was Tutberidze right with Zagitova?
M: I was not at the Olympics, not familiar with those details, therefore will not comment.

Q: Ok, then. A hypothetical situation. You have a top skater who in the last 2 years won everything, and now is after the main goal (in her skating career), and by her side there is a younger extremely talented girl. Would you have held back the younger one?
M: Any attempts (actions) which have to do with artificial hindering (hold-back) of one athlete for the benefit of the other, is immoral. I hope I said it “loud and clear”.

Q: More than clear. Fans of Figure Skating starting to act like aggressive football fans. For example, just recently Trankov openly said that “Nobody wanted Alina to win at the Olympics, and everybody cheered for Medvedeva (another story…). After this he and his family received a wave of “painful death wishes”. Where does such aggression comes from in such a beautiful sport?
M: I don’t know.

Q: But still, do you have any explanation?
M: I don’t know. Just write it as I said it - Mishin said “I do not know, that’s it.”

Q: Perhaps it was always like this and we just did not notice, what kind of people are fans of figure skating?
M: There was same unhealthy interest around Plushenko and Yagudin, before the Olympics in Nagano, but still it did not reach such level of messiness.

Q: Looks like you do not approve of what is now happening around figure skating. You even compared it to bad reality TV. But at the same time this publicity attracts attention to your sport, people talk about it, channels which broadcast the skating events get gigantic ratings, athletes’ payments/prize-money are going up.. Is it so bad, after all?
M: Just today I was talking with (few) coaches about public relations, now important it is that a skater’s name is frequently mentioned in the media, on TV, on the internet. I reminded them of the following incident. There was a time, when the most mentioned athlete was Andrey Lutai, my student. He back then got into American jail, because he was drunk and took (kidnapped) someone’s car for a joyride. The judge found that he stole the vehicle, had no driver’s license, broke the driving rules, crossed into the incoming lane, had no insurance, refused to take a breath test, and cussed out the police officers using “a Russian choice word”. That was a scope of accusations against him.
He was then shown on Russian Channel #1, Russian Channel #2, I had to give many interviews. Yet I believe that “PR/publicity” should be based on athlete’s abilities and mastery and what he can demonstrate.

Q: Can’t avoid asking how is Lutai doing now?
M: He is doing fine as a trainer. We are good friends. Last year I went to visit him in Tzarevo (Bulgaria). He became a great world-level coach.

Q: So that means he corrected (his life/himself)?
M: Not exactly “corrected”.. He is simply flourishing.

****
 
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maatTheViking

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Have you noticed that I am trying to stir the flavor/style of “questions by the press” in the right direction, but I see my efforts are fruitless.
M: Don’t put words in my mouth.
M: I was not at the Olympics, not familiar with those details, therefore will not comment.
M: I don’t know. Just right, as I said it - Mishin said “I do not know, that’s it.”

Mishin takes no prisoners.

:rollin:
 

Tinami Amori

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lala

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Paternity tests?

:lol: Yes. I have never seen so many talk shows as the Russians have! They like that type of TV show! They like to talk... talk... talk... about the other people's private life they have a very strict opinions and they are very sincere as the Russians used to be....Probably Mishin was talking about these things.
 

Nikki Lee

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****[/QUOTE]
I love this:

Q: (when asked) to evaluate her chances of winning Grand Prix (final), Elizaveta joked and said that she “will bring back Gold only if she burgles a jewelry store in Vancouver”.
M: I think it is the smartest thing she said so far on the internet.
 

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