Elizaveta Tuktamysheva's interviews after Rostelecom


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There were several interviews with Liza after Rostelecom: for Vogue Russia and Gazeta.ru
I will translate only the parts that seem interesting to me & are related to figure skating

About Rostelecom:
- Liza, congratulations on your victory at the Grand Prix event in Moscow, this is an international start, but this time there were very few foreign skaters. Tell us, was this competition, the atmosphere very different from the usual due to the pandemic?
- Indeed, it was a Grand Prix event but there were so many Russian athletes, this is unusual. By the atmosphere that prevailed in the locker rooms and on the skating rink, this event reminded me of our open test skates: you see the same familiar faces everywhere. As for the organization of the competition, it was no different. Safety was respected according to all the rules: our temperature was constantly measured, everyone wore masks.
It was very pleasant to see even a few foreign skaters and figure skaters, to hear English speech! Even a little strange. I got such pleasant emotions simply from the fact that someone nearby was speaking English, I felt that I was still taking part in an international competition.
- Two years ago you joked about your chances for success. “The only way for me to win gold in the Grand Prix final is to rob a jewelry store,” you wrote on Instagram. How do you perceive yourself now?
- I will never stop being self-ironic, and I could use that joke even now, it seems to me (laughs). In addition, very little time has passed, and this is just one victory. I don't like to think about my chances, because if you think about them, then you look into the future, hope for something ... And I like to live in the present and assess the situation right here and right now. So now I'm just trying to catch this wave and somehow continue.
- “Job not finished” - you wrote after your victory at the Grand Prix.
- Yes. My aim is Beijing 2022.
- After this victory Tatiana Tarasova said that now "they will definitely have to reckon with you." What do you think about this?
- I don’t know ... I don’t want to analyze it somehow. Now I just need to skate at the same level, show good programs, and only with time will we be able to understand the meaning of this victory at the Grand Prix.
- Short program. A gorgeous triple axel and then suddenly mistakes on simpler elements. You said that you were embarrassed by the thought of a mistakes during the warm-up. Was this really the only thing that led to the actual mistakes in the second half of the program?
- The second part of the jumps didn’t work for me - I didn’t do one (the triple flip was landed with a mistake). And yes, errors on this element during the warm-up influenced the fact that for some reason I had doubts going into it. I started doing slightly different movements in technique, so that I had more confidence, or something ...
When you are not sure, the body starts working differently. And this led to such stupid mistakes.
And about the 3 + 2 combination instead of 3 + 3 - it's not entirely correct to say that I didn't figure out what to do (laughs). Because, after all, I have a lot of experience, and, of course, I knew that I needed to add a 3 + 3. But I just have a triple lutz from a difficult entry, so it was not very convenient for me to jump 3 + 3, and I thought that it would be better to make a good combination of triple lutz + double toe in the second half rather than to do 3+3, and it is not known whether it will get positive GOE or not. So I deliberately went for a great 3 + 2 combination.
- What was going on inside your head at that moment, when you saw the scores and realized that you had missed the opportunity to have a great margin from Trusova and Kostornaya?
- “Mm… I didn't worry too much. Of course, I was a little sad, because I could have been ahead of them, but I have had a lot of such “ifs” in my career. Therefore, I am calm about this and just said to myself: "Do not allow yourself such silly mistakes in the free program." So that there are no more such emotions.
- Without mistakes on the flip and with a 3 + 3 combination, you could have scored 80 points, like Shcherbakova and Valieva, who are the strongest girls from Khrustalny rink. And it would be a very cool manifesto that you are on par with these girls or even stronger.
- Of course, I want to show a good, clean run of the short program and get high scores. Every athlete strives for leadership, or at least to get close to the best ... Therefore, I hope that this season I can still show good skating in the short program.
- In the free program the next day, everything was almost perfect.
- I was very calm during the night, in the morning, the whole day before the free program, I slept well - that's why, probably, there was such a great skate. When I'm calm and cool, I usually have great performances.
- The result of the short program took some pressure off from you, and you were able to relax?
- This is not because of relaxation, but because half of the competition has already passed, and it is always easier to continue than to start from the scratch. There is already an understanding of the atmosphere, the ice. In general, it is easier for many skaters to skate the free program rather than the short.
- You performed in a free program after Aleksandra Trusova. How did this affect you?
- I did not see the skating and hardly heard the scores, but there was such a feeling in the audience ... I understood that Sasha had mistakes. However, this did not affect my attitude in any way - everything remained about the same.
- And what kind of atmosphere was there between the skates, in the warm-up hall and in the locker room?
- We had a good atmosphere, kind, calm - surprisingly. All the girls talked to each other. Pleasantly. Of course, there are different people: it is more convenient for someone to dive into oneself before the skate, and others want to talk. But there was no gloomy silence, that someone was afraid to utter a word. Everything was good and in friendly way. And usually, if someone has mistakes, then we support each other in the locker room.
- “I haven't won anything for a long time. I'm shocked. I was expecting something else, as usual” - you admitted immediately after the victory. Do you feel that your components score (rather subjective) started to grow - for skating skills, transitions, music interpretation, and so on?
- It seems to me that this start was generally successful in terms of my skating. I am not taking the technical part now. Everyone noted that at the Moscow stage of the Grand Prix, I showed my programs very well, showed what i am capable of. Let's see how the judges will evaluate me further. I hope that my skating will only get better.
- Many figure skating fans were outraged that you with a triple axel were losing to your fellow rivals without ultra-c elements. Of the professionals, Evgeni Plushenko dedicated a post to this: "I am for fair refereeing in sports, where an athlete who does an ultra-c jump should win, since this is primarily a sport of the highest achievements, and not just skating!" Are you ready to agree with these words?
- It seems to me that there should be a balance everywhere. Both in skating and in complex elements.
- Your spins have progressed a lot - all but one got level four here in Moscow. How did you work on this?
- We just really devoted a lot of time to the spins, and to the steps, to show the image and performance, so that it would be appreciated by the audience. As soon as we were back on the ice after quarantine, we started to work hard on it, because we realized that we had choreographed serious programs - the programs people didn't quite expect to see from Tuktamysheva. It's not easy to switch over and show these programs the way I want, for me to look different in these programs. So we worked very hard on the choreography and on the spins from the very beginning. I changed the spins very seriously. It took a long time to develop, to make them look more or less normal (laughs).

- Figure skating is one of the most popular sports in Russia. The athletes names appear in the media all the time, new scandals every day, and at your age of 23 you are considered a veteran, you were written off many times. How did you learn to ignore criticism and not compare yourself with your rivals?
- At some point I simply realized that it was not worth my worries and nerves. It's not worth the emotions we, athletes, experience, when we see that people write or say something negative about us. There are some close people in my life whom I trust one hundred percent, and I know - when something goes wrong, they will tell me about it. And if, nevertheless, I see some comment that offended me, then I turn to them for advice. Then I draw conclusions. The main thing is to support your loved ones and understand what the constructive criticism is.
- Do you read comments and private messages on social media?
- Sometimes. I think everyone reads it. And whoever says no - they are lying.
On the quad toe, triple axel and plans for the future:
- How is the work on the quad toe loop going?
- Now I plan to focus on it and perform it at the Russian Nationals. But, unfortunately, I cannot guarantee this. I started to purposefully learn the quad only last year. When I was training the triple axel, I once tried to land a quad. That attempt was potentially successful, I knew I could land it clean. But then it seemed irrelevant, we decided to focus on the axel.
- Do you have a favorite element?
- Ad for the jumps - double or triple axel, as well as lutz. I also love the cantilever.
- You have got your quad toe back. How many clean attempts do you make out of ten?
- Not so long ago I started to learn it again, and there are not that many successful attempts so far - after all, this is a difficult element. There are plans to stabilize it by the time of Russian Nationals, but I can't predict it now.
- You've also tried quadruple salchow before.
- We have now focused on the toeloop, so we haven't returned to salchow yet. In general, I have tried so far only the quad toe and salchow, and the rest are still too scary to me. But Alexey Nikolaevich (Mishin is Tuktamysheva's coach. - Gazeta.Ru) says that the potential for quads is very good - there is enough height and speed.
- When teaching quadruples to you, does Mishin use the same approach as he does with men, or does he create a new technique for you?
- I think he has an individual approach to each, but the technique remains the same - the technique of Alexei Mishin, because it is the best one out there.
- Now you are performing a sequence of triple lutz + double axel or triple flip + double axel in a free program. It costs less than a combination and gets 80% of the cost of both jumps, not 100%. Are you planning to replace it with something more expensive soon?
- So far, I think, there will be no major changes, but in the future we plan to add a 3 + 3 combination there. In the meantime, it's easier for me to make a sequence with a double axel in the second half. I'd rather choose a stable double axel + triple toe loop than triple salchow + triple toe loop, which costs only a couple of points more, but is less consistent. This is not reasonable. Better to make a program that looks good and is clean.
- You very quickly got your triple axel back after a long quarantine. Can we say that you have figured out the secret of its execution and will not lose it in the future?
- There is no need to talk about anything with such certainty - that I will never lose anything. I have worked hard for this and I'm glad that now the triple axel is getting better. But what will happen next if there are again some changes in the training process in connection to the coronavirus pandemic ... there can never be any guarantees. Especially in professional sport.

- As a professional, can you compare your triple axel and Alena Kostornaya's triple axel, which she had last season.
- We have different technique. Different execution, so a different perception of the jump, a different image.
- You were able to got your triple axel back, but Kostornaya hasn't done it yet. If Alena asked you for a secret of how to return this jump, would you agree to help?
- I think yes, of course. We do not have such a situation when one doesn't talk to the other and hides something. If someone asks for help, then, of course, she will get it.

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