Ermolina/Flade's interview with Zagitova

TAHbKA

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Olga Ermolina/Tatjana Flade's interview with Alina Zagitova for fsrussia.ru

Alina, 4 years ago you qualified for the Korea Olympics here in St. Petersburg at the Russian nationals. This time you were here as a commentator for Russia channel 1. What did you feel watching the Nationals 2022?
Zagitova: I had a different role here - out of the ice and its' a new role for me - I was interviewing the athletes for channel 1. I took the preparations seriously - watched and read all the interviews by our ice dancers, wrote myself some notes about Vika and Nikita and Alexandra and Ivan, but since I began working on the 2nd day of the competition. I like being prepared. However, it was not needed, since I ended up interviewing the single skaters. Hey ho. I understand my work is unpredictable and things change and I can't plan everything. But if you get what you need to ask you just have to speak from your soul. I understand that being a journalist means being interested and following what is happening. Being in sync is the most important and it makes the journalist' profession so hard.

Q: Were you watching the ladies calmly or were all nerves since you went through that yourself?
Zagitova: I watched the girls getting ready. It was quite tense. Of course. But at that moment I could exhale and think - the most important it's not me on that ice, I have something else to do, I can't imagine what it must be like for them - the competition is so much harder now and the bets will survive. I was watching with a bit of nostalgia because I won the nationals here 4 years ago. Even though I was not skating myself I was really nervous because I went through it all before the Olympics in Korea and I know, I understand these feelings when you go on the ice. It's unforgettable. Hence I understand what the girls are feeling.

Q: The national champion Valieva said she consults with you from time to time.
Zagitova: Kamila and I are friendly. When I come to the morning practices she is sitting in front of me in the dressing room. In the evening I don't always practice, I have some other stuff to do. So we are in touch. I was helping her to glue the things on her face for the exhibition. I don't know, it's nice when being asked for an advice. It's always nice when you can share your knowledge and experience, though not all

Q: What is the most important advice you gave her?
Zagitova: I would not give advice when not asked. But think I can offer a thing or two in the sport. Just that everyone is different and no matter what advice you give it might not help because people are different and each has a different journey they have to walk. It was the same for me. You can listen to the advice, take something from it but your own experience is better than someone else's.

Q: What is harder for you - comment or skate?
Zagitova: It's different. As a journalist it's hard for me yet to turn on when needed, while as an athlete you are preparing for the Nationals or some other competitions, you get there, you train. You go out there with all the nerves, but your body knows what to do. When you sit down with the mic you have no idea what will happen
Frankly it's still hard for me to watch figure skating because I keep thinking : it could be me skating there and you still feel the same things when your breath is taken away, the euphoria, as if you were on the ice yourself. It's still hard for me.

Q: You're not over it yet?
Zagitova: No

Q: You haven't announced a retirement yet
Zagitova: Of course not. But am not competing at the Nationals, worlds and the other competitions because am not in the shape. Though I would love to.

Q: You are not dismissing an option to come back whether as an athlete or as a coach?
Zagitova; I don't know. Coaching was always interesting, but it requires too many nerves. We'll see.

Q: The usual phrase.
Zagitova: True. You know, when I became a journalist I realized I wanted the athlete to answer differently, not the usual phrases like `we'll see' `the time will tell', `the coaches decide and not me...'. The athlete as if replied but really said nothing. I would love to hear more from them. And when I went to the other side I understand I need to get something out of them and at the same time I know they will not say anything because they want to keep something inside.

Q: Now when you had a chance to see both sides are you interested being a journalist?
Zagitova: Yes. I love making the person talk, understand how to get to them, to open them up and not just get the usual phrases. Am learning it now. I just read an article that you have to make the person trust you. I recall Margarita Mamun's interview with me after the Olympics. It was her first interview, she asked me where would I like to go and took me to a pet shop with all the doggies and animals. I started telling her stuff, and was just talkative, though usually I was shaking when I had to give an interview. But there I was just having a great time. So the most important is to catch the moment when the person would open up. The journalists have to be shrinks.

Q: Do you rewatch your Olympic programmes?
Zagitova: I used to many times, but not really anymore. Too much nostalgy. Previously I was watching and thinking `wow, so cool!'. When after the Olympics I was asked about my emotions... I was just working so much. Only now, after so much time I understand all the emotions and what I went through.

Q: So what were these emotions?
Zagitova: Different. I couldn't be truly happy... my mom came to the Olympics and I knew she was watching me and it really helped. I was going on the ice with a cold head. But prior to that the practices were tough. then before the SP I was taken to be tested for doping and missed the practice, so I was quite nervous...
Before the LP I had a dream I won the Olympics. Imagine waking up and understanding the LP is still ahead of me... It's a feeling like in the childhood when you dream you have the wings, you are flying, and then you wake up... but that dream came true.

Q: After the Olympics you said you did not realize at once you are the champion and Tutberidze advised you to sleep with the medal so you'd wake up and see it. Did you do that?
Zagitova: I put the silver team medal into the coat pocked so it would be with me all the time - it seemed unreal back then, that medal meant so much for me. As for the gold medal, I don't remember, think I put it under the pillow, it was quite uncomfortable to sleep with.

Q: How did you life change after the Olympics?
Zagitova: It haven't. Just that there was so much attention and some pressure from people and the press and those who write in the instagram and social networks... It takes too much attention and you can't train without noticing and going to the competition without noticing. There are too many emotions. You have a practice in the morning and you can't do a thing. The practices were really the same but it was so hard for me.

Q: What was the hardest part of your sport career?
Zagitova: After the 2018 Worlds. I was so down after Milan. I was so upset.

Q: What was your motivation to continue?
Zagitova: My parents, and especially my mom said I have to finish what I started. Mom even said during the practices: you have t work a bit more, to do the stretching even though I could have left home right after because it was quite late. But no, she would tell me I have to and think I inherited that from her.

Q: You needed to win the worlds and complete the collection and finish it?
Zagitova: Yes. Though not finish. So I would be content and would not be sorry looking back. Preparing to the Worlds in Japan was really hard. I was missing the practices not because I didn't want to train, but I realized I would come and everything would go wrong. But yet I understood that things go wrong because I missed the practice.

Q: The endless loop
Zagitova: I don't know what went through my head, but I was just sitting on the street and crying... Even now I can't talk calmly about it.

Q: Kudos for making it, going and winning.
Zagitova: I'm so happy Tutberidze almost kicked me and made me go, because I didn't want to go, as everyone knows. I didn't want to go mainly because the practices did not go well, there were no clean skates. I recalled how Tutberidze said when asked whether she is nervous before the competition `why would I be? If they practiced well there will be an outcome. You skate the way you practice'.
I understood it and understand it. I knew that I was not practicing too well before the Worlds and I needed a miracle and I needed to be so concentrated... I needed a certain energy, emotions, power... I didn't want to go till the last moment to the Worlds. Decided at the very last minute and was taken to the airport on a car with the siren....

Q: You won all the possible titles as an athlete and now trying different fields. How hard is it to set the new goals?
Zagitova: Now my goal is to do my job and do it well. Think that's the goal. To be satisfied, to make people who trusted me and believed in me would be satisfied. The goal in the sport is obvious - the Olympics, to win everything. In journalism... For now it's just to enjoy my work.
I love working on the TV. When I first joined the `Ice Age' it was my very first attempt. It was hard at first, I didn't understand how it works. Though I had the earphone with the help I was too nervous, I would get lost and it was bothering. I would watch the skates, think of something, come up with the questions and then get to the person and not remember a thing. At all. I saw they fell and I would be like `what a great skate...' and hear `what the hell is she saying???'. But nothing happens at once. I am so grateful to people who took me as a hostess understand it all and gave me an opportunity to host the `Ice Age' and see that I improve and learn. It's a great thing.

Q: You always said you didn't want the publicity but thanks to working on the TV you are under the spot lights. Did you come to terms with every step you make and your life being in the press?
Zagitova: It's impossible to get away from the press, they get to you. But am on the `other side' now as well, so in a way I understand the press needs the sensations and there would be nothing to write about without us. I prefer to talk to the journalists who I can trust. I want to become such a journalist myself.
The public person depends on the public view on them. For me it matters in a way. Guess I could just ignore everything that is being written about me. But I have parents who read it as well. And if for me it's nothing new - I've been around for 14 years, the parents only now encounter that and they are getting upset. When I see them upset am getting upset as well.

Q: Recently you put a spot on instagram about yourself. Is it important for you to tell what you feel and share it with the people who get hate as well?
Zagitova: I think many encounter hate, bulling whether in the school, at work. When people see they are not alone perhaps my words would help them. Frankly, I was mad with some viewers reaction during the `Ice age'. No matter what I wore they hated it. `Why do you expose your hands?' I wore the long sleeves `Why aren't you exposing your arms?!'
Or my fans vs Zhenya Medvedeva's fans who write so much dirt to each other. I said so many times `guys, let's live in peace'. If you dislike something why don't you come to me and say it to my face? They are there, on the stands, why not go down - am here, right near the border. Tell me that to my face.

Q: We wouldn't want to end the interview that way. Tell us about Masaru - your olympic present. How is she?
Zagitova: I now have the 3rd dog and Masaru is not yet getting along with her. Masaru has a temper, she likes to be petted. She hates running, she has a routine. If I make a sandwich in the morning and give the dogs some cheese they eat it at once, while Masaru would smell, try it and if she dislikes it instead of spitting she'll accurately put it on the floor... She has a very smart eyes and smile which I love.
We tried to breed her, but Masaru didn't like it, so we gave it up. Besides, it would be hard to give away the puppies. Am being told she would forget them and would not understand, but I would not forget them. Hence I told my parents: if there are puppies am keeping them. I wanted Masaru not for the publicity or something. I wanted to have a friend.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

Well-Known Member
Messages
441
Q: We wouldn't want to end the interview that way. Tell us about Masaru - your olympic present. How is she?
Zagitova: I now have the 3rd dog and Masaru is not yet getting along with her. Masaru has a temper, she likes to be petted. She hates running, she has a routine. If I make a sandwich in the morning and give the dogs some cheese they eat it at once, while Masaru would smell, try it and if she dislikes it instead of spitting she'll accurately put it on the floor... She has a very smart eyes and smile which I love.
We tried to breed her, but Masaru didn't like it, so we gave it up. Besides, it would be hard to give away the puppies. Am being told she would forget them and would not understand, but I would not forget them. Hence I told my parents: if there are puppies am keeping them. I wanted Masaru not for the publicity or something. I wanted to have a friend.
I hope more skaters just talk about their pets. I don't care about their careers as much.
 

Scott512

Well-Known Member
Messages
812
Olga Ermolina/Tatjana Flade's interview with Alina Zagitova for fsrussia.ru

Alina, 4 years ago you qualified for the Korea Olympics here in St. Petersburg at the Russian nationals. This time you were here as a commentator for Russia channel 1. What did you feel watching the Nationals 2022?
Zagitova: I had a different role here - out of the ice and its' a new role for me - I was interviewing the athletes for channel 1. I took the preparations seriously - watched and read all the interviews by our ice dancers, wrote myself some notes about Vika and Nikita and Alexandra and Ivan, but since I began working on the 2nd day of the competition. I like being prepared. However, it was not needed, since I ended up interviewing the single skaters. Hey ho. I understand my work is unpredictable and things change and I can't plan everything. But if you get what you need to ask you just have to speak from your soul. I understand that being a journalist means being interested and following what is happening. Being in sync is the most important and it makes the journalist' profession so hard.

Q: Were you watching the ladies calmly or were all nerves since you went through that yourself?
Zagitova: I watched the girls getting ready. It was quite tense. Of course. But at that moment I could exhale and think - the most important it's not me on that ice, I have something else to do, I can't imagine what it must be like for them - the competition is so much harder now and the bets will survive. I was watching with a bit of nostalgia because I won the nationals here 4 years ago. Even though I was not skating myself I was really nervous because I went through it all before the Olympics in Korea and I know, I understand these feelings when you go on the ice. It's unforgettable. Hence I understand what the girls are feeling.

Q: The national champion Valieva said she consults with you from time to time.
Zagitova: Kamila and I are friendly. When I come to the morning practices she is sitting in front of me in the dressing room. In the evening I don't always practice, I have some other stuff to do. So we are in touch. I was helping her to glue the things on her face for the exhibition. I don't know, it's nice when being asked for an advice. It's always nice when you can share your knowledge and experience, though not all

Q: What is the most important advice you gave her?
Zagitova: I would not give advice when not asked. But think I can offer a thing or two in the sport. Just that everyone is different and no matter what advice you give it might not help because people are different and each has a different journey they have to walk. It was the same for me. You can listen to the advice, take something from it but your own experience is better than someone else's.

Q: What is harder for you - comment or skate?
Zagitova: It's different. As a journalist it's hard for me yet to turn on when needed, while as an athlete you are preparing for the Nationals or some other competitions, you get there, you train. You go out there with all the nerves, but your body knows what to do. When you sit down with the mic you have no idea what will happen
Frankly it's still hard for me to watch figure skating because I keep thinking : it could be me skating there and you still feel the same things when your breath is taken away, the euphoria, as if you were on the ice yourself. It's still hard for me.

Q: You're not over it yet?
Zagitova: No

Q: You haven't announced a retirement yet
Zagitova: Of course not. But am not competing at the Nationals, worlds and the other competitions because am not in the shape. Though I would love to.

Q: You are not dismissing an option to come back whether as an athlete or as a coach?
Zagitova; I don't know. Coaching was always interesting, but it requires too many nerves. We'll see.

Q: The usual phrase.
Zagitova: True. You know, when I became a journalist I realized I wanted the athlete to answer differently, not the usual phrases like `we'll see' `the time will tell', `the coaches decide and not me...'. The athlete as if replied but really said nothing. I would love to hear more from them. And when I went to the other side I understand I need to get something out of them and at the same time I know they will not say anything because they want to keep something inside.

Q: Now when you had a chance to see both sides are you interested being a journalist?
Zagitova: Yes. I love making the person talk, understand how to get to them, to open them up and not just get the usual phrases. Am learning it now. I just read an article that you have to make the person trust you. I recall Margarita Mamun's interview with me after the Olympics. It was her first interview, she asked me where would I like to go and took me to a pet shop with all the doggies and animals. I started telling her stuff, and was just talkative, though usually I was shaking when I had to give an interview. But there I was just having a great time. So the most important is to catch the moment when the person would open up. The journalists have to be shrinks.

Q: Do you rewatch your Olympic programmes?
Zagitova: I used to many times, but not really anymore. Too much nostalgy. Previously I was watching and thinking `wow, so cool!'. When after the Olympics I was asked about my emotions... I was just working so much. Only now, after so much time I understand all the emotions and what I went through.

Q: So what were these emotions?
Zagitova: Different. I couldn't be truly happy... my mom came to the Olympics and I knew she was watching me and it really helped. I was going on the ice with a cold head. But prior to that the practices were tough. then before the SP I was taken to be tested for doping and missed the practice, so I was quite nervous...
Before the LP I had a dream I won the Olympics. Imagine waking up and understanding the LP is still ahead of me... It's a feeling like in the childhood when you dream you have the wings, you are flying, and then you wake up... but that dream came true.

Q: After the Olympics you said you did not realize at once you are the champion and Tutberidze advised you to sleep with the medal so you'd wake up and see it. Did you do that?
Zagitova: I put the silver team medal into the coat pocked so it would be with me all the time - it seemed unreal back then, that medal meant so much for me. As for the gold medal, I don't remember, think I put it under the pillow, it was quite uncomfortable to sleep with.

Q: How did you life change after the Olympics?
Zagitova: It haven't. Just that there was so much attention and some pressure from people and the press and those who write in the instagram and social networks... It takes too much attention and you can't train without noticing and going to the competition without noticing. There are too many emotions. You have a practice in the morning and you can't do a thing. The practices were really the same but it was so hard for me.

Q: What was the hardest part of your sport career?
Zagitova: After the 2018 Worlds. I was so down after Milan. I was so upset.

Q: What was your motivation to continue?
Zagitova: My parents, and especially my mom said I have to finish what I started. Mom even said during the practices: you have t work a bit more, to do the stretching even though I could have left home right after because it was quite late. But no, she would tell me I have to and think I inherited that from her.

Q: You needed to win the worlds and complete the collection and finish it?
Zagitova: Yes. Though not finish. So I would be content and would not be sorry looking back. Preparing to the Worlds in Japan was really hard. I was missing the practices not because I didn't want to train, but I realized I would come and everything would go wrong. But yet I understood that things go wrong because I missed the practice.

Q: The endless loop
Zagitova: I don't know what went through my head, but I was just sitting on the street and crying... Even now I can't talk calmly about it.

Q: Kudos for making it, going and winning.
Zagitova: I'm so happy Tutberidze almost kicked me and made me go, because I didn't want to go, as everyone knows. I didn't want to go mainly because the practices did not go well, there were no clean skates. I recalled how Tutberidze said when asked whether she is nervous before the competition `why would I be? If they practiced well there will be an outcome. You skate the way you practice'.
I understood it and understand it. I knew that I was not practicing too well before the Worlds and I needed a miracle and I needed to be so concentrated... I needed a certain energy, emotions, power... I didn't want to go till the last moment to the Worlds. Decided at the very last minute and was taken to the airport on a car with the siren....

Q: You won all the possible titles as an athlete and now trying different fields. How hard is it to set the new goals?
Zagitova: Now my goal is to do my job and do it well. Think that's the goal. To be satisfied, to make people who trusted me and believed in me would be satisfied. The goal in the sport is obvious - the Olympics, to win everything. In journalism... For now it's just to enjoy my work.
I love working on the TV. When I first joined the `Ice Age' it was my very first attempt. It was hard at first, I didn't understand how it works. Though I had the earphone with the help I was too nervous, I would get lost and it was bothering. I would watch the skates, think of something, come up with the questions and then get to the person and not remember a thing. At all. I saw they fell and I would be like `what a great skate...' and hear `what the hell is she saying???'. But nothing happens at once. I am so grateful to people who took me as a hostess understand it all and gave me an opportunity to host the `Ice Age' and see that I improve and learn. It's a great thing.

Q: You always said you didn't want the publicity but thanks to working on the TV you are under the spot lights. Did you come to terms with every step you make and your life being in the press?
Zagitova: It's impossible to get away from the press, they get to you. But am on the `other side' now as well, so in a way I understand the press needs the sensations and there would be nothing to write about without us. I prefer to talk to the journalists who I can trust. I want to become such a journalist myself.
The public person depends on the public view on them. For me it matters in a way. Guess I could just ignore everything that is being written about me. But I have parents who read it as well. And if for me it's nothing new - I've been around for 14 years, the parents only now encounter that and they are getting upset. When I see them upset am getting upset as well.

Q: Recently you put a spot on instagram about yourself. Is it important for you to tell what you feel and share it with the people who get hate as well?
Zagitova: I think many encounter hate, bulling whether in the school, at work. When people see they are not alone perhaps my words would help them. Frankly, I was mad with some viewers reaction during the `Ice age'. No matter what I wore they hated it. `Why do you expose your hands?' I wore the long sleeves `Why aren't you exposing your arms?!'
Or my fans vs Zhenya Medvedeva's fans who write so much dirt to each other. I said so many times `guys, let's live in peace'. If you dislike something why don't you come to me and say it to my face? They are there, on the stands, why not go down - am here, right near the border. Tell me that to my face.

Q: We wouldn't want to end the interview that way. Tell us about Masaru - your olympic present. How is she?
Zagitova: I now have the 3rd dog and Masaru is not yet getting along with her. Masaru has a temper, she likes to be petted. She hates running, she has a routine. If I make a sandwich in the morning and give the dogs some cheese they eat it at once, while Masaru would smell, try it and if she dislikes it instead of spitting she'll accurately put it on the floor... She has a very smart eyes and smile which I love.
We tried to breed her, but Masaru didn't like it, so we gave it up. Besides, it would be hard to give away the puppies. Am being told she would forget them and would not understand, but I would not forget them. Hence I told my parents: if there are puppies am keeping them. I wanted Masaru not for the publicity or something. I wanted to have a friend.
I don't know why AZ keeps saying to people to say it to her face. I would discourage that pronto because she may get some kind of a maniac in her face.

I also think Alina should retire officially. Especially since the world wide pandemic is running wild and quite possibly never going away never go away why put yourself through that kind of stress traveling to challenger's getting tested every 24 hours?
 

Scott512

Well-Known Member
Messages
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@Scott512 It's an acknowledgement that Alina is pushing back against Eteri's comments about her and her mom in Eteri's recent interview.
Oh okay I get it. I'm with you too on this one.

Alina has thanked our coaches enough for a lifetime. I'm with you on that too.
 

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