Imamov's interview with Savchenko

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Rustam Imamov's interview with Aljona Savchenko `I would love to come back right now' for business-gazeta.ru

RI: Aljona, how have you life changed after you retired?
AS: Frankly, my last year was so full I didn't have time to notice how my life had changed and where is it going. Bruno and I participated a lot of shows and hardly spent any time home. It was in a way even harder than being an athlete. After all we used to train home between the competitions, while the shows keep us on the road.

RI: So your schedule was full with the shows and the preparations to them?
AS: I think I spent most of my time and effort on getting from place to place. It's tiring.

RI: Physically are the shows very different from the competitions?
AS: I think it's wrong comparing the two. The competitions give you an unreal adrenaline boost, the feeling of a competition sets your body and develops new abilities - the result means something. You do want to show what you are capable of in the shows, but there is no motivation. Yet you can't really stop working, just get off the couch and skate will not work. But it's far less demanding physically.

RI: Have you stopped skating at once after learning you were pregnant?
AS: I learned of my pregnancy on February the 15th. We had just completed the Art on Ice in Switzerland and were preparing for Holiday on Ice. Of course once I knew I notified the organizers and declined the future shows. On March 1st I skated the last time when being 10 weeks pregnant. I didn't want to skate anymore, I was nervous. Frankly, it was hard. Not physically but mentally. I understood I was responsible not just for myself but my child as well.

RI: Except for the shows you also tried coaching. What have you found interesting?
AS: I always loved helping the other athletes. Even while being a competitive skater I worked with the little kids and helped other athletes with the elements. So it wasn't quite new for me. But the schedule was too tough - it was hard participating the shows and coaching full time. At some point I had to choose and decide on my priorities.

RI: Do you plan coaching in the future?
AS: We'll see. Right now I coach the single ladies and I like it. But it's too premature talking about a serious coaching career. Right now am not too eager. We'll see.

RI: There is a point of view the successful skaters will never become successful coaches. Do you agree?
AS: In a way, because the other athletes do not necessarily think the way you do and do not necessarily want to win as much as you did. Because of your success story you measure everyone by your standards and it's wrong. Of course it's hard to understand that there are athletes who don't set a goal to become the Olympic champions or they simply can't become ones. Not everyone can give up everything and focus on the sports only. To explain that is a talent on it's own.

RI: During your career you worked with several coaches. Have you developed your own style?
AS: During my career I was coaching myself for years. Of course I had a coach who helped. But the main motivation was my own. Hence I know how to reach the victory.

RI: Your partner Massot said he is rewatching the Olympic skate a lot. Do you?
AS: I used to. I haven't for a while now because when I do I feel like crying... and I can't right now. This programme means so much. It's choreographer our coach died recently. When I rewatch it I think of him. And feel so empty inside... So I try to put it away for now.

RI: How have your life changed after the Olympic victory?
AS: It's not something I can put into the words. We made a very long journey. For a while I couldn't believe I actually won the Olympics. On one hand I was so proud. On the other I understood life goes on and I have to set the new goals.

RI: Had the feeling of the victory changed after 1.5 years?
AS: Had I won now I would be even happier. I now understand better what an achievement it is. I want to go back in time and revive the 15/2/2018. To feel those emotions again, feel the mood of the Olympics.

RI: You knew the date on the spot. Is it a family celebration date now?
AS: Right. It's not a date you forget. The 15/2 is special in my life. This year on 15/2 I learned I was pregnant. Two most important events of my life happened on the same date. So it's a double celebration.

RI: After the SP you were going 4th. The odds to win were quite low. How did you spend the night before the LP?
AS: I didn't doubt the victory for a second. I knew we would win. I don't know why, but I had that inner certainty. The feeling something big will happen in my life tomorrow. Hence I was not worried. After the SP we had a very serious talk with the federation and the team. Of course everyone were disappointed.
The next day we had a 6am practice. Once glance at Bruno was enough to understand: he is ready, he will fight and he will give all he has to win. Usually Massot takes his time to wake up and is out of it in the morning practice. He needs time to get into things. The day of the LP he was 100% ready from the very morning. It calmed even more. I knew it would be a wonderful day.

RI: You were able to focus and calm down?
AS: Absolutely. I was never skating as calmly and I was never so confident as I was at those Olympics. Both in the SP and the LP. Yes, we were 4th after the LP, but I didn't care at all.
I understood we wouldn't have another chance. Either I win or all my hard work was for nothing. I think my husband and Bruno were much mroe worried. My husband was afraid the defeat will morally break me. He knew what was my journey in the sports after so many years and how much work I had done and how much effort I put into that victory, so he was really worried about me.

RI: Have you decided immediately Korea would be your last Olympics? Had you lost - would you remained?
AS: Of course I recalled the 2014 and 2010 and 2006 and 2002. But I was not worried about going to the Olympics for the 5th time and perhaps not winning. I was just trying to take the best things from my previous Olympics and avoid the mistakes that prevented me from winning before.

RI: The situation was such that in order to win not only did you have to have a flawless skate, but the others needed to make the mistakes. Did you wish them to make those mistakes?
AS: I was only thinking of myself. I never expect anyone to make mistakes. For me the most important is to go out there and show what I can do. I would never stand there and wait for the others to fall. It's not kind of a favour I need.
We were skating first in our LP group. There were 3 teams to follow. I haven't even watched their skates. I was just sitting and waiting for the results. I don't expects to be given presents by the judges nor by the rivals. I think it's important to do your best, to show all your can and the destiny will decide.

RI: Are you a fatalist?
AS: Not quite. Just that the only thing I can do for the victory is skate well. I have no control over the others' skates nor over the judges. Hence why would I waste my time on that? If I made less mistakes than the others - it's fate. But I generally don't care about the other teams results

RI: Your husband said the Olympic season was the hardest in your career. Why?
AS: Things didn't go smoothly. First we had to deal with Massot's paperwork. Then the injury which kept us out of practice for several months. A year before the Olympics I had my most serious injury. Even once I recovered my leg was not 100% for a very long time.
Something threw Bruno and I back all the time. The coach even offered us to stop. It happened that Massot and I had thoughts to retire. But I didn't plan to give up. We did too much to stop then without the fight. And it payed off.

RI: When you first started skating it was on a frozen pond. How was it?
AS: I was 3y.o. when I decided I wanted to skate. I saw it on the TV and asked my parents to buy me a pair of skates for my birthday. My parents used to watch figure skating quite often, like many in the USSR. But there was no rink in our town. The only place to skate was the frozen pond. My dad took me there. You could say my father was my first coach.

RI: Was he a figure skater?
AS: No, an athlete. When I was a kid he used to be a coach in the school. During the winter he would teach all the winter sports - the skating, the skiing.

RI: There was no ice rink in your home town Obukhov, hence you were going to Kiev every day. How long was the daily commute?
AS: It took about 2 hours each way. Just 50km away, but the bus was so slow. It's much faster now.

RI: So you spent 4 hours commuting, studied and practiced. Did you have any free time as a kid?
AS: I would wake up at 4am, the ice practice began at 6am. When the evening practice would end late and there were no buses I would catch a ride. I don't even remember how many hours a day I got to sleep. But it was really tough. My family is not rich at all. So it was hard. But my will to skate was higher.

RI: it's an expensive sport. Was it hard for your parents?
AS: Both my parents are teachers. They gave up a lot to let me follow my dream and be a skater. Their salary was quite low. I had 3 brothers. But I was studying in the Olympic school. If the kid is talented the country payed for their sports.
Back at those times the parents didn't have to invest the amounts they have to now. The athletes with a high potential were supported. It helped my family not to be broken financially.

RI: Where are your parents now?
AS: My family remained in Ukraine, but my parents are trying to come and visit me in Germany as often as possible. It became easier now once the visas were cancelled.

RI: Do you visit Ukraine often?
AS: Last time I went was 5 years ago. Am not very eager going there. I have nothing left in Ukraine except for my family. I miss them a lot but I see them when they visit me in Germany.

RI: Are you more of a German or a Ukranian?
AS: I can't really call myself a German - I was born in a Ukraine family. So I'll define myself as a European. A person of a world.

RI: What took you the longest to adjust in Germany?
AS: The language. German is quite hard but it's possible to learn if you want to.

RI: How many languages do you know?
AS: Fluently - Russian, Ukranian and German. Confidently - English.

RI: Were there hardships due to a German mentality?
AS: You only learn them with the time. The first thing that you get into is the language. If you don't speak the language you don't see the mentality differences. It all came with a time. Now I know the Germans much better than I did when I first moved to Germany.
But I didn't come here just for fun: I had a goal - to reach the results. Hence I didn't even notice the hardships and the disadvantages of the new country. I didn't care.

RI: Germany is very popular among the immigrants from the ex USSR. Why do you think?
AS: I don't know. I loved Germany for it's punctuality and the laws obedience. The cleanness. It differs Germany from Russia and Ukraine so much.

RI: Do you hear a lot of Russian on the streets in Germany?
AS: Yes, and it increases every year.

RI: You had a very promising pair with Stanislav Morozov: you became the junior world champions and made it to the Olympics your first season. Why had you decided to change the partners?
AS: For me Stanislav and I reached our ceiling. There was no perspective - after the JW we didn't improve. Two years after the JW we were going down in standings.
Besides we were very different. I was uncomfortable skating with him - I wanted so much more while he was satisfied with what we had. After the Olympics I decided there was no point continuing skating together.

RI: How did you find Robin Szolkowy?
AS: After the 2002 Olympics I was trying to find a new partner in Russia and Ukraine. There were some options, but the federation decided not to support me - not financially nor with the partner search. I had an impression Ukraine gave up on me.
I spoke to a known Ukrainian skater Elena Lyashenko who was slightly older, hence I always went to her for advice. She promised to help me switching countries. She gave me a phone number of a German journalist who was writing about figure skating.
We didn't know anyone else. I called him and explained my situation and asked to get me in touch with the German skating federation. The journalist knew the people in the federation and the coaches. He put me in touch with Szolkowy.

RI: Were there any other alternatives?
AS: In Russia, but there were so many pairs there that I didn't see a point going. There were some good options in the USA and France, but I really wanted to live in Germany, so I dismissed all the other options and was never sorry.

RI: You are a Bundeswehr solder. There are a lot of athletes in Germany who are in the army. Is it like the Russian TSKA?
AS: No, it's different, at least the contemporary TSKA. All the Bundeswehr members are required to join the studies every year. I had to attend in 2015 for the first time, after the Sochi Olympics. 6 weeks of the basic training with the uniform and the gun.
When I first came there I was shocked and didn't understand what was it for and was sorry I agreed. At the age of 30 it's late running with the gun. But being a solder allowed me to receive the salary from the Bundeswehr. I could practice and not worry about being able to pay the rent. When Robin and I parted our ways my financial state was quite hard and being in the army saved me.

RI: Who was paying your and Szolkowy's practices?
AS: The federation is trying to support as much as possible the leading skaters. Of course it's nothing like in Russia, but if you are skating on a high level you do receive a salary, the coach and the ice are payed. The Olympic committee decides on the budges and then the money is transferred to the federation, who decide which team will receive the funding and how much.
We were the leaders of the German team, but our main coach did not receive a salary because he was suspected collaborating with the Stasi. We were paying him from our prize money. All that we won skating with Robin we transferred to him. It became easier because we were winning a lot. So there was the prize money and the sponsors.

RI: Why does the German government care about the Stasi after so many years?
AS: I don't want to discuss it again. It's not a nice story which I don't even know much about. I don't understand why did it happen, it's stupid. But it happened. It's in the past and I don't want to talk about it.

RI: You had a very successful career with Szolkowy, you won everything, except for the Olympics. What went wrong at the Games?
AS: I think it was about working with one coach only. Robin didn't want to listen to anyone else's point of view: he didn't allow inviting a new choreographer or having a training camp with a different coach. We had a close team of 3 people. We needed something fresh.

RI: Which Olympic defeat was the most painful?
AS: I guess Vancouver. We were the leaders of the season and the gold was so close. We lacked the experience in Torino and in Sochi it was obvious Volosozhar/Trankov would win.

RI: Have you tried talking Szolkowy out of retiring?
AS: We had different goals. Robin had enough of the sports and wanted to skate in the shows. I still had something to give to the sports.

RI: At the age of 32 being a World and the European champion you pair up with an unknown skater from France. Was it a bit adventurous?
AS: I wasn't thinking of my age. Some feel 50 when they are 18. I now feel great and don't see a reason not to skate. The age is something relative. When you think if you are 30 you must retire - you will. But I think all comes at the time. The more experience you have - the better you are.
I had the resources, the will to develop and grow. I had nothing to lose. And my goal overweight everything else.

RI: Did you have a list of the potential partners that you were choosing from?
AS: There aren't many top class partners in the world. When I decided to find a new partner I watched the videos of several and was checking who would suit me. I needed someone tall and strong. I found 3 candidates and was choosing one of them. Bruno seemed to have the highest potential. Yes, he didn't have any achievements yet, but he is a very talented skater. He is a diamond that needed some polishing. I just needed to polish him right.

RI: Taking the difference in your status was it hard to build a relationship with him?
AS: It was at first. Bruno was looking up to me all the time as a newbie on a world champion. I told him from the very beginning to forget all my titles. We are a new team, we are starting from the scratch together. We had our arguments. Sometimes it was hard for him to accept my point of view. But our coach made us a team. We won thanks to the coaches.

RI: Is Bruno your best skating partner throughout the career?
AS: Absolutely.

RI: Each of your partners became a champion. I.e. you were the ruling force and your level was always the highest in the team?
AS: I wouldn't be able to make it anywhere without my partners. So am grateful to each of them. Morozov taught me the basics of the pairs skating, I skated for more than 10 years with Szolkowy and my main career achievement was with Massot. So each of my partners had a very significant input in my career. The pairs skating is always a work of two people. You can't win alone.

RI: Are you in touch now with Morozov or Szolkowy?
AS: Stanislav and I congratulate each other on the birthdays. We sometimes see each other and are cordial. But that's about it. Robin and I are not really in touch other. With Bruno much more - we do work together.

RI: I can't believe in all these years Szolkowy did not become a family for you.
AS: I don't know why, but in 4 years Bruno and I became much closer than Robin and I in 10 years. Perhaps because of the language barer we used to have, perhaps because we are so different. But Szolkowy and I never had an understanding I have with Massot and I was never close to any of my partners as I am to Bruno.

RI: There is a point of view the pairs skating is in a crisis. The leaders are either retired or are taking a break, the ISU introduced the new rules. It all sets the pairs skating back: the last Europeans there were just 12 teams. Do you agree it's in a decline?
AS: I think so, I notice that as well. I thought it was not so interesting following the competitions recently. I watch it and am sorry am not on the ice - I could have easily won.

RI: What do you think is the main problem?
AS: I guess the new rules have changed a lot. The athletes who could perform the harder elements lost the motivation even trying. It's a risk both for the result and the health. And it's not justified when the difference between a clean 3 split twist and a 4 split twist is close to nothing.
All the top teams can do the triple elements. So the difference is up on +5 or +3. It's all so subjective and you have to get into such small details of the element it's funny. I think if the element is done it's done. You don't need such a wide range.
Besides, the lifts marking had changed, the programme was shortened. The programme is shorter but the elements are almost the same - it doesn't make any sense. You don't have time for the choreography and the character. You put more effort on the elements. On every spin you have to calculate the revolutions. If you missed the count it's a level down.
The pairs skating is the toughest discipline as it is, but the new rules made it even harder. So people are afraid to switch to pairs.

RI: The ISU explains the rules change in a will to see the clean skates with no falls. Does it justify it?
AS: There should be a balance. Of course if you can't land a quad but you integrate it into your programme anyway it's weird. But it's a competition and it's your choice. If you are willing to develop, try something new and you are held back - that is wrong.

RI: The quad throws and the quad split twists are necessary?
AS: It's the ultraC elements and of course, they are dangerous. The odds to be injured are high. But forbidding them or marking them almost as much as a triple is silly. It prevents the sports from developing and sets back the top teams.
The new rules are a disadvantage for the ISU, it does not allow developing the figure skating. The teams who can do the quad elements will simply avoid them because they see no point attempting. The dismount will be worse than some other teams' who did a triple, the GOE will be lower and overall mark will be lower.
We will end up with the teams landing doubles because they are confident in that element and will receive the higher GOE and win. It's a joke.

RI: The ISU vice president Lakernik thinks the lack of quad elements is a good thing - he is worried about the athletes' health. Is it too much?
AS: Of course it is. A professional sport is always a risk and prone to injures. You have to understand what are you getting into and what is the goal. But am not the one to set the rules.

RI: The figure skating becomes younger. Why?
AS: The pairs skating does not. In order to be a top team you must skate for at least a couple of seasons after the juniors and the pairs don't retire early. The singles skating I agree- becomes younger. The 14-15y.o girls are the top skaters, the do the elements the older girls can't do. But the level of their skating - when you see a 14y.o and a 25y.o skating is a different league. It all comes with an experience.

RI: Many offer to set an age limit in the ladies skating. What do you think?
AS: I think it's a right thing to do. On one hand landing the quads at the age of 14 is really cool and the girls deserve to win. On the other hand the 14 y.o cant' skate the way the 20y.o do. Compare say, Tuktamysheva with the juniors. Tuktamysheva has passion, she is a woman who you want to watch skating. Or Kostner. How do you compare them to the 13y.o. girls? But they overjump the older skaters.
I'll repeat - there should be a balance of the technique, the skating and the choreography.

RI: Can you expect a long career from someone who is a star while a junior?
AS: Depends on the situation and the athlete. If you are doing all you can to remain competitive for a long while it will happen. If Trusova and the other juniors will want to remain in the sport for long I see no reason for them not to. Just that a lot of time they see no reason to continue. They win everything as a kid and don't want to keep working.

RI: Fernandez thinks it's fulling the audience: once they start following you and want to see you skating you are retiring after the 2nd season in the seniors.
AS: I agree with him. The audience wants to support you, come to your competitions and if you retire at the age of 16-17 you disappear from the fans' radar. The sport is about the personalities, who are remembered for a long time, those who built their reputation and who have a long list of victories. It's Fernandez, Hanui, Kostner. A lot of people love me for sticking around for almost 20 years.
I recall liking Tara Lipinski a lot as a kid. It was such a shame she retired right after the Olympics. I wanted to see her competing so badly but she never did. Yet she is so young! Guess she was more interested being a TV star.
The hardest thing is after winning at the age of 14-15 overcoming and keeping working and winning again. You can win the second or a third Olympics, to become a history. That's what you should aim for.

RI: Which Russian skater do you prefer?
AS: Alena Kostornaya. Her skating is great. So mature and feminine. I loved how Alina Zagitova skated last year. I really respect Trusova.

RI: Who are the pairs you are following?
AS: It's hard to say - my favourite teams retired. I like Boikova/Kozlovskii. They have a potential but there is still a lot to work on. Tarasova/Morozov skate really well. They changed the coaches and restarted their career. Let's hope it will work for them. It's a great team with very good elements and they only lack the consistency.
I also look forward seeing the 2nd Chinese pair - I worked with them. Last year they did not compete but net year they will have really good programmes and they might become the favourites.
There are also the French, but the Russian teams' elements are much better.

RI: Szolkowy thinks Tarasova/Morozov are lacking in choreography. Do you agree with him?
AS: They need to find their face and their style. To pick the programmes that will emphasize their best qualities. And not copy the other teams, it's a certain way to lose.

RI: What do you think about the Chinese LP from the last season? It's considered one of the best programmes ever.
AS: I saw it, it's not bad. But they were really trying to copy our style. And it's not just my point of view. It's a great team but think they should come up with their own style and not copy.

RI: Were you hurt seeing that programme?
AS: No, I just didn't see there anything new and didn't quite get what was so amazing about it.

RI: You mentioned wanting to compete again. Is it serious?
AS: I would love to go back right now. But I can't tell anything for certain. We'll see.

RI: You have seen and won everything possible in the sports. What would motivate you to come back?
AS: I just like competing. I love figure skating.

RI: Will your kids do figure skating?
AS: If they want to - sure. I will tell and show them what it is. But if they will not want to try I will not insist. I will help them with what I can.

RI: Do you miss the ice?
AS: Of course. I love competing and miss it.

RI: What do you feel when you watch a figure skating competition?
AS: It's a mixed feeling. I want to keep competing like everyone else. I don't envy them no. I just want to be in their shoes. Of course I understand it's not possible right now.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
19,303
RI: The ISU explains the rules change in a will to see the clean skates with no falls. Does it justify it?
AS: There should be a balance. Of course if you can't land a quad but you integrate it into your programme anyway it's weird. But it's a competition and it's your choice. If you are willing to develop, try something new and you are held back - that is wrong.

RI: The quad throws and the quad split twists are necessary?
AS: It's the ultraC elements and of course, they are dangerous. The odds to be injured are high. But forbidding them or marking them almost as much as a triple is silly. It prevents the sports from developing and sets back the top teams.
The new rules are a disadvantage for the ISU, it does not allow developing the figure skating.
The teams who can do the quad elements will simply avoid them because they see no point attempting. The dismount will be worse than some other teams' who did a triple, the GOE will be lower and overall mark will be lower.

We will end up with the teams landing doubles because they are confident in that element and will receive the higher GOE and win. It's a joke.
RI: Which Russian skater do you prefer?
AS: Alena Kostornaya. Her skating is great. So mature and feminine. I loved how Alina Zagitova skated last year. I really respect Trusova.
Finally someone speaks the truth - you can't hold back evolution in a sport.
 

thvudragon

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
4,849
RI: What do you think about the Chinese LP from the last season? It's considered one of the best programmes ever.
AS: I saw it, it's not bad. But they were really trying to copy our style. And it's not just my point of view. It's a great team but think they should come up with their own style and not copy.

RI: Were you hurt seeing that programme?
AS: No, I just didn't see there anything new and didn't quite get what was so amazing about it.
Sure Jan.
 

Gris

Well-Known Member
Messages
419
Yu/Zhang?
Last November Aljona came to work with team Beijing (where Yu / Zhang trains) for a while.

Here is an article (in Chinese though but there are some pics) in which Zhang mentioned that he had done elements with Aljona together to demonstrate. :lol:

 

3T3T

Well-Known Member
Messages
185
I really enjoyed that interview.

I was glad to see that she was complimentary towards T/M, commenting on their ‘very good elements‘ and hoping their new move works out for them. Interesting that she referenced the French but noted the Russians elements are much better.

I was surprised with the shade toward S/H, I would think their LP last season was much better than S/M’s Olympic skate. You have to admire her commitment, dedication and love of the sport. I always liked her with Robin but being honest I felt they were no match for V/T. It’s kinda sad they don’t stay in touch.

I wonder who were the potential partners in France and the States?
 

RoseRed

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,695
I really enjoyed that interview.

I was glad to see that she was complimentary towards T/M, commenting on their ‘very good elements‘ and hoping their new move works out for them. Interesting that she referenced the French but noted the Russians elements are much better.

I was surprised with the shade toward S/H, I would think their LP last season was much better than S/M’s Olympic skate. You have to admire her commitment, dedication and love of the sport. I always liked her with Robin but being honest I felt they were no match for V/T. It’s kinda sad they don’t stay in touch.

I wonder who were the potential partners in France and the States?
Really? I liked S/H's FS last season very much, but it didn't touch the magic of S/M's Olympic FS imo.
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
Messages
12,269
What a woman! Could we get her to run the world?

I too was surprised at the shade at S/H. She did not need to go there. All else was sterling.
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
770
I wonder who were the potential partners in France and the States?
I don't know about the US options, but I seem to remember that at one point one of their coaches wanted her to skate with Morgan Cipres and Vanessa James to skate with Bruno, which...is an alternate reality I'd almost like to peek into.
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,886
Be that as it may.....I don't get her saying that S/H copied S/M
Me neither. I never thought of S/M’s program at all when I saw it live at 4CCs or when I watched it on TV at Worlds.

Frankly, S/H are better dancers and S/M were better at lifts. Both fantastic.
 

SleepyShawn

Active Member
Messages
104
Have always been a long time fan of Aliona but this interview makes me a bit sad. She came across as a very different person than I thought. Her general attitude on current pair skating field somehow feels a bit arrogant and overbearing. Not so sure about when she said she would win easily.

Definitely surprised and in fact, a little disappointed to see her remarks on Sui and Han. I was shocked when she says they have no style and they copied her work. Are accusations like this a cool trend now? I’m seeing so many lately. In my view S/H not only has styles in spades but also has versatility. The list of their repertoire since 2015 has been full of gems. From what I’ve seen two programs from these two teams are actually very different (other than one can probably argue both pieces of music have a contemporary feel to them) but she’s certainly entitled to her opinions. I don’t know...maybe she sees something that an ordinary person outside of the professional world like me didn’t see...

Think I’m going to exit the fanzone for a while now:slinkaway
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
23,432
Be that as it may.....I don't get her saying that S/H copied S/M
ITA. I doubt S/H would intentionally copy anyone. It would be a point of pride for them.

However, I think that many pairs seem to 'copy' each other to a certain extent, without trying to. For example, in program lay-out.

Sour grapes, I think. Possibly Aliona thinks S/H somewhat took the limelight away from her in terms of 'greatness'.

I was surprised with the shade toward S/H, I would think their LP last season was much better than S/M’s Olympic skate.
I think it is a matter of taste. Both teams are great pairs. All things being equal, S/H have a good shot of becoming OGMs.

I have loved S/H ever since I first saw them perform their cowboy routine.

S/S and S/M just never did it for me, although I don't deny that they are great.


Definitely surprised and in fact, a little disappointed to see her remarks on Sui and Han. I was shocked when she says they have no style and they copied her work. Are accusations like this a cool trend now? I’m seeing so many lately. In my view S/H not only has styles in spades but also has versatility.
ITA.
 
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MsZem

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She certainly didn't hold back about anything or anyone :D I would expect no less from Aljona.

Sour grapes, I think. Possibly Aliona thinks S/H somewhat took the limelight away from her in terms of 'greatness'.
I very much doubt that Savchenko feels that S/H took the limelight away from her by winning Worlds. She won the one that mattered and she knows it.

I would also be very surprised if S/H set out to copy anyone. But as you noted, skaters and choreographers do not work in a vaccuum and of course it's possible to be inspired, whether deliberately or not, by what others are doing.

I don't know about the US options, but I seem to remember that at one point one of their coaches wanted her to skate with Morgan Cipres and Vanessa James to skate with Bruno, which...is an alternate reality I'd almost like to peek into.
That comment in the interview was in reference to potential partners after she'd ended her partnership with Stas Morozov. Morgan would have been around 11 at the time :)
 

Japanfan

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I very much doubt that Savchenko feels that S/H took the limelight away from her by winning Worlds. She won the one that mattered and she knows it.
:confused: Mattered to whom?

And as I mentioned, it was not S/H winning worlds that may have affected Savchenko, but rather S/H becoming among the GOAT.

This is just idle speculation, however, and I'm not invested in it.

And I'd be interested in having S further explain why she thinks S/H copies S/M.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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And as I mentioned, it was not S/H winning worlds that may have affected Savchenko, but rather S/H becoming among the GOAT.
By winning their second WC? I think S/H have a way to go before that is even an issue compared to her career.
 

MsZem

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:confused: Mattered to whom?

And as I mentioned, it was not S/H winning worlds that may have affected Savchenko, but rather S/H becoming among the GOAT.
It's the OGM. I should think it's obvious that it matters to the skaters and to the people watching, especially when it's a skater who had worked so hard and achieved so much before finally winning one. A world title, even following a brilliant performance, does not compare. Aljona is certainly in a position to know that.

It's too bad the focus has been on that specific comment given how much interesting stuff the interview covers. Also I need to see pictures of Aljona from army training.
 

whiteskates

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I loved reading that interview. I have always admired Aljona for never giving up and for her skating style. I had to laugh when I imagined her in the army running through the woods with a rifle. She is SO tiny.
 

analia

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Everyone just copies Papadakis/Cizeron since 2014, including Aliona and Bruno. Has anyone ever heard of the Cinema Orchestra or Enzio Bosso before P/C? Not Aliona Savchenko based on her history. When I think of Savchenko I think Pink Panther. Savchenko/Massot programs are forgettable. Same goes to Sui/Han. When I think of Sui/Han I think their countless Spanish-themed programs when they were babies. These post-PC lyrical stuff does not suit either team's personality.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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:lol: It suited Aliona and Bruno into an OGM and a 6th world title for her and 1st for him. I'd say it was the perfect fit.
 

canbelto

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I find her comments about Robin really ungracious. She just seems weirdly bitter towards him.
 

oleada

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I find her comments about Robin really ungracious. She just seems weirdly bitter towards him.
I did not get that sense at all. They skated together for 10 years, had a partnership on ice but it’s always been clear that they never had the closest relationship. Their business relationship ended; and they’re not close anymore - that’s not unusual. She says that they disagreed on input for their team and he was ready to retire; she was not. She says she’s grateful for all her partners.
 

MsZem

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Everyone just copies Papadakis/Cizeron since 2014, including Aliona and Bruno. Has anyone ever heard of the Cinema Orchestra or Enzio Bosso before P/C? Not Aliona Savchenko based on her history. When I think of Savchenko I think Pink Panther. Savchenko/Massot programs are forgettable.
That's like saying everyone is copying the Kerrs because they were the first to skate to Muse. P/C are spectacular skaters, but they're not the sole source of inspiration across four disciplines of skating, nor would they wish to be.

Also, don't confuse Aljona's style with Ingo Steuer's. It makes sense to me that having split with her longtime coach/choreographer, she'd want to try something different. Different in this case was a softer style. It allowed her to show a new range to her skating, and it worked beautifully for her and Bruno (for whom this also diverged from past programs). Given the number of YouTube views, it doesn't seem like people found S/M's Olympic FS to be forgettable.

p.s. it's Ezio Bosso.
 

starrynight

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For what it’s worth, I’ve always felt that Joshua Farris represents To Build a Home to me. He used it for a beautiful exhibition before anyone even knew who P/C was.

Let’s not rewrite history here and pretend that one dance team invented music and figure skating. It’s incorrect and incredibly boring.
 

miffy

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I love Aliona! I was always more of a fan of her than Robin and was really excited when she teamed up with Bruno. He was so strong and showed her off so well.

The only part of that interview that makes me cringe a little is calling Yu/Zhang the 2nd Chinese pair... I think Peng and Jin have earned that place now!
 

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