Lina Fedorova's interview with TAT


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(argh, I hate video interviews, they are so damn slow...)

Not translating all, just some.

LF: In your book you write from the age of 6 you were alone in the practices
TAT: Yes, which was weird back then. My parents were working so Pakhomova's mom was there. I was tying my boots, dressing, undressing etc. We were not living far, I just had to take a tram. When I first started training that was quite far including several road crosses and traffic. But here it was jsut one tram ride.
LF: Did you lack your parents' support?
TAT: No. I was sent to skate so I did.

LF: At what point you realized you were done as an athlete and how did you decide to continue?
TAT: I didn't understand it. My father did. I was in between, I was thinking about walking under the tram but mom would be upset. Dad said just go and help your colleagues, go on the ice and try to become better, try to help the others. I was 19 and am grateful he set the road for me. That was it.
LF: I know there was a statued made for him.
TAT: You mean one in TSKA. Am very grateful to the TSKA management for allowing it, for giving the space for the statue. That's a historical place where he saw the young Tretiak and told him `young man, come to the practice, I think you might be good'. The sculptor worked on it for a while. It was one of the days I was very satisfied with myself when the statue was erected. The memorial for my father was important. Am a bit worried now - the TSKA is under construction now and am afraid to think something might happen to the statue.

LF: Tell me about Yagudin who came to your group?
TAT: He changed a lot. Some things have not changed. I always loved him - when he came and when he left. He is a good person. He is trustworthy. I like it when he starts reading these huge books about the real estate in the USA. Once he'll read them all I'll buy some property
LF: There was some pressing from the Fed when he was told he will not make it
TAT: I don't give a shit
LF: How did you support him
TAT: Should I believe those idiots from the Fed? I know my job, I know who I took and I know what I can do with them. So yeah, it was nerves wrecking because the Russian judges never put him above Evgeni - always 2nd. I think they should be judged for that - the judges and those who gave these instructions. But I won anyway.

LF: Bestemianova/Bukin who were one of your favourite pupils
TAT: I can't say so. I loved them all, and there was Moiseeva/Minenkov who were the favourite - they were first, unique, no one skated with so much soul, had such arms, projected the music so well or were so dramatically talented. We didn't know it back then - we didn't know about the dramatical talent back then. But it was amazing going to the practice every day and witness that miracle daily. And it worked! It all worked! First you go around like a moron and then it works!!! works!!! works!!! and then the competition came and it worked there as well! the serious competitions! And the big ones - Euros, Worlds, Olympics and it all worked! I don't remember how the years passed and I was so out of it, I came to my dad with `Dad! We are 2nd at the Olympics! We are 2nd, first Pakhomova/Gorshkov and we beat all the Americans and Canadians, it's a pair who I worked with from their young age!'. Dad answered `You know we get fired for the 2nd place'.

LF: Back to our times - are there teams now that stand out, that take your breath away when you watch them?
TAT: I have to think, so guess no. Some things work, some don't. You are happy when something works. The skate is good, the placement is not, so it doesn't always work. There are good teams. Not outstanding. There were times when Papadakis/Cizeron took my breath away - not every skate and not always, but sometimes, when they hit it, get on their wave - then yes, they take my breath away.

LF: IMHO after Pluschenko/Yagudin there are no stars in our male team. Why? They are not practicing well enough? We are not coaching?
TAT: They were not born
LF: You think they are unique?
TAT: Of course. You can't make a great athlete out of nothing.
LF: Kovtun - what prevented him from becoming great?
TAT: Nothing. It's his essence - he can't complete anything. He is sorry for himself. He wants things but doesn't know how to achieve them, when things are hard he doesn't believe they will become easier. Its' a shame. He has the talent, but the talent is just one of the qualities that the athlete needs. The spirit. He's a piece of nothing. If you listen to the coach things will work, if not - nothing will work.

LF: About your husband
TAT: I was lucky to meet him and that he married me. I was married to a great musician for 30 years. He was a great musician, so smart, I got to travel with him. At the end of the piece he was playing people would jump up, he always had a great success - in the USA, in Japan, in Canada, in France - wherever we went. It was amazing. He was such an easygoing fun person. He could play for 24 hours a day and he enjoyed it. He helped me so much. Dad liked him. He helped me with the music, a lot of times - most times he did not agree with me
LF: Was it hard for 2 such creative people?
TAT: Not at all. We loved each other and were aiming for the same things. We had the same goals, we helped each other, we didn't need to explain - we are creative people and we are both teachers. My house in the USA was full of my pupils and Vladimir Krainev was needed there. I did all I could in his house in Hanover. I could only really cook - they were playing without my help, but till today his pupils love me and recall how I cooked for them and snugged some money into their pockets. My kids who became great teachers themsleves.
LF: Was the distance hard?
TAT: No. We jumped on the plane and came. The competition would be over I would jump on the plane. When you want something you always find time
LF: Do you think of him often?
TAT: No. It's not something you think about - it's part of you - you wake up with it and go to sleep with him. I don't need to think of him - he is always with me. All my relatives - mom, sister, dad. I never let them go. They never let me go. But I hold tight to them. I cant' say 10 years later it becomes easier. It never does. But when you live with them and you look at their photos around you every day it makes it easier.

LF: You talk so nicely of your mother in law
TAT: Yes. I loved her so much. She was so hard working, so talented. She lived through the WWII, was a surgeon, after the war she had Vladimir and never went back to work as a surgeon and became a kids doc and worked for the rest of her life there. She loved Vladimir so much, his friends, music. She taught me so many things. She was so sincere, the amazing beloved woman. When she was 90 I could ask her advice on anything. I was in awe with her.

LF: Speaking of being in awe - the recent interview of Trankov and in the most influential people in Figure skating he named you.
TAT: Yes. Do you disagree?
LF: No, no, I agree
TAT: Me too.

LF: What are you more right now: the coach, the commentator, the consultant?
TAT: I'm a coach and I felt the most comfortable being a coach. It's my profession and its' my passion, there is nothing I love more. But, unfortunately I don't have a school, I don't have an ice. Of course I would be coaching both pairs and singles. I would not let down if I was given a chance. The commenting - I am dependent there and I like to be independent. It depends whether my commentary is liked, whether am given the job. I can't depend on one person. Consultant - sure, I know what I could tell each of the skaters who are in the team. I could tell them what and how things should be done. I can be happy for them. Trankov - wow, thank him for putting me first. I would be happy to be a coach.
LF: How did it happen?
TAT: I don't want to talk about it. If I was given an ice tomorrow and offered to find a team I don't think I would let them down. I think I would help the young coaches to progress.

LF: Speaking of commentary
TAT: I loved it. It began with Anna Dmitrieva. She met me when I was jobless - I was just walking on the street and having an icecream. She saw me and asked `Tarasova, what are you doing idly walking?' I said `there is nothing for me to do, so am just walking'. `Go to work!' `I don't have a job. Am not given a job'. 2 years after I came back after Yagudin's victory. `Come and work with Vasili Soloviev. There is an opportunity and money on the NTV+'. So we started, and we went on together till Sochi 2014. I was offered to work for the 1st channel, but I said I can't because I promised the NTV+ and I can't let Anna Dmitrieva who I worked with for 10 years. So Vasili and I worked... Anna and I even shared the flat at some point.

LF: After Medvedeva's Olympic skate you said `I want her to win'. Were you upset when you saw the result?
TAT: It's a wrong word upset. Half were so happy, half were in tears. It's a big victory for our sport. The most important that we had the medal.

LF: You got a TV price for that commentary
TAT: And was scolded
LF: Why?
TAT: No idea. I don't know.
LF: Just like that?
TAT: It was unexpected. Yeah, we got quite a lot back.

LF: Ok, so we know what is the main price on the TV, but what is the one for the coach?
TAT: Knowing you di all that was up to you. All you thought about. And the pupil did all they could. And you don't care about the rest.
LF: The job is done, the result is there.
TAT: That's it. Done. You knew how it should end and then it happens, so bravo and goodbye.

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