Post IdF 2018 interview with Evgenia Medvedeva

IceAlisa

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Source: https://rsport.ria.ru/interview/20181126/1146551287.html

Medvedeva: I am tired of dodging the question of why I didn’t bring Tutberidze flowers

The two-time world champion, Olympic silver medalist 2018, Evgenia Medvedeva spoke to the RIA correspondent Anatoly Samohvalov revealing that she understands why her former coach Eteri Tutberidze had told the story that allegedly (Medvedeva) had asked to keep the Olympic Gold Medalist Alina Zagitova in juniors, discussed her current relationship with Zagitova; and her angry stare at competitions.



Evgenia, you said that it’s hard for you to get used to losses. Don’t you think that everything went too smoothly, too triumphantly the two years ahead of the Olympics?



When everything is going well, you don’t think it’s too much. However, from time to time I did worry about this. I understood that I will get used to it but sooner or later it will end. I was ready for the difficult time that would come, when everything will no longer snap the way it had been snapping. Although even then not everything was snapping as easily as it looked. My former coaching team had worked really hard but it was a different type of work. An absolutely different style. But I can’t say which is harder. I was preparing for the difficulties after successful competitions, but only subconsciously.



Your former team's style of training stopped working because you had grown?



Because I had grown and…What’s the best way to say it…



The imperative method when they tell you what to do had stopped working for you?



At times, yes, I wanted to express myself more in a creative way. I am incredibly grateful to my former coaching team for the eleven years of fruitful work. It’s a very long time. I have had several choreographers, I had gained priceless experience. These are the people who had brought me to the level where I am today. And I would like to maintain this level, just to show that the previous work wasn’t wasted.



And the people you are grateful to are…is it Dudakov?



It’s Dudakov, SV, Eteri Georgievna, Danya Gleykhengauz, Seryozha Rozanov, Lyudmila Shalashova. A great many people had worked with me and I am incredibly grateful. And that work they had done with me is still there in me. But now I have to show a different kind of work. I have to merge two schools—Russian and Canadian. I have to integrate them to achieve something…I don’t yet know what I will achieve. It’s not working so far but in time the flower will bloom.



Pardon the silly question but I would like to ask: why didn’t you bring flowers for Eteri? You would have left on good terms.



You know, I am really tired of dodging this question. I know perfectly well that this will be discussed. I will tell you one thing: no one else knows the reason, no one knows why I did it this way. There is a reason but no one will ever find out. Especially not from me. I will never reveal it. I consider this an issue of privacy. So please, stop trying to fish for the answer why it happened the way it did. That’s the way it happened. That’s it.



All the greats have their secrets



I don’t consider myself great and am not trying to make myself seem great using this secret. Or some kind of queen. Simply put, there are things that are not discussed in public and these things decide a lot. Please, enough with this topic. But I know it’s useless. Although half a year is a long enough time to stop thinking about it.



I am not trying to push for the secret but look at the situation at hand. The other side, Eteri, has told Channel One that you said this about Alina Zagitova (to keep her in juniors for another year) and that was a mighty PR move which dropped all the negative publicity on you.



I suppose I can understand why this was said. This was said because the situation was unpleasant. My relationship with the junior girls is just fine because I had been there, I had won everything at the age of fifteen. However, firstly I have no right and couldn’t have said anything like this because, as mentioned I had been a junior myself. And I had not asked to keep someone else in juniors. This is stupid, at the very least. But I will say it again, I understand why it was said (she means why Eteri had said it on Channel One.) I am a perfectly sane person and am not going to react negatively to this but in that report on Channel One it was categorized correctly as a childish phrase. A silly childish phase, to say to someone right after leaving the ice. I had tried to remember it but could not.



Maybe it was said as a joke?

As a joke? I wasn’t up to joking. Pyongchang was no joke. May be I have gaps in my memory (with irony) but I doubt it. I did not say that.

Why don’t you and Alina ever mention each other? You looked so great together when you helped her at the presser in Pyongchang



First, I don’t understand why people think there was a conflict. Alina and I have never had a conflict.



It was obvious at the Olympics



To be exact, I can’t speak for Alina. I will speak for myself. I did not have any kind of conflict with Alina. No animosity. I have said a million times that I saw how hard she worked. She worked herself to the bone. I have never seen anyone work this hard as Alina did. It was a complicated time, a lot of work, energy, nerves, health had been invested by the both of us. Both her and me. I have profound respect for her as an athlete because after such a difficult Olympic season she continues to uphold her status. This costs a lot. Simply, I can imagine that she works twice as hard now. And this is very impressive because it’s hard to imagine someone working harder than Alina in the Olympic year.



A cry from the heart



By the way, wouldn’t it have been smart to skip the post Olympic season?



No, not smart in my case. Yes, it requires time off. But when you take time off, you do things slowly and then it turns out that there isn’t enough time. You take more and more time and then the season is over and then you realize you are out of time. And this can go on forever. Also, I didn’t want to miss out on the competitive experience. And despite things not going smoothly, I am gaining experience that I have never had before in my life. I am learning to get through these difficult situations not as a hysterical child—everything is awful, ruined, and I will not get any chocolate—but as an adult. Right now I am surrounded by people who have experienced situations like this one. These are mostly adults known to the public, who have pushed through the thorns to the stars. They share their experience with me, how to handle it.



At the test skate in Russia you came out on the ice from a different gate than Zagitova. This created quite a commotion.

It just happened! I was condemned for this



Everyone thought it was on purpose so you could avoid Eteri.



This is absolute nonsense. Do people really think that we haven’t crossed paths? What is this kindergarten? I just went through another gate. There was no rule to use the same gate. I don’t know why everyone gathered around that one. Lets ask the others why they were at the other gate, don’t ask me why I used this one. Perhaps everyone preferred to start skating in the warm up in one direction and I preferred the other. But people see what they want to see. And this is ridiculous. Sorry. A cry from the heart. Seriously. People try to condemn me without any grounds.



I was surprised by your sensitivity to silly haters. Have you talked to Brian Orser who had a rivalry with Brian Boitano, to Evgeny Plushenko who is still battling Alexei Yagudin who has skated at the Plushenko academy rink, after which Evgeny seemed to have attacked his former rival on social media? All these people have their haters. And a strong person like you pays attention to some 40 year old man who wrote you something?



I am not trying to show that I am hurt but that I am confused. I can just see it: a person is sitting there, picks up his phone, unlocks it, goes on Instagram, finds my page, my picture and types a comment. He spends his time on me and not on his young son whom he is raising. I can’t wrap my head around it, why don’t you have a life of your own? On the other hand, it improves my mood. If someone thinks they can spend two extra minutes to insult me, it means I am doing everything right. I deserve his attention. And now please, the person who does this, get a hold of yourself, do your job and make me pick up my phone, go to your comments and make me write some shit. Please, everyone who writes nasty things, get a hold of yourself and make me react (to you.)


Why does this affect you? It's the usual drivel



The drivel in the comments doesn’t affect me. Not at all. I don’t want to discuss what really affects me and what doesn’t. It’s a completely separate topic that I prefer not to bring up. I am trying to get through these times.



So if all these comments don’t affect you, is there something else?



There is something else, something new in my life. I don’t react to what is being said but some things do reach me. Even though I am not using social media but I can’t live under a rock. You can’t hide from everything. They say I am an idiot, stupid…

Stupid—that has nothing to do with you



The most strange and scary thing I’ve heard from my compatriots is that I am a traitor. That I have betrayed not just anything but my country. This is the most low, horrible, and disgusting thing someone can say. Especially when an adult says it. I represent my country, Russia. And I’ve said a million times that I will not represent any other country. I am announced at international competitions as Evgenia Medvedeva, Russian Federation. But still people keep calling me a traitor. I would like to wish them all well and to have good, kind people around them, just like I do. The fact that I am still afloat, I owe to them.


But do you understand that to accuse someone of treason is our national sport?

It is a sport but it’s a horrible word, traitor. Treason is a sin. To accuse someone of treason you have to have really good reasons. Traitors were executed for treason. Being called a traitor is the only thing that makes me mad. I don’t care about the rest. I have a lot of fans, a huge fan club that showers me with presents, love and everything everything. I am incredibly grateful to my fandom. Hundreds of thousands of people are in my corner and we are a huge team although I don’t know everyone. We will survive any situation and don’t care what people say. I have a lot of respect for people who are not fans of individual athletes but are fans of team Russia. Singles, dancers, pair skaters. Yes, people fail and I have a lot of respect for the fans who realize the difficulty of the situation and still support the athlete and are not fair weather fans.



A bundle of nerves

What scares you the most—that you may not reach the level of perfection that is associated with Medvedeva?



I don’t think about that, I am just trying to move forward. Right now the most important thing for me is to let it go. Don’t let things slide but to be open to work and to the outside world. I don’t mean getting back on social media, no. I am talking about the fact that you need to remember that there is more good than bad in the world.



I would like to discuss your look at the competition. You didn’t even smile during your performance.



I am not the kind of person who smiles before competitions. Brian and I have already discussed this. Perhaps it’s time to experiment—with technique, image, body. It’s also time to experiment with my mental attitude before a competition. This will also take time but I will try to awaken new emotions in myself. Maybe I do need to smile sometimes. Maybe someone needs to needle me, make a joke to improve my mood and fighting spirit. I dig into myself too much to the point of becoming a bundle of nerves. And competitions should be if not fun, but at least smooth and neat.



At the moment you go on the ice like a boxer



All I need are boxing gloves and a punching bag. I was very tense. But this is the lesson that I and Brian and Tracey have learned at this competition (IdF.) My mental approach has to change. That’s why we will work on the personality.



This beautiful but mean stare, will you have to abandon it too?

No. I think we will discuss this with the coaches, will make up a training and a competition plan. Right now I cannot and do not want to discuss anything.



In the previous seasons' programs you had achieved amazing harmony, you had become a mature skater. In this season’s programs you fight on the ice. You struggle for each element.



Yes, yes there is a struggle for the elements. The very long break from skating is showing. I hadn’t skated for four months, this was a time of struggle with injuries, which is why the training process has been changed to avoid injury, overwork, extreme stress. I will say for the millionth time we are still searching for me, for each other. A little more time and what we are planning will happen.
 
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Spun Silver

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She sounds so frustrated on so many levels. My heart goes out to her. I wish she didn't have to give interviews. They are inevitably going to ask tough questions and she wants to keep herself to herself.

I am impressed by her comments about Alina and how hard she worked/is working.

Thanks for the translation, @IceAlisa.
 

IceAlisa

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I haven’t seen anything from her yet after IdF but we all know TAT loves Med. Will keep checking for her thoughts on this.

Yagudin did say that he too experienced a coaching change and a move to North America when he switched from Mishin to TAT. The key difference that Yagudin underlined was that the methodology wasn’t all that different, which made his adjustment that much easier.

I think what raises the jingoistic heckles is that Med went to a North American coach. Had she moved to say, Mishin, we wouldn’t be having this conversation
 
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rfisher

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Actually, I've wondered why she didn't go to Mishin since jump issues were the problem. Maybe she did talk to him and things couldn't be worked out, but it would have made for a much easier coaching switch for her.
 

BittyBug

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Actually, I've wondered why she didn't go to Mishin since jump issues were the problem. Maybe she did talk to him and things couldn't be worked out, but it would have made for a much easier coaching switch for her.
Hasn't Mishin said before that he only coaches that he has trained from the get go?

I think what raises the jingoistic hackles is that Med went to a North American coach. Had she moved to say, Mishin, we wouldn’t be having this conversation
Yes, but which is more "traitorous" - a NA coach or a formerly Soviet coach who abandoned the mother land? (I'm thinking of Zoueva, and while I don't think she defected technically because she left the USSR in 1991 as it was falling apart, she never returned.)
 

rfisher

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Hasn't Mishin said before that he only coaches that he has trained from the get go?

Yes, but which is more "traitorous" - a NA coach or a formerly Soviet coach who abandoned the mother land? (I'm thinking of Zoueva, and while I don't think she defected technically because she left the USSR in 1991 as it was falling apart, she never returned.)
He took Kostner, but then she is Kostner. :lol:
 

Rock2

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She's going to go through two years of hell. There is no way around this. She's surrounded by the right people and she has a super mature attitude.

I have said before that the best thing for her is likely to NOT go to Euros or World's -- to start working on the new season in February. She needs a minimum of six months behind closed doors for Brian, Tracy and the team to get anything of value done for her in terms of rebuilding her skating. I think they can do it.

She came to Brian late and injured. This year it's just about trying somehow to hold on to the jumps and improve some SS. Against this backdrop her level is bound to drop. Go to Russian nationals, come fifth to maintain consideration for internationals etc and get to work. We'll see some real evidence of a new skater in the fall Bs.
 

snoopy

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If Med wins again, especially the next Olympics, all will be forgiven in Russia. :lol:
 

missing

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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

Evgenia Medvedeva is a two time World Champion and reigning Olympic silver medalist. At age 19, she made a realistic decision about how best to sustain her career in a field that favors young teenagers. She had the opportunity to be coached by a team that has already won multiple Olympic gold medals, and where she would be their top ranked woman. She voluntarily left her previous team to move to a new country and new environment, presumably with specific and achievable goals in mind.

I have serious doubts that her situation is what Winston Churchill would have defined as hell.
 

skatingguy

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Evgenia Medvedeva is a two time World Champion and reigning Olympic silver medalist. At age 19, she made a realistic decision about how best to sustain her career in a field that favors young teenagers. She had the opportunity to be coached by a team that has already won multiple Olympic gold medals, and where she would be their top ranked woman. She voluntarily left her previous team to move to a new country and new environment, presumably with specific and achievable goals in mind.

I have serious doubts that her situation is what Winston Churchill would have defined as hell.
A personal hell, rather than a biblical one then.
 

IceAlisa

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Actually, I've wondered why she didn't go to Mishin since jump issues were the problem. Maybe she did talk to him and things couldn't be worked out, but it would have made for a much easier coaching switch for her.
This is pure speculation on my part but here goes. Mishin’s students are all about good jump tech that he’d built from the ground up. Not very prominent in other areas like SS, TR, CH, etc. Caro was already an established skater with the best SS in the biz, great jump tech unless she rushed herself and just needed to be refreshed, not really re-designed as a skater.

It seems to me Med was looking to improve every aspect of her skating, not just the jumps. The Orser camp offers a comprehensive approach to their skater, there is a jump person, there’s an SS person, i.e., Tracey, and there’s Brian.

I am glad she realized that 1) her skating needed a compherensive overhaul, and 2) this is going to be a long, tortuous process

I wish her and her team the best
 

BittyBug

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Also, didn't Caro regularly attend Mishin's summer camp? I think he had a history with her before she moved to him.
 

lala

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Many Russians think Med tells Eteri's secrets, methods for the new coach. :rolleyes: They think she is going to change the citizenship and compete for Canada.

I apologize the Russian posters but they are so weird sometimes. They start to hate their stars, they believe the worst things about them and they don't believe what they say in interviews. I have seen this more than once since 2014. I read Russian forums since that. This happened with Adelina who is a celebrity today and many Russians hate her. Plushenko reached many haters after his WD in Sochi, they forgot everything what he did for Russia, he was a traitor because he didn't die on ice. They hate the rich succesful persons.
And this is not only my opinion many of them have similar opinion about themself.
If you remember probably I was the only one who defended Eteri in Med's case and I said probably Med had some mistakes, too in the split. But the attacks on this nice talented, young, brave woman is outrageous!

I want to send support for her!!
 
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VGThuy

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This was an incredible interview from Medvedeva. She is so grounded and mature. I think I underestimated the amount of vitriol she has received since she announced her move...or even right after the Olympics when people perceived certain things about her. I haven't been paying too much attention to the she said/she said stuff, but from this interview, has Eteri been spreading stories about Medvedeva being a less-than-gracious silver medalist to Alina and painting her as sort of ungrateful? That's what came off from this interview.

Also, in Russia, is the whole Alina/Evgenia thing being played out like a Tara/Michelle thing where domestic fans are picking sides and attacking the other?
 

IceAlisa

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This was an incredible interview from Medvedeva. She is so grounded and mature. I think I underestimated the amount of vitriol she has received since she announced her move...or even right after the Olympics when people perceived certain things about her. I haven't been paying too much attention to the she said/she said stuff, but from this interview, has Eteri been spreading stories about Medvedeva being a less-than-gracious silver medalist to Alina and painting her as sort of ungrateful? That's what came off from this interview.
Eteri had gone on Russia’s Channel One soon after the split, and said Evgenia had told her in PC after Alina’s win, that she wished Eteri had held Alina back in jrs. one more year. Here Evgenia categorically denies having said that.
Also, in Russia, is the whole Alina/Evgenia thing being played out like a Tara/Michelle thing where domestic fans are picking sides and attacking the other?
I don’t have any official poll numbers (Will Levada please get on that?) But the movers and shakers in the skating community mostly seem to support Med. Private citizens, however, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, have been pouring vitriol on her social media pages.
 

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