Samokhvalov's interview with Evgenia Tarasova

TAHbKA

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Anatoly Samokhvalov's interview with Evgenia Tarasova for ria.ru (please click the original link for the counter...)

AS: Evgenia, am following you for many years and think one day you’ll be a perfect wife.
ET: For now I’d rather be a perfect athlete.

AS: Who is the perfect athlete?
ET: The one who works like a clock.

AS: Is there a name?
ET: Samodurova. These days she was a perfect athlete. She came and nailed all she needed without looking around.

AS: I.e you have been perfect in the past?
ET: Yes, I had a good season – the pre-Olympic. Every competition Vladimir and I worked like a clock. The only place I failed was the team event where I missed the jump and the throw, but I was injured. Otherwise – yes, I was perfect. Vladimir had some mistakes, but they were minor. This season, however, Vladimir is perfect, I keep having troubles.

AS: Do you understand the reason?
ET: There are none. It’s all in my head.

AS: What bothers you?
ET: Worries. They bother. There is just so much – I was making mistake the whole past season, the end of the season was far from the best. The change of the rink, the change of the coaches, the change of all..

AS: So what worries you? Ok, so it’s a different coach and a different rink…
ET: For 8 years I came to the rink `Vdohnovenie’ (inspiration) daily like home. And then wham! I have to get used to a new venue.

AS: You felt more secure previously?
ET: We were under the same roof. The schedule was clear… Anyway, when I was on the way to `Vdohnovenie’ I knew there would be no surprises. Novogorsk… stuff happens there. Once we came to the rink and were told `no practice for you for now. Not your time. Come in an hour’. Sometimes there was no lights on the rink. Trankov had to run around and look for the switch.

AS: I.e. the post Olympics life is little fun?
ET: Yes. The Olympic season drained all our energy and emotions. We gave it all there.

AS: You now take season by season or look forward?
ET: We live with the Worlds. Unofficially it’s our season’s goal. All the competitions prior are just a practice. Though I now understand it’s kind of a wrong approach. We should take each competition as a major fight for the medals. We lost the Europeans and I just can’t convince myself it was a `practice’. It’s a competition I lost! And then… I don’t plan 3 years in advance, but I do want to skate in Beijing.

AS: Or will you reconsider and rethink after this season?
ET: No, it all leads to the Olympics. The ones in Korea didn’t satisfy us. Neither me, nor the partner nor the coaches. We didn’t get what we wanted. Hence Beijing motivates us.

AS: But the post-Korea depression is still on?
ET: No. It’s not a depression, but an aftertaste that will not go away easily. Though I try not to think of it – I made a mistake, oh well.

AS: Speaking of you as of an ideal wife I meant the balance between the spine you have and how feminine you are. What can break you?
ET: After the Olympics I heard a very important to me person saying I will never win. It is in my head and in my soul. It was hard to get rid of it. It was said when we were stressed and fighting. But I went on the ice and skated no matter what. I’m easily heart and easily offended. Especially by those who I trues. Sometimes Vladimir and I would have a fight, but we went out and worked, because we knew what was the goal. As for what is written about me by the foreigners – that I don’t care.

AS: What were you disagreements with Vladimir about?
ET: The working process. When all goes well everyone are nice and fun. Smiles all around. But then you get tired and hence the mistakes. Vladimir doesn’t hold back in such cases. He doesn’t care who made the mistake – me or him, he takes it very hard. He must fix it all now, right now, so it would be perfect. But it doesn’t always work that way. Hence the arguments, and the fights. Sometimes I understand I just have to shut up. He keeps shouting and doesn’t get a thing but a silence from me. Though even that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I provoke him. Though it’s really all a part of the working process.

AS: Did he provoke you much?
ET: He ignores me shouting. I can shout and there is no reaction. Then am ashamed for shouting.

AS: There was a rumour after the Olympics your pair might split.
ET: It was stretched – we didn’t skate well at the Games, we broke up as an off ice pair. So it was blown out of proportion and talks about the split circulated. People thought if we split up in real life we have to split on the ice. But Vladimir and I never even considered stopping working together. We made our decision – yes, we split, such things happen in life. But how is the sport related? He is a good partner, I am a good partner, we can win together. Why give it up?

AS: It’s hard to understand how can you..
ET: Split and be together?
AS: That. It’s masochism.
ET: Perhaps. Things were hard, but we realized there so many similar stories in figure skating. People split up and won the Olympics together. You have to set the priorities right in the sport. Vladimir and I decided the sport was more important. We don’t want to give up our chance.

AS: So the sport arguments never became personal and did not become a continuation of the split?
ET: There was no continuation and the personal stuff hardly ever comes up in the arguments. If at all. We have to be seriously mad for that.

AS: Nina Mozer was telling me once when the relationship between Volosozhar/Trankov just started she was not worried because she saw how good they are with each other and trusted them. Was she involved in your situation?
ET: We never discussed it. I don’t remember Nina Mikhalovna being for or against.

AS: Did Trankov share his experience?
ET: Not with me. Vladimir and I are in very good terms now, he can tell me things just as I can tell him. We just don’t live together anymore.

AS: Was it demotivating you at the Olympics that you were expected to win?
ET: Nina Mihkailovna asked us not to use the phones and not to read the internet. I didn’t, but I was told from every corner we almost have the gold. Everyone were telling it – the journalists were bugging us and asking so many questions. I could decline an interview, but they would chase and keep asking. Besides, we wanted to win just so badly. It’s the most dangerous thing: when you want something so badly, you are so close to the goal and think the victory is in your hands. It causes nothing good. We just had to go out and skate the programme, instead we went on the ice with the not needed emotions.

AS: Before the Europeans Nina Mikhailovna told me about the new fashion in the figure skating, where the lightness and easiness are important. How do you take the new decisions of the ISU?
ET: At any rate we have to adjust to the new rules. They become harder and it’s harder to adjust. But skating lightly and with an ease is something that is always noted and marked. We try to keep our approach to figure skating under the new rules.

AS: Trankov said that he was finally able to explain you that your thing is the amplitude powerful skating and not the face making to rock-n-roll. Yet you and Vladimir said yourself that you wanted changes.
ET: The thing with the SP that we gave up is that we left the points on the table not because of the programme, but the elements. Had we skated it clean we would be marked more than 80. The same as the programme we came back to – Rakhmaninov. Yet we made just one mistake when skating Rakhmaninov, so guess it matters indeed.

AS: Are you worried even should you win the Worlds the judges will consider you a team who made a step back and are not able to adjust to the new rules?
ET: I don’t think so. There is a difference between the SP and the LP. Our LP is not classical. We decided in the future we’ll stick to the music that might even be fast, but we should be able to skate in our style.

AS: But it won’t be a `Tosca’ or a `Carmen’?
ET: I hope not. I wouldn’t want it.

AS: The fast music is really not yours?
ET: I guess. The Olympic programme we needed a lot of time to get into, be able to stick to the rhythm and the breathing. It was hard, but we got used to it and it was a good programme. I don’t think we’ll completely give up the fun ideas.

AS: Was the argument with Trankov a long one?
ET: Yes, it took him a while to agree to our SP choice.

AS: Between the Nationals and the Europeans you participated a show. Did it ruin the preparations?
ET: The opposite. If we haven’t we would have been back on the ice on Jan 3-4, hence we’d start practicing after a week long break. In our case we competed on Dec 28th and were back on the ice for the show on Jan 2nd. There was no time to relax. We had a practice on Jan 2nd, skated the show on 4th. It was a good experience.

AS: You are an experienced pair, while your coach is not. Is it a risk?
ET: There is more responsibility. We know we mustn’t disappoint. But this season just goes all wrong for me. I keep making mistakes.

AS: Were you the ones to call Mozer at the beginning of the season?
ET: Yes. First there was an agreement Nina Mikhailovna would come once in a while, but the practice showed we were doing badly without her. Much worse. We asked her to come to the competitions with us – we felt more comfortable. She knows us so well that sometimes even a couple of words can change so much. It happened all the pairs elements would go wrong this season, day after day we would fail them. Then Nina Mikhailvona comes, tells Vladimir and I a couple of words and we land a perfect throw jump. I have no idea how she does it!

AS: What would she tell you?
ET: Just correct things. Hold the shoulder here, hold an arm there… She fixes things so easily – it’s a coaching thing.

AS: She told me she would gladly fix the elements she worked with you, but she didn’t dare touching the throw flip that you learned with Maksim.
ET: The flip came and went. Sometimes I would land it perfectly, sometimes I would almost fall on my head. It was all over the place.

AS: Is it confusing when Trankov works one way, then comes Mozer and works differently?
ET: No. Nina Mikhailovna worked on the stand alone elements. Mentally she would set us before the competition, when she would say a couple of words and Vladimir and I would compete with an ideal motivation.
 

muffinplus

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"You'd be the ideal wife"

Um what kind of random comment to open that interview with :rolleyes: would the interviewer tell a male skater he would be the ideal husband?

Thanks for the translation.
 
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Wyliefan

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Weird interview questions aside, it sounds like they've really been struggling. I hope they can pull it together and start having things go better.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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Weird interview questions aside, it sounds like they've really been struggling. I hope they can pull it together and start having things go better.
Yup. They are struggling technically and mentally. Also, their personal break up changed things on the ice. Whatever chemistry they had before is gone. Given their artistic struggles, losing that something extra didn't help.

I didn't realize their relationship was that serious. I am sure when they split, it was a major change.
 

hanca

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Yup. They are struggling technically and mentally. Also, their personal break up changed things on the ice. Whatever chemistry they had before is gone. Given their artistic struggles, losing that something extra didn't help.

I didn't realize their relationship was that serious. I am sure when they split, it was a major change.
I don’t think the personal break up changed the chemistry on the ice, but it would naturally change the dynamics within the pair. It is one thing to make decision that it is good for both of them to remain skating together, but the feelings for each other would have been there, both the positive ones and the negative ones that lead to the break up. Persuading yourself that it doesn’t hurt (when very likely it does) is extremely hard. This interview made me see them in a new light. Lots of respect to both of them.
 

clairecloutier

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Personally, I do feel like their chemistry on the ice has changed. They've never been a very emotive team, but there was some kind of youthful energy/sweetness about them in their first senior years, especially in their "Glam" SP. "Charm" might not be the right word, but there was something.

Right now, I'm just feeling nothing from them in terms of a connection. I think this article explains why. Between their off-ice breakup, their fights during training, and Evgenia's lingering regrets over the Olympics, it sounds like things have been tense.
 

whiteskates

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They've had a bad season so far. There are periods in every skater's (and evey other person's) life when most things go wrong. Next year may be totally different and let's hope for their sake that they have more luck in future.
 

sus2850

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Apart from the sexist „wife“ and annoying „I already talked to“-questions some interesting insights.
I did not know that they broke up, this explains some of their issues, I think. And strange how thr new environment and absence of Mozer affected her.
 

Spun Silver

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This interview raises so many questions. My heart goes out to Evgenia. I don't understand why, if Mozer is such a magician for them, she's not their main coach.
 

Michalle

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This interview made me super sad - I hope things get easier for them soon. I think they've ended up with beautiful programs and would love for them to skate them perfectly at Worlds.
 

hanca

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This interview raises so many questions. My heart goes out to Evgenia. I don't understand why, if Mozer is such a magician for them, she's not their main coach.
Because Mozer wanted to take a time off coaching. Also, in some interview Mozer said something about her ‘old pairs’ not being that interesting for her; she felt that it is much bigger fun to work with some new teams. She was supposed to have some two new super talented teams which she promised to name in December but it is end of January and we haven’t heard anything...
 

Spun Silver

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Because Mozer wanted to take a time off coaching. Also, in some interview Mozer said something about her ‘old pairs’ not being that interesting for her; she felt that it is much bigger fun to work with some new teams. She was supposed to have some two new super talented teams which she promised to name in December but it is end of January and we haven’t heard anything...
What a slap in the face for T/M. 😢
 

Bigbird

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I love this girl for letting it all hang out like this. I hope they either take on Moser back full time or go work with Moskvina. There's is a talent too rich to waste and Trankov's approach does nothing for her. I was wondering who he was upset with in his latest instagram posts, but it looks like Evgenia finally got to get it all off her chest. You go girl and get what you need. I am not in the least bit saddened by this interview, Trankov has always been a prima donna and a jerk. I hope the federation looks to pairing them with a real coach next season.
 

hanca

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What a slap in the face for T/M. 😢
I don’t think it was a slap to T/M, I think Mozer included into ut Z/E too. I guess Mozer had the top few Russian teams for a few years now and was getting a bit tired of it all. It sounds great to be the coach of the best pairs in the country, especially in country like Russia with good figure skating tradition,but the constant pressure of expecting that your pairs will keep winning, that can be a bit exhausting. With new pairs there is no such pressure.
 

Amy L

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Gosh, poor Evgenia. She states that she is not exactly depressed, but it definitely sounds that way. Unfortunately these things take time and it will not be an easy fix for her. Changes in relationships and training situations are stress-causing on their own, but she's also still mourning for the lost opportunity at the Olympics. She could use a good sports psychologist, but it will take a lot of time to untangle and deal with her feelings. Losing a very long (5+ years) relationship while still being in extreme close physical proximity every day is gotta be awkward. I wonder if they could get advice from :BNS1:, who was a pair that broke up personally and went on to win the Olympics.

I think there's a lot going on with their training that they're not really talking about. In the Russian magazine World of Figure Skating, this is a quote (my very unprofessional translation):

Why did you move to Novogorsk, if you still are under the tutelage of Nina Mikhailovna (Mozer):

Vladimir: It is inconvenient for Max to get to "Inspirations", he lives outside the city, and in general probably not particularly fond of this rink. Plus there are other pairs who skate there we are not very comfortable training with. New projects, juniors... I do not really want to get into it.

What pairs are driving out World medalists??? Max has also been making a lot of snarky Instagram posts complaining about hypocrites and armchair experts. So this whole team seems to be in disarray.
 

Amy L

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I love this girl for letting it all hang out like this. I hope they either take on Moser back full time or go work with Moskvina. There's is a talent too rich to waste and Trankov's approach does nothing for her.
He has certainly helped their packaging at least. One quote from him in a recent interview "their style is broad Russian pair skating. Smooth, powerful, not what they tried to show us for two seasons. I don't know who likes it. Why try something that nobody likes? Is it logical?"

So, he's totally right there. I don't know how effective he is as a head coach, he seems to be moody AF, but he would be a good consultant. I know Evgenia seems to love and miss Nina very much, but she either has terrible taste or just doesn't give a sh*t, I mean, look at the history of T&M and Z&E. Any of their good competitive programs (Glam was cute, that was a "fun" program that they could actually manage) seems like a coincidence.

I would suggest that starting over with a totally new coaching team would be beneficial in the long run, but I don't think Evgenia is in any emotional state to handle another upheaval at the moment.
 

Vash01

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I feel sorry for Zhenya. She sounds so sad! She is sensitive and takes criticism to heart. She did not name that certain person who told her that they would never win, but it has clearly impacted their performances.

I am sorry that they broke up as a couple. I didn’t know that. It sounds like she really trusts Mozer and feels confident when Nina is around, but now Nina is looking for another talented pair and pay attention to Them! Mozer did not pay much attention when Stolbova Klimov were around either.

I get the feeling that Zhenya is not that comfortable with Trankov as their coach. I had thought earlier that things were improving with Trankov.

I would like T & M to move out of that environment and go to Moskvina. She is not just creative technically, but she deals with psychological problems of her students very effectively. I think the time is ripe for T&M to make a big change.
 

dinakt

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Gosh, poor Evgenia. She states that she is not exactly depressed, but it definitely sounds that way. Unfortunately these things take time and it will not be an easy fix for her. Changes in relationships and training situations are stress-causing on their own, but she's also still mourning for the lost opportunity at the Olympics. She could use a good sports psychologist, but it will take a lot of time to untangle and deal with her feelings. Losing a very long (5+ years) relationship while still being in extreme close physical proximity every day is gotta be awkward. I wonder if they could get advice from :BNS1:, who was a pair that broke up personally and went on to win the Olympics.

I think there's a lot going on with their training that they're not really talking about. In the Russian magazine World of Figure Skating, this is a quote (my very unprofessional translation):

Why did you move to Novogorsk, if you still are under the tutelage of Nina Mikhailovna (Mozer):

Vladimir: It is inconvenient for Max to get to "Inspirations", he lives outside the city, and in general probably not particularly fond of this rink. Plus there are other pairs who skate there we are not very comfortable training with. New projects, juniors... I do not really want to get into it.

What pairs are driving out World medalists??? Max has also been making a lot of snarky Instagram posts complaining about hypocrites and armchair experts. So this whole team seems to be in disarray.
Thank you for the link, and yes, you've translated correctly.
Also, from that (Russian magazine) interview it also seems clear that Maxim's approach works better for Vladimir, and Evgenia misses Mozer and Mozer's ability to put her in the zone before competitions. However, Max tries.
 

hanca

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He has certainly helped their packaging at least. One quote from him in a recent interview "their style is broad Russian pair skating. Smooth, powerful, not what they tried to show us for two seasons. I don't know who likes it. Why try something that nobody likes? Is it logical?"

So, he's totally right there. I don't know how effective he is as a head coach, he seems to be moody AF, but he would be a good consultant. I know Evgenia seems to love and miss Nina very much, but she either has terrible taste or just doesn't give a sh*t, I mean, look at the history of T&M and Z&E. Any of their good competitive programs (Glam was cute, that was a "fun" program that they could actually manage) seems like a coincidence.

I would suggest that starting over with a totally new coaching team would be beneficial in the long run, but I don't think Evgenia is in any emotional state to handle another upheaval at the moment.
I am quite curious how they would do with Savchenko. Saying that, I don’t think Trankov is doing that bad with them. To clarify, I don’t think it is Trankov’s fault he doesn’t have the same resources behind him as Moser does. And he is also not responsible for T/M going through tough time trying to deal with their break up, and with their failure at the Olympics. And when they approached him, he already had the commitment to skate in some shows, so it would have been hard to back out of that. After all, it was T/M asking him to coach them. It is not as if Trankov was the one pushin hinself into the role of their coach.
 

Bigbird

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I am quite curious how they would do with Savchenko. Saying that, I don’t think Trankov is doing that bad with them. To clarify, I don’t think it is Trankov’s fault he doesn’t have the same resources behind him as Moser does. And he is also not responsible for T/M going through tough time trying to deal with their break up, and with their failure at the Olympics. And when they approached him, he already had the commitment to skate in some shows, so it would have been hard to back out of that. After all, it was T/M asking him to coach them. It is not as if Trankov was the one pushin hinself into the role of their coach.
Savchenko, would be gold for them but Vladimir sounds like he hasn't cut the umbilical cord between himself and Trankov. I think she finds Trankov insensitive, unprofessional and disorganized on top of it. It also sounds like she feels trapped in a glorified all boys club, I hope she's able to rise above it all.
 

Michalle

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I would have thought Moskvina would be a good option once but with Boikova/Kozlovski such a rising pair at the moment, I'm not sure it's such a good idea now.
 

puglover

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I am realizing more and more what a huge emotional upset it is for any skater/team to go in to an Olympic games as the favorite or one of them, and then just not quite be able to do it on that big stage. Just crushing. I remember reading how long it took for Brian Orser to get over his disappointments. Patrick somehow seems to have come to terms with his. Maybe it is easier if you are at the beginning of your career then if you thought you were near the end and now have to contemplate another 4 years for redemption, if that was your goal.
 

Vash01

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I would have thought Moskvina would be a good option once but with Boikova/Kozlovski such a rising pair at the moment, I'm not sure it's such a good idea now.
Moskvina has coached two top pairs in the past.

K&D and B&S - Olympic gold and silver

M&D and B&P - Olympic gold and silver

Other coaches have had gold contenders at their rinks.

V&M and D&W

V&M and P&C

Eteri with Med and Zag

I am sure there are other examples.
 

MAXSwagg

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Savchenko, would be gold for them but Vladimir sounds like he hasn't cut the umbilical cord between himself and Trankov. I think she finds Trankov insensitive, unprofessional and disorganized on top of it. It also sounds like she feels trapped in a glorified all boys club, I hope she's able to rise above it all.
Savchenko, the one who screwed Robin over? She is no peach.
 

kwanfan1818

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Mozer was a developmental coach for juniors before she was asked to be V/T's coach. She didn't ask to be in charge of senior Pairs: she was drafted to serve, and she did and delivered big-time for Sochi.

Shpilband also seems to like developing teams over the minor calibrations and major strategizing at the elite level.
 

Michalle

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Moskvina has coached two top pairs in the past.
Yes I know and I thought about that, but this is a different set of circumstances and I don't think they lend themselves as well to it. Here the older more experienced pair would be the one that is "new" to her and they are already dealing with some insecurities about the last two years and instability in their coaching situation. Because of that, I think that this situation would be stressful for them.
 

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