Samokhvalov's interview with Evgenia Tarasova

Tinami Amori

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AS: Evgenia, am following you for many years and think one day you’ll be a perfect wife.
ET: My dear Anatoliy, to expect the unexpected exhibits an undeniable contemporary intellect. Questions are rarely imprudent, the answers often are.

AS: Don't mind what I say. I often say what i should not. The fact is, I often say what i think. Today it is a mistake. It sets one up to be misunderstood.

ET: You thrive when misunderstood. It gives you a sense of authenticity... But well taken the advise....
our next year's SP.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3JO1iKKqKA
 

caseyedwards

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Only one takeaway: they are finished mentally as a pair and can’t compete together anymore. It’s bad for them.
 

Bigbird

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Savchenko, the one who screwed Robin over? She is no peach.
Is this Maxim Trankov? For the last time Aljona didn't owe him anything. She felt she had it within her to go for gold and SHE GOT IT!! Trankov wishes he was as brave as her. Puhlease :)
 

mollymgr

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This was a sad interview. I sense that she isn't enjoying it and she feels helpless about the things that she perceives are out of her control.:(
 

Bigbird

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This was a sad interview. I sense that she isn't enjoying it and she feels helpless about the things that she perceives are out of her control.:(
I sense that she's lost. Oh boy. I hope things can turn around for her.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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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.
I agree, this is not a typical situation (etablished #1 / up&coming #2 behind them). Boikova & Kozlovskiy are Moskvina's little diamonds, and her number one priority. It would be odd and stressful for T&M to have yet another coaching change, and not be Tamara's #1 pair in a sense. Plus, switching to Moskvina would not fix their personal issues, and the lingering psychological effects of the Olympics.
 

aka_gerbil

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Gosh, poor Evgenia. She states that she is not exactly depressed, but it definitely sounds that way.
I had the same reaction when I was reading the article. Throughout adulthood, I have struggled on and off with depression. Warning bells were going off for me. This sounds bad to me.

About 9 1/2-10 years ago, a string of difficult things happened in my life all at once. I still describe it as feeling like someone had taken my whole life, put it in a blender, and turned it up on high. It sounds like that is what happened to poor Evgenia. At the time, a few friends and I had a small email group to stay in touch with each other. I sent a lot of emails at the time about what was going on. One of my friends, who had also dealt with depression, recognized what was going. They contacted me privately and talked me into making an appointment with a psychologist. It took awhile, but therapy and medication are wonderful things. At a minimum, she needs to be seeing a psychologist by herself. They should probably be seeing one together. I think H/D in ice dance have mentioned working with a psychologist when dealing with a similar situation. Obviously medication is a call that the psychologist/psychiatrist seeing the patient makes, but I sort of wonder if based off this it might be indicated. I have no idea though whether there are any options approved by WADA or if it's something a therapeutic use exemption can be pursued for.

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.
It made me super sad too. Not only for how broken Evgenia seems right now, but they always seemed like they were crazy for each other in the "this is going to last forever and ever" sort of way. Looking back a bit and reading this article, it looks like their personal relationship was a casualty of the Olympic stress fallout, post-Olympic depression for sure for her, possibly post-Olympic anger from him. I know from my personal experiences that depression can make you do things that you would not otherwise normally do. That can include pushing loved ones away and self-destructive behavior, like killing a relationship that's been a big and important part of your life. Maybe I'm just being a hopeless romantic, but if that's the case with them, it might very well not be over forever for them. One of the things that happened when my life got thrown in the blender is that my parents divorced. Even though my sibling and I were grown, they felt the need to maintain some sort of friendship for our sake because of still both being our parents. They eventually decided they missed each other, worked through things, and got back together. Now, that period of time is just a dark phase our family went through in the past. You never know what's going to happen or how something like this will ultimately play out. (And, hey, these guys also went through a spell where they broke up for awhile in their mid-20's and it all seemed to work out for them in the end. ;)) Hopefully, they both find some peace, whatever that ends up looking like.

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
I absolutely agree that they need a new coaching team, but I actually think instead of Evgenia not being able to handle it, it might be just what she needs. One of my struggles is with situational depression. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to change a situation. As a psychologist I worked with in the beginning said though, sometimes there are things you can do to change your situation. Radical change can be beneficial. A totally new environment completely divorced from the old one. It's almost like Evgenia is stuck in some sort of purgatory where they can't go back to their old training environment (and it quite frankly sounds like they don't really want to with that comment you shared from the World of Figure Skating), but the new one is maybe not exactly what she needs either. Yet those two worlds are so close together that she can't separate it out. Sometimes, the ghost of memory is everywhere you turn. Evgenia seems to get comfort from Mozer, but it seems like a child's tattered security blanket to me, given the comments Mozer has made. I know Mozer had to step back for a bit for her health, but she's also said in the press that she's bored with T/M. They're a team with the talent to win in 2022, but she's bored. No one is going to be their best with a coach who is bored with them. Others have pointed out the dynamics would be weird going to Moskvina with the younger pair having been there longer. (I also think that Stanislav Morozov is working with her group and T/M aren't too fond of him after splitting ways after their junior years.) In passing, I've seen it mentioned in a few articles that if it hadn't been Max, they had the option of a coach in the US. A specific coach was never mentioned, although I have a few guesses, but what that does mean is there is someone willing to sponsor them to go out of Russia for coaching. My thought for them is Marina Zoueva for their choreography and then Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, and Robin Szolkowy in Irvine for coaching. They seem to want to build this into an international coaching center. T/M would be top dog there. Katia Gordeeva, who seems quite fond of them https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq73wzsl8HR/, would be near to possibly serve as a mentor. Jenni and Todd have gentleness and warmth and steadiness that I think would be really good for Evgenia right now. Robin is a bit of holdover, but it's the calm and stable Robin whom they seem to really like to work with and vice versa. Alexa Knierim seems to be one of the few NA skaters who comments regularly on Evgenia's social media posts, so she would have someone who seems like they could be a friend there. Big move, but it might do a world of good to literally be half a world away from Moscow and the past.

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.
I sort of wonder if the close person who made the comment about Evgenia not being able to win is a former training mate at the "Inspiration" rink.
 
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zebraswan

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I agree, this is not a typical situation (etablished #1 / up&coming #2 behind them). Boikova & Kozlovskiy are Moskvina's little diamonds, and her number one priority. It would be odd and stressful for T&M to have yet another coaching change, and not be Tamara's #1 pair in a sense. Plus, switching to Moskvina would not fix their personal issues, and the lingering psychological effects of the Olympics.
I love B/K and I'd prefer that they did not have to compete for Moskvina's attention. But what about Sasha Smirnov...it seems that he's mostly coaching children, but he did have that Lithuanian pair for a bit. I don't think Aljona has proven herself as a coach at all, unless dumping a pair right before their GP season is what some of you consider a good quality in a coach. Not me. Maxim is surely not perfect, but at least he seems to see things through to the end, and I'm sure he's learning from his mistakes. And some of you are really overexaggerating T/M's results this season - they won both their GPs, won Russian Nats, got silver at Euros and 3rd at the GPF. Wow, what a disaster. :rolleyes: Considering that they didn't take any time off after the Olys, switched coaches and broke up in their personal life, what more do you want?
 

TAHbKA

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They would not move from Moscow to StPetersburg. Who are you kidding. Its a completely different life style. Am not even sure who coaches now in Moscow - AFAIK even Oleg Vasiliev is in StP
 

Japanfan

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IMO, starting the interview with 'you'll be a perfect' wife is insulting. Maybe it doesn't cross across that way in Russian?

When the interviewer later elaborated by saying 'how feminine you are', it bothered me too. It suggests that a female pair skater who is 'less feminine' in terms of the perception of what 'feminine' means is somehow inferior. Megan Duhamel is an example. I would never think of her as 'unfeminine' in terms of my understanding of feminine, but she has spoken about her body type, which differs from the typical pair girl. And she is a feisty and aggressive woman, qualities that might not fits the traditional 'gentle and kind' notion of feminine.
 

Amy L

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IMO, starting the interview with 'you'll be a perfect' wife is insulting. Maybe it doesn't cross across that way in Russian?
I would say it's maybe a generational thing, though I have no idea how old Samokhvalov is. But just keep in mind that even Tinami didn't like that comment, so, yeah... :lol:
 

Japanfan

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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.
I don't know about Orser, but in the case of Patrick, I think he was overjoyed to quit competing. He really didn't thrive on competition like some skaters do (e.g. Kwan, Stojko, Yagudin). In the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics the Canadian media hounded him relentlessly as a contender for gold, and Patrick was clearly uncomfortable, and defensive. Those interviews led me to predict that he was going to blow it, and indeed he let that gold slip away from him.

I don’t think the personal break up changed the chemistry on the ice, but it would naturally change the dynamics within the pair.
I actually haven't noticed that they even have chemistry, TBH. But they've never 'grabbed', or their programs never have. I just think of them as a very good, but bland or vanilla pair - they are also very pale, the both of them, which always strikes me. However, they might yet surprise me.
 
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Bonjour Sherry

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IMO, starting the interview with 'you'll be a perfect' wife is insulting. Maybe it doesn't cross across that way in Russian?
This part of the interview reminds me of the one with Sokolovskaya (Samarin's coach). She was talking a long time about how she wishes to raise Samarin as a 'man'. And he didn't demonstrate his 'manliness' at Russian Nationals when his boots had problems that he did not fix, so she was furious at him. :lol:
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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I love B/K and I'd prefer that they did not have to compete for Moskvina's attention. But what about Sasha Smirnov...it seems that he's mostly coaching children, but he did have that Lithuanian pair for a bit. I don't think Aljona has proven herself as a coach at all, unless dumping a pair right before their GP season is what some of you consider a good quality in a coach. Not me. Maxim is surely not perfect, but at least he seems to see things through to the end, and I'm sure he's learning from his mistakes. And some of you are really overexaggerating T/M's results this season - they won both their GPs, won Russian Nats, got silver at Euros and 3rd at the GPF. Wow, what a disaster. :rolleyes: Considering that they didn't take any time off after the Olys, switched coaches and broke up in their personal life, what more do you want?
T&M are going through a difficult time. People are expressing concern for Evgenia (and T&M's future), and thinking out loud about possible solutions. Not criticizing or suggesting they are a failure.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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They would not move from Moscow to StPetersburg. Who are you kidding. Its a completely different life style. Am not even sure who coaches now in Moscow - AFAIK even Oleg Vasiliev is in StP
TAHbKA, I've been to Moscow but not to St Pete. Can you offer some insights into the cultural / lifestyle differences? I am curious. I've heard several time before that the two cities are very different.
 

puglover

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I don't know about Orser, but in the case of Patrick, I think he was overjoyed to quit competing. He really didn't thrive on competition like some skaters do (e.g. Kwan, Stojko, Yagudin). In the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics the Canadian media hounded him relentlessly as a contender for gold, and Patrick was clearly uncomfortable, and defensive. Those interviews led me to predict that he was going to blow it, and indeed he let that gold slip away from him.



I totally agree with you about Patrick. Somehow along the way I think competition became a real chore for him and no pleasure at all. I am sure if he had won in 2014 he would have happily moved on to show skating and whatever else. I was not surprised when he came back though as I felt he saw himself as having unfinished business. I think he kept going when he saw his window of opportunity closing - for Canada - and I will always appreciate that about him. We all learn a lot about ourselves through tough times though, and now he seems so happy to be in Vancouver with a new life.

Wishing the best for Evgenia. They are such a beautiful pair. I saw them live in Lethbridge a few years ago now and they are just divine when things go well.
 

Bigbird

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IMO, starting the interview with 'you'll be a perfect' wife is insulting. Maybe it doesn't cross across that way in Russian?

When the interviewer later elaborated by saying 'how feminine you are', it bothered me too. It suggests that a female pair skater who is 'less feminine' in terms of the perception of what 'feminine' means is somehow inferior. Megan Duhamel is an example. I would never think of her as 'unfeminine' in terms of my understanding of feminine, but she has spoken about her body type, which differs from the typical pair girl. And she is a feisty and aggressive woman, qualities that might not fits the traditional 'gentle and kind' notion of feminine.

We apparently don't know the half of it. It would appear a strong, feminine girl is able to and is expected to bear with all manner ills in the name of partnership/relationship. I was taken aback at the comment.
 

Ka3sha

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They would not move from Moscow to StPetersburg. Who are you kidding. Its a completely different life style. Am not even sure who coaches now in Moscow - AFAIK even Oleg Vasiliev is in StP
I believe that only Dmitriev and Dobroskokov remained in Moscow (besides Mozer group). Even Pavlova is now coaching in Sestroretsk, a suburb of St Petersburg. Vasiliev is working in Moskvina group in St Petersburg, same with Stanislav Morozov.

TAHbKA, I've been to Moscow but not to St Pete. Can you offer some insights into the cultural / lifestyle differences? I am curious. I've heard several time before that the two cities are very different.
Hmm, it's rather hard to explain but there are indeed some cultural differences between Moscow and St Petersburg due to different historical backgrounds, geographical location, mentality, climate and the fact that Moscow is the capital and has bigger population and etc. There's also a very significant difference in financial capability between two cities.
Moscow has much faster pace of life with a major focus on business, money, power and etc. Being the capital, Moscow has much more opportunities for work in governmental sphere, various business sectors, international companies and etc. The life there is much more expensive. The transport system is better developed there, new metro stations are been opened every 6 months or so. But at the same time, traffic there is just :scream: - you can easily spend an hour and a half or two hours in traffic jams on the way from work to home. I can't say that the pace of life in St Petersburg is slow (especially in comparison with other Russian cities and regions), it's just different.
Moscow is a truly Russian city, a mix of Asian and European cultures, while St Petersburg is a much more European city (it was built as "window on Europe" ). Architecture is also very different. Moscow has two centers: a historical ('medieval' ) one and financial center with skyscrapers, business centers and etc. And St Petersburg is still kind of stuck in the end of 19th - beginning of the 20th century, there are a lot of regulations regarding the construction in the historical center, for example.
St Petersburg is called a 'Cultural Capital' and it's a rather appropriative title , as museums and theaters are usually much more popular here (among native residents, not just tourists).
Also, there are small but noticeable differences in accents and vocabulary. These distinctions are disappearing day by day due to migrating processes, but right now they are still relevant.

And there are quite noticeable differences even in figure skating schools in Moscow and St Petersburg. I recall this interview with Valentina Chebotareva from last December (translated by @TAHbKA ):
EV: The new fashion in the ladies skating is not the best for the senior skaters: when the bet is set on the little girls who can do the jumps in the 2nd part of the programme. Your athlete is 17y.o. Did you slow it down on purpose so Konstantinova would not switch to the seniors at the age of 15 or it just happened?
VC: I never rush things when it’s about my pupils. I don’t let them train too much. Hence at the age of 13-14 they simply can’t skate like, say, Eteri Tutberidze’s girls do. They need more time.
EV: Aren’t you afraid their time may never come?
VC: And yet that’s my point of view. I think the big sport should not begin when the athletes are too young. I want my skaters to be healthy when they get to that level and show their best results when they are adults. Figure skating is a huge stress on the spine and the legs. When the kid is too tired with too much skating and working off the ice the possibility of an injury increases.
If the injury happens it takes a long time to recover and all the work that was done is wasted – they have to re-learn everything. I put a lot of effort on preventing and avoiding the injuries, I love my skaters and cherish them. Am sometimes scorned for that. But I don’t have skaters to spare. Those who I do are precious. Hence I will never let them work more if I see the kid is tired.
I know that in Moscow a lot of parents are eager to see how their 15y.o becomes a world champion and would do anything to achieve it.
EV: Does it happen in St. Petersburg as well?
VC: Thank god, no.
And Moskvina, Mishin and other St Petersburg coaches and skaters usually share this opinion.
From Liza Tuktamysheva interview:
What about the exchange of experience?
– We had such with Carolina Kostner. She skated in my group, we helped each other, explained some moments. From her you don’t feel a desire to compete. And I really feel an emotional connection with people, so we understood each other. But in Russia, especially in Moscow, it is a custom that we must fight, we must go to trainings and destroy. Maybe it’s right, but it’s not for me.
You said: “In Moscow,” is there a big difference between St. Petersburg and Moscow? In figure skating or in general?
– Yes, a big one. People are absolutely different, the atmosphere. In “Yubileiny” it is quiet, cozy, like at home, children, parents, everyone is nice. We live in our own world, there are no gossips … Of course, they are in any sport, but when we go to competitions and communicate with friends, it seems like a world of figure skating opens for us. (Laughs)
And a recent example - there will be a big celebration in Mishin&Moskvina honor (they are celebrating 50 years of coaching this season) in March, and both Kolyada and Konstantinova are invited to take part in the skating show. Honestly, I can hardly imagine Adelina Sotnikova or Elena Radionova skating in the show in Tutberidze 's honor :lol:


But honestly, I must say that I am totally biased here, since I was born in St Petersburg and had been raised in that perspective :)
 
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Vash01

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Thank you Ka3sha for explaining.

During my visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow in 2013, I saw Moscow as a bustling modern metropolis, and St. Petersburg as a charming historical major city. I liked them both. I noticed that the people in St. Petersburg didn’t like Moscow. I thought it was typical of a very big city vs a big but slightly smaller size city (although SP is not a medium size city, and it was the capital in the past). I thought it was probably like the people in Tucson hating Phoenix.

The two Russian cities both have a lot of history and yet Moscow came across to me as more modern (My perception could be wrong).

I remember al TV commentator (may be Verne Lundquist?) saying that the Moscow school is all about technique and the St. Petersburg school is more about artistry, creativity (that seems fairly obvious in pairs skating).

If T&M make the move to SP (I doubt they will), they may have to adjust to a very different environment, both in skating and outside. From the interview I got the impression that Zhenya had difficulty adjusting to change (skating rink, people there, etc.), so it may not not be a good idea for them to move to SP (even without the B&K factor).
 
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MorganaLefay

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Reading this thread is so odd to me: first, I was not offended by the "wife" reference at all. To me, this reference stands for Zhenia's dedication, loyalty, putting happiness of the family (aka her skating) above all. It was also meant as a humorous, breaking the ice type comment--I would not be offended at all if somebody would start an interview with me with that. Second, I don't know where all those apocalyptic depression conclusions come from. I sensed some frustration when dealing with consequences of so many changes in her life all at once, but nothing more than that. Maybe I have an emotional range of a tea spoon, but frustrations are quite common in skating, it's a roller coaster, and Zhenia is maybe on a downhill slope now, but I think it's temporary given her inner strength. I like the idea of Zoueva taking the lead in packaging them on a going forward basis--Rachmaninoff and their phenomenal long program this year would be tough to replicate, and if Zoueva still has the magic, it will be sorely needed next year. Is Steuer still in FL, maybe Zoueva and Steuer would be a winning combination.
 

Ka3sha

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I liked them both. I noticed that the people in St. Petersburg didn’t like Moscow.
I can’t say that I don’t like Moscow.
I enjoy visiting my Moscow friends or going on work trips there, but for me it’s rather hard to spend more than 5 days there - I get tired of too much noise, people, traffic and etc.
 

TAHbKA

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Bottom line: the conditions in Moscow are better whether it’s the specialists, medicine or life itself. Someone who can make it in Moscow will not move to St. Petersburg if they don’t have any strings attached to St. Petersburg
 

Vash01

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Reading this thread is so odd to me: first, I was not offended by the "wife" reference at all. To me, this reference stands for Zhenia's dedication, loyalty, putting happiness of the family (aka her skating) above all. It was also meant as a humorous, breaking the ice type comment--I would not be offended at all if somebody would start an interview with me with that. Second, I don't know where all those apocalyptic depression conclusions come from. I sensed some frustration when dealing with consequences of so many changes in her life all at once, but nothing more than that. Maybe I have an emotional range of a tea spoon, but frustrations are quite common in skating, it's a roller coaster, and Zhenia is maybe on a downhill slope now, but I think it's temporary given her inner strength. I like the idea of Zoueva taking the lead in packaging them on a going forward basis--Rachmaninoff and their phenomenal long program this year would be tough to replicate, and if Zoueva still has the magic, it will be sorely needed next year. Is Steuer still in FL, maybe Zoueva and Steuer would be a winning combination.
Are you suggesting they move to the USA? There could not be a bigger change. I saw what happened to Elena Anton when they moved to the USa and they had the same coach (Moskvina). I don’t think they should move to FL.

About the wife comment, my first reaction was similar to other posters’- what a sexist comment! However, you may have a point - it was said in jest, to relax her at the start of the interview.

To me, she sounded sad and frustrated, may be even a little lost but not at the ‘depression’ level. I think what she is feeling is very normal under the circumstances. She broke up with her long time boyfriend, she did not win even a bronze at the Olympics when they were gold contenders, the Coach who gives her confidence was not around when she needed her. That is a lot to handle. I am sure she will overcome it,but she needs the support of her partner and a supportive coach.

If I had to assign blame, I would blame Mozer. I cannot imagine Moskvina ignoring her top pair, or not being available to give her the right advice. I can understand Vladimir being angry because he too lost the competitions. A better teammate would have supported her and shared the blame, like we see in good teams. So it is partly his fault too. However, they were much closer than just a skating pair, and that may have contributed to his outbursts.

Like many women, Zhenya seems to blame herself for everything. I hope she finds her confidence and is able to overcome the challenges. Good luck to T&M. I love this pair. I hope they will be together and realize their potential.
 
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MAXSwagg

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I love B/K and I'd prefer that they did not have to compete for Moskvina's attention. But what about Sasha Smirnov...it seems that he's mostly coaching children, but he did have that Lithuanian pair for a bit. I don't think Aljona has proven herself as a coach at all, unless dumping a pair right before their GP season is what some of you consider a good quality in a coach. Not me. Maxim is surely not perfect, but at least he seems to see things through to the end, and I'm sure he's learning from his mistakes. And some of you are really overexaggerating T/M's results this season - they won both their GPs, won Russian Nats, got silver at Euros and 3rd at the GPF. Wow, what a disaster. :rolleyes: Considering that they didn't take any time off after the Olys, switched coaches and broke up in their personal life, what more do you want?
They also would have won Europeans without those two downgraded jumps they got. I agree that their results are not as bad as people are making them out to be. Sure, they finished fourth at Olympics but that was a strong event, though they were basically tied for first after the SP for goodness sake and should’ve easily gotten a medal their as well. Fortunately Tarasova sees this and is not marking rash decisions like Stolbova did.
 

PRlady

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I can’t say that I don’t like Moscow.
I enjoy visiting my Moscow friends or going on work trips there, but for me it’s rather hard to spend more than 5 days there - I get tired of too much noise, people, traffic and etc.
This is the classic New York/Washington argument although here it’s the smaller city that is the capital and more about museums and heritage. I vastly prefer DC and can’t stand the pace of NY for more than a few days.

My visit to Moscow was so long ago, before it’s capitalist reinvention, that I wouldn’t know it now. But I did hate that Stalinist architecture.
 

Rock2

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Thanks @TAHbKA for translating the interview.

Interviews with Russian skaters and coaches are always very entertaining to read.
Totally. The responses aren't sanitized and full of cliches.

My guess is the Russian public is more accustomed to directness and is less sensitive than here in North America, where one misplaced word can send both traditiional and social media into a frenzy.
 

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