Samokhvalov's interview with Mozer

TAHbKA

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Anatoly Samokhvalov's interview with Nina Mozer for ria.ru

Nina Mozer goes through changes in her professional and the off ice life. She is no longer the coach in it's usual meaning, but someone who aims to influence the figure skating in the future. The specialist shares her thoughts on why the Nationals were not interesting for her, how wonderful Evgenia Medvedeva is and praises Fedor Klimov in her conversation with Anatoly Samokhvalov.

AS: Nina Mikhailovna, I've seen you at the Europeans, yet not in the nationals. Were you following the Russian nationals?
NM: No. I wasn't interested. Our figure skating reminds me of a new year's show. The night of 31/12 I watched it on the 1st national channel, and then it was re-run, only the 12 years old version. I watch it and see exactly the same faces. It's the same in figure skating - nothing changes. We are not progressing. The years pass, the skaters change, but the specialists are the same. The problem of many of my colleagues is not changing their ways. The programmes are from the 80s-90s, the same style. We do not walk hand in hand with the changes that happen. And I realize how little am I interested in all that.

AS: How come?
NM: I have my own projects in figure skating and communicate more and more with the ISU people. It's a contact I didn't even dream about in the past. Previously we were barely saying hello, now we are asking each other questions. And you know what is the question that repeats the most?

AS: What?
NM: Why the Russian lack the basics? And I can't answer it!

AS: We lack the basics?
NM: You see, figure skating changes but we are still in the same place. We don't understand how it progresses. The lightness, speed, rhythm, the elements structure in the programme. I realize we live in our own world and everyone who tries to step out is being slapped in their hand.

AS: Who has the good basics in Russia?
NM: Tutberidze's girls, but that's it. Just their group. In the World? All the Asians, many Canadians are going in the right direction.

AS: But take our Mikhail Kolyada - he is really light in his gliding.
NM: He is, but he is not as good as the leaders where the blade control is concerned. He doesn't have what is required now. Many in Russia don't understand the difference in the basics. Look at those who win - their knee is used in every jump. They resemble cats! Our guys are skating with a stiff foot. The only ones who are compatible to the world are Aliev, Danielian. In pairs the Canadians Moor-Towers/Marinaro. There are others, but these guys are cats for me.

AS: And which of our skaters are stuck in the 90s?
NM: Do you want the last names?

AS: Yes, please.
NM: Let me answer differently: there are hardly any skaters who I'd like to re-watch. I only care about my skaters at the competitions and rarely anyone else.

AS: Really, you don't want to rewatch Alena Kostornaya's skates?
NM: Oh, I love her and I can rewatch her. Just as I used to love Evgenia Medvedeva. Sochi, the Nationals: an interesting dress, a nice girl, spins well in the air. The combination of her looks and her skating is something I liked. A year passed and we are at an international competition in Bratislava. The head of the team calls me and asks me to come over to get my daily money. I walk in and hear an adult woman who talks very seriously and smartly. I take a look and see Medvedeva. At that moment she shocked me. In such a small body there was such a grown intonation. I was taken by her eyes. When I see her current problems I know it's the natural growth, which she still has to overcome. Should the girl be strong enough - she'll overcome. It's a barrier all the girls went through - Butyrskaya, Slutskaya. Of course Zhenya was praised for many years, she was a star, won every competition so easily and it was written about everywhere. Then the physiology and the coach change happened at once and she is now running against the clock. But really, leave her alone, she is a true fan that will get exactly where she wants to be.

AS: I saw her practices. She is a true world champion, hands down.
NM: She wants to show it all and at once. That what fails her. Once she'll get a hold of her emotions everything will work for her. However, I want to have a different approach to my work. We are working with two teams who will be skating completely differently - Zhuk/Miroshkin and Akopova/Shagalov. Those teams are the cherry on the top of my coaching career. Perhaps it will not work, but it will be the end of my experience in the top sports. Though the young coaches will be doing the main work.
The Russian pair skaters have their qualities - the lines, the amplitude, the finished poses. If you add the gliding to that equation, which is demanded by the ISU, I think it will turn out to be interesting. I know such skating will be accepted and competitive.

AS: And it's something that can be done with the current Russian coaches?
NM: Of course, but they have to work on it. Usually we don't have time: there are competitions to be prepared for. The season finishes in April and by September we are demanded to show the new programmes and be more or less in shape. We don't even have time to figure when should the skaters rest and recover. This chase doesn't allow us to find ourselves in the new.

AS: After the nationals everyone and their dog were discussing whether the juniors should be allowed participating the Nationals. You as if imply people's trail of thoughts is just wrong.
NM: Well of course. Some skate maturely at the age of 14 while some are unwatchable at the age of 20. Sometimes you watch and think `wtf is that flying log on the ice?'. The men are sitting there and being in awe. And then Osmond takes the ice, just raises her hand and you think `wow, all that energy'. Or take one junior who just skated near me and I was thrilled.

AS: Who is it?
NM: He is not a Russian. He is one of those who make you shudder with delight. This is what I want and it doesn't really matter whether you are junior or a senior.

AS: So how can you help Trankov working with Tarasova/Morozov and Zhovnirskii with Zabijako/Enbert, if you are not interested in all that?
NM: You have to understand - helping in their preparations is my current job. It's a job I've been doing and interested in for many years. Now am no more than a consultant. It's a soft job.

AS: I had an impression you put your money on Zabijako/Enbert this season, taking the approach to their programmes, which many, even those who hardly like you, think are successful.
NM: It's not putting my money. I spent more time with them than I did with Tarasova/Morozov, but it's expected in our situation. I came up with Zabijako/Enbert's programmes ideas. I though they would retire after the Olympics, but Natalia is all in this sport and Alexander stayed. So I offered them to try a different style.

AS: Would it be nice if they beat Tarasova/Morozov?
NM: You can't be jealous of your right or left hand. For me it's important they both do well. We did a huge job in the 4 years and I want it to shine on. I want to help them all, but don't want to work tightly. When at the beginning of the season Tarasova/Morozov had serious technical problems and Trankov asked me to come over and evaluate what I can do I told him: Maksim, things I worked on - I will help. But things you learned without me, for example the throw flip I will not interfere, because I don't understand the mechanics of the element, I don't know what were the accents during your work on it.

AS: Tarasova/Morozov and Zabijako/Enbert- your teams. Teams you still keep helping. Yet they don't match your new vision of the pairs skating.
NM: Not anymore. The guys are doing a great job, but I want to create something different.

AS: You can't change them?
NM: There is no need - they are already a created pair. We are now working with the new teams from the scratch, from the point the partners only start feeling each other's rhythm. That's the moment you must catch, because that's when you can experiment. That's a time when the pair comes up with their beat. Once they catch their rhythm that's it! That's how they will do their whole career. Now we are teaching the new teams to follow what the ISU demands.

AS: Tell me about Akopova/Shagalov.
NM: Shagalov was offered by Nikolai Velikov, who didn't have a girl for him. Karina is from our group. They are the juniors age, but I don't plan for them to compete in that level.

AS: Who do they resemble?
NM: Karina is an Armenian. Soft legs, hence the landings. Akopova/Shagalov is a team with all the contemporary pairs skaters features. They have a great light skating, but they need to be more cat like. Akopova/Shagalov and Zhuk/Miroshkin are the teams with a flip, loop and lutz throws. I think the next year they will be competing, even though I took Akopova/Shagalov to some B internationals this year, so they would adapt to the competitions. In order to learn how to work at the competitions you have to participate the events. When you work with a new unexperienced team you have to see how they will act at the international competitions. Competing in Russia is harder not because of the competition, but because of the approach.

AS: What did you think about the junior nationals?
NM: I was thrilled with the skates of our guys. In the autumn I told you that I gladly help building a team in my school. The head of the group is Vlad Zhovnirskii while the coaches are Arina Ushakova and Filipp Tarasov, the people who love and live figure skating. Unfortunately am the only one who is interested in that group, the founding doesn't exist, hence most of the Olympic money (which is very different from what the hokey or football monthly salary is) I spent helping the group. It's the flight tickets, the accommodation for those who are not from Moscow, the additional payments for the young coaches who would otherwise receive 15K rubles a month. But it's those coaches who lead 1/3 of the teams who participated the junior nationals. I was very happy with the result. Pepelova/Pleshkov became 4th, Muhametzyatova/Mironov - 6th. And they were the first team ever to land a clean sbs 3lz and 3flip in the LP. They are just 15/17y.o, which is very young. There is another team in the group with the same jumping content.

AS: You were thrilled with Klimov when he started coaching. Half a year had passed. Have it changed?
NM: Am still thrilled. He is thinking, which is most important.

AS: Can you see how Klimov influences the skaters?
NM: Of course.

AS: I.e you can trust him with a team?
NM: Yes, he knows how to work with them. He is capable to find the approach that would lead to the result. But we still have to see how will his team compete in the first, second competition. They are not yet polished. We are in a hurry a bit with Akopova/Shagalov, but we know why we rush things with them.

AS: Let me provoke you: is Klimov more of a coach than Trankov?
NM: They are in a completely different situations. Fedor started from the scratch, while Maksim is working with a top team. Trankov is a two times Olympic champion who retired after a great career. Klimov was facing a situation when he had to decide what to do next after he and the partner were not allowed to the Olympics. I offered him to try coaching. Within a month Klimov surprised me by teaching a junior pair a 3split twist. A month later the same team performed a 4split twist. Klimov knows how to communicate with the athletes. I hate it when the coaches shout on the rink. A good coach can pass the information without raising the voice. Hence I want to work with Klimov, Enbert. I always know those two are so well educated, intelligent and smart that I just want to be near them. They never even raised their voices on their partners, just always helped them. Always! Maksim, on the other hand, is very emotional, creative and argues about it. When he started trying out as a coach at some point I realized I have no will to argue with Maksim daily, not ready to try and prove him things that I learned with the experience. Hence I really want him to build his own team where he will be the leader who will define the concept and the vision of the skating. He is talented and will become a great coach.

AS: Enbert seems like a perfect Leningradian.
NM: He is a perfect human. There is a doctor who was mending him. When we were saying our goodbyes the doctor told me `Such a good guy! I will do everything so he'll be allright'. People like Alexandr so much they are willing to help him for no fee. Fedor is the same, but less open. But then his partner was different. He was so in his shell while with her. In order to get him out there I learned to communicate with him. Now Fedor is smiling, he began talking, he is happy. When he opens his mouth he is heard. Previously he would be just stand near. I recall I would be talking , his partner would, and then a quiet voice from the side `if someone would have asked me...'. It was Fedor. It was his phrase of the last 3 years. I would stop and apologize at that point. Klimov and Enbert project kindness, knowledge and humanity.

AS: So what is going on with Enbert?
NM: Problems that began back in October. And accumulated. They had a tight schedule and after the 2nd medical check he was diagnosed with stress, which does not allow the pressure he would be under when preparing to the competitions. He is recovering now. The pair does the elements in the practice but does not do the runthrough.

AS: I.e. his career is not in danger?
NM: We'll know it after the next check up.

AS: Who out of the Mozer team is the closest to the skating you call contemporary?
NM: Everyone is quite close. They have a different point of view and each one is valid.

AS: Tarasova/Morozov decided to give up experimenting and went back to their old SP. Trankov said finally the guys realized their style is the big wide skating. Does it throw them back from the new direction?
NM: Evgenia and Vladimir were fighting with the new SP the whole beginning of the season. They took the path of the last year's LP. It's stupid! I told Maksim `how could you enter the same river again!?'. They couldn't handle the LP in the Olympic season. Now they try exactly the same style in the SP! Vladimir and Zhenya aim for the Worlds victory, and they are uncapable to do that wit the old SP! They are tall, with a big gliding..

AS: One trick pony?
NM: No, not a one trick pony, but they have to come up with a style. The LP is quite good. First the ISU specialists told me it was boring. I liked it. It's soft and light and tender. You can't please everyone, unless you are a true genious.
 

Ka3sha

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So what does that mean?
Burnout? Anxiety?
I think the answer is here:
I though they would retire after the Olympics, but Natalia is all in this sport and Alexander stayed.
...
A good coach can pass the information without raising the voice. Hence I want to work with Klimov, Enbert. I always know those two are so well educated, intelligent and smart that I just want to be near them.
Looks like she wants Alexander to quit from skating and move to coaching.
Larionov, Klimov, now Enbert...
 

Ka3sha

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Miroshkin planning to come back? I must have totally missed that :love:
Who is Zhuk? Elizaveta who skated with Egor Britkov?
Both Miroshkin and Britkov work together with Ilinykh and Lipnitskaya in their I/L Academy.
Recently all four of them gave masterclasses in Japan and are going to Mexico in the end of February
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtQpIAJHCCz/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1l68z2xlkzocg
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtSiEJ5H7mZ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ssxx89mrtxtl
 

Jeschke

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Both Miroshkin and Britkov work together with Ilinykh and Lipnitskaya in their I/L Academy.
Recently all four of them gave masterclasses in Japan and are going to Mexico in the end of February
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtQpIAJHCCz/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1l68z2xlkzocg
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtSiEJ5H7mZ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ssxx89mrtxtl
So it’s another Miroshkin?
As usual, Mozer leaves me perplexed 😂

Good for Britkov though.
I always thought he could be quite decent.
 

mjb52

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I would love to know how Fedor feels about being described this way omg.

People really love Enbert! Somewhere else I saw him described as one of the two funniest members of the Russian team (can't remember where, maybe some random Russian skater instagram post?).

The issue with the coaches, while not necessarily phrased that elegantly here, is something I've been thinking about though. Sometimes it still feels like they are having trouble adjusting to IJS, Eteri excepted. Maybe my expectations are too high after so much Russian success under 6.0.
 

kwanfan1818

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`wtf is that flying log on the ice?'
Rep level.

Maybe it's because I can't read the nuance in the original Russian, but I thought Mozer meant she thought Z/E would retire after the Olympics, but Enbert agreed to stay on because Zabiiako wanted to continue, not that Mozer wanted them to retire.
 

hanca

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No, it’s exactly the same Miroshkin :lol:

So I honestly don’t know when will she find some time to put this cherry on the top of her coaching career (c) :saint:
Maybe some skaters don’t need to practice. He will go straight to competitions. I mean, who needs to spend hours at the rink, working hard on your elements and programs, when you can do ‘distance learning’. Maybe he is practicing with Zhuk over the phone and internet. (Or, more realistically, maybe this pair will never happen. It’s a pity for Zhuk, she used to be such a great jumper, I thought she would have a good future in pairs).
 

starrynight

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Sometimes you watch and think `wtf is that flying log on the ice?'. The men are sitting there and being in awe.

Is this like some reference to skaters who are physically appealing to men? ie. skaters who have womanly figures?
 

Tinami Amori

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So it’s another Miroshkin?
As usual, Mozer leaves me perplexed 😂

Mozer is talking about "same Miroshkin", Maxim, who is now part of Ilyhikh/Lipnitskay's group.
https://s5o.ru/storage/simple/ru/ugc/d0/d9/31/95/ruuec32105892.jpg

... and used to skate in a pair with Lina Fedorova last in 2014/2015 (and earlier).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D1UL7iRq3Q

... and now will skate (per Mozer) with Liza Zhuk, who used to skate with Egor Britkov
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UVqXp-z-94

.. and he confirmed it himself as far as 1 year ago, Feb 2018
https://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/48cupsoftea/1600238.html

М: Сейчас я катаюсь с новой партнершей – Елизаветой Жук. Она также родом из Екатеринбурга, как и я. Мысли о продолжении карьеры есть, но все будет зависеть от того, насколько здоровье позволит кататься на высоком уровне.
I am currently skating with a new partner, Elizaveta Zhuk. She is also from Ekaterinburg, like me. The thoughts about continuing a competitive career are there, but all depend on how health permits to skate on the top level.
 

Jeschke

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.. and he confirmed it himself as far as 1 year ago, Feb 2018
https://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/48cupsoftea/1600238.html
I am currently skating with a new partner, Elizaveta Zhuk. She is also from Ekaterinburg, like me. The thoughts about continuing a competitive career are there, but all depend on how health permits to skate on the top level.
So Miroshkin confirmed this Feb 2018. Now we have Feb 2019 and we still haven't seen them.
I remain skeptical.
 

Tinami Amori

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Is this like some reference to skaters who are physically appealing to men? ie. skaters who have womanly figures?
not quite.... :D. (it's not a translation issue). Mozer first said that age does not matter (maturity is over-rated), 14 year olds can be great, and 20 year olds can be lousy. and then in addition "why maturity is over rated" she continues about a "mature woman" saying "and then you see a tree-trunk/log flying (meaning unfit body), but the men like it (meaning protruding body parts)... :D

... it sounds like a "dig" against a certain current female skater, because the "russian FS world" now is divided between "two girls who may go to Worlds" and everyone is taking sides. Mozer obviously thinks Med should go to Worlds, and that means taking a shot at "the others"...

Recently Zhulin gave an interview, where he said something (on the subject of maturity) that would be considered very sexist outside of Russia, and irrelevant to the sport. He said "yes, we want mature women to compete. otherwise the men will loose interest in watching. we men want to see feminine (fully formed) body parts out there (meaning fully formed breasts/rears)".

Several news papers picked it up and either quoted him or paraphrased him, some even with humor..

"Two-time Olympic medalist is longing for feminine body parts"... :D
https://lenta.ru/news/2018/12/29/zhulin/
Zhulin's quote:
«Мне интересно смотреть именно женское фигурное катание, когда соревнуется не подростковое население, а фигуристки со сформировавшимися женственными частями тела, на которые мужчинам приятно взглянуть», — подытожил тренер."
"I am interested to watch specifically feminine figure skating, when it is not the young ones competing, but skaters with fully formed feminine body parts which would be pleasing for a man to look at" - sums up the coach (zhulin).

so maybe Mozer is doing a take off on that...

So Miroshkin confirmed this Feb 2018. Now we have Feb 2019 and we still haven't seen them. I remain skeptical.
They have been training, but if we'll ever see them compete is another story..
 
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hanca

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It reminds me the situation when Moser paired Miroshkin with Yugai. That went well! (or not). Let’s split up a working partnership, where the girl doesn’t have triples. Well, that leaves us with a problem, having a male pair skater without a partner. So let’s match this 21 year old with 13 year old Yugai. Never mind that he is not junior eligible and she is not senior eligible, and she doesn’t really have pair experience as such... After a year of skating together they managed to go to one competition and placed nearly at the bottom, with the score 142. And no one has ever seen them competing again.

So now we have the same yong man, who hasn’t competed for 4 years, (with the exception of one competition with Yugai in 2017), and he needs a partner. Why not waste a pair girl who had pretty reliable jumps. She has been waiting for him for over a year, but there is plenty of time. Moser did say that she is not in rush.
 

starrynight

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... it sounds like a "dig" against a certain current female skater, because the "russian FS world" now is divided between "two girls who may go to Worlds" and everyone is taking sides. Mozer obviously thinks Med should go to Worlds, and that means taking a shot at "the others"...

^^^

If that is a dig against Tukt it’s pretty immature from Mozer.

What’s the point in Mozer throwing around personal insults about skaters’ appearances when there will be a competition to decide who goes?

May the best skater win. If Medvedeva wins then good on her. Same with Tuktamysheva.

Goodness me Russian ladies skating is a viper nest.
 

Tinami Amori

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^^^

If that is a dig against Tukt it’s pretty immature from Mozer.
On the russian chats/blogs/forums/etc... some think it is about Tuk, since her "strip performance" and "how to have sex" interviews, did raise some eye-brows...
https://pics.utro.ru/utro_photos/2018/11/17/1380957.jpg

.... and some think that perhaps Mozer was taking a dig at some of the pairs girls in Velikovs' or Moskvina's groups... But since Mozer made a point to "take side" in Med vs. Tuk current issue which is a hot one now, and because the "maturity issue" is about ladies singles, more people thought it it's about that..
 

Mad for Skating

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Within a month Klimov surprised me by teaching a junior pair a 3split twist. A month later the same team performed a 4split twist.

Leave it to Fedor to become an expert at teaching a quad twist when twist was always his biggest struggle.

Hence I want to work with Klimov, Enbert. I always know those two are so well educated, intelligent and smart that I just want to be near them. They never even raised their voices on their partners, just always helped them.

Can I just marry both of them? They are so precious.

So the nice guys Enbert and Klimov should skate together!:cheer:

I would literally pay to see this. But does that mean Fedor is going to dress in drag and land the throw jumps?

People really love Enbert! Somewhere else I saw him described as one of the two funniest members of the Russian team (can't remember where, maybe some random Russian skater instagram post?).

Liza Tuktamysheva said that in an interview!

I wonder if she deliberately refers to Stolbova as merely "his partner"...

Boss Stolbova didn’t win two Olympic medals just to be “Klimov’s partner”. Call the cavalry, we are going to war!

I don’t have anything against Mozer personally, but I really wish she’d stop throwing shade at Ksenia...I wonder if she realizes that without Ksenia, Fedor wouldn’t be an Olympic champion.
 

hanca

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Moser doesn’t seem to support female partners. It seems to me that females are replaceable for her and it is only the male partners who matters. I guess it may be because there is so many talented single female skaters that there will be plenty of potential partners for the males, whereas finding a tall male partner with the jump is not as easy. I think the only female partner Moser ever cared for is Zabijako.
 

Doggygirl

Going through FS withdrawal after GPF
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Oh my gosh Mozer's candor!!! I lost count of how many people were tossed underneath her bus! Hope it's a big bus and high off the ground to accomodate everyone under there! :rofl: :rofl:

Happy to read that Klimov seems to be blossoming as a coach (at least in Mozer's eyes!).

:eek: at the Candyman remarks! :lol:
 
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