`The relationship with Maksim was my doing'. Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Volosozhar


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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Tatiana Volosozhar `The relationship with Maksim was my doing' for rt.com

EV: You husband and partner Maksim Trankov became a star after retiring, while you faded away and are not trying to be popular, don't give interviews. Is that on purpose?
TV: No, just after my daughter was born there are other things on my mind. Once Angelica was born I stepped out of figure skating and focused on her. And frankly, I love it.

EV: Why is she a single child then?
TV: For now. We'll certainly have more kids.

EV: How was the transition from the sports to the normal life?
TV: The sport is still part of Maks' and my life, the shows - it came back quite fast. There is adrenaline and goals. I feel I can keep developing as a skater and as an artist.

EV: Which project was the most interesting so far?
TV: The one we were invited to join 4 months after Angelica was born.

EV: You mean Averbukh's show `Romeo & Juliette'?
TV: Yes. The show was in Sochi. I was so grateful to Ilya for believing in us and inviting us. We were not invited to the shows in Japan that year, because no one knew which shape Maksim and I were in, whether I'll be able to skate at all after giving birth.
The organizers didn't want to take a risk, while Averbukh did. Though I realized it was a huge friendly favour to me. He invented a role which didn't even exist - I was the wife of the count of Verona.

EV: What was the toughest moment?
TV: When I learned I was expecting and stopped skating.

EV: If you haven't would you and Maksim keep competing?
TV: Probably. Though may be not. That season we were 6th at the Worlds in Boston, where we totally didn't plan going. During the fall I had a serious hill injury, which prevented us from preparing right. Usually we tried not to reveal the injuries, but then it came to a point I could hardly walk. Yet there were rumours we were afraid of competing with the Canadians Duhamel/Radford.

EV: What happened next?
TV: The GP in France which was stopped after the terrorists attack in the country. Everything was going wrong. We were planning to compete at the nationals, go to the Europeans and start preparing to the next season.

EV: What changed your plans?
TV: Fedor Klimov was injured and no one could predict whether he and Ksenia Stolbova would be able to recover by the Worlds. There was a chance to lose spots for the next season. Hence we agreed to go to Boston, even though we were not quite ready. To put it mildly. Usually during the competition am absolutely focused on my own feelings, don't see nor hear anything around me. I never cared what is going on in the audience, I never payed attention whether there are two viewers or the place is packed.

EV: Was it different in Boston?
TV: I came out for the first skate and started noticing what people in the crowd were wearing. We skated an ok SP, but I was skating with a feeling Maks and I made a big mistake coming to that championship. There was no motivation.

EV: Did the pregnancy erase the aftertaste of that season?
TV: In a way am glad, but for a while I felt unneeded and was torturing myself with the thoughts what is next. I always think and rething before making a decision. But then there was no reason. On one hand I didn't see myself in the sports anymore, and at the same time I didn't know what to do next. We had some savings, but not enough to stop thinking of the future altogether.

EV: What were you feeling then?
TV: I'd saw the switch from the sport to the other life is a very thin line. On one hand you are an Olympic champion, but there are no more competitions and yet you are obliged. It was really difficult.

EV: How did you get out from that state?
TV: Maksim made it on the TV, and realized he liked it. He even took quite a lot of special courses to feel more confident. So I calmed down as well. I stopped thinking those thoughts and started calmly considering what do I want to do next, after my daughter will grow up a little bit. Than the thought of opening my own figure skating school in Moscow came.

EV: And coach the little kids?
TV: Am not yet certain I can dedicate myself to that work for now: Maksim and I still have a lot of ice projects. Probably I will be the one managing it. I have a business partner - Aleksei Vasiliev. Previously he was managing the Sochi training camps on the rink that after the Olympics for a while bore our names. Now we decided to collaborate.

EV: How much becoming a mother changed your pace of life?
TV: I lead an active life almost till the day of the birth. I was with Maks in the `Ice Age' where he was skating. I was 8 months pregnant, and Stephane Lambiel came to some competition to Moscow, so we were skating together with him.

EV: Your forever rival Aljona Savchenko, who gave birth 5 months ago told me the recovery is not easy for her.
TV: Aljona and I both underwent a csection, though we planned a natural birth. As I understood from the doctors they usually take precaution when the athletes give birth because the muscles are overdeveloped and the birth might be too fast. But I recovered quite fast even though I gained about 11kg. 3 months after giving birth I was on the ice and within a month I was back to shape.

EV: Who helps you with the child?
TV: The grandmothers. I still can't bring myself to trust a nanny. I so didn't want her to be with a stranger. When we went to the first show in Sochi we took Angelica and both grandmothers with us. Now we even own a small apartment there - we spend most of the summer there anyway.
When I think of the future I can't help noticing I would like to live somewhere hot. I love the winter and the ski, but Moscow at this time of the year is too full of sleet.

EV: How busy are you with Averbukh's projects now?
TV: After `R&J' we skated in Ilya's `Carmen' last summer, then went to the tour with his group. This year we didn't participate because there are enough skaters as it is. The show can't contain us all.

EV: Your competitive career for many years was close to Savchenko's, who still stirs the pond with an idea of a comeback. What do you feel when you talk about your rivalry?
TV: My sports ambitions were completely satisfied with the gold medal in Sochi. More than that - I always dreamed of a personal gold, but it happened that we won two in Sochi - the team gold as well. Frankly, I was so happy for Aljona and she and Bruno Massot won in Korea.

EV: Are you in touch?
TV: We write each other from time to time. Sometimes I pick on her about a comeback. Not long ago I saw a video of a practice where Aljona and Bruno were skating to a music Eric Radford complosed. I thought that probably Aljona is still not done with the sport.

EV: Were you so fond of each other while still competing?
TV: I'd say it was a weird relationship. We know each other for so long - we were practicing together back in Kiev. Aljona was much more goal oriented than I was. I want to elucidate on our relationship in my book - we were drown and set apart all the time.

EV: Why didn't you in the book you wrote with Maksim?
TV: I was too busy with the child - didn't want to waste time on the memories. There was no time. Hence that book is not so much ours as it is Maks' telling about our career.

EV: At what period of time the relationship with Savchenko was the toughest?
TV: Before Maksim and I met. That year Stas Morozov and I left Ingo Steuer's group and moved to Russia. When we lived in Chemnitz I could drop by Aljona's or ask for her help. Here the relationship wend down to `hello/goodbye'. Though I never had hard feelings towards Savchenko or any other competitor. I always felt the ice should decide.

EV: It sometimes seemed that neither you nor Aljona really needed a coach - you were pushing the whole team.
TV: That's not true.
Someone has to see things from the side, calm you when things don't go well. Of course the time we started working with Mozer she didn't yet have an experience on such a level but I trusted Maks completely. I really wanted to skate with him.

EV: Were you worried the teaming up might not live up to the expectations?
TV: From the very beginning we had an understanding with Mozer that we are giving ourselves a year to try out, see whether we can work together or not. And only then we'll decide about the next steps. We would get back to that talk one way or another at the end of every season. We would sit down and discuss things and decide together whether we will work for another year or not. There was no such a let's work for 4 years and not look around.

EV: It's hard to decide who was more lucky with that partnership - you and Maksim or the coach.
TV: I guess it was just the pieces of puzzles that matched. For Mozer it was a great chance to get to a serious level with us. For us the Sochi Olympics was the possibility to win. Hence we were together in that project.

EV: Why did you want to skate with Maksim. By then all his previous coaches were telling almost horror stories.
TV: I think I understood him and saw a different person in him. Besides, I had a lot of patience and a will to reach my goals.

EV: When you became a pair off the ice as well did it make things on the ice easier?
TV: Harder. Previously we had our roles and after the practices we would part our ways. Here all piled up: the work, the relationship, the hardships, the fights... When you are in a relationship you start thinking of your partner as of your property - you can say things that are out of place and let the emotions run loose. What is a fight during a practice? It's a waste of time

EV: So how did you feel about working with someone so close?
TV: I was never rooting for mixing the working and business relationship, but in real life it went the opposite way for me. More than that, this time it was my idea - I was the first to realize it's possible. It bothered me so much - I couldn't think about anything else.

EV: How did you tell him?
TV: At one point I gathered the courage and decided am not postponing it anymore, I will approach Maksim at once and make him decide: yes or no. Drank some sparkling wine to be brave and off I went.

EV: How did Maksim take it?
TV: First he repeated my previous point of view: it's a bad idea mixing business and pleasure when skating pairs. Though he didn't resist for a very long. Frankly, we were lucky it was during an off season. Was it during the competitions I have no idea how it could had ended.

EV: Do you fear now you might lose your earnings in the shows?
TV: Not anymore. Now we only skate for fun and we are so free. I even think sometimes if we came back to competing we would probably look so different on the ice. Certainly not worse.

EV: I.e. skating in a show such as `Art on Ice' - is a pure enjoyment?
TV: When we first started participating that show we were quite tense. We wanted some kind of consistency, to know we would be invited again. Hence we were always concentrating in everything we were doing. Now it is more of a skating for our souls.

EV: If one day there will be professional competitions, like there used to be during Dick Button's times, would you participate it?
TV: If those competitions will not interfere our jobs, we could try. I know such an idea is in the air. However, would it be fair comparing the skaters from different generations? And what will be the rules? But generally -why not?

EV: Do you often recall the Olympics you won?
TV: No. I don't even rewatch it. I simply don't have time.


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