Tuktamysheva's interview

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Anastasia Pletneva/Anastasia Ratskevich's interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva for sport-express.ru

AP/R What was the hardest preparing to the last season?
ET: Everything was hard: getting in the shape after the quarantine, polishing the programmes, finding the motivation. The season itself was not easy. There was no such an off season, it was a tough summer. Only when the competitions began a kind of certainty was found and I turned on, found the energy to give 100% in work.

AP/R: Did the thoughts `that's it, am too tired, I can't anymore' cross your mind?
ET: I think so, but I can't recall when. The whole season was overcoming, everything was through `I can't/I don't want to'. I thought `god, when will it be over? When can I get some rest?'. But fortunately it all ended with a double success. It was worth it.

AP/R: You were having very successful post Olympic seasons, now a pre Olympic. The bad mark is gone?
ET: I guess. This season defied the usual Elizaveta. But after 2018 I was trying to be consistent, without huge fails and keep on a certain level.

AP/R: How did you get to learning the 4lz?
ET: I thought it would be so cool if I can land a 4lz. It would be a huge victory on myself if I learn that jump, overcome my fears. The emotions I got when understanding I can learn the 4lz... So I gave it a try. It wasn't too hard or too scary on the harness. Now I try to overcome and do the 4lz without. I already rotate it and we work on the jump. Once I land it it will be in the social media. I hope to work on that.

AP/R: Do you want to just land it or integrate it into a programme?
ET: For now it's just for myself, it's just my goal. It's not about being integrated in the programmes. It's a challenge I want to achieve.

AP/R: Which is harder - a lutz or a toeloop?
ET: Toeloop is easier to fully rotate - there is more acceleration. Lutz is considered being one of the hardest triple jumps and mentally you prepare for it being much harder than a toeloop. It also costs more points, it's the hardest. For now I only attempted the lutz once or twice, so I can't really tell. I have been jumping the toeloop for a season at least and I know what it feels like. With the lutz - I go for it and have no idea what expects me.

AP/R: And if you compare the toeloop and the Salchow?
ET: Still a toeloop. Salchow is not my best jump. Toeloop is more comfortable. But when I attempted a 4sal over the summer I was comfortable doing it. Perhaps I could try to learn the 4sal, but I lack the bravery. I'm just not brave enough. I thought recently that I've been landing all the triples for 15 years now. Guess my body came up with a system and if you breakt it it does not treat it well.

AP/R: Do you have plans increasing the content?
ET: There are plans, but they are not yet certain. I have to rest and be back into the shape over the summer so I'll be able to figure the content durign the offseason. But of course I have to increase it. For now we are working on the new programmes and the 4lutz.

AP/R: At the nationals you were attempting a 4toeloop in your LP
ET: I knew I was in a good shape and even if I attempt a 4toeloop and fall, which eventually happened, I would still be able to do my LP, even if not perfectly. I also understood the top 3 ladies are really good and it's a good competition to figure what is it like to skate a programme with a 4toeloop. We didn't want to miss that opportunity. I then started landing the 4T 3 weeks before the nationals and it was more or less consistent.

AP/R: Does that experience help you now?
ET: It's a very important experience, hence, perhaps, we'll consider that quad. We'll see which one it will be, but most likely a toeloop. It will all depend on the off season.

AP/R: What about the programmes, what will it be next season?
ET: I almost have my LP done. I can only say I absolutely love it, it will be something typically me. When you hear the music you understand it all.

AP/R: And the SP?
ET: I love the LP so much that I think Mishin will pick the SP for me. When he'll offer me the music I'll think about it. I want the stress to be on the LP. I don't really have any thoughts about the SP.

AP/R: Which of your programmes is the most memorable?
ET: From the resent ones - the charlestone, which I skated in the 2018/9 season and a bit in 2019/30. I can't recall what were my emotions in the 2015LP but I know I was having fun and giving it all at the end. I was just loving every moment of skating these programmes.

AP/R: Wouldn't you like something like your exhibition to Shallow as a competitive programme?
ET: We were considering it. I love that exhibition number, it's so light. I like skating it every time. Perhaps we'll use that style for the programmes.

AP/R: Your LP choreographer is Nikita Mikhailov. How did your collaboration begin?
ET: He was working with the guys from our group - Semenenko, Samodurova. The programmes were nice. Hence when in the middle of the season Mishin and I thought we should change the programme Nikita was a good option. Fresh. A young and full of energy choreographer who was ready to do whatever it took. We met, understood each other and it's easy for us to work together. The process goes much faster when you are on the same wave.

AP/R: Is Mikhailov your kind of a choreographer?
ET: There wasn't yet enough time to say so. Not even enough, just 1.5-2 programmes. I think it would take more experience of working together.

AP/R: Which of your costumes stirred the most emotions?
ET: One of my favourites that made me feel so confident is the black dress with a net and stones to Piazolla's tango in 2011/12 when I first switched to the seniors. I used it many times after. I skated most of my exhibition numbers in that dress.

AP/R: Did you ever have awkward costume moments?
ET: Once my tights tore before going on the ice - they were too thin. I tore them with my toes on both feet and had these huge holes. There were hardly any tights left. I was close to withdrow from a competition. I didn't have enough time left to take off the dress, the skates and the tights and change them. In the end I went out there completely shocked not understanding what is going on. No one noticed because the tights were so thin, it wasn't even visible on the photos that they were torn. I was worried for nothing.

AP/R: You were afraid the judges would mark you down or just being a girl about it?
ET: I don't mind the torn tights normally. But there were these huge holes and they were on the front. And my starting pose was right in front of the judges. It just didn't look good. It's like being a man with the torn trousers - it's not that comfortable. I think anyone would panick.

AP/R: Do you have costumes plans for the next season?
ET: Not yet. It's a common decision: I explain my idea and see the designer paint it. We then pick the painting that the majority like. And then it's just me and the designer when the dress is being made.

AP/R: How long does it take from working on the design to the competition?
ET: In average, with the right time frame, though I don't like working that way - I like lacking time and working fast guess a week would be enough for a dress. Without any hurry - two weeks. Though it's enough time for 2 dresses. Sometimes it's possible to make 2 dresses over a weekend if really needed. Our figure skating designers can do magic if needed.

AP/R: Did you ever want to do some figure skating classics? Like a `Carmen'?
ET: There were so many `Carmen's and there is so much good music that you can pick something more interesting. I wanted to skate a `Carmen' at the beginning of my career, when I was 16-17. Now every year there is a `Carmen' and a couple of them every Olympic season, so I don't really want to skate to that.
I did skate to the classical music last season - `The Spartacus'. I tried it and understood it was gorgeous, a great programme and I loved it. But I felt it was just not me. I like having fun, I need a music that turns me on, that gives me emotions.

AP/R: This season you had a combo with a euler. How did it feel learning it?
ET: Comparing with the beginning of the season when I first started doing it at the competitions it was tough. The combo itself does not require too much physical investment, it's not that hard. Just that I never attempted it and didn't understand where the arms and the legs go. My euler is not entirely correct. Later when I worked on it it became easier and we even integrated it in the 2nd part of the programme. Still the Axel/Toeloop is more energy consuming even though I understand what exactly do I do there. When I attempt the axel/euler/salchow I need to be 100% concentrated to land it. Besides I had a lutz/toeloop in the Lp this season. For the first time in my career I have a 3lz/3t, two 3A and I think it's a victory. I'm thrilled about it.

AP/R: Whose idea was it to learn that combo?
ET: Mishin said it would give more points. During the summer we worked a lot on the euler combo. If we end up working this summer as well it should be easier for me to land it and not demand that much concentration.

AP/R: Have you ever tried any other combos? With a loop, for example?
ET: I never attempted a combo with a loop and think it might be too late. My technique is not quite good - I have those huge exists from the jumps. Working on the loop combo is not worth it for me right now - I need the programmes, the spins, the quads, the eulers... I simplu won't have time to workon the loop combos.

AP/R: And just for yourself?
ET: I could, but there are enought things as it is - the 4lz, the 3A, the 4T. I just don't have enough energy to try something else. I can't really jump for 2 hours no stop, my legs will get tired. Am not in that shape.

AP/R: Is there an element you would like to try in the future?
ET: It's the 4lutz now, it was the same with the 4toeloop and the 3A in the past. As long as I don't want it, not burning and the idea I can do it is not there I will not attempt the element. Everything I planned worked. I was thinking about a 3f/3t a couple of years ago, was sure I would not be able to do that, but no, all the 3/3 are ok, I can do them. Every year I find something new that I couldn't do previously. It's important for me.

AP/R: Can you see yourself coaching in the future?
ET: I don't know. Perhaps a coach or something with the media. But certainly a coach at some point. We'll see. I would love to try.

AP/R: But your future will be about figure skating?
ET: Perhaps. I spent most of my life in figure skating. I can't get rid of it.

AP/R: How long do you plan to keep skating?
ET: As long as my body permits me. I want to participate the Olympics. We'll see how the next season goes.

AP/R: Do you decide every year whether to continue or you don't really think about it?
ET: We analyze every year. So yes, I take it year by year. Season - analyzing. I think it's useless thinking ahead of time, things change.

AP/R: You've been skating for quite a while. Is there something you were able to do at the age of 15 and can't anymore?
ET: No. I keep progressing. Perhaps at the age of 15 it was easier skating the whole programme, though am not sure. But at the age of 15 I was doing exactly the same as I do now. Perhaps even more.

AP/R: You are doing great things. Do you feel special landing the quads at the adult age while the rest of the skaters who land them are 15-16 y.o?
ET: I don't really like talking about it. I want to achieve something that would make me stand out. But I try to work on it, not think of it. I just want to push the figure skating even further, for myself, to leave a mark and say `This is it. I did all that I could and there is nothing else I can do. That's the time to retire'

AP/R: Are the quads good for the ladies' skating?
ET: It develops. It's a sport. If you learn them from a very young age it will not be that hard in the future. Perhaps in a couple of years the quads will become a norm. Complexity is always right. You have to evolve, to progress. It's always interesting - who will land what this time. If you look at the men competitions - I love watching them. It's so interesting and you can never predict who will end up where. If the ladies will master the quads it will be even more intriguing.

AP/R: Would you like to comment the figure skating?
ET: I could try. If there will be any offers and I have some free time I will not decline.
 

soogar

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Thanks for the translation. There are so many great Russian ladies but I really have my fingers crossed for Liza. I hope she can make it to the games as a competitor. She has so much moxie that she may get there anyway as a commentator.
 

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