U.S. Men 2020-21 season news & updates

Allskate

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WOW. The top 3 after the SP are amaze balls. Honestly though, the award for biggest improvement goes to Zhou: His spins and carriage are vastly improved. Too bad for Pulkinen and Hiwatashi popping quads!

ITA. I've never been much of a Zhou fan, but I though his SP was great. Definitely much improved. Starry Night is far and away my favorite program of his. Jason's short program is wonderful, too.

I love Nathan's attitude. IT's one of the reasons he's so great. He knew that his jumps weren't quite as phenomenal as they generally are, and he'll take something from that and improve even more.
 

Sylvia

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Men's SP article by Lynn Rutherford: https://www.teamusa.org/News/2021/J...rst-Step-To-Five-Peat-At-The-US-Championships
Excerpts:
This time out, the 22-year-old Chen reeled off a quadruple lutz, followed by a triple axel and a quad flip-triple toe loop combination in the program’s second half. He also fired on all cylinders with his step sequence and spins, maintaining smoldering intensity throughout the 2-minute, 40-second routine. If the cardboard cutouts could have risen from their seats, they would have given his program a standing ovation.
Still, the perfectionist Chen wasn’t completely satisfied. He left the ice wincing and shaking his head.
“The landings were a little bit off,” he said. “The footwork was a little bit choppy in the first half, until I got my bearings. Besides that, I was happy.”
When the score — 107.79 points, his highest tally ever — came up, Zhou thrust his fist in the air.
“That performance is a result of the work Lori and I have done on my skating, my movement, my momentum,” said Zhou, who trains in Colorado Springs, Colorado, under a group headed by Christy Krall. “The program is choreographed to be like that, it just took a bit of time for me to develop my skating to where I could approach my jumps without making it look like I was setting up beforehand.” ...
“After (the injuries), I had an eight-week period leading up to now where every single week I was setting goals and working toward specific things and making notable, tangible progress,” Zhou said.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Ben Agosto and Josh Farris on my momentum and using my body line, my hips and my alignment to propel myself across the ice with less effort,” he added. “I think that is paying off. I think my skating skills have come a long way.”
“This event was a long time coming, so I think I was a little jittery out there, excited and antsy,” Brown, 26, said. “For the most part I’m really pleased with the way I was able to keep getting back in my knees, stay relaxed and calm, and be able to push through it.”
... [Brown] who said he will include a quadruple toe loop in his free skate on Sunday, thinks there is still a place for artistry in the sport, along with multiple quadruple jumps.
“I know sometimes people might look at me and question my technical ability but I don’t doubt it anymore,” Brown said. “I think there are times when I did, and I wondered if there was an avenue for me, but the more that I’ve continued to progress and continue to see the progress that I'm making and with my coaches pushing me every day, I just learned to forge my own path.”
 
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Yazmeen

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Tony Lu (3rd at Eastern Sectionals), Jun Hong Chen (4th at Easterns), Andrew Austin (2nd at Midwesterns) and Ben Jalovick (4th at Mids) did not earn the minimum combined TES of 92 (new rule last season) to be able to compete at 2020 Nationals, unfortunately. :(

Lu and Austin did not enter the Senior Men's FS qualifying event for 2021 Nationals and I don't know at this time if either plan to continue competing next season. Tony Lu's Instagram account (tonyluflops :D) profile says he is attending UD [Delaware] and is the class of '22 and "UDFS" indicates he is a member of their collegiate figure skating team.
Thank you, Sylvia. I was wondering because many moons ago, Tony started out at a rink I skated at, coached by one of our closest friends who used to also coach my husband when he was skating. I also VERY clearly remember that his parents would videotape EVERY skating lesson he had, both with that coach and the next coach he had before he moved on to another rink system (I always had to give the coaches props for the patience to deal with that). I just hope he is healthy and happy and enjoying his skating.
 

Natanielle825

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I mourn the loss of US professional skating for Jason's sake, and the lack of audience here. What a star. Nathan was good, though the lutz looked questionable, and his shoulders were super high. The flip toe combo was incredibly impressive. And Vincent made a ton of improvements, much easier to watch, and an amazing combo as well.
 

Sylvia

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😎

Tomoki is planning to open his FS with a 4Lz (I saw him land it in his late night practice run though on Thursday: https://twitter.com/SylviaUnseen/status/1349996018365042688 ).

ETA (tweeted on Jan. 15): https://twitter.com/LynnRutherford/status/1350135184734244864
Asked [Tomoki Hiwatashi] if he had any changes to his programs: "I don't think it's a big change but for free skate I'm going to put a quad Lutz in." I call that a change. He added: "In order to compete with all the skaters, even in this nation, I need another quad."
 
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Sylvia

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olympic

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Sylvia

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Posted in this thread in Oct. 2020:
Ukraine enforced its 3-yr ban on releasing Olympians :bloc::bloc: He [Paniot] will be eligible for International Comp again starting in 2021
With Yaroslav Paniot winning the PEWTER medal at Nationals today, I hope he is eligible to receive Team B envelope funding next season? (His last international for Ukraine was 2018 NHK Trophy after the Olympics, which technically is the 2018-19 season.)
 

Sylvia

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USFS has announced their Men's selections for 2021 Worlds:

Jason Brown (S3)
Nathan Chen (S1)
Vincent Zhou (S2)

Alternate 1 – Tomoki Hiwatashi (S7)
Alternate 2 –Maxim Naumov* (S5)
Alternate 3 – Camden Pulkinen (S8)

*pending ISU decision on minimum score
 
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Sylvia

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This Men's FS recap article by Lynn Rutherford has quotes from the top 3: https://www.teamusa.org/News/2021/J...Makes-It-Five-US-Titles-In-A-Row-In-Las-Vegas
Excerpts:
And with his 208.36-point free skate, and 322.28-point total, Chen became the first man since two-time Olympic gold medalist Dick Button (1948, 1952) to win five consecutive U.S. titles. Button amassed seven national championships in all from 1946 through 1952.
“It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Chen said of the five-peat, echoing words he used at the start of this U.S. championships.
But, calm though he was, Chen wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance.
“I felt that I didn’t really tackle my elements, I just tried to focus on conserving energy,” said the 21-year-old skater, who lives and trains in Irvine, California.
“That was what caused the first element to have an error,” he added. “The rest of the program, I wanted to stay on my feet. That was my mindset throughout the program, so it wasn’t exactly the skate I would like to have.”
“I prepared the right way, my mind was in a good spot, but this is my first time trying that jump layout in competition,” the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based [Vincent Zhou] skater said. “Going into that second (quad) Lutz, I had a moment of telling myself, ‘Check yourself before you wreck yourself,’ but then I checked myself for too long, I hesitated, and as a result I reached back too far and ended up wrecking myself anyway.”
:lol:

Darci Miller's Fan Zone article also includes a short quote from the pewter medalist: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...1-toyota-us-figure-skating-championships.aspx
"Everything went very smooth, because I was finally in the best shape of my life," Paniot said. "I won't say anything too genius or too unique, but you need to just work, work, work, and you'll get this result."

ETA link to Phil Hersh's article:
A modest (by only his own standards) winning score of 322.28 still left Chen more than 30 points ahead of runner-up Vincent Zhou (291.38), a national medalist for the fourth time, this one after a one-year absence from the podium. Jason Brown, the 2015 U.S. champion was third (276.92), his sixth medal at nationals.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m always just competing against myself,” Chen said. “The two guys I’m up here with are incredible skaters as well.
“Ultimately, it comes down to the fact everyone is capable of [winning], but I want to focus on what I’m capable of. Even if I’m competing against Yuzu, I’m still trying to do my own thing.”
Hersh doesn't count pewter medals either:drama: (Vincent was 4th last year).
 
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seabm7

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Marco

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Nathan is his regular awesome self. I personally prefer his short program performance because I feel he has some groove to him, even though he seems to prefer the free. His spins aren't good enough yet - still need some more work done. Love the new entrance to the 4flip - so solid now. With his package, if he does 5 quads and goes clean, it's hard for even Yuzuru to catch up on TES.

Vincent has improved so much in presentation. He could still pace himself better to the music, but he skates and presents himself in a much softer way now. UR issues are improved and those 4lutzes are glorious (the ones he didn't fall on, LOL). Funny he goes for 4lutzes, flips and sals but not even one 4toe?!

Jason's short program performance gives me life. Simply wonderful. However, I suppose we have to come to terms with who he is as a skater. He is always going to be the perfect skater without a quad. He is going to be so memorable as a skater but he isn't going to be medal-contending at Worlds when a bunch of other skaters are landing at least 1 quad in the short and 3 quads in the free. I love the short upon first viewing but I need time to let the free skate to grow on me. That ina bauer tho.

Glad to see some up and comers like Yaroslav and Maxim with solid jumping and PCS potential. Would love to see how Ilia would stack up. Too bad the last generation of up and comers like Tomoki, Camden and Alexei couldn't quite deliver. It seems very likely to me that the top 3 here will retire / substantially scale back after Beijing 2022 so it will be interesting to see who can lead the men's field in the US.
 

Frau Muller

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What is Paniot’s citizenship story...born in US to Ukrainian parents? Or...born/reared in Ukraine, recently moved to the US? Sincerely curious. Wikipedia not helpful. He’s quite wonderful. I had forgotten that he was champion of Ukraine a few years ago.
 

skatingguy

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What is Paniot’s citizenship story...born in US to Ukrainian parents? Or...born/reared in Ukraine, recently moved to the US? Sincerely curious. Wikipedia not helpful. He’s quite wonderful. I had forgotten that he was champion of Ukraine a few years ago.
No, he was born in the Ukraine, to Ukrainian parents (presumably). The Ukrainian skating federation is not interested in having competitive skaters (or at least allowing them to make their own decisions), so he has left the Ukraine to skate for the US though he is still waiting for his release from the Ukrainian federation.
 

Frau Muller

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No, he was born in the Ukraine, to Ukrainian parents (presumably). The Ukrainian skating federation is not interested in having competitive skaters (or at least allowing them to make their own decisions), so he has left the Ukraine to skate for the US though he is still waiting for his release from the Ukrainian federation.
Thanks. Interesting...that he ended in the US and not in a Western European country, which may have been simpler. Hey, lucky USA!
 

Sylvia

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Paniot was coached by Tammy Gambill in Riverside, California when he competed for Ukraine at 2017 Junior Worlds and at the 2018 Olympics: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00013671.htm

After Gambill moved to Colorado Springs in the summer of 2018, Paniot switched to Viacheslav Zagorodniuk (who coached him at 2018 NHK Trophy, his last competition for Ukraine) and then to Todd Eldredge at Great Park Ice in Irvine this past summer.
 

Ka3sha

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Don't know if this has already been mentioned in other sources, but Alexei Krasnozhon is retiring after next season.
Here's a long and interesting interview with him from Sport24 (in Russian)

- What are your plans now?
- To train, analyze my mistakes. I am retiring after the Olympics, there are 12 months left, I want to make a plan with the coaching staff, so that in a year I know that I gave everything.
- Why are you retiring?
- I have zero chances to be selected for the Olympics. The point is that I will not receive citizenship on time. And without it you can't get to the Olympic Games. Worlds and 4CC - yes. Olympic Games - no. I want to devote the next 12 months to the skating rink and close this chapter of my life.
It is clear that I will not become an Olympic champion. I moved here because of the sports, but it helped me in other aspects, I got a green card. I think I took everything I could from the rink. The results could be better, but there's only one life. I am already 20 years old - it's time to think about how I can use the opportunities that America gives me.

Besides, I'm so big ... I don't have a build for figure skating. And I'm tall, damn it. My height is 179 cm. Not like Makar Ignatov, but still, this is a lot for a single skater.

Last year I got a green card and decided to move with my friends to Boston. There we decided that we would skate until the Olympics - that's all. Now I am happy skating, I enjoy the fact that I am young and can do that.
- Do you feel any negative influence that figure skating did for your body?
- When I was 13, I hurt my back very badly. This was one of the impetus for moving to the United States. Then there was a leg injury. My parents are afraid for my health. I can feel my bones starting to crunch. I don't want to ruin the body. And we must face the truth - I don't have a right build to become an Olympic champion. I don't want to stay in sports for another 4 years and leave on a low note.
- What will you do next? Will you stay in America?
- Since September I start to study as a local student, before that I attended classes as a foreigner. We are choosing a university with my parents, already applied to 11. I won't study at full capacity, and after the end of my career I will focus on education as precisely as possible. After that, I set the task of getting into one of the best law schools in America.

I now constantly communicate in two languages. I have a very interesting migration history. You can write a book about my move and all the adventures with documents. And I would like to help the guys who do not get maximum development in Russia. I'm not the best skater, but I moved to America and was able to win the Junior Grand Prix final. And in Russia I would not go to the international level at all. And many talented guys don't get the proper development.

I would like to become a migration lawyer, I have a project to create a website that will help Russian children get an education in America. It just seems like it's hard. In fact, it's as easy as shelling pears. I have a lot of Russian friends in the USA who helped me here. And I want to help others in the same way.
He also talked about politics (Trump/Baiden, Navalny), having competitions during YKW, Russian events being held without proper safety measures, current skaters and etc.
 

Rukia

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Kraz sounds pretty level-headed in that interview (or the google translation of it anyway). Seems like he has solid plans for the future. I'll miss his wacky programs when he retires, but I'm sure he'll be successful in the future.
 

sk8nlizard

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Don't know if this has already been mentioned in other sources, but Alexei Krasnozhon is retiring after next season.
Here's a long and interesting interview with him from Sport24 (in Russian)


He also talked about politics (Trump/Baiden, Navalny), having competitions during YKW, Russian events being held without proper safety measures, current skaters and etc.
Very interesting excerpt, thanks for posting! He does sound very level headed and I wish more skaters knew when it was time to be done. However, one sentence stuck out to me which was when he was saying the guys he lived with decided they were done after the Olympics. He lives with Jimmy Ma and Mischa Mitrofanov. Is he saying they are going to be done after 2022 as well? I can’t imagine they are all going to retire then, especially not the pair guy. Maybe it was just a weird translation?
 

acraven

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"We would go to the Olympics - and that's it" might mean (in English) they plan to attend the Olympics, no matter what, not that they will end their careers after the Olympics, though Krasnozhon evidently intends to do that.

This is the original Russian: Там мы решили, что докатаемся до Олимпиады — и все. What say the Russian speakers here?
 

annie720

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The Krasnozhon article is very interesting. He says his plans are to train and to analyze his mistakes. He will end his career after the Olympics. There are 12 months remaining and he wans to put together a plan with his coaching staff so that in a year, he will know he gave it his all. He also says he has no chance of being chosen for the Olympic team because he won't have his U.S. citizenship in time.

Oops, sorry I see it was translated above. Should have read more than the last two posts. Back to the inauguration thread. :)
 

TAHbKA

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The whole interview:

by Kosntantin Lesik for sport24.ru

Q: Tell me about your skate at the nationals
AK: It was a failure. It's fine I was able to pull it together for the LP and prove myself am a fighter and never give up no matter how hard it is.

Q: What happened in the SP?
AK: I was really ready, was in a good mental and physical shape... and then I was out of it. I fell from the 3A and was lost. After the skate I sat in my hotel room for 2 hours in shock. Then I walked in the room and set myself for the LP

Q: How did you set yourself up?
AK: I was looking in the mirror and saying am a man! I understoo all was lost. That I fell 3 times and I have nothing to lose now. But I will not give up. And the next day I went out there and skated for myself. I had to prove myself all the work was not for nohting. I went and didn't leave a place to be weak. Things happen, but it's not yet a done deal. Of course it's a shame. I understood that I could have been in the top 5 and ended up being 11th. How can you do a clean LP and fall 3 times in the SP? But I was having a great time in the LP. It was cool.

Q: The competition took place with no audience. How did you like it.
AK: The mood was great. There were no audience, but on the other hand we were not risking it. It was unusual of course, but taking the pаndemic around it's better skate without the audience and in the bubble than not skate at all. We all god used to the new reality, so it was cool. I hope things will improve soon.

Q: The championships in Russia are held with the audience, in the USA without. What do you think is the right way?
AK: Note: it's my point of view, and it does not mean I'm right. I think without is better. Not risking the athletes, coaches and the audience. The СОVID impacts people differently. And there is nothing more sacred than peoples' lives.

Q: What are you plans now?
AK: Train, analyze the mistakes. I will retire after the Olympics, so I have 12 months left, hence I need to plan with my coaching team so in a year I will be able to say I gave it all.

Q: Why do you retire?
AK: I have 0 chances to make it to the Olympics. I will not get the passport on time. Hence no games. The Worlds and the 4CC - yes. Olympics - no. So I want to dedicate the next 12 months to the ice and close that chapter of my life.It's already clear I will not become an Olympic champion. I moved to the USA because of the sport, but it helped me in the other aspects, I got my green card. Think I took all I could from the ice. The results could be better of course, but I only have one life. I'm 20, I have to think how do I use the oppotunities that the USA gives me.
Besides, am a big guy. Am not biult for the figure skating. I'm huge. I'm 179. Ok, not like Marak Ignatov, but nevertheless, it's too tall for a single skater. Last year I got my green card and decided to move to Boston with some friends. We decided we'd skate till the Olympics and that's it. Skating is fun, I enjoy being so young and being able to do all that.

Q: Do you feel the negative impact of skating on your body?
AK: At the age of 13 I hurt my back badly. It was one of the reasons for a move to the USA. Then I had a leg injury. My parents are vary about my health. I feel how my bones make sounds when I jump. I don't want to kill myself. I have to face the truth: I'm not built to be an Olympic champion. I don't want to stick around for another 4 years and leave at the lowest.

Q: What will you do then? Will you stay in the USA?
AK: I will become a local student in September. Previously I was studying as a foreigner. We are now picking the uni together with my parents - I applied to 11 places. I will be studying part time and after I retire I will become a full time student. Then my goal is to get accepted to one of the best American law schools.
I constantly speak in 2 languages now. I have an interesting migration story. I could write a book about my move and the paper work adventures. I would love to help people who can't develop to their full potential in Russia. Am not the best skater out there, but when I moved to the USA I was able to win the Junior GPF. In Russia I wouldn't even have made it to the international competitions. A lot of talented skaters can't develop appropriately. I would love to become an immigration lawer. I have a project for a website that will help the Russians pursuing an education in the USA. It only seems tough. It's really easy. I have many Russian friends in the USA who helped me out here. I want to help the others now.

Q: Did you follow the competitions held in Russia?
AK: I watched everything. Am a big fan of figure skating. On one hand it's cool you held so many competitions, on the other it's a bit sad.

Q: Why sad?
AK: I grew up in a medical family. My dad is an oncologist, mom endocrinologist, who witnessed the meningitis outburst. In our family the human life was always the most important thing. The соrona influences people differently. My friend's father was a healthy man, who did not smoke or drink, but because of the соrona he had to be hospitalized. You look at these examples and you understand anyone can die from it.
So yes, we can't stop the spread 100%, but when people take their masks down in the public events Russia gets it share of dirt. All you need to do is to put the mask on correctly! Pull it up to your nose, what's the big deal? It's broadcaseted all over the world and it does not look right.

Q: We were later critisized for the after party.
AK: It's silly. These silly things happen and then everyone gets соvid. That attitude upsets.

Q: What were you surprised with in the Russian competitions?
AK: I was really impressed with Anna Scherbakova. Everyone skated great, there were so many quads. The biggest impression - Kolyada! After he moved to Mishin he has that special energy on the ice. You watch the Russian nationals and there is Kolayda and the rest of the field. He is flying above the ice! His programmes are genious! It's is transformed. I saw him landing a 4s and 4luts - he really does them! It's a wow! If there was a book `This is how you skate' Kolyada would be there - the lines, the high jumps, the gorgeous landings. The costume for his LP - it looks so simple, the usual shirt, but it's so great. Speachless.

Q: Can he compete with Chen?
AK: You need to see the technical part, it depends on Kolyada and Mishin. he has the toeloop, salchow, lutz. But Nathan is a figure skating phenomenal. Every time I skate with him and every time am in ave of his abilities. It's a different level of figure skaintg. He lands the quads just like I land triples. I saw how he was skating in one of the nationals practices. At the end of his programme he has the toeloops. In one of them Nathan skated through and then the 8th jump was a 4T. The 8th jump! And it looked so easy, no effort. Chen, Hanyu, Kolyada, Fernandez - the skaters you can watch forever.

Q: One of the main issues this season is a possibility of the age change. What do you think?
AK: I have a point of view and I will be hated for it. But I think there is a difference between the ladies skaitng and the girl skating. Tuktamysheva takes the ice and it's a real woman. Kostner - a woman. I don't want to hurt the young girls, they have their technical content, gorgeous programmes, transitions. Who am I to critisize them? Eteri is a genious coach whose results are mindblowing.
But the sport has to be fair. The girls have a hard time going through puberty and looking at the it's even harder seeing hte younger ones who do all the elements better. If the figure skating is for women it should be women who are competing there.

Q: Things are uneasy in the USA now. What do you think about what's going on?
AK: The elections were clear. Trump lost. That's it. For me the USA is one of the best countries in the world. Last year I drove from Texas to Boston - through half of the country. I saw how people live. Many put posters on their houses - who will thye vote for. And a lot supported Biden. So I think it was fair. It's good that Biden won - most of the Americans prefer him. Now everyone believes in him. I hope he'll be able to unite the country because it's not now.

Q: In what way is Biden better than Trump?
AK: Trump is not loved because he constanly lies. There are papers that count how many times he told lies. Many consider him being a racist and a homophobe. It's obvious from his comments.
The раndemic was hard on everyone. Trump did not show the leadership in the tough times. Hence he is not much admired. Especially after his twits, as many think, made people go to the DC.

Q: Was banning his account a right decision?
AK: I think so. But it's a local stuff. The president who inspires an attack not only on one of the most sacred places, but we say it was not an attack on the Capitol, but on the Amerinca democracy. It's disgusting. It's a low blow. You just attacked the democracy. And did it without wearing the masks. Why do you need to break the law? You want to protest? Go on and protest. In peace. Why do you need to attack the building where the USA was built. You lost, relax.
I can't vote but I do have my point of view. I like some things from the democrats and some from the republicans. At some point I liked Trump, but after the раndemic I started supporting Biden. It's important for me all people would be equal. The understanding and the respect are important. Everyone has a point of view, we are all different and I hope a moment we will be able to respect the other's point of view will come. When the leader is spearating the people it's the worst.
Besides Biden supports the masks. He is an experienced politician. I hope he'll be able to cope.

Q: What does his presidency mean for Russia?
AK: I don't think it will become worse. It was ok and it will remain so. When I moved to the USA the president was Obama, then Trump now Biden. Globally nothing have changed. You need to understand a lot depends on the senate, the congress. The power is divided. The president's job is to be the leader and Biden suits for that. He is kind, decent and has a lot of experience.

Q: There are things that happen in Russia as well. Do people in the USA know about Navalny?
AK: I entered the NBC today to read the news and the news about his arrest was 3rd on the main page. People who are interested in politics 100% know who he is. When he only started his investigations in 2015-16 not many heard about him. Now he is in the news a lot. His poisoning was in the news as well.

Q: Do you have a point of view about it?
AK: What is there to tell? It's Russia. No need to talk, everyone knows everything. Even though I live in the USA am a Russian citizen and I grew up there. Such situations upset me. I hope all will be good in the end, but am glad there are people who come back and fight for the truth.
 

Vagabond

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AK: ... I feel how my bones make sounds when I jump. I don't want to kill myself.
:eek: :yikes: When I read things like this, I question my love of this sport. :(
Q: In what way is Biden better than Trump?
AK: Trump is not loved because he constanly lies. There are papers that count how many times he told lies. Many consider him being a racist and a homophobe. It's obvious from his comments.
The раndemic was hard on everyone. Trump did not show the leadership in the tough times. Hence he is not much admired. Especially after his twits, as many think, made people go to the DC.
I am glad that he spelled things out for Russian readers and that Sport24 published this.

And thank you, @TAHbKA for translating this article.
 

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