Vaitsekhovskaya's interview with Boikova/Kozlovskii: "Our age is our biggest advantage"

Ka3sha

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Elena Vaitsekhovskaya's interview with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii: "Our age is our biggest advantage"

- It is your second European Championship, and a second medal. But a gold one this time. Can you compare these two competitions or are they completely different?
Dmitry Kozlovskii: To some extent, these competitions are quite similar. It’s just that our first European Championship was held in Belarus and was almost perceived as a home one: with the usual atmosphere, with our spectators. We won that medal in a rather difficult fight, despite the fact that a year ago we were not even considered as favorites. Until the last second it was not clear whether we would medal or not - everything was decided by hundredths of a point.
- So were you just lucky then?
D.K .: It could have turned out both ways. But I can't say that the didn't put any effort to that performance. We tried very hard. We skated perfectly in the short. I made an uncharacteristic mistake in the long program, and we lost a fairly large number of points on this element, but fortunately still remained on the podium. Tamara Nikolaevna (Moskvina. - RT) told us after the competition that those 0.14 points in our favor were actually very “working”, because they reflected our entire training process. And we trained very hard then, I still remember the whole process.
Aleksandra Boikova: It was easier for us a year ago, because nobody expected anything from us. There was less tension, we went to the start with a light soul. But today the pleasure of performing is much stronger.
- Many skaters come to the European Championship with the confidence that they still have time ahead of them. At the same time, Moskvina’s pairs have always aimed only at the maximum result. Have you been specially taught to do it?
D.K .: Things like this are not voiced during practices, but all this hangs in the air. Tamara Nikolaevna generally does not like to delay the preparation process. Remember her first couple - Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev. A year of work, and immediately a fast rise to the top: European Championship, Worlds, Olympics ... Oksana Kazakova and Arthur Dmitriev had a similar situation when they just stepped in and immediately won the continental championship.
Moskvina, it seems to me, has no habit of waiting for too long. She used to take what is hers right here and right now. And we are just an object through which she broadcasts her coaching position to the whole world. She invests in us the currently possible maximum. So our job is to go out on the ice and show what we can.
- The need to constantly live up to expectations, but in fact - to jump above your head, doesn’t it bother you?
A. B .: It seems to me that our coaches are better aware of our capabilities. What we are ready for and what we are not.
D.K .: And we are working to the extent of these opportunities. After all, the history of sports knows a lot of examples, when by the degree of their talent, people could have become become Olympic champions, but in fact did not win anything. Therefore, it seems to me that it is very important to trust your coaches fully, not to doubt them. It helps withstand any pressure.
- Most single skaters desperately resist any attempts to switch to pairs skating, and as far as I know, you weren't an exception. Why?
A.B .: I didn’t resist, I don’t remember that at all.
D.K .: This is not a resistance. Rather, it’s a very difficult decision to make. By switching from single skating to pairs, you change your life rather radically. And above all, you stop depending on yourself only. Now, for example, I can definitely say that coaching a couple is much more difficult than an individual athlete. Likewise, it’s also more difficult to be an athlete in a couple. Even on mental level.
- This is understandable: a successful single skater must be an inveterate egoist and can think only about himself.
D.K .: You are right. When you skate alone, it gives you quite a lot of freedom. You can change the order of the elements, the direction of movement, you can make an additional pause if needed. And here you have to not only solve your own problems, but you must constantly help your partner, check if he suddenly starts making mistakes. Relatively speaking, there should be an internal readiness at any time to take your partner by the scruff of his neck, if something suddenly goes wrong, and tell him: “Calm down, everything is in ok! Let's move on!” Only we do it without words. This is the essence of the pair. It is understood that we should work in a 50% to 50% mode. But if one of us is able to give only 30%, the other is obliged to take those 70% over to maintain balance.
- Sasha, can you describe your feelings when you did your first pairs lift?
A. B .: I did my very first lift not with Dima, but with our coach Arthur Leonidovich (Minchuk. - RT), so it was not too scary, although I am afraid of heights. When we started doing lifts with Dima, it became really scary, because he is higher.
D.K .: It wasn't that I was tall. At that moment, I simply lacked the skills of pair skating. There was no experience in interacting with the partner's body. Of course, we have all sorts of training things such as stuffed dummies, but when you work with a live person, with live weight, all the sensations are completely different.
A.B .: I always felt when Dima's hands were trembling.
D.K .: My hands have never trembled!
A. B .: Trembled, trembled. They were shaking when we did our first lift, I was so scared then.
D.K .: I think that Sasha is exaggerating everything a little bit, but the point is that at first, when you start skating in a couple, everything is very difficult psychologically.
- There was an unspoken rule that if suddenly something goes wrong during the lift, the partner is obliged to secure the female partner as much as possible.
D.K .: Now this is also true. It is clear that everything depends on specific people, but I can say for myself: if I skate with a girl, then, as a man, I bear full responsibility for her. If only because, if I fall on the lift, I will fall from a height of my own height, and she would fall from almost three meters height. Frankly: I could not have been a pair girl. Because in my understanding, this is a colossal risk - to entrust yourself to some other person, so he could throw or lift you as he wants. There must be a tremendous trust. And if Sasha trust me that much, I simply have to justify it. I am obliged to do everything possible to ensure her safety.
A. B .: From the side of the female partner, I also have to help. In the sense that if something happens in the same lift, you should not hang up there like macaroni, but do everything possible not to injure your partner. The more the girl controls herself in the air, the easier it is for her partner.
D.K .: It’s very comfortable to work with Sasha in this regard. During the lift, if everything is done correctly, I can just rest. I can restore my breathing, I can relax, because it's like Sasha’s weight passes through my body and does not give a feeling of heaviness. Some transitions between the elements take a lot more efforts.
- Have you been really scared during the lift at least once?
D.K .: In the beginning it is always scary for both. Especially when you have to learn the uncontrolled exit from the lift behind your back. You put your partner down, but don't really understand where.
- But in the twists, it’s also quite problematic to catch your partner without getting hit by her elbow or knee.
D.K .: This is not about Sasha. She is always very careful in the air.
A. B .: Probably during our entire career I have hit him only two or there times.
D.K .: This is not the main thing. And the fact is that Sasha, in whatever mood she may be, never does anything out of spite. And i the same way, I will never in my life allow myself to throw her into the throw that hard, so she falls in the end.
- You want to say that things like this happens in pair skating?
D.K .: I think so. Sometimes partners take out anger on each other not just with words, but with some actions during the elements. From my point of view, this is licentiousness and disrespect.
- Tamara Moskvina has always been distinguished by the fact that she taught her athletes not only to skate and win, but also to behave. Have you felt something like this?
D.K .: If we talk about Moskvina, we must first understand: she is not just a coach. She is a great teacher, producer, strategist and politician. Napoleon ща figure skating. She always knows what to expect, predicts how things will be and knows how to make sure that we are ready for it. But I don’t remember Moskvina ever imposing some kind of behavior on us. Rather, she simply creates some situations in which you unwittingly begin to behave in such a way that it helps to achieve the result.
- Or warns you against mistakes?
A. B .: Oh, yes. Tamara Nikolaevna’s favorite topic is “dress warmly”. She is sure that all sores arise from the fact that we dress not warmly enough. But it's not always the case. Personally, I use public transport a lot, I study at the school every day, there are a lot of viruses around, you can get sick no matter how warmly you are dressed.
D.K .: In fact, it often happens during practices that we don’t immediately listen to some words of our coach, and only later we realize that Moskvina was right. At such moments, you very clearly understand that you need to be a fool in order not to listen to such a grand experience of a person, who has been in all situations that are only possible in our sports. And not went through all those situations, but also won. Although, we still have moments when we want to argue or disagree.
- Do you often do what you should or what you want in your life?
A. B .: What we should.
- Aren't you tired of that?
D.K .: This is our job. Do not consider it just a nice words, but we regard our career very simply: we came to the coaches, entrusted our lives to them by deciding that we ourselves want this. Therefore, no matter how hard it is, we understand that we must fulfill our obligations. if we should make a doubled skate - it means there will be a doubled skate. The logic is simple: which of us wants to succeed more? At a very minimum, we want it equally. So we should work.
- The beginning of your adult career was in the period when the rules of pair skating made athletes ficus on the quality of the elements, not complexity. It makes life easier or still makes you regret that you may never have the opportunity to do something truly unique. For example, a quad throw?
A.B .: I have wanted to try one for a long time, by the way. I have already tried it on the lounge and constantly persuade our coaches to let me try this element without the lounge. It's just that the rules don't really encourage this complexity yet.
D.K .: After all, we have an elementary mathematics here: if the quadruple throw costed 10-11 points, it would make sense to think about it. Now it turns out that any triple throw performed on a “+5” GOEs immediately gives you the score that no quadruple throw can top.
- And Liza Tuktamysheva at the age of 23 started learning quads.
D.K .: This is another topic. For too many years in figure skating, it was believed that quadruple jumps are only for boys. But then the girls came and showed that all is possible. That there are vast empty lands that are not occupied by anyone. So why not to conquer them first, especially since the triple lutz costs 5.90 and the quadruple - 11.50? There isn't a question of why they are doing those jumps - you just go for this jump. In pair skating, the grading of points is slightly different, so the essence of quad elements is lost.
- What do you want the most in the end of the season?
A. B .: To relax. I always try to leave St. Petersburg, to change the environment a bit. During the season we are usually on the road, but at the very end, when we start preparations for the next season, we are very tired of the fact that you spend two months inside the same walls.
D.K .: I agree. Figure skating takes 95% of our time from Monday to Saturday. We are constantly at the rink. And I really want to reboot, when there is such an opportunity.
- What can't you afford yourselves?
A. B .: To gain weight. I am gaining weight very quickly.
D.K .: To play football. It is very easy to get injured, and legs are like our bread, as well as the whole body. Probably our life in this regard can be compared with the life of opera singers, who have wrap their throats in any weather and try to avoid smoky rooms, because the vocal cords suffer from this.
- By the way, have you been affected by the epidemic of broken boots this season?
D.K .: Boots break one way or another - the load is crazy. And it always happens all of a sudden: it seems that everything was just fine, but just one movement - and everything is in shock.
- Do you have any special boots?
A. B .: It happens in different ways. Risport has recently changed its lineup, and their new model doesn't suit me. I couldn’t get used to it, so they make an old model for me to order. I know that some of the guys in our team have exactly the same situation.
D.K .: Everything also depends on the size. When I just started to skate on a high level, I tried different boots, but they just washed my legs in blood. But the one mentioned by Sasha suit me right away. Moreover, any boots of this company, even of mass production, is ideal for me, although the company makes shoes for me by individual standards. I don’t need a lot of time to break these skates in - one or two trainings are enough.
- What do you consider to be your strengths in the rivalry with the current world leaders?
A. B .: We have a very good team. A lot of specialists who help us.
D.K .: To be completely honest, I would say that our main advantage is our age. Time is the only opponent of a man, that can never be defeated. Therefore, you need to take what is yours as soon as possible.
 
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zebraswan

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I always forget how young they are, because they sound so much more intelligent than some athletes who are 10 or 20 years older. Part of the reason I like them so much is because they are well-rounded individuals with class and personality, on top of being brilliant skaters. I hope they will have a long career together.
 

Finnice

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Great interview! I like their skating but also their off-ice personalities.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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Boikova is a unicorn - and lucky for us, she is a unicorn on skates. Very bright, her English is even better IRL (she must be nervous on camera), the manners are spotless, a total lady without a shred of arrogance. Speaking based on a personal interaction. And she's quiet beautiful. Boikova & Anna Scherbakova are two little Russian aristocrats.
 

Moka-Ananas

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I love that they brought "Mozartkugeln" from Austria. Shows again that they are interested in culture and know who Mozart was and that this chocolate would be the best gift for their fans.
Then again...I have never seen skaters bring gifts for their fans, it's usually the other way round.

These two are precious! Long may they skate and reign!
 

Ka3sha

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Another interesting interview with the guys for TASS. Mostly about their view on difficult elements in pairs skating, their first steps on the ice, literature, theatre and why you have to make your brain work :lol:

Don't have enough time to translate it now, hope google translate will work ok.
Or maybe @TAHbKA may help? :)
 

PRlady

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She is nowhere near to Zabijako or Bazarova.

I didn’t think she was too thin, just certainly thin enough that her weight shouldn’t be a factor.Her body type is not like Mishina’s, for example.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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I loved that interview and the only warning sign was Boikova mentioning her weight -- she seems skinny as a giraffe neck to me.
Honestly, she has to be aware - it's pairs and she's 5'5. And Boikova is not skinny. She is slim, but ummm... with a very feminine figure. She looks like she has a very healthy diet. And I am sure she watches her carbs and stuff like that.
 

hanca

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I would like to see an elite female pair skater who doesn’t watch their weight. The difference is just that some of them admit it openly in the interview, whereas others keep quiet about it. Boikova is Russian, which makes her more open in the interviews than many skaters from western countries, but it doesn’t make her necessarily more weight aware.
 

Japanfan

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I would like to see an elite female pair skater who doesn’t watch their weight.

I would think they would have to, much more so than single skaters or ice dancers. Five pounds more or less could really throw off a male partner, who is used to dealing with his partner being a certain weight.
 

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