Vayetskhovskaya's interview with Stolbova

TAHbKA

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Ksenia Stolbova for ria.ru

EV: When you started skating with a new partner a year and half ago you pretty much started a new sports life from the scratch at the age of 26. Did you have to give up a lot during the process?
KS: No. Despite some hardships and injures. Starting skating with a new partner at the age of 26 is different from the age of 16 or 18. It's a different process of getting used to each other, different behaviour and conception. But I understood what I got myself into. And Andrey and I are not the age do fight or insist on things - we simply don't have time for that. Besides, our goals are exactly the same.

EV: Guess it was still hard to convince yourself to keep working knowing that for a long time you will not have an opportunity to compete, compare yourself to the others, get the high of the competition. Instead you'll have to do the endless boring work.
KS: I think it was a good thing. At least for me. During my previous career with Fedor we never had a real break between the competitions. All the breaks we had were due to the injuries. Hence every comeback was rushed and it's a huge mental and physical strain, a constant stress: you are stressing that you can't skate, you are stressing when you partner can't skate, you waste time and miss the competitions. Now Andrey and I understand: we have a working plan that we must fulfill within a year in order to be ready for the test skates. And we have to fulfill it to the top. For now it's our main goal because the test skates will decide where we will be skating after. But we don't need to rush and jump above our heads. We had enough time to try things, get used to each other, dance, learn the elements and it gives you a kind of inner freedom which liberates and motivates you even more.

EV: When I was watching you skating during the last seasons with Klimov I couldn't help thinking your time is up and will never be back. Now there is no such a feeling - the result is obvious.
KS: The time flies but I can certainly tell you think year I did the maximum possible work. I didn't miss a single opportunity to learn something new.

EV: I.e. you don't have a feeling some things could be done better?
KS: Of course there is that feeling. And think it will always be there. It's like the competitions: no matter how well you skate you always know what you could had done better, where you could be better technically or emotionally. Perhaps it's just me: during all the years I competed there was just one skate where I knew for sure I did my absolute top and there was nothing else I could do at that moment.

EV: You mean the 2015 GPF?
KS: No, the Sochi Olympics LP. I had quite a lot to improve in my GPF skate.

EV: What are you most happy with now? Could you say something like `kudos for me for...'?
KS: Not me, all of us. I liked and still like how my year goes, what I become on the ice, how I feel, how I behave, but it's not just my achievement. Am so grateful to Andrey, to Nikolai Morozov and all the specialists who worked and still works with us. Tamara Moskvina, who let us work on her ice in St. Petersburg with no conditions, Floran Amodio - in Vaujany where we held one of the training camps.

EV: Do you sometimes feel deep down the result you aim for might not happen, despite all your attempts?
KS: Of course. Just that Andrey and I decided to do all we can to make these feelings go away.

EV: How does it go with your 3 split twist, which was always a problem and at the time there was a saying that there is no specialist who can teach you do it right?
KS: I told the team from the start I will do anything they think is right for the 3split twist. And will do all I can to improve it. I think it improved.

EV: Your partner already told me that Stanislav Morozov worked a lot with you on it. What I don't understand is: all the years you worked with Klimov in Mozer's group Stanislav Morozov was working in the same group. Why haven't you fixed the split twist problem before?
KS: We never worked with Stanislav Morozov. From the day we joined Mozer's team from Velikovs we only worked with Vlad Zhovnirski

EV: But why? Even back then Morozov had a reputation of a specialist who, like no one else, teaches the split twist and can get any team to do it right.
KS: Let me slightly correct you. Not to `get it right' but explain in the tiniest details every part of the element to a point it's impossible not to understand. I have never met a coach who was able to explain the technical part in such a detail.

EV: Hence am surprised your previous coach did not use his help knowing your problem with the split twist is quite severe.
KS: It's hard to explain why it happened, but it was the division from the very first day: Nina Mikhailovna and Stanislav worked only with Volosozhar/Trankov and all of us knew they were the highest priority.

EV: Guess it's true to say you and Klimov and Bazarova/Larionov who joined Mozer's group at the same time worked for Volosozhar/Trankov as a sparring team?
KS: Fedor and I worked mainly for ourselves - to make it to the Olympic team and go to Sochi. It was my biggest dream. So I wouldn't say we were working for someone else's benefit. We now do the same with Andrey. I think our trainings with Stanislav Morozov, with Pavel Slusarenko, with Andrei Filonov were a huge breakthrough. We didn't want to try all the elements at once, so we built a chain: worked on the steps, the jumps, the pairs elements. When we got to the split twist we spent a lot of time off the ice. We came there at 5pm and left at 11pm. The main work was in fixing the mistake I was making for 13 years. And in addition we had a different tempo: Andrey had his own way of doing the split twist. It was all fixed and the elements were built.

EV: During your training with Novoselov you spent a lot of time in Perm. Was it hard to get used to it after a very busy life in Moscow and St. Petersburg?
KS: I don't need much. I came to the rink and worked. Out side the rink I traveled a bit, got familiar with the city, went hiking to the caves, went to a monastery, it was all very interesting. Am so grateful to the Perm figure skating federation for getting a car for me and making sure Andrey and I can prepare comfortably to the season.

EV: There are some studies from the USSR times, which said the most effective work is done in the first 3 weeks of the training camp. After that you get tired faster, the effectivety drops. You spent two months in Perm. Was it hard?
KS: There were moments when it overwhelmed - after all we worked a lot. But it compensated with a possibility to learn something new every day. We worked on the programmes, on the pairs elements, skating with a much younger teams, Valentina Tukova gave us some tips, she is a coach who worked with so many teams, including Pavel Slusarenko. But the most important is that I wanted it so badly myself. I understood what all this work was for.

EV: When you and Andrey first paired up a lot of people were quiet skeptic about your future. Did you feel it?
KS: Of course. I always felt it, even when skated with Klimov. Am used to the fact no matter how we skated there will be people who will not be happy. As for Andrey - I immediately had a huge inner trust. I told you about it a year ago. Hence it doesn't matter whether people believe in us or not. We believe in us.

EV: Where that believe come from? Did you ask yourself that?
KS: Why would I? Am sure we are responsible for our happiness. I know things happen for a reason. I met Andrey at the time I had so guess it was just meant to be. Perhaps I have done something right to deserve such a wonderful partner and person.

EV: And a great coach.
KS: And a great coach and a great team who helped us and still helps. A year and half ago I really had no idea what I should do next with my life. And all of the sudden Tatiana Tarasova and Nikolai Morozov came into my life. Tatiana Anatolievna was the one to tell me, and I believed her on the spot `do not dare retiring. You don't have a right to retire. And we'll deal with your injured leg'. But I did not expect Nikolai Morozov to repeat these words. And be beside me. Though he admitted not long ago that for a long time he did not believe this team would work.

EV: Have you asked Morozov when did he change his mind?
KS: No. But think it's about my will to work. When a person works from the morning till the night and, most importantly, wants it - how can you go against them?

EV: Such a support from such a coaches - is it an additional resopnsibility?
KS: Of course. But it's not an obligation. I don't really get the word `obligation'. The only people who am obliged to are my parents for giving me my life. Here am just so very grateful to all the people who helped and still help. And the only way to express my gratitude is with my work.

EV: I know Tarasova comes quite often to your practices. Does it help?
KS: Yes. Any new person has a new point of view which is always good. Tarasova always pays attention to the tiniest detail and she knows how to motivate.

EV: Were you following the Worlds in Saitama?
KS: Yes, but I can't really recall anything special. Usually certain skates become memorable - such as Savchenko's skate at the Olympics in Korea or Sui/Han's, who were just a little bit behind Savchenko/Massot. Last year there was no such skates, except for the Chinese.

EV: Your previous coach Velikova admitted she dreams of seeing you taking the pairs skating into your hands.
KS: Why are you surprised? I was skating with Velikovs for many years and the base they gave me, the time, the soul, the nerves they invested in me are not gone. It's not about an athlete and a coach anymore, they are almost a family. If it wasn't for Velikovs and our choreographer Stepin I don't think a skater Stolbova would exist. My parents in the pairs skating is first of all them. Besides we went through so much together, Ludmila Georgievna knows me better than anyone else. So guess she didn't say it for nothing.

EV: How badly do you have to keep in control of your physical state?
KS: Badly is not the right word. It's a total control of everything. In the practices, off the ice, home and during the rest. I put a lot of strict boundaries in a lot of things, but I know it's a must right now.

EV: Do you get tired of that?
KS: The opposite. Such a treatment to myself allowed me to feel my body and my abilities better. There is no such a thing doing something I don't understand what is it for.

EV: What about the sparring? Do you lack it?
KS: There was no lack of sparring this year. When we were skating in Perm we constantly felt the pressure from the younger teams. Yes, they still have a lot to learn, but they have that fire in their eyes and you just feel how badly they want it. You look at them and tell yourself `why are you skating around? Go work before they run you over!'. It really motivated me.

EV: If it was up to you which competitions you'd life to participate?
KS: First of all the test skates. And the global goal is the Nationals where we would love to make it to the team.

EV: I mean whether you are planning any B competitions? Do Andrey and you need competing more in order to get some kind of a competing mileage?
KS: We are trying to recreated the competition at the practices. We are trying to figure whether we need to compete every week, or not really. It's not about whether we want to compete or not. We have to figure how our bodies will work at the competitions, how long we'll need to recover. In that matter the junior body and the senior body are different. What I would really love to try is something new. Even when we were working on the programmes Nikolai offered to use some steps and transitions which I did before and I declined. I don't want to repeat my old self and do with the new partner what I did with the old. Of course there are rules that set very strict boundaries, we all have to perform quite similar elements, but as far as we can get away Andrey and I do. And it's such a pleasure. I want to change even in my looks. Here, am trying to grow my hair long.

EV: Where is home right now?
KS: Home is where I feel good. Right now I feel good on the ice. I have a partner, I have a coach. That's all I need.
 

3T3T

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She comes across so well in that interview. Hard working, patient, thankful, resilient, and after all the years, injuries and drama happy to be skating and looking forward to competing again. I wish her the very best of luck in her return. I can’t wait for the test skates.
 

Mad for Skating

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Thank you so much for the translation! I find her determination so inspirational. It takes so much strength to start fresh after such a difficult few years. I wish her all the best in the future!
 

Amantide

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Very humble attitude in contrast to the super diva reputation she has among fans.
Hard working, resilient and strong personality type of women often can be perceived as Divas. Especially by men who are the same. ;)
 
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Mad for Skating

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Hard working, resilient and strong personality type of women often can be perceived as Divas. Especially by men who are the same. ;)
I’ve heard many people refer to Savchenko as a diva because she was one tough cookie as an athlete, but from her interviews I get the impression that she’s usually a down-to-earth person off the ice. In fact, many female pair skaters get the “diva” label because they’re scrappy. Personally, I don’t mind if people use it in a complimentary way, but when it’s used to make a woman sound unpleasant and difficult just because she is confident, then I get cranky.
 

Amantide

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I’ve heard many people refer to Savchenko as a diva because she was one tough cookie as an athlete, but from her interviews I get the impression that she’s usually a down-to-earth person off the ice. In fact, many female pair skaters get the “diva” label because they’re scrappy. Personally, I don’t mind if people use it in a complimentary way, but when it’s used to make a woman sound unpleasant and difficult just because she is confident, then I get cranky.
Personally, I have nothing against Divas. I don't know these people, they are not my friends. And as long as they skate great, they can Diva as much as they want. :saint: :D
 

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