Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Konig


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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Alexander Konig for

EV: Alexander, in the practice in Milano your skaters again surprised with how fresh and full of energy they are. What does this competition mean for you? After all they already won their most important medal.
AK: Perhaps it's because we don't see the Worlds as a continuation of the Olympic season. It's a different step of the career, another important competition which, I think, all the athletes and the coaches should be concentrating on. We all went away after the Olympics to have a chance to rest as much as possible. From the practices, from each other. We decided we'll meet in a week and then decide whether to finish the season. It was about Milan. So have we decided to compete we should not take it as something less important.

EV: Have you thought of your life after Milan?
AK: We haven't discussed the plans for the continuation for the continuation of career after the Olympics. It would demand clearing our heads, some additional emotions, time, consulting our relatives and it would take the focus off the competition. Switching the focus while preparing for the Worlds was not needed. Especially when so many expected us to win.

EV: Did Aljona and Bruno participate many shows after the Olympics?
AK: Not so much. I haven't counted, but doubt there were more than 10.

EV: Are you satisfied with the Worlds preparations?
AK: Absolutely. We worked great a full week before coming to Milan: no one was ill or injuried. We don't plan any changes in the programme - we decided to keep both programmes like we did at the Olympics. On the other hand it's kind of an achievement: not making the programmes easier when the main competition is behind us and there is some accumulated tiredness both physical and mental.

EV: As a coach - how hard were those 4 years?
AK: Being a coach is difficult in general. You are the person responsible for the athletes being healthy, happy, in good relationship with each other so they don't only do a certain amount of work, but with the quality and intensity you want to see as a coach. It is especially hard when you are aiming for the Olympic gold.

EV: You have participated 3 Olympics before, yet it was never with pupils of such a high class and hopes. Were you afraid making a wrong step in that journey?
AK: I'll reveal a secret: the coach adn the athlets shouldn't really think whether its' the Olympics or Europeans or Nationals. The goal is always the same: do your job and all you have done so many times in the practices. When I was skating with Peggy Shwartz in Hedemarie Steiner-Walter and Knut Schubert's groups they taught us exactly that. Just that being an athlete is so much easier. All you are responsible for is being ok and not kill the partner if the things go wrong. And well, not upset the coach too much with the result. The rest is not your business. There are so many things the athlets shouldn't even think about.
Being a coach is hell. Especially when the responsibility is so high. You are standing on the other side of the border when your pupils start skating and you understand you can't do a thing, you can't influence. No matter how hard you try.

EV: Moskvina once said the coach's place during the competition is in a cafeteria.
AK: She has a point. The coach shouldn't even try to interfer during the competition - the work is completed. But mentally you keep feeling so helpless. Guess that's why we have so many grey hair.

EV: I spoke to Aljona in Korea right after they won the gold medals and she said she is not writing off a posibility continuing till the next Olympics. Frankly: do you believe it?
AL: Frankly I can only tell you I haven't thought about it. Perhaps I forbit myself thinking of it. First of all there are too many things that demand my constant control and I dont' want to waste my resources on anything else. Second my athletes need to know am 100% with them every given second and not daydreaming. We will talk about the future plans after the Worlds. I will notify you once there is a decision.

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