Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Mishina/Galliamov

TAHbKA

Cats and garlic lover
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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Gallyamov for rt.com

EV: It's considered when the skaters switch coaches they need a year - two to adopt to the new working style. How hard was it for you to get used to Moskvina's methods?
AM: Moskvina's working process is slightly different from the one we were used to when skating with Velikovs. We put more work into the programmes, the transitions between the elements. But as Moskvina says herself - she and Velikova are from the same school, so their basic methods are quite similar.

EV: You changed several partners till you paired up. What is harder in pairs skating - changing the coach or the partner? Or, rather, how long does it take to get used to a different set of hands, legs, moves on the ice and in the air?
AM: It's not that hard if both partners are experienced. The technical elements start working within a month or two, just that there is more in the pairs skating than just the elements. An of course by the way they move it's obvious which team have ben skating for a while and who had just paired up. The same way of moving or different, how parallel they are. It sounds like little details, but they are very important.

EV: I can't recall who was it that said when he paired up with a new girl he was doing exactly the same, but for several months he was getting hit by an elbow in his nose during the split twists.
AG: It's a thing. Once your nose is hit by the elbow you are a officially a pair skater. I got it from each of my 3 partners. It's a normal thing.

EV: You won the Worlds after a tough season. First the coaches change, then Aleksandr was down with соrona. Was it hard to recover?
AG: I got it quite easily, but we had to skip the first Russian Cup in October. Hence our season began a couple of weeks later.

EV: I.e. there were consiquences?
AM: Unfortunately. That's the thing about соrona - it does not pass fast. Hence we had to miss several weeks of work so Aleksandr would recover completely.
AG: You see, in pairs you are not only responsible for yourself, but for the partner and not only you skate, but do lifts, hence you should be in close to an ideal shape in the practices.

EV: Anastasia, is it scary skating with such a tall partner?
AM: The opposite, it's easier for me skating with a tall partner. I trust the tall strong guys more. When I watch the Chinese and the Japanese teams where both partners are not tall I'm scared. I can't help thinking `what if he doesn't throw her strong enough and she'll underotate or will hit him with the elbow on a split twist?'. I trust Sasha comlpetely.

EV: The skaters often say it's important how calm the coach is during the competition. Is it possible to figure how nervous the partner is by their hands?
AM: Of course. Before the beginning of the state in a competition we hold hands and we don't need words to understand how nervous is the other.

EV: Who is responsible in your team for the mood?
AG: We never thought about it. If something happens we'll help each other.
AM: As Aleksandr puts it: take a look, smile and off we go. Moskvina doesn't put any pressure on us, so we are always calm when we compete.

EV: During your work together had Moskvina ever been too strict?
AG: She is not strict, she is fair. If something is wrong she will tell it how it is. And she always finds the right words.

EV: I sometimes think Moskvina can look at the pupil and if she is not satisfied you want to shrink and hide.
AM: Indeed. She never raises her voice. She speaks very quietly and calmly and you immediately understand what exactly does she want.

EV: Anastasia, in one of the interviews you mentioned that you were too heavy for the previous partner and he scorned you for that al the time. Were you afraid he might throw you or do a lift in a way that would put you in danger?
AM: It was a tough time, I was probably 15, and it's the age when you take things a bit easier than, perhaps, I would now. I tried to do my best during the practices so we could participate the GP and other competitions. I tried to lose weight, I was running. When I realized we would not be skating together I was hurt.

EV: Is it important for you to feel you are the best for your partner
AM: Of course

EV: Does Aleksandr often let you know that?
AM: We don't have that `let's praise each other', but we trust each other. It's enough to understand that we want to skate together and progress together.

EV: The elements such as throws, lifts, split twists... is it more his work or equal?
AG: Absolutely equal. Take the split twist - in order for the male partner to throw and catch correctly she has to twist really well. In the lifts the flow is important so the hand would not slide.

EV: The late Igor Moskvin liked repeating `The most complicated thing in the lift is to lift and dismount'
AG: Agree. Yet the lady has to have a good balance and hold her body.
AM: I don't even know whether there is an element in pairs skating where the male or the female partner do more. It's always the equal work, just that it's different.

EV: If the lady works correctly in the lift do her weight and height matter?
AG: The girl can be tiny and weight nothing, but if she doesn't work and thinks the partner is a carne nothing good will come out.
AM: If you enter the lift wrongly, don't jump into it the male partner will have a harder time. When the technique is right the lift looks completely different. I admire the US dance pair Hubbell/Donahue - they are both so strong but their lifts are amazing. Their skating is amazing.

EV: You have one of the top contents in the pairs skating. What do you think you can add?
AG: We are adding. For example in the past we would get lvl3 for the death spiral, but now we worked on it and got lvl4 in Stockholm. We can improve a lot of elements. At any rate we'll have to make changes next year as the lift and the death spiral are changing.
AM: Probably changing something drastically now would be wrong - we are entering the Olympic season.

EV: But you don't plan to retire in a year, do you?
AM: Of course not. Hence during the offseason we'll work on the elements we'll need the next 4 years.

EV: How do you think the pairs skating will develop?
AM: I think the past couple of years tendency with the quad throws will be back. The single ladies left the 3A attempts for a while, because it was not worth it. But once someone will learn the quad throws and become consistent it will be back. The quad throws, the quad split twists. Probably the jumps will become more complicated, there will be more 3/3 combos, perhaps even lutz combos.

EV: You and Aleksandr were learning a sbs 3lutz?
AM: Not only learning, but we attempted it in a competition. But we decided not to risk it this season and be more consistent

EV: Luts demands a very long enterance, hence takes too much time
AG: Not necessarily. Lutz is a jump you can enter in almost every possible way. The most important is not to try to force it, then it becomes really hard. I learned it when I was still a single skater. Lutz is all about the technique.

EV: Who is the single skater whose lutz is tehcnically the best?
AG: Guess Michael Kolayda
AM: I agree. Kolyada has the height and the distance in the jump. When he lands it it's a +5

EV: Did you have a chance to see anything during the Worlds?
AM: During the practices were concentrated on our own skates, of course. But the first day we watched the Chinese teams practice.

EV: Did you like it?
AM: Loved it. First - both teams were skating beautifully. We enjoyed watching them so much. Second it was interesting what their working process looks like.

EV: Just interesting or you learned something?
AM: That they are not in a hurry. They enjoy what they do. We can't always do that. Sometimes we are so concentrated on the elements that we just rush and try to do everything we need faster and go home.

EV: Perhaps partly because this season you had to rush?
AG: We did have to rush in order to be anywhere near the top teams' level. Yet we felt all the time there is an endless amount of work to do and we lack time so badly in order to be a top team. Besides we had to change the technique on an element/skating/transitions all the time.

EV: Changing the technique in such a limited time is a risky idea. You'd have to control so many new things in order to not repeat the old mistakes.
AG: We didn't change anything major - that task would be too big. We made small adjustments.
AM: Adjustments so the jumps would be more parallel, so the lifts would be executed on a higher speed. It didn't change the technique as such, but the elements looked better.

EV: When you became 4th in the Nationals what did you think? The season is over and you have to start working on the new programmes and elements or that you have to keep fighting for the Worlds spot?
AG: We didn't even know what would be going on. We kept the Europeans in mind, but quite fast we learned they were cancelled and instead we'll have the Ch.1 cup and the Russian final Cup. That those will decide on the Worlds team. And realized we had a chance and wanted to grab it.

EV: Which Worlds performances would you like to re-watch?
AG: Nathan Chen's skates. I can't even tell whether the SP or the LP - both are great. The great skating with the insane jumps.. ideal programmes. I also really liked Sinistina/Katsalapov's RD.
AM: I also would love to rewatch Chen's LP. It was something else. We were in the audience and were giving a standing ovation. We were jumping and shouting. Another thing I would like to rewatch is Evgeni Semenenko's LP. Kudos to him: the way he skated both of his programmes made me proud of our guys. Am thirlled for Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. She made such a journey to that medal. She haven't participated the Worlds for 6 years and it's quite a comeback. It's a huge victory for her.

EV: And none of you said you would like to watch your own LP. Don't you want to see how the champions skate?
AM: I guess we are a bit shy. We don't like rewatching our programmes. When we do - it's to learn what were our mistakes.
 

Taso

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Thank you TAHbKA. It was so good to hear from these two. I couldn't be more pleased in their development this year, truly, and they seem like decent people. I appreciated in this their admiration of the Chinese pairs - no need to bash anyone from these two. And I am forever so happy for Mishina achieving what she has after the public shaming from her as*hole former partner - so glad she has Galliamov and he has her.
 

Colonel Green

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EV: Anastasia, in one of the interviews you mentioned that you were too heavy for the previous partner and he scorned you for that al the time. Were you afraid he might throw you or do a lift in a way that would put you in danger?
AM: It was a tough time, I was probably 15, and it's the age when you take things a bit easier than, perhaps, I would now. I tried to do my best during the practices so we could participate the GP and other competitions. I tried to lose weight, I was running. When I realized we would not be skating together I was hurt.
I hope she has a Rodnina/Savchenko-esque run at the top and he keeps getting namechecked in interviews about how successful she is.
 

museksk8r

Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy
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Thank you for translating and posting this interview, TAHbKA! I always enjoy learning more about my new favorite pairs team! I find them both so charming and immensely talented. :cheer2::cheer:
 

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