Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Soloviev `Olympic season is not the time for changes'

TAHbKA

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Dmitrii Soloviev `Olympic season is not the time for changes' for sport-express.ru

They have been tested by destiny. First Soloviev had an injury and an unsuccessful surgery, which left him without the main competitions for two season and Katia Bobrova awaiting him. Then she was part of the silly story with meldonium: all the charges were dismissed, but while things were under investigation they missed the Worlds in Boston. Despite that Soloviev kept saying `I want to be the first. I want to fight for the gold'. We met in Moscow after the skaters started working on their Olympic programmes.

EV: With the years Katia and you worked out your own style of the free dance. You are always telling a story on the ice, there is a drama. Were you ever considering doing something different in the Olympic season, surprise and shock the audience?
DS: We are trying to do something different every season. Hence this year we collaborated with a new choreographer Radu Polikartu - a specialist with an unusual view of choreography. When we first started working together it was hard to translate thigs on the ice, everything was so unusual. It's not the primitive moves of `here is my heart, we love each other, I kissed your hand, you are leaning on my shoulder', but a completely different choreography, a different way. What we are doing now are completely different moves, which, apparently, can also express the man and a woman relationship.

EV: The choreography that was typical for the Russian ice dance leaders was usually full of emotions, including the facial expressions.
DS: Right, so the viewers from the 50th row would see it.

EV: I, on the other hand, remember Antonio Najarro's choreography for Stephane Lambiel, Elena Ilinykh/Ruslan Zhiganshin. He was teaching projecting the emotions on the ice not with the face, but with the body.
DS: We work a lot with the upper body, head, hands. But you can't dismiss the facial expressions. How can you skate a comedy and not even smile for a split second?

EV: Are you saying your new FD is a comedy?
DS: No, it's a drama. The relationship between a man and a woman. A situation that can happen to any of us.

EV: When will you show the programme?
DS: In the test skates in Sochi in September

EV: The Canadian and the American dancers usually reveal their programmes before the autumn. They have a point: they want as many viewers as possible to get familiar with their dances, to talk about it, to form a point of view, which, among other things, will be for the judges to lean on. The majority of the Russian skaters prefer to keep the programmes a secret for as long as possible. What's the point?
DS: Perhaps we are just getting in the right shape later. At the summer the programmes are too raw and there is nothing really to show.

EV: Do you have a feeling you should start working on the programmes earlier if that's what the best teams are doing?
DS: We spoke about it with the coach, but the Olympic season is surely not the time for changes. It made more sense to keep doing things like we are used. Perhaps after the Olympics we'll talk again, if we should keep skating together or if I should skate with another partner.

EV: Do elucidate on that...
DS: There is nothing to elucidate on. Katia and I spoke about it many times. It's not a secret she wants to do other things after the Olympics. She wants to start a family and have kids. I don't know yet whether I'll keep skating. Whether I'll be healthy enough, have the motivation and the means.

EV: or a partner.
DS: That Katia and I also discussed. We decided we will try to do our absolute best this season and then see how things go.

EV: After Katia got married last summer I can't help thinking she is in some other, not the sports life. And that you, being by her side all the time must feel it.
DS: That is not so. For now figure skating is the most important thing for both of us. When we go on the ice we forget everything else. We dive into the work. The really hard peroid was just once - when that idiocy with meldonium happened. Katia was out of it. It's probably quite normal for a person who dedicated her life to figure skating, had a successful Olympic cycle and was heading to the next and then wham! You are slammed on your head and told `you will no longer skate'
I can't even imagine what must have been going through Katia's mind back then. I was trying not to show how worried I was. Deep down I kept believing things will work out and we'll come back. Hence I was so disturbed when Katia would start talking about joining a show or retiring from the skating altogether. Perhaps for Katia all these talks were just a way to protect herself and not go crazy. But looking at her I started thinking of my future as well.

EV: What were your thoughts at the end of last season?
DS: I think it was quite a successful season all and all. Perhaps we were expecting a bit more...

EV: Perhaps or were expecting?
DS: Frankly, I was expecting more. Katia has a phrase which she repeats often when talking about a competition that most important - not where we were placed by the judges but the clean skates and the enjoyment of our friends and relatives and the audience. I never hid the fact I want to win, I want to place high. This is the most important thing for me in figure skating. And only then the desire for our programmes to be liked by the coaches, parents and the others.

EV: And that no one would criticize you?
DS: No, that I actually don't mind. Even though I was quite hurt by some of the comments before the Sochi Olympics. I was thinking: why things are so unfair? We work so hard, we break and cut our arms and legs, we are always in pain, yet the people, who probably don't understand a thing in the sport dare to say our level is behind top 10?
And then I realized I shouldn't react to those things. People are talking about you? Well, then there is something to talk about. It would be much worse if you were completely forgotten. I react fine to the objective critique. When someone says I screwed up the twizzels in the WTT FD and its' bad I can only agree: yes, it is indeed bad.

EV: You missed the twizzle?
DS: Yes.

EV: Why? It's one of your most consistent elements.
DS: Who knows? I suddenly started thinking about them. I was never thinking about twizzles, I was just doing them. Perhaps it was the end of the season and I could afford to think how to `improve' some steps and transitions. Once I start thinking of an element things start falling apart. When I `turn off' my head and let my body do the elements on the `autopilot' it works much better.

EV: What did you think about your team gold medal in Sochi Olympics? How did it feel?
DS: I didn't feel any inner happiness about that competition. Yeah, we got the medals, it was great and nice, but deep in mind I kept thinking the main competition is yet to come in one week time. That it's where we should skate our best.

EV: You and Katia became 5th, even though you could had been 3rd in the ice dance.
DS: I don't think we could. It was painful to realize, especially as through the season we were beating Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov. But after becoming 5th in the SD in Sochi it was obvious we can't do a thing. That it was decided up there. Hence going to the FD we were telling ourselves we should skate to our own enjoyment. But after all it's the Olympics, hence everything was much harder to digest. Before the skate I saw Katia's nerves were on the edge, that she is close to tears, saw the desperate eyes of Sasha Zhulin. When we hit the starting pose I felt Katia was shaking. It would probably be mentally easier if we were in top 3 after the SD, or at least the margin was not that big. It was all too obvious.

EV: Do you disagree with your Olympic result?
DS: I fail to judge my own skating. When I see the other teams it's easier to see who is better and who is worse, whose dance is more interesting. Looking at myself - I don't understand it.

EV: Who in your point of view was better last season - the Olympic champion Virtue/Moir or the two times World champions Papadakis/Cizeron?
DS: I think right now the French are stronger than the Canadians.

EV: Yet the Canadians were winning the whole season. Do you have an explanation?
DS: It's hard for me to answer such questions.

EV: Do you think it's wrong?
DS: In a way, yes.

EV: I.e. you can't deny every medal in the ice dance has an inner reason. I might be wrong, but it could had been a gratitude to Virtue/Moir from the ISU for coming back to the competitions?
DS: You might be right. But I would rather have the objective sport.

EV: Speaking of which, do you agree with the Sochi Olympic result and the victory of Davis/White over Virtue/Moir?
FD: I think Charlie was, don't know, more fresh? Meryl and him looked more confident, it added some energy, their skating was more interesting to watch, they were attracting. Now after several years looking at the technique you start thinking: why were their levels so high? Why the Canadian and the American skaters are not judged as strictly as the European skaters? Though there was so much to admire in both teams.

EV: For example?
DS: For example how close together they were skating through the years. It's beautiful when the pair glides a mm one from another. Everyone is working on that, everyone is trying to do the twizzles as close as possible, but not all can do it: you keep thinking you might bump into each other. Probably you have to a couple of times in the practices so you feel the distance. And then make it almost automatic. But it's the masterpiece when two people not holding hands, but nearly touching do the step sequence in sync. It's breathtaking!

EV: Were there any discomfort after Sinitsina/Katsalapov joined your team?
DS: I haven't felt any difference. When Katia and I are on the ice we work according to our plan.

EV: Do all Zhulin's team train on the same ice?
DS: Yes.

EV: What if your coach could work with you separately?
DS: I wouldn't want that. I am motivated by a good competition - I jump out of my ski. If it will be going on during the whole season I will improve a lot.

EV: Yet you can't dismiss the fact working with Sinitsina/Katsalapov is a huge challenge for Zhulin. And he, like any other coach, having two good teams shouldn't mind which one will become the first. And it's not a fact that first would be you and Katia.
DS: That's fine. I know Sasha quite well and the way he works. He will never play dirty games behind his skaters back's. As for his time distribution - I don't think any of us feels deprived. And he didn't need to push us - we can push ourselves if needed. It's not the rivals, but how much you are willing to progress and develop. When Katia and I came to Zhulin we started developing some new abilities, some new depths we are still getting out. And I understand there is no end to that process.

EV: Is it possible to be friends when you skate in the same group and aim for the same medal?
DS: I have a lot of friends who have nothing to do with figure skating. Or Sergey Voronov, who is not a rival.

EV: It's not what I meant. At the time, for example, everyone thought Zueva's group where Virtue/Moir and Davis/White were training was in harmony. After the Sochi Olympics it turned out it was not quite so. That it went as far as the skaters taking different flights to the same competitions, choosing opposite corners in the dressing rooms and they were not even nearly friendly. Can the rivalry ruin the relationship?
DS: We haven't been training side by side with Viktoria and Nikita enough to judge, but we are quite comfortable both on the ice and in the dressing room. I generally like communicating with other people. As does Katia.

EV: Do you ever get tired of Katia? You spend a hell of a lot of time together.
DS: We feel each other really well. We don't tire and don't annoy each other. Sometimes we can talk the whole practice long, discuss the elements, some other training things. Sometimes we work quietly without saying a single word.

EV: So you are really not fond of the idea of skating in a show?
DS: Show is a completely different work. It might be very different, but I wouldn't compare any show to a competition. The adrenaline, the tiredness. Even now I sit here and think the season is about to begin an I want to show the programmes so badly, see the judges marks. This is the atmosphere I miss so much during the off season.

EV: Are you satisfied with your GP events?
DS: Yes, we got exactly what we wanted: first the CoR in Moscow, then a week to work and a competition in China. Then, if things will work for us, we'll prepare for the GPF.
 

TAHbKA

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Ok, I can't contain myself from:
1. the talks about Ilinykh/Soloviev after the Olympics will start in 3...2....1...!
2. the programme is about Katia seducing Dima, Dima being strong and not giving in, but in the end Katia wins and seduces Dima. I bet it sums up their new programme. Or any of their programmes.
 
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caseyedwards

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Such a great question! The question about why expect any success if you aren't doing what the world medalists are doing? It doesn't make any sense! B/s were 8th in the short dance. A huge massive stunning failure and disaster and their response "no changes on anything in training in any way" hopeless mess!
 

chapis

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Ok, I can't contain myself from:
1. the talks about Ilinykh/Soloviev after the Olympics will start in 3...2....1...!
2. the programme is about Katia seducing Dima, Dima being strong and not giving in, but in the end Katia wins and seduces Dima. I bet it sums up their new programme. Or any of their programmes.

Probably he does not want to skate with her, knowing that she is available, he would have asked her to wait.
 

MAXSwagg

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Gotta say yes to Ilinykh/Soloviev.

Yes, please. Russian Fed took a chance on allowing and supporting Elena and Nikita to split up so why not support this. Plus, he is a much better skater than Bobrova...
 

clairecloutier

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I do find it interesting that Soloviev is forthright in saying he preferred Papadakis/Cizeron to Virtue/Moir last season.

I would be extremely curious about a potential Ilynikh/Soloviev pairing .... they are both talented. However ... I don't know if temperamentally they would match.
What if we had, instead, Davankova/Soloviev?? :confused::watch:
 

chapis

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I do find it :rolleyes: that Vaytsekhovskaya thinks V&M won everything because the ISU is grateful they came back! And that Soloviev agreed it might be the case. Seriously? :rolleyes:

I know. And this comment : Why the Canadian and the American skaters are not judged as strictly as the European skaters? :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

this interview happened after Worlds, he must be kidding.
 
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sap5

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I do find it :rolleyes: that Vaytsekhovskaya thinks V&M won everything because the ISU is grateful they came back! And that Soloviev agreed it might be the case. Seriously? :rolleyes:

Does she really think that, or did she say it just to get him to say something?
 

kwanfan1818

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Sometimes it's easier to get someone to disagree than it is to get them to articulate their own thoughts, so you may be right on the mark, @sap5.
 

MAXSwagg

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It's not out of the realm to think that the majority of panels give V/M more leeway. Their wins are not a surprise. That's why I find it very funny how people praise them for their comeback. One, it's dance. Not hard to "come back" in. Two, after they won their first competition of the season, everyone should've known that they were going to win everything and even that point, were likely going to win worlds. And they did.
 

sap5

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It's not out of the realm to think that the majority of panels give V/M more leeway. Their wins are not a surprise. That's why I find it very funny how people praise them for their comeback. One, it's dance. Not hard to "come back" in. Two, after they won their first competition of the season, everyone should've known that they were going to win everything and even that point, were likely going to win worlds. And they did.

If it's "dance", then it's just as easy for anyone to lose any single competition as it is to win. All that matters is which way the wind is blowing.
 

parapluies

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Interesting, I remember pre-Sotchi how respectful he was towards V/M... Something does not add u- oh wait my bad its just politicks...
I know American politics is very controversial topic lately and please forgive me for alluding it in this thread but given the political drivel I just read with my own two eyes, I truly cannot help myself. Diddier needs to learn that like the 2016 presidential election, nothing good can come from colluding with Russia. :scream: Does Didier REALLY want to do more damage to P/C's legacy and reputation because it looks like it, especially with what he has been saying.

That being said, people need to learn the difference between wining gold because of one's reputation and past wins and winning because you are more mature, experienced, and refined than the rest of your competitors. An athlete for instance, is more likely to preform better at their 8th GPF than one at their first or second. For some like V/M age can be an advantage. Just because you are younger does not automatically make you better, or a innovative, refreshing kind of team, especially if you more or less skate the same FDs every year and don't branch out. It is sad to see so many young athletes who had potetial burn out.

Lastly, I recall the 2013 GPF, where D/W won despite being outskated technically and artistically overall by V/M. People said V/M lost because they weren't as consistent in the past as D/W were. Despite coming back and improving so much and skating more consistently, I find it interesting that V/M still cannot "afford" this "luxury" given they still lost the FD at worlds because despite the little stumble they still were solid. Any other young team would let something like that get to their heads and have it ruin their whole skate. I wonder why....:confused::confused:
 

VGThuy

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That last post made me realize V/M are one of the lucky few who got to win it all by being new, young, energetic, and refreshing and now they get to win because they're older, better as they aged, experienced, more mature, and refined than the rest of their competitors. ;)
 

parapluies

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That last post made me realize V/M are one of the lucky few who got to win it all by being new, young, energetic, and refreshing and now they get to win because they're older, better as they aged, experienced, more mature, and refined than the rest of their competitors. ;)
Naturally ;) Not everyone can come back after a 2 season hiatus and completely re-invent themselves.
 

PurpleRain

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Pretty thick of Soloviev to undermine the success of V/M. They proved all doubters wrong and they earned their undefeated season... And he also talked about Sochi... Well, there's no denying that I/K showed up and were 100% better than B/S. Discrepancies in American and European judging? REALLY? After the great political campaign for them at Worlds? I guess some people are just in distraught that arguably the most legendary ice dance team are back better than ever.
 
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MAXSwagg

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Pretty thick of Soloviev to undermine the success of V/M. They proved all doubters wrong and they earned their undefeated season... And he also talked about Sochi... Well, there's no denying that I/K showed up and were 100% better than B/S. Discrepancies in American and European judging? REALLY? After the great political campaign for them at Worlds? I guess some people are just in distraught that arguably the most legendary ice dance team are back better than ever.

Um...there were not many doubting they would come back and win everything. And those who did doubt it were completely deluded...
 

angi

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Was there any other team that had a fall overlooked? Any other team would be without a medal, but some teams can afford to do anything on the ice.

Well it wasn't a fall since his body weight did not shift for starters and they were penalized for it (lost 2 points in GEO on the step sequence and around a point in PCS) by around 3 points. But when your starting point is so strong you can afford not to be perfect on the day. V/M lost almost 3 points in the free, other teams made mistakes over the season and were barely penalized, so let's not talk about what other teams would have gotten - they probably wouldn't even lose the 3 points V/M lost.
 

hanca

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Well it wasn't a fall since his body weight did not shift for starters and they were penalized for it (lost 2 points in GEO on the step sequence and around a point in PCS) by around 3 points. But when your starting point is so strong you can afford not to be perfect on the day. V/M lost almost 3 points in the free, other teams made mistakes over the season and were barely penalized, so let's not talk about what other teams would have gotten - they probably wouldn't even lose the 3 points V/M lost.
It was fall. There was a reason why he had to put his hands on the ice, and the reason definitely wasn't that he wanted to check whether it is cold! In ice dance there is double standard - if someone not as accomplished have done exactly the same, it would be judged differently.
 

angi

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It was fall. There was a reason why he had to put his hands on the ice, and the reason definitely wasn't that he wanted to check whether it is cold! In ice dance there is double standard - if someone not as accomplished have done exactly the same, it would be judged differently.

Well since all judges and all commentators agreed that it wasn't a fall and the RULES say it wasn't a fall than you can write that it was a fall about a 100 more times and it still wouldn't change the reality in which it wasn't a fall.
Oh and by the way - even it it was a fall (and it's not) and they would have gotten the one point deduction they still would have won. But I just love your logic in which if you write something enough times it will somehow become a reality.
 

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