Volosozhar's interview with Klimov

TAHbKA

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Volosozhar's interview with Klimov:
His Russian is seriously good. Aka good vocabulary and nice voice.
  • He was lazy for 2 weeks during the quarantine and then got back to shape
  • Becoming a skater - his mom is a coach and at the age of 3 he was taken to the ice rink just so his mom could watch him so since the age of 3 he was on the open ice rink walking on his skates. At the age of 4 he started practicing. His mom never coached him personally - there were several coaches on the ice and he was in Serebriakova's group. His mom is still working on that rink in Kolpino.
  • Parents should be just parents, not co-coaches.
  • He had a moment when he wanted to retire and give up: he learned the double jumps quite fast, that was around the age of 8 or so, but it took him 2-3 years to learn the 2A. It was a torture. Perhaps it's because he started growing up and the coordination was all over the place - after every weekend he had to relearn how to skate. The other kids would land all the jumps, he would lose the competitions, the pressure from the coaches, mom etc was too much and he just wanted to be a normal kid. He kept skating and at the age of 11 he landed a 2A and in a couple of years he learned all the triples quite fast. It was probably the height - his knees hurt and the coordination was all wrong. (Volosozhar landed her 2A only at the age of 15).
  • Switching to pairs despite jumping quite well at the age of 16 - the jumps were ok, but it was not enough to win anything. The last year he was landing all the triples and 3/3, but was not able to show it in the competitions (yet they were the first to land 3/3/2). In singles he had to land 8 jumps and he was worrying too much before the SP, he would always make a mistake and place too far. His skating was not standing out, there was nothing special about him and there were a lot of guys who were much better. A lot of guys decided to give up then. For a while he was approached by the pair coaches in St. Petersburg, but he didn't really want to. At some point his coach advised him to switch to pairs. He was not fond of the idea, but then gathered the courage and off he went.
  • Moving to pairs took him a couple of months- half a year. He joined at the end of the season and in September they were competing. All happened quite fast.
  • Is it easier to take 2 single skaters or one experienced? Klimov thinks it's easier when one of the partners has some experience in pairs - it takes less time and effort. Though it's possible to teach two singles.
  • Ksenia is his third partner. On the way from the juniors competition Velikova told him that his pair was not really good and said he should pair up with Ksenia, that it would be a good pairing up. They began skating in January and in February they went to the Russian cup and became 3rd. He can't imagine how to get two partners into a pair and get them to compete in a month. It was the coach's decision to pair them up. That's the way things were done in St. Petersburg back then, but then Klimov was not against.
  • His favourite programmes - he loved the junior programme La Strada. The Adams family. Though they had very characteristic programmes, their choreographer who teaches acting as well worked a lot with them and it was very interesting.
  • The 15-16 season both programmes are Klimov's favourite programmes - the blues `I put a spell on you' and in the grey costumes about the shadow. It was the best season. Though he liked most of the programmes they skated.
  • The move to Moscow: it was in a making, Ksenia approached and they spoke about it about a year before. Ksenia wanted to make changes, they needed to change in order to progress. Klimov was not ready. A year later he came to an understanding they should change. They really wanted to make it to the Olympics and knew their odds would be higher if they changed things.
  • The team had 2 new teams at once - Bazarova/Larionov and Stolbova/Klimov. While the relationship within the team was good, the move to Moscow was hard for Klimov. Things were different for Klimov in Moscow, at first he did not understand what to do. Kapranova helped them a lot at the beginning - they didn't have to think, she would shout and push them. Previously they were just skating whatever, but then there was something to do from Kapranova. Zhovnirskii worked with them as well. Though when they first moved no one told them a thing and they were just skating around not understanding what is going on till Kapranova helped. Morozov and getting used to working with him took time - Klimov never done such things before and he needed time to figure things out.
  • The Olympics - Klimov first did not believe it till he was in the Olympic park. They were in Krasnodar which is near, things were on, but Klimov was still not aware of what was going on. Klimov could not believe till he was physically in the Olympic park. The opening ceremony was a couple of days before the competitions and then it sank - he is at the Olympics. The competitions themselves - unforgettable team event.The team event really helped them - they were told to go out there when Julia was skating and not watch how she skates but how she is received by the crowd. When the walls began to shake when people were calling for Julia Klimov began shaking. When they were taking the ice at least they were ready and knew what to expect. The team event was full of nerves. Probably the worst one -there were moments when Klimov was nervous but that one was the most memorable. In the pairs event when they were going out on the ice Klimov was having a great time with the crowd's support. Before the LP he did have a chance to rest and sleep, by then he calmed down a bit (Volosozhar was nervous), because they were not expected to skate so well at the team event and pretty much done their job and could just enjoy. They came on the ice for the pairs even being the Olympic champions. The SP was easy and fun. They were skating the SP and the LP first after the warm up, which was good - they didn't have time to worry and panic. After the SP they had a dinner with Volosozhar/Trankov and they were going back and said `it was just one more day and that was it'. Trankov said `you still have to beat.. you know who'. Klimov was joking it's just 4 points, no big deal. He was more worried about the gap between the practice and the competition - about 10 hours and that gap was hard - he didn't know what to do with himself, he just wanted to skate and be done. (For Volosozhar it was important not to skate the last in the warm up which happened the whole season. For some reason they skipped the draw and they were second! She was like `Who did it?!' Klimov said `me' and he was not sure whether it was a good or a bad thing. Klimov was worried because he was doing the draw for them and they were skating last and he was not sure what).
  • The most emotional moment except for the skates themselves for Klimov was the medals ceremony in the team event - the first time they went to that stage with a huge crowd in front of the fire. They all went out and people were shouting so loud. Klimov remembers going and just smiling for no reason - real childhood feeling. He was able to hold the tears but he was close to that. Even the pair event medals were not that emotional. The same for Volosozhar - the team event medals ceremony is more memorable than the personal.
  • Being a coach now: who with and where do you work? Coaching with Mozer in her team. He starts now a new pairs group in Sochi. He has some guys who he coaches who represent Sochi and they want to work with them - they want to start a pairs school in Sochi. There are a lot of ISU events, such as training camps, seminars during the year, which were cancelled now - many of them take place during the summer and spring. It's the work with the foreign pairs on the different level.
  • Starting this year - well, for a year now, Klimov is part of the ISU as an athletes representative. They were holding meetings every week online. They work on the rules changes. The technical committee works mainly with the judges, which Klimov did not do yet. In the fall he passed the technical specialist exams on the regional level.
  • Because of the 'rona and the competitions cancellation there will hardly be any changes in the rules, they would like to work more on the things and chance more things
  • The oldest age to switch to pairs - Klimov would not set borders, there are many examples - for example Marchei who switched quite late, yet she skated on a very high level, went to the Olympics, was quite close to medal at the Europeans. As for the guys - Klimov is not aware of the guys switching late, it differs. He started at the age 16, that's more or less the age when the guys are switching. Now it might be a bit later- 14, but then there are guys who switch at 18. The girls are younger - 11-12, but then there are those who switch later. The new for Russians category novice - there are competitions for them now, so because of that the age went down.
  • Do you visit your mom's work when in St. Petersburg? He is hardly ever in St. Petersburg, but he did come several times. His mom is now planning to attend the camp in Sochi and Klimov plans to come and help as much as he can.
  • Do you only work on the gliding or on the jumps as well in the camp? Klimov: everything. Jumps, gliding etc. Probably mainly gliding really, the gliding is important, but there is more work on the jumps.
  • Do you plan to attend the main competitions as a technical specialist? Klimov: In the team? It's a long journey, I would love to make it there. Right now he needs to gain the experience, for now he is a regional technical specialist, the next step is Russian competitions and then internationals. He would love to.
  • What helps you to make the right choice in a tough situation? Klimov: When you have a goal - say, going to the Olympics, and then there is a situation I ask myself what solution will help me to reach my goal? If it will - I will do this, if it will not help or even prevent - I will not.
  • Tarasova/Morozov or Boikova/Kozlovskii or someone else - who is the main victory contender and will they be able to compete with the Chinese? Klimov: They are all great athletes and he can't answer who will be the best. He is sure the Chinese will be given a fight, they are not unbeatable, they are not ideal. They have their disadvantages and when working hard it's possible to beat them.
  • Favouite pairs element - Ksenia did the throws really well and guess it was not very hard - Klimov was just trying not to bother her too much and they looked quite well, so it was probably the favourite element. It's not as if he got to rest much on that element, but it worked.
  • The quad throw jump - they really wanted to integrate a quad throw in their programme, it was the time of attempt to integrate - all were trying, they landed it in the practice and it seemed thye just had to polish it, but then the injuries began and they missed the momentum. It seemed like they were a small step away from integrating it into their programmes.
  • Is it worth adding the quads - should the pairs progress in that direction? Klimov is more for the clean ,beautiful, injures free skating, but then there should be some way to progress. The ISU is not speaking of it right now. But look at the singles skating -they all do quads, while in the pairs it looks like a stagnation. The lifts are really complicated ,everyone can do the split twist, the throws are good - everyone are doing good 3 throws. So pairs skating has to progress somewhere so sooner or later there will be a pair who will perform a consistent quad.
  • Changes in the SP - perhaps change the throw jumps or add a jumping combo. Klimov is very much for it and suggested it. Because the ISU congress was cancelled this year no changes can be done. Klimov wants changes so the programmes will differ. He is trying to promote his ideas - the LP should be free and there should not be a list of elements - everyone are doing the same things right now. As for the combo in the SP - he wouldn't integrate it because there are too many good single skaters who would just beat everyone with that combo, but the skating should be pairs. Volosozhar disagrees - there are death spirals, the split twists etc. Klimov: yet almost everyone can do the pairs elements on the 4th level and hte singles elements that the pair skaters struggle with - jumps, spins.
  • The best advice that he ever got? Klimov can't think of one, but instead a story from the Olympics: before the team event not everyone knew that they had the change: everyone knew that VoloTran would be doing the SP but not everyone knew who would be doing the LP. Stolbova/Klimov knew they were skating. They met a Lithuanian skater (Stagniunas) who speaks a bit of Russian. The Lithuanian skater asked who will be skating - they or Bazarova/Larionov. He told them `have fun'. Klimov's English was quite bad, he didn't understand that the meaning of `have fun' is `good luck' and not `have fun while skating'. And then he thought `actually why not? Why not have fun while skating?'. When he called mom before the skate she would tell him `try to enjoy the skate'. When you go on the ice with that feeling usually it creates the best possible skate.
 

skylark

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My favorite part:

have fun while skating'. And then he thought actually why not? Why not have fun while skating?'. When he called mom before the skate she would tell him `try to enjoy the skate'. When you go on the ice with that feeling usually it creates the best possible skate.

He's kind of all over the place with his thinking, he makes creative little leaps ... or maybe it's more that he's willing to "go" with his thoughts as they pop up, and verbalize them. It's fun to read.

I loved his example of Valentina Marchei as someone who did very well in pairs despite switching quite late (I think she was 28). Doing well at the Olympics and nearly medalling at Europeans. She and Ondrej Hotarek were so very well matched as a team; I thought he was better with Valentina than with Stefania Berton. JMO.

When is it too late for a man should switch to pairs? Klimov didn't know of any examples of men switching to pairs past the age of around 16. Is it hard to develop the muscles if you start later? Or is there something else in play? This reminds me that I read that Charlie White advised Daisuke Takahashi to eat more carbs, to develop muscle strength for lifts in the ice dancing discipline.
 

morqet

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I think Cipres was 19 or 20 when he first started skating with James. But it took a good year of training for them to be ready for competition.
 

hanca

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When is it too late for a man should switch to pairs? Klimov didn't know of any examples of men switching to pairs past the age of around 16. Is it hard to develop the muscles if you start later? Or is there something else in play? This reminds me that I read that Charlie White advised Daisuke Takahashi to eat more carbs, to develop muscle strength for lifts in the ice dancing discipline.
I don’t think there is too late, if one is physically fit to be able to lift the girl. Morgan Cipres was 19 when he switched.
ETA: ups, didn’t read the whole thread and didn’t notice Morget’s post.
 

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