Nothing new really, just a nice little interview.
Evgeni PLUSHENKO: "I won't even touch alcohol until Olympics"
St. Petersburg Grand Prix event was Evgeni Plushenko's season debut. Ever since an injury forced him to withraw from the World Championships in Moscow, and then have to surgeries, his Olympic prospects have been under question. In his native city, Plushenko skater both his programs brilliantly; in the short, he even set the world record in the new system. Following his triumph, the skater answered questions from the "Izvestija" correspondent Vladimir Rausch.
Most skaters state that nothing matter except for the Olympics. How important was it for you to win in Peter?
Very much so. This is my home. Besides, I just can't loose. I was always taught to be first. Why should I give up my leader amibitions? Every championship is like Worlds to me.
Was it also important to beat Staphane Lambiel?
For some reason, many believe that I withdrew from the March championship because I lost to Lambiel in the short. That's what my enemies say. I withdrew because I could hardly walk then. Lambiel showed his level in the free. Having three or four major mistakes is not a champion's skating. All right, so he was lucky then. But now I am healthy, and I will fight. Not with them, but with myself. If I do everything right in Turin, even with tiny mistakes, I will certainly win.
Have you settled on Puccini's "Tosca" for the short?
Yes. This year I've gone through four short programs, but we finally got it. Until then, I just felt it was wrong. Then at the Russian Cup in Moscow I saw some kid skate to this music, just in a different version. I heard it, and I knew it was right. I got back to Peteresburg with my coach Alexei Mishin, and immediately started skating to it.
Going from one program to the other reflects your apprehension about the Olympics...
Not at all. Just that if you're the leader, you have to find what's best. When the music comes on, you should get goosebumps. If you don't - then it's not your music.
Do you feel Turin approaching?
I try not to think about it. After all, there is life after Olympics. If it's God's will, I'll win. Certainly, I'll do everything for it.
Lately, you've gone through chronic injuries. How's your health now?
You know, it's a great feeling - to wake up without pain. It's awesome! I've head injuries since I was 13 - back, achilles, knee. All of the training and competitions are through the pain.
Yet you only agreed to a surgery for the first time...
My friend Sasha Kerzhakov helped. He introduced me to the "Zenith" doctor, he looked me over, and said I had to go to Munich where all of our soccer players get surgeries.
I know that you swore not to touch alcohol until the Olympics. Is that the only sacrifice?
There are also food restrictions. Like a diet, though not a strict one. But I don't restrict my entertainment. If my wife and I want to go to the movies or to a club - no problem. Though we haven't been to clubs in a while now. It's just nice to be comfy at home.
How did marriage change you?
I've become much more stable. There are now people I must protect. Not just my wife, but her parents as well. By the way, I quickly felt at home with them. I call my mother-in-law "mom".
Is it true that your spouse is also being your manager?
No, she goes to the university, where she majors in sociology. She has nothing to do with skating - at best she goes to my practices. I don't let her come to competitions, she watches those on TV. Exhibitions are a different matter, she is welcome to see those.