Piseev publicly rebukes Sokolova and threatens to leave her off Russia's worlds team.
Translation of article from http://www.gudok.ru/index.php/44607
After the return of the figure skaters from Warsaw, Valentin Nikolaevich Piseev let them have it. His criticism fell the heaviest on Elena Sokolova. "The young woman had occasionally been able to win European and World Medals. This time she ended up in 7th place.""
"After Slutskaya's departure, Lena was supposed to become the leader of figure skating in Europe. But that didn't take place," said Piessev in a harsh and grating voice during his press conference with Russia's RIA News Agency. "Her coach Viktor Kudryavtsev has told me that the athlete regularly skipped training sessions under the pretext of injuries and pains. She has gained weight. Once I noticed that she was sipping a glass of wine and smoking a cigarette. All things considered, Lena seems to think of her figure skating as a trifle diversion. The consequences of this attitude are alreadly clear. If she does not change her approach to training, she will not go to the World Champions in Japan."
Btw, the article contains other comments by Piseev, but this was the juiciest. He also complains about Obertas and Slavnov for being overly self-confident and therefore neglecting to follow the instructions of their coach. This is the paragraph of the article that I didn't translate but I think the brief summary above does justice to it.
Last edited by krenseby; 02-06-2007 at 10:26 PM.
Thanks for the article!! I noticed that Elena has gained weight. Valentina Marchei also told the italian commentators that this summer when she was doing a stage in Russia, Elena Sokolova didn't go to the training, even if she was supposed to go. Kudriatsev (sp?) was very upset with this.
I don't blame her. I understand that she wants a rest, after an intensive olympic season. The best thing will be if she doesn't compete for a year.
As for the smoking part. My sport teacher told me once that true athlets don't smoke!
I think that skaters smoke, first because they are way too stressed. Second because this prevents them from gaining weight, killing hunger. So this isn't just a problem of Sokolova, but of more skaters. Some made it public, some hide.
But if Elena gained weight there is a probability that she quit smoking. Better being healthy with some pounds more than skinny and smoking.
This attitude from the had of the federation drives me crazy. I understand having a private tough talk with a skater and their coach, but making a public statement like that seems overly embarassing, not to mention drives off potential sponsors.
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
But isn't it a typically Eastern European thing, part of this part of the world's glorious heritage of always looking on the worst possible side of life?
Originally Posted by Ptichka
It seems rough to Americans (and probably eastern europeans who've acclimated to NAmerican standards) but public criticism is nothing new in Russia (at least I thought, maybe I'm wrong). I would assume Sokolova and O/S have heard worse and are used to this kind of rhetoric or they wouldn't have gotten as far as they have.
And .... Sokolova has looked out of shape and O/S obviously have some problems. I wonder if she'll try to stick it out or dump him for someone else (doesn't she have a history of bolting when the going gets tough?)
Is there any information that Elena gives for all of this? I think she deserves to be heard. She could have personal problems that have bugged her. Not unlike Johnny and Stephane. Skaters are human.
Thanks for the translation. I am surprised about Elena smoking. It is hard to believe that any athlete let alone skaters smoke cigarettes. I was looking forward to seeing her at Worlds. I hope everything works out for her.
Tonya Harding, Nicole Bobek, Oksana Baiul (quit, it seems), Alexei Urmanov, Aleksander Zhulin, Shae Lynn Bourne. I think also Alexei Yagudin used to smoke, but I'm not sure.
Originally Posted by demarinis5
Last edited by gio; 02-05-2007 at 10:13 AM.
They did a fluff piece on Artur Dimitriev for one of the Olympics - I can't remember which one; and he was sitting in his apartment smoking away....I remember thinking some people really get to enjoy sooooo much of life!!!!
She has asthma!
Originally Posted by gio
It is a well known fact that Elena is a bit of a party girl. In fact, that's why Mishin kicked her out of his group (though she did speak out then - said she was just lonely in Saint Petersburg). She is a fun girl, somewhat undisciplined, and the tedium of regular practices year and year does get to her.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Doesn't make it any more right, though. And Obertas is nothing is not thin-skinned.
Originally Posted by Mafke
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I alwasy knew tha Elena was un concerned with her skating. She never seemed to try hard, didn't care a penny for artistry and always seemed a little rebilous to me. I guess she grew up in the soviet system and was pretty much forced to skate by her parents coaches goverment etc... why dosen't she just retire. she i obviosly is not gonna make it now.
Interesting comments. Some of it may be justified, however, I think they need to look a bit more to their federation as a whole for some of the reasons the Russians are weak in a number of disciplines right now. For them to expect Sokolova to step right up into Slutskaya's shoes this season was totally unrealistic given her performances in recent years. That said, I don't really have that much sympathy for athletes who choose to skip training and the smoking is unbelievable, if true. I couldn't care less if she has a few glasses of wine. She's hardly a little kid.
As for Obertas and Slavnov, again, lack of results can't come as that much of a shock.
I think Sokolova should just give it up, but who knows if she has no other option but to "continue"? She'll probably get clobbered at worlds anyway (if what's said in this article is true, and going by what happened at Russian Nats/Euros).
As for smoking wouldn't that affect stamina? That's really surprising to me if she does indeed smoke (and other skaters and athletes for that matter).
But then again, she's still the best skater in Russia, so what are you going to do?
I don't think Elena is a smoker per se; my guess is that she just has a cigarette with a glass of wine every now and then.
Originally Posted by Red Dog
Personally, I have sympathy for someone being subjected to such comments from the head of the federation. Can you imagine USFSA slamming its skaters publically like that?
Originally Posted by rain