Kostomarov interview (translated)
ROMANce on ice
Roman Kostomarov has an awful reputation. He’s called a drunkard, a debaucher, and a womanizer. On the eve of his 30th birthday (February 8th), the Olympic champion confessed his youthful sins. That took place in a bar, with a cigarette in hand…
‘When you skated with Ekaterina Davydova, you were disqualified for a year for wild partying. I don’t understand how the highest achievements in elite sport can coexist with drinking and smoking? ’
‘I smoke now, but in the Olympic season I’d indulge myself in one cigarette a month. As for the disqualification, that was a long time ago, I was just 19 then. The guys and I partied some, and broke something in the hotel room. The complaints went all the way to the skating federation president. You’d think athletes weren’t human! We were young, hot-headed, after competition we could get drunk and then go out and get into a fight. Many skaters went through that. I know that both Vladimir Kovalev and Gennady Karponosov were punished for drinking. What’s important is that they didn’t break. When I was disqualified for a year, I kept on training, and what’s more – I learned a lesson!’
’That’s not what your next partner Anna Semenovich recalls. She says, “At the Saint Petersburg Grand Prix, Roma took the ice drunk, fell down, and had to crawl. That shame was broadcasted live…” ’
‘Of course, Anya exaggerated my “heroics”. I never crawled from the rink, and never said, “I don’t care about figure skating, I’d rather go to the hotel and drink.” Yes, I got into trouble, yes, I drank. All kind of stuff would happen then. What happened with Semenovich? I had a few drinks after competition, but I overestimated my strength. I was young, I didn’t know much about hangovers. So I stumbled at exhibitions, and couldn’t skate the program… But that never happened again. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be an Olympic champion.
You know, if I were as bad as Semenovich claims, I’d long be sitting in the subway, drinking vodka and chasing it with bear. I think Anya is just mad at me for leaving her to skate with Tatiana Navka.‘
”Chinese are the pair skating leaders”
’Semenovich has announced that she’s leaving the “Brilliant” to come back to figure skating and take part in the Vancouver Olympics.’
‘Ridiculous! To do that, she’d first need to reduce her… chest. She’ll have trouble skating with the one she had today.’
’How did she skate before? Semenovich claims she doesn’t have an ounce of silicone in her!’
‘Anya and I skated together six years ago. Since then, some parts of her body have grown considerably. Just compare the pictures! But let’s not talk about that… Figure skating today is very different. While Semenovich can still beat anyone in terms of emotions, her technique is far behind.’
’Recent European championships in Warsaw have shown that Russia has lost its leading position in figure skating. Is it time to say good buy to our country’s superiority in this sport?’
‘It’s just Europeans. What will happen at worlds?! Chinese are now the leaders in pair skating. The only pair that could stand up to them is Maxim Marinin and Tatiana Totmianina. They have just wrapped up their eligible career, but may be they’ll still come back. I don’t see any other pairs. Just as I don’t see the single that could compete with the Chinese, Canadians, and Americans.’
’How did that happen?’
‘The last few years we lived off the old reserve, whatever was left of the Soviet school. Right now, many of our skaters that could be the leaders have run to other countries. All leading coaches (except for Elena Tchaikovskaya, who has never left Russia) are training abroad. That includes Oleg Vasiliev, Alexander Zhulin, Tatiana Tarasova, and Natalya Linichuk. Sad as it is, it’s all about who can pay. Russia still doesn’t have good conditions for training and for a decent life.’
”It would be foolish to come back and loose”
’On the show “Stars on Ice”, Tatiana Tarasova wasn’t too forgiving of your duo with Ekaterina Guseva. They say it’s because Tatiana Anatolievna found out of your affair with Oksana Domnina, and decided to teach you a lesson about being unfaithful. Is that so?’
‘What absurdity! In fact, Tarasova just didn’t like Katya Guseva. In one of the events, all jury members gave us 6 points, and all were saying in unison that we were the best, but Tarasova only gave us 5.5. That’s was biased.
As for “unfaithfulness”… Yes, I am not yet divorced, but Julia and I aren’t living together. She is now doing coaching in America. I don’t want to announce the personal life’s details to the whole country to say – look, that’s my girlfriend, her name is Oksana Domnina. Let’s better congratulate Oksana and her partner Maxim Shabalin for taking the European silver.’
’Following the end of his eligible career, Ilya Averbukh organized his ice show. Evgeny Plushenko started building hotels. What are you planning to do?’
‘Hard to say. I can’t afford to build hotels like Zhenya has – his financial possibilities are different. I think my future will be connected with figure skating. As of yet, Tanya and I haven’t fully decided to quit eligible career. We’re training, we’re staying in shape, and we’re taking part in Ilya Averbukh’s show. Therefore, it’s possible that we could come back in a year or two. But we would only come back as leaders. Following our Turin triumphal victory, it would be silly to come back to lose.’
All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!!
Gotta love these Russian Skaters, they don't hold anything back
I am actually suprised that Navka and Kostomarov are still eligible. I thought after the 2006 Olympics that they have retired. If they come back, it's going to change the sport of ice dancing. I wonder what Domnina and Shabalin would think of that.
Prior to the beginning of this season, there were very persistent rumors that Roman was going to skate with Oksana Domnina, and that Piseev was insisting on this pairing. Never did happen, though.
Originally Posted by SailorGalaxia518
Thanks for the translation, Ptichka. The interview sounds a little tabloid-like. He comes off like a jerk.
A very talented skater but could and should have been better if the focus was on skating and not partying. Lucky, he had Tatiana.
My sense is that Roman grew up as a bit of a hoodlum. Much of his behavior is what we come to expect from athletes in a traditionally "underpriviledged kids" sports, but not from skaters. Luckily for him, he ended up in a sport that he was great at.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
He certainly is dating his way through the ranks of Russian female skaters. Wasn't he also involved with Elena Sokolova a few years ago?
Huh, Evgeny builds hotels? I must have missed something.
That's a very interesting view. In the U.S. we tend to think of figure skating as a "genteel" sport. Probably because it is so expensive (although there have been many great champions of modest means whose parents supported their ambitions with huge financial sacrifice).
Originally Posted by Ptichka
In contrast, there is a basketball hoop tacked up to every telephone pole in the city (or in the case of Larry Bird, on the side of his barn), where kids can play all day long for free.
I guess in the old Soviet Union the state bore the expenses of training the most talented athletes in skating as in other sports. I wonder what kind of changes we might see in the future.
All the hotties (and I'm talkin' about Roman here...not Cupcake) get around the ranks, lol. It's like musical chairs...but on an international scale.
Originally Posted by eyria
You could say the same thing about Abt- only he wasn't fortunate enough to be able to hook up with someone to win an OGM.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Kids' skating training was really simple and inexpensive. When I took figure skating classes, we had an outdoor rink (no ice maker, zamboni, or anything like that), and did indoor conditioning during fall and spring. This way, the kids that get to the more expensive training were the kids with some real talent and drive (personally, I had some of the former, but completely lacked the latter).
Originally Posted by Mathman
Abt mentioned to me that he had the opportunity to go with Tarasova at some point, but turned it down saying it would have probably destroyed his personal life because of the 150% committment she demands - something like that.
Originally Posted by soogar