http://ptichkafs.livejournal.com/36383.html - include pics
Hi everyone! During the week we didn’t write in the blog, much interesting has accumulated – test skates, watching football, and Knowledge Day, which we all have to combine with our practices. And, of course, the long promised pictures from Chicago…
Maria Mukhortova: We recently showed our programs to the Russian Figure Skating federation leadership, and want to share how such events usually happen.
They are traditionally held in Novogorsk near Moscow, at a closed athletic center. There is almost nothing around there but the woods. One building houses the rink, the hotel, and the cafeteria; there is also a sauna and a medical center.
When I spend a week at Novogorsk, I feel great. You don’t need to spend time on the commute, so there’s more sleep. You get up, have breakfast, and go practice. Those are great athletic conditions. However, spending more than seven days there is tough. You can’t go out, there are no friends, the enclosed space gets oppressing, and it just gets overall dreary.
Maxim Trankov: The toughest part is to be in the same space practically all the time. At times, you have to literally force yourself to go out for a walk. At night, we’d try to get to Moscow or at least to take a walk among the spruce trees. This year Novogorsk finally got the internet, but it only works until 11 at night, as everything here is subjugated to the athletic schedule.
Maria: We trained for the first three days, and then demonstrated our programs on Thursday and Friday.
We had a rather tight skate for the short, and it didn’t really shine. This, of course, is just the start of the season, and it will naturally improve with time. We showed the program without the throw and the jump (we showed those elements separately later) as I had a minor leg injury. It wasn’t a big deal, but we chose not to risk it. Tatiana Anatolievna Tarasova noted that we were only using one side of the rink; practically all the elements were performed on the right half. Getting back on Petersburg, we corrected this. The short now looks better, and we are more comfortable with skating it.
The free program appeals to my personality more so than the short. It’s fun and entertaining. Tatiana Anatolievna said it was an awesome one. She especially noted our unusual footwork; according to her, the specialists haven’t seen such an interesting execution of it in a while. In other respects she liked it too, and we got to show everything we’ve accomplished over the summer. This hasn’t happened with the short yet. There, it’s more difficult to convey the artistry, choreography, and our image to the audience and the judges.
Maxim: In the free, we don’t really have to act, as we’re portraying ourselves. We didn’t even have some special choreography, it just kind of happened. Some moves Masha came up with, others would come to me… The choreographer would later just sharpen the intricacies of the gestures, and advise us as what’s better to leave out.
The camp was over on Friday. Coach Oleg Vasiliev and I drove Masha to the airport. She flew to Saint Petersburg, while I remained for another day to visit with my brother.
I got back to the base just in time to see the start of the Zenith vs. Manchester United at the UEFA Cup. Here, Maxim goes through what he thinks of the two teams. I’m skipping those two paragraphs. The following day, I met up with my brother and then got back to Petersburg.
Maria: September 1st, Maxim and I, like good students, visited our respective schools to meet the teachers.
Maxim: I won’t lie. We can’t boast a perfect attendance, as it’s no secret that it’s difficult to combine getting an education with professional sport.
Maria: As to the sport, in early September we took a break from the main work, but were still on the ice, mainly to work on the exhibition piece. Though this improvised “vacation” is now behind us, and we’re now back to work full swing on our competitive programs.