But they say, Russia is just as rich in talented kids as America. The recent National Championships only prove that. Where do all these talents disappear?
Do you know, what is the difference between the American kids and our kids? Our coaches try to put so many triple jumps into a program that a kid starts to miss even those things that he/she did perfectly before the competition. At that level, the Americans put into programs only those elements that are stable. That's why they skate with pleasure. They smile, skate to the music... With my school, I've decided to go that way. First of all, we demand the precision of the moves from our kids. It's okay if a skater doesn't do a triple, but he/she must do a double perfectly. From the very beginning a skater should learn how to skate clean. Not to push it too much. The difficulty will come.
IDEAL AND REALITY
Speaking abour difficulty. Do you think there is a possibility that somebody from the present generation skaters will manage to do all the quadruple jumps?
A skater like Plushenko potentially can do it. But, to do all the jumps separately is one thing, and to land them all in one program is a whole different story.
If you had to create a perfect skater, whom of the present generation skaters you would took as a model?
Interesting question. I think, I would take Yagudin's jumps. Plushenko is also a great jumper, but he doesn't have the same sudden explosive reaction as Alexei. The spins I would take from the Canadian skater Sandhu. He has good positions and variety, his spins are very fast. As for steps and in-betweens, I like Kulik's style. Ilia was always trying to create his own manner of skating. His skating is never trivial. I saw one of his performances lately and, as a coach, I was greatly impressed. But if to take the whole performance of the program, I prefer Yagudin's style. Highly expressive - and very manly at the same time.
I understand that it's not very tactful of me to ask the coach of the World silver medalist this question, but if we assume that an American lady will win the Olympics in Torino, whom would you name?
You think she will be given the Gold for her longevity?
Why? She's skating very well. She's a phenomenal skater.
What's the reason?
First of all, as I've mentioned earlier, it's the promotion. Kwan entered the world's elite when she already was a star. If we take a closer look at her skating - there is nothing special in it. Even the spins that seem to be more of a ladies element Plushenko can do better.
Michelle strengths are different. It's the accuracy, the purity of all the elements, the precision of musical phrases. Besides, she's now working with Rafik Arutyunian, and Russian coaches work better than American ones.
I've already heard that from Tarasova.
It is really so. By the way, after Tarasova had to split with Sasha Cohen, I've heard from a very reliable sourse that this action was carefully planned. It's not about Cohen's mother, and not about Sasha's character. Just that the US Federation was not happy about their elite skater training under the Russian coach.
But what if Sasha Cohen didn't leave Tarasova?
Then I would put my money on her in Torino.