Pre-Euros Media and introduction of skaters
3 Russian, 2 French, 2 Czech and 1 Spanish skater…they all have skills to win a medal here…but medals are 3 only…and they are 8…
European men look to loose a contact with Asian and Canadian skaters…There was one European skater at Grand Prix Final only. But I am sure they all want to prove that European men can still show great skating qualities and rival with the rest of the world.
Skater who loves to talk and people loves to talk about him. Big support from Tarasova caused that last year after Russian Nationals many Russian skaters made a protest agains Kovtun cheering for Menshov (who finished in front of Kovtun at Nationals) who should be send at Euros. Finally Tarasova and Federation send Kovtun everywhere and the result is the only one man allowed at the Olympics. This year Kovtun is doing everything to let people forget that not very fair-play story. He is the only one who has 5 quads planned… but he didn’t land all of them at one competition yet. After not confident showing at senior Grand Prix which still had a two silver colours for Maxim, he qualified for Final and finished fifth.
Interesting interview with Vaitsekhovskaya:
and English translation - http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...am-comp-in-Soc
…Kovtun looks to be hungry to show how good is he, also tells about being in Morozov group and being fired from the group…
After last year‘s superb results Javi showed much more nervosity than what would be expected from Euros Champion and World Bronze medalist. Obviously becoming European Champion brings much more responsibility than Javi could probably imagine, he needs to learn how to deal with it. With not good skating he finished fifth and third at Grand Prix and didn’t qualify for the Final. We all know that he can jump quads (and many people believe that he will), but he needs to know it and mainly believe in it as well.
After disasters at last European and World Championships with plenty of single jumps, he started this season without Grand Prix (thanks to his last year poor results), but he won B-competitions – Nepela Memorial and Cup of Nice. His last competition was Four Nationals where he won over Michal Brezina. What is alarming a little bit – he even didn’t attempt quad both in short and free skate there.
Another skater who is looking for good concentration. Whole season struggling and fighting with quad attempts (and good message, he already landed few beautiful quads). Fourth and fifth place at Grand Prix looks not that bad. Overall he will defend his last year bronze medal – a motivation which worth fighting for it even more.
He didn’t get a permission to compete at Grand Prix. At French Nationals he won a free skate but overall he lost to Amodio (who is struggling with jumps all season and didn’t land triple axel in free skate at Nationals).
…in interview Brian says that Morozov called him in December and offered a help, Brian accepted. Brian himself is confused about Morozov reasons for helping him (and probably he is not the only one). But the fact is that Joubert is big fighter who always skates on 150 percent and never gives up. Maybe we will be suprised with his skating.
After being fired from Morozov‘s group, he found himself besides Eteri Tutberidze (Lipnitskaya’s coach). This season he won Golden Spin and Ice Stars B-competitions, finished second at Finlandia Trophy. Grand Prix result was a disappointment (even with clean skate in short program), Voronov finished ninth. This season Sergei is more confident, his quads seems to be more solide and as a jumper he is one of the best.
Interview with Vaitsekhovskaya:
with translation - http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...-at-the-summer
…some interesting notes: “ I think that a sportsman who wants to reach a high goals must learn to listen to uncomfortable or annoying things. Yes, top level sport is heartless but without it (without critisism) you will never get a result.“
… whether is it harder to skate agains more and more young skaters: “What to complain to? It is life. If you decided to do this sport, you had to deal with the fact that every year there would be more skaters younger than you. You need to break yourself (deal with it) and adjust to it. And not to try to adjust the situation to your taste.“
His second travel at European Championships, he finished seventh in 2011. Konstantin finished eight at NHK, and fourth in Moscow Grand Prix (be could be third in my opinion, but Javi is European Champion, so judges didn’t allow such result). He is another great jumper…and another skater without confidence. And yes, Russian Federation doesn’t support him as well.
Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
I am looking forward to great battle with Savchenko & Szolkovy, I found both couple great but this season head to head I prefer the artistic style of Tatiana & Maxim more than athletic style of Alena & Robin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJmbtQJrUPM – interview with a journalist Guberniev, there are some shots from practise, working with Alla Kapranova – very well known choreographer in Russia…
Without Bobrova & Soloviev and Pechalat & Bourzat, the main contenders for Bronze in Sochi, dance competition starts to be less and less interesting before the Olympics.
…The Euro title is important and the European Championships have long tradition but this championships is not going to answer the question who is the biggest contender for the Olympic bronze. Of course European Champions will get a lot of points (over 100 in free dance at least), but there will be no straight comparison with other medal contenders.
…I expected that with Bobrova not allowed at Euros the advantage will be on the side of Pechalat and Cappellini (without any fight), but with Pechalat out, the advantage of winning European title before Olympics in no more that noticeable.
…Cappelini & Lanotte are expected to prove that they are better that Ilinykh & Katsalapov (like they did at Grand Prix) but in the same moment they can’t prove they are better than couples who finished ahead of them at GPF… and Ilinykh & Katsalapov should prove that they can finally skate clean programs and got high levels during one competition…
If Cappellini & Lanotte skate clean, they can be another European Champions from Italy after 2001 Champions Fusar-Poli & Margaglio. If they will make mistakes, they way is open to the Russians…
…Bronze medal fight looks to be open…it will be interesting who will take the chance…
Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov
After fourth and second place at Grand Prix, superb points at Grand Prix in Paris, standing ovations, many mistakes at Nationals (the couple got the fourth highest element mark in short dance, they were overscored in free dance)…Russian media looks to focus on the couple very much…
http://sportstories.rsport.ru/ss_vid...711968399.html Lena’s video
…Lena is skating alone at practise, no Nikita there…
…it is nice than Lena’s mom is allowed to be everywhere with her daughter and support her at every competition thanks to P&G (even her grandmother will be at the Olympics for all days)
http://itar-tass.com/opinions/interviews/1875 4 January 2014, Lena’s interview
…“Physically, we are ready for the Olympics.“
…relating to fall at Russian Nationals: “I don’t know why a fall happened….We need to concentrate every second, for the whole program.“
…how does she marks performances at Russian Nationals: “Very well, because the audience liked our programs very well. And after announcing the second place, people were trampling and whistling“. (they also did this after Dmitriev’s short program result)
…relating to psychologist: “I know that psychologists work with many sportsmen. I am against it. I have my own head on shoulders. I am able to deal with my emotions myself.“
http://sportstories.rsport.ru/ss_per...711825969.html 31 December
…Lena’s interview with Andrei Simonenko, well known journalist
…another pictures used in interview from practise and again without Nikita…
… Lena said: “Immediately after Nationals we wanted to run at practise with Nikita, we even didn’t want to celebrate New Year but coach said no way, you must relax both head and body…the most important is to know what to do and our coach said that he knows“…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-jq5XJDGuM Lena speaks about Nationals, Olympics…
…English report…finally clips with Nikita but from past three seasons…
…“We felt very good after the Russian National Championships, because we had a very good programs and it was skated well and a public was very happy with our programs. But I feel great after this because the most important thing is that people loved it….They are (the public) our judges….our coach said that you just need to relax your head, to relax yourself, and you need to go on the ice with this power and you need to just this, it is gonna be like ten ot twelve days and you need to push hard and we gonna win“…
(funny moment when talking about Bobrova & Soloviev, Stepanova & Bukin were shown instead)
In one interview they know what is wrong, in another interview they don’t know where the mistake was done…they immediately wanted to practise after Nationals but Lena was alone on the ice (so she wanted to skate and Nikita didn’t want?)…after making so many mistakes and missing element in free dance and two mistakes in short dance – she calls this well done programs??? (top couples are always not satisfied even with minor mistake in program). Yes, audience support is important but also average couples got ovation. Again so many moments which goes against each other.
Still the couple is well know for their speed, good edges, romantic dances and Hollywood-like oustanding poses. I can’t imagine what should keep them from medal.
Sinitsina & Zhiganshin
Young couple competing for the first time at European Championships. 2012 Junior World champions, who entered senior circuit last season, finishing 3rd at their second senior Grand Prix in Moscow.
This year Victoria and Ruslan are one of the biggest abonents to a title “Less supported team by own Federation“.
The couple struggled in their only Grand Prix in Japan – during short dance Victoria fell in opening steps of finnstep which caused lost element, judges and specialist really didn’t excuse anything and couple earned 44 points only (19 points from their best score). They skated free dance very well but judges still looked not to forget mistake from short dance giving the couple 79 points and finishing at disappointing last place.
The couple is very promising – they both have great basics, edges, beautiful lines, they can skate both ballroom dances and romances, they have “it“ factor, they have “exterior“ (which I don’t find important but once it is counted…yes, they have it also). Seeing such qualities one can’t believe that still some judges try to look like that Victoria and Ruslan are worse in technique and on the same level in components like Kathy and Chris Reed, it is ridiculous and put another question towards Russian Federation about supporting promising teams.
The last joke was result at Winter Universiade where Victoria and Ruslan showed two strong programs which were good enough for clear win there. But again support by French Federation for Carron & Jones was much better than no support by Russian Federation. It all pointed into dramatic and furious four points deduction in free dance. During Russian Nationals commentator announced that after those four points deduction at Universiade Vika and Ruslan made a protest and wanted to clear the things – finally it was reviewed and told that there should be just one deduction. But Russian Federation was quiet, no official protest was done, so the result stayed like that.
Another curiosity during Universiade was accident with Carron’s costume at the end of free dance – after lift a part of Carron’s skirt broke away from the costume, stayed on Jones‘ shoulder and than fell on the ice – which should be given a point deduction for costume….but, they didn’t get than deduction. Some protest by Russian Federation about not fair judging? No. Why?
But as we talked in “Russian Team for Euros“ thread same people are persuaded that own Federation‘s support is no more needed. So I am looking forward to fair judging at least at European Championships.
The most propagated girl by Russian Federation. If she skates clean, she can win (at least judges marks looks like this). Adelina is still in the middle of her puberty but I am sure that she will keep her triples even with senior body building (which I can’t say about most of children’s stars from Russia). Her skating is very unpredictable, 3 falls in Grand Prix Final after clean short program are an example of this. But Russian Nationals were competition where Adelina executed two very solid programs.
Another supported girl by Russian Federation, the most confident in Russian field right now, a silver medalist from Grand Prix Final, two gold medal winner from Grand Prix. She still has child’s body, small jumps and not very good skating skills but she improved from last season for sure. Puberty is still in front of her but this season and maybe even next season she will still profit from child’s body.
Third and second place at Grand Prix this season. Loosing to Russian kids, didn’t qualify for Final, a changement of free program put Carolina in difficult situation. She has the advantage of skating skills but with her not the most difficult jump arsenal, she can be overjumped easily.
Last year Marchei surprisingly finished third in short program at European Championships, finally she didn’t hold that position and fell to fourth overall. Still it was the best placement in her career. This year she finished sixth and seventh at Grand Prix. I remember Marchei when she came at European Championships for the first time in 2003, she was 16 and a very temperament girl. She was the one who could make one mistake and completely ruined every next jump thanks to it. During last few years she became more mature and she discovered what I noticed in Voronov’s new approach also – that if you want to skate nobody can stop you. And if you love this sport and enjoy skating than you will always catch the audience’s attention and transfer something magic into audience’s heart.
I don’t like when some skaters say that skating doesn’t worth it without winning titles. I know that all skaters want to win and be famous in the sport, but there is a big difference if you skate for money, glory and titles only or if you do what you love no matter what. The second possibility is much closer to my feelings to skating, so I am always glad to see that skater is passionate for figure skating also.
Today’s Marchei can even skate lyrical melodies with nice presentation. With such deep women’s field I think that it is almost impossible for Marchei to repeat her last year short program result but for sure her programs are a nice example of a senior woman with elegant skating.
At Russian Nationals Alena skated a great short program, she was struggling with some jumps in free skate but still her Carmen was full of passion and excitement.
In Alena’s case what comes to my mind…
If a coach wants to have a champion he/she must work profesionally with his/her skater. But in past three years I have a feeling that Leonova got no professional help from her coach (I can’t call a professional approach some words like: “You are beautiful, you are the best.“).
I am watching Alena since she came at European Championships for the first time in 2009. Last three years didn’t show the improvement which Russian Federation expected sending her to Morozov (in moment when Alena finished fourth at both European and World Championships 2011). It is said than one next year the technique gained from ex-coach still remains. First season with Morozov Alena won silver at Worlds, bronze at Grand Prix Final, silver and bronze medal at Grand Prix. But then everything went worse.
All last three years Alena looked so exhausted and tired in the second half of the free program. (In the beginning of the season Katya Pushkash noticed that Morozov puts no attention at off ice training, that he thinks that on ice training is important only. In recent interview Kovtun told that now he is skating a whole program twice a week while in Morozov’s group in was three times a season.)
Alena’s choreography is criticised from all sides. While Julia works with Averbuch and Adelina with Tchernyshev and Tarasova, Morozov continues to make “old judging system“ choreo with no steps between elements and no new movements.
All skaters are choosing carefully Olympic programs…Alena starts season with tango, than comes back to Pirates and finally she finishes with 2010 short program with Kalinka’s second half added. (No comment to last year free program changes.)
Alena always struggled with technique of jumps. Last two years that struggle is bigger than before. There are so many jump specialists in Russia – Kudriavtsev, Mishin, Gromova, Urmanov… and there is Arutunian in US. But Alena was never sent to somebody who would correct her technique. Why?
Alena’s skating skills are almost the same like in 2011, only her spins improved a lot since that time. But Morozov is a dance coach mainly…if nothing else he could improve her quality of edges. He didn’t.
Another details like the situation Alena described in her blog – that during warm-up at Grand Prix she couldn’t find her coach at all…
Alena is still used to work with Piatova as well, so she distributes her preparation among Piatova, Morozov and Morozov’s assistent travelling from one place (or country) to another. I am sure that at least Morozov and Piatova have a different style and way of coaching (at least Alena pointed it after the coaching change in 2011). It is like you would take Wagner during competive season and send her to Mishin for one months, than to Vodorezova for another month and than to Shpilband for next month – the result would be chaotic a little bit, I guess.
But in front of journalist’s eyes Alena keeps protecting Morozov from any punishment, it is kind of her, but I can’t do the same – I can compare how she was skating in 2011 and the level is not much higher.
I am reading Golden Skate for long to notice that Alena Leonova is criticised a lot for almost everything. I don’t agree with some of criticism she got and in the same time I don’t see a reason why she should be punished alone for things like choreo, skating skills, physical condition and jumping technique which are a part of coach’s job in meaning that he should prepare skater’s training plan, he should come with changements if the process is not working and in Morozov’s case he comes with choreo and programs as well. I also heard that skaters are adult ones and may behave independently in sport. It is not true and definitely it is not working. In top-level sport every sportman needs to be surrounded with great teams.
For last two years I have a feeling Alena stayed alone in her team while Morozov is concentrating to Ilinykh and Takahashi mainly. And surprisingly now before European Championships he even offers his help to Joubert instead of taking care of his own students.
I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!!