This interview is rather tabloidy, but still nice. I especially like what Yagudin says about coaching. Translation is mine.
[center]Alexei Yagudin: I forgot how they skated in Russia[/center]
For the first time in many years, the Olympic champion will perform on the Motherland
One time Alesha alrady told the "Komsomolka" corresponents that his heart is free, and he dreams of finding a life partner in Russia. It was just after Yagudin's triumph at Salk Lake City. We announced the contest "Smotriny KP"
(Smotriny is the old Russian custom of showing of prospective brides to prospective grooms) and received more than 20 thousand letters from girls freaming of meeting the champion. This week Yagudin, for the first time in years, will show his to loops and axels to the Russian audience. The show "Ice Olympus" will become his official send-off from competitive sport. We talked to Alexei just before he left the States. It turns out his personal life hasn't changed much.
Didn't you date an American, she even visited Russia with you?
That's over. I am a free man.
When did you last skate in Russia?
At 2000 Nationals. Never as an Olympic champion. I am very nervous now -- I haven't skated in Russia for a while, I forget how it's done here! I was in Russia in July but only for 5 days, flew in for a cousin's wedding. Even now it's just for three days -- flying in on the 24th, back to America on 27th.
What will you show?
The Olympic short "Winter". The number where I am a "Formula-1" pilot. Also something to the Russian music, I haven't decided what.
How do you like coaching? Is Gryazev your only student?
When Tatiana Anatolievna is away, I am responsible for the other skaters in our grourp -- Brian Jouber, Japanese Shizuka Arakaway who won World championships this year, another Japanese skater. When she is here, I work with Andrei and Brian. I like coaching.
In soccer, there are playing coaches, are you a "skating coach"?
Sure, time to introduce such concept! I now understand how hard it is for the coach to stand there, unable to change anything! It's worse than falling yourself. When you train, you grow as an athlete. But when you train someone else, you grow as a person. I don't have much free time left.
You getting enough sleep?
Can't. Flew in from Los Angeles yesterday, we made a new number there with elements of circus art. I won't skate it here, it's not quite ready yet. I am not investigating new areas for myself -- I'd like to do something beyond figure skating!
I'm learning to navigate a yaht, and I am interested in restaurants -- I want to open my own. And I started building a house! It's 15 minutes from the rink, on a hill. To be honest, there is no foundation yet, but the architectural part is ready. Three floors, more than 500 square meters (more than 5000 Square feet). It's in European style. It would have been easier to by a ready made house, but I wanted to make my own.
I bet you don't have time left for girls?
You kidding me? There's always time for that!
You'll only spend three days in Russia. Will you have time to meet a cute girls?
In July, when I was here for a cousin's wedding, I did. then again I had five days then. May be will have time now as well.
Whom do you have to see beyond mom, gradma, and spaniel Lorik
A dentist. It's much cheaper in Russia. I started in July, but have to finish 2 teeth now.
[center]Where to see Yagudin[/center]
"Ice Olympus" is the show that brings Alexei to Russia. It's organized by Artur Dmitirev, a two time Olympic gold medalist. He gathered at "Olympus" the gods and goddesses of figure skating: Ekaterina Gordeeva, Natalia Bestemianova with Andrei Bubkin, Igor Bobrin, a Frenchman Filip Candeloro, a Ukranian Victor Petrenko, american ice acrobats Akop and Armen. "King Artur" himself won't take the ice -- his partner Oksana Kazakova is pregnant. Instead of daddy, audience will see the son -- Artur Arturovich, he is also now a skater. As is the daughter of Katya Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov Dasha -- she'll accompany her mom to the show.
To see all this, you'll have to go to St. Petersburg -- the only show will take place at the Ice Palace there on Sunday, September 26, at 4 pm.