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Thread: Plushenko profile article

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Post Plushenko profile article

    It's the testing cycle at work, and that means I have too much time on my hands while a script is running. So, to prevent myself from falling asleep, I translated Plushy's profile article from his webpage plushenko.narod.ru. Warning - it reads as if Evgeny is some kind of a mix between George Washington and V.I. Lenin. Anyway, got some fun tidbits. As I understand, the article is a compilation of different sources. It is quite outdated - it ends with 2004 Worlds. It's so long, I'll probably have to break it into several parts. Whatever is in parenthesis in italics is my notes. Anyway, enjoy!

    Childhood
    Zhenya Plushenko was born in Far East. His father Victor Vasilievich, a professional stone smith and carpenter, went there to make money. Both he and Zhenya's mother Tatiana Vasilievna were building the BAM. At the time, Plushenkos lived with their oldest daughter Lena in a small town Urgal in the Khabarovsk region. It was there that on November 3d 1982, a month before the due date, Zhenya Plushenko was born. According to his mom, the boy was "extra long" - while weighed 2900 grams (~6.5 lbs), he was 57 cm high (~23").

    Life wasn't easy. The family lived in a wooden train car that "didn't even have a TV". The Plushenkos shared it with other families. Zhenya was a lively and energetic boy. He learned to walk very early, and was running by nine months. Zhenya also started speaking at a young age. The only clouds in the boy’s childhood were constant colds. Due to the tough climate, Zhenya got sick a lot. When he was a year and three months old, he got sick at the nursery school. At first, doctors diagnosed a common cold, both after a week the baby was rushed to the emergency room; it turned out he had double pneumonia. Zhenya spent three months in the hospital. The fever wouldn't go down, and the medicine wasn't helping. To stop this torture of her son, Zhenya's mom decided to take him out of the hospital. Seeing that medicine was useless, the parents went seeking alternate solutions. Following the advice of old women, they started taking their son outside for fresh air in all weather. They also started doing sports with him. At first it was the sleds, then the skis, and finally the bike. They even built a little sports corner at home - with a ladder, bars, and swings. Zhenya indeed got better, yet that wasn't enough. The family realized they had to change the climate. So, in the summer of 1986, the Plushenkos moved to Volgograd.

    Once, walking in a park in Volgograd, Zhenya and his mom ran into an acquaintance. The woman was complaining that her daughter was refusing to skate. It was next to impossible to buy ice skates at the time, and she felt bad that such a treasure was going to waste. She then offered Zhenya to try. He accepted, and the woman gave him his first skates - "Botas".

    The very next day, February 25, 1987, they went to sign up for the figure skating classes. Mom decided that "there wouldn't be any place better than figure skating" for physical toughening up. Zhenya was accepted immediately; he was even mistaken for a girl at first (he had long blonde hair). After he furiously complained that he was indeed a boy, he was accepted ever more enthusiastically, as the group lacked boys. Not only had other kids already skated for half a year, but Zhenya, at 4 years and 2 months, was the youngest in the group. At times, things wouldn’t work, and it was hard. Little Zhenya would cry. Yet his first coach, Tatiana Nikolaevna Skala, would always find time to help and console him, "It's OK, Zhenya, you're falling now, but you'll be winning in no time!" Zhenya improved fast. After a week, he could do all three splits. More importantly, working at rink the improved the boy's health. Slowly, he grew stronger and stopped getting sick. Before, he couldn't ride three stops on the trolley without getting car sick; now, his inner ear got healthy enough, and those problems went away. In time, Zhenya really got into the figure skating. His mom was happy, as the child was getting healthy, and wasn't out on the streets. Before figure skating Zhenya most liked soccer, but then the skating won over. "After skating for two weeks, I said, “What soccer?” Skating became like a drug". After some time, though, Zhenya wanted to play hockey. "After training sessions, I'd watch other kids play." The boy told his mom about it, and she suggested he skate for another month before deciding. "After a month, I didn’t want to do anything else".

    Once at a training session Zhenya's mom saw a girl doing a Biellman spin, and suggested that Zhenya try it. A week later, he was doing it. "When I first did a Biellman, mom rewarded me with a picnic. We roasted potatoes on the camp fire, cooked the borscht..." Zhenya was delighted and very proud of the new element. "When I first started skating, I saw Biellman's performance on TV, and loved it. Her spin had a magical effect on me. I swore to learn to do it." But "it was my mom who suggested I could actually do it". For many years, Tatiana Vasilievna regularly stretched Zhenya. According to him, "all of my signature spins – Biellman, doughnut - would have been impossible without mom's unwavering efforts".

    Zhenya could never skate in pairs. "I wasn't so strong to carry a girl around; besides, a quickly progressed in single skating."

    Just three months after joining the rink, Zhenya started competing. At his first competition, he was 7th out of 15 kids who were all two to three years older than he.

    Zhenya started dreaming of ice victories at the age of five, when he first saw a performance of the famous Victor Petrenko.

    Zhenya still remembers his first victory. "At seven, I was competing at Crystal Skate in Samara. I was rewarded with en electronic game Air Combat. I was so happy, I felt there couldn't be more important competitions".

    When Zhenya was nine, he almost quit figure skating. By that time, he had a new coach in Mikhail Makoveev. He specialized in weight lifting, and made the kids do a lot of running and power exercises. That, however, wasn't the problem. The new boots were. After the soft and comfortable Czech "Botas", they were too rough. Yet the coach insisted the skater practice his jumps. The feet became covered with bloody calluses; it was hard to walk, let alone jump. Zhenya took off his boots, put them on the coach's table, and said that he wasn't going to skate any longer. With that, he left. A week later, the coach called to apologize, and asked him to come back. Zhenya did. "I had to skate. If I didn't skate for two or three days, my knees and muscles would hurt so badly I couldn’t think of anything else." With time, he got used to the boots, and learned to jump in them. "At eleven, I did all triple jumps, and that was quite a feat." It was then, when Plushenko turned eleven, that the figure skating school in Volgograd closed down. In the early 90's, children's sport wasn’t profitable. The building was turned into a market or a car dealership. The rink is still closed; it now houses a warehouse.

    What was there to do? There were many options. Zhenya was a well rounded boy, and he had had a lot in his life besides skating.

    Zhenya liked to read and did well in school - up until the sixth grade, he was a straight A student. He read his first book on his own at 6 - it was Nosov's 2-volume "Ignoramus on the Moon".

    As a child, Zhenya wanted to be in the army. Seeing a soldier or an officer on the street, he'd just freeze and watch with bated breath. He even had an army style shirt that Tatiana Vasilievna altered from an adult one. Dad also got for him a military hat and holster. As any other boy, Zhenya adored guns and cars. He'd draw them, or ask Santa Claus to bring him some. One time he got a tank that could shoot little toy ammo, with a remote control no less! But a visiting girl broke it. Zhenya, who was always very careful about his things, was very upset. But he forgave Natashenka Kuznetsova; it was, after all, his first "love". They were each about four at the time. Actually, Zhenya never deprived the female part of the population of his attention. On the ice, he'd always help the girls who fell, even if he'd get in trouble with the coach for it.

    At the same time, Zhenya wasn't a "good boy". "I just couldn't sit still at school. I'd always monkey around." Besides, he'd get into fist fights in school. "The guys teased me for being in a girly sport, so I had to prove with my fists that it weren't so." Zhenya started smoking early on - back when he was a year and a half, he'd run around their wagon with a stick or a match in his mouth. He started smoking for real in the second grade. Then, his father just gave him a pack of cigarettes and suggested he sit with him and smoke. The boy was stunned, and no longer felt like smoking at recess.

    The only love that did not go away for Zhenya was his love of soccer. Yet everything kept coming back to figure skating. "Soccer is rather rude, so I chose figure skating." He also had offers to go into dance - to Mariinski Theater (Kirov Ballet) no less. Faced with a choice of dancing instead of skating, "I chose figure skating". It was then, when Zhenya turned 11, that he realized that skating wasn't just a hobby for him, but a way of life. He couldn't live without it, he had to keep training. But where? He had two offers - to Moscow or to Petersburg. "I couldn't care less where to go. Together with my parents, we decided to choose Petersburg."
    Last edited by Ptichka; 06-01-2005 at 02:36 PM.

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    Plushenko profile article pt. 2

    Moving to Peter(St. Petersburg is commonly referred to as Peter)
    Zhenya's parents were clearly not delighted with their son's move away from Volgograd. It meant letting a child go completely alone into a strange city. "They were correct in assuming that a child at eleven isn't ready to be an adult. Ultimately, though, they let me go, saying that it was my choice".

    So it came to pass that in 1993 Mikhail Makoveev brought little Zhenya to Petersburg to Alexei Nikolayevich Mishin. By that time, Zhenya did all triples - from toe loop to axel. "But it was only called triple jumps. There was no technique, no execution. There was only my natural ability to jump high." Alexei Nikolayevich put together a whole audition, after which he pronounced his verdict - "Yes".

    Here is what Mishin though of his new student, "It was a gift! I am very grateful to Mikhail Khrisanfovich Makoveev for brining Plushenko to me. Makoveev specializes in weight lifting, but he had a good instinct regarding figure skating. He created a great school in Volgograd. It was obvious that the boy had talent, but I got him when he already started growing. Growing pains passed, and the diamond shined as it supposed to".

    Having skated with Makoveev a long time, Zhenya could hardly imagine training with anyone else. Mishin, though, was very friendly, "helping me a lot and being father to me". At first, Zhenya even lived in Alexei Nikolayevich's flat, since for a time, he was essentially homeless. Later, Zhenya received a room on "Zvezdnaja". Mom would sometimes visit, and ask the neighbors to look after him. But the boy tried doing everything himself. "I learned to cook! I’d boil potatoes, hot dogs, do scrambled eggs, pea soup... I'd boil the water and throw the peas in, it wasn't very good, but... Of course, I had to save pennies, I barely had enough money to rent the room, go to training sessions, and not suffer hunger pains. It was hard. So young, I already had to find out a lot. It was all about money". The parents helped as much as they could. Evgeny knew the value of money, as he could see how hard his parents worked for it. Only once did he spend all of the money his mom sent him - on bananas. "I loved them. I could eat two kilos at once."

    Petersburg shocked young Evgeny with its sheer size - "after Volgograd, it seemed huge and overpowering. I was little, I was afraid of getting lost, and I missed my parents. At first, it was hard, as I had to go all over the city for trainings". Besides, people didn't treat the little intruder well.

    For his twelfth birthday, Zhenya went to Volgograd for a week. The first thing he did upon entering the flat was to give Tatiana Vasilievna 300 rubles (all the stipend he saved over five months), "Mommy, that's for you. Go buy a winter coat".

    Mounting difficulties made it ever harder for the boy to keep his love of figure skating. The rink didn't have adequate training conditions - it was always as cold as it is outside in the winter. When the muscles aren't warmed up, it's dangerous to do jumps and other difficult elements for risk of injury. Besides, when Plushenko started training with Mishin, the group already had such stars as Alexei Urmanov and Alexei Yagudin, with whom the coach spent most of his time. That was when Zhenya, for the second time, broke down and decided to quit. "Mishin didn't spend much time with me, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes a day. I talked to my mom, and we decided I couldn't progress like that. We bought the tickets home. We went in to say good bye to Mishin, and he somehow managed to convince me to stay.”

    Plushenko remained in Mishin's group. "I was small, and there were such guys around. Clearly, the older ones didn't let anything pass, you could get whacked very easily. I had to make others respect me. I understood that I had to give it all I got." Urmanov and Yagudin thought it funny that such a kid trained with them. Urmanov would give him a ride in his Jeep [i](Russians refer to any SUV as a Jeep)[i] to try on the costumes, and would encourage him after successful performances.

    With time, Zhenya got into the hang of things, and it's understandable that the young athlete was happier going to the rink than to school. The teachers weren't happy about it, but luckily didn't interfere with the boy doing what he loved. Slowly but surely, the school became of second importance. "What studying! I didn't have my parents around to make me study the books."

    Zhenya lived without his parents for a year. Then, his mom Tatiana Vasilievna moved in with him. They rented a room in a communal apartment. "I remember that room in the communal flat that mom and I rented in our first year in Peter as a pure nightmare".

    That was when Zhenya almost quit skating for the third time. "Something wasn't working. I was nervous. Also, I hated having split the family. Mom moved with me, but dad and sis (she is six years my senior) remained in Volgograd".

    Yet Zhenya stayed and persevered. His sacrifices weren't in vain. While at that time the Olympic Champion Alexei Urmanov would wave off the fans by saying, "Hey, girls, go over there, that's where Zhenya Plushenko signs autographs!", and Zhenya at 13 didn't interest the girls in the least, it was at 13 that Zhenya started his assent to the Olympus of Figure Skating.

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    Plushenko profile article pt. 3

    Russian Nationals, Europeans, Worlds, and just Sex Bomb
    In 1996, at the age of 13, Zhenya came sixth at the Junior Worlds in Australia. That was when his got his first prize money of $1500. He spent the money on a TV and a suit for mom.

    A year later, Zhenya won the Junior World championship in South Korea. At 14, he became the youngest champion in history. Following that victory, Evgeny became the primary breadwinner of the family.

    The next season (1997/ 1998), Evgeny went to Senior Championships. At Europeans in Milan, the fifteen-year-old Zhenya won the audience with his openness and childish sincerity, and the judges with the difficult programs and the jumps of the level nobody expected from a 15-year old rooky. "I did a combo of quad and triple toe loops for the first time, but it wasn't clean. Anyway, I didn’t expect to skate quite that well at my first Europeans, but I was hoping to medal". At the Europeans, Plushenko was the best. Everyone acknowledged it. However, a rooky never wins his first championships. The judges decided Zhenya was too young to be the champ, and made him second. The only one who couldn't wait was Evgeny himself, "I don't want to wait. It's time for me to win".

    The next chance for a victory wasn't long in waiting. Zhenya was certain he wouldn’t be going to the Worlds in America, since only the two top medalists of Nationals could go. Plushenko didn't make it, finishing behind Kulik and Yagudin. "I made it to that championship on a chance." The coach said, "Take your costume with you just in case, perhaps you'll take part in exhibitions". But then Ilya Kulik withdrew, and Plushenko took his place. "I was shocked - making it to such a championship was a dream! I couldn't get my head around it. Then, when I passed Yagudin in qualifying, I really wondered - how did I do it?!" Not just at qualifying, but at the training sessions Zhenya was surpassing his opponents. "The judges were saying, you skate and we'll place you. After the short I'm in second, and realize that I have a chance of winning." Zhenya was 15, he was in a great form, but he didn't have experience with that level of competition. The night before the free skate Evgeny didn’t get any sleep at all. "I came back to the hotel. I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t calm down. I'd close my eyes and see the elements. I'd see the next day - as I'd take the ice, do two quads, a triple... Obviously, I didn't get to sleep until morning, and woke up all broken up. I came to the warm up all down, nothing was working". Zhenya skated his free with a heavy head. "My head was full of the gold medal dreams - how it would look on my chest, how people would applaud, what they would say". Alas, having a chance for victory, Zhenya failed to complete the quads, and ended up in third. "I was still happy with the bronze." Plushenko had every right to be proud - he became the youngest Worlds medalist in history.

    In 1998, another one of Mishin's students, Alexei Yagudin, won the Worlds. Despite this, Yagudin left Mishin to train with Tatiana Anatolievna Tarasova. The young Zhenya couldn't understand this. "If he left, I guess he thought it was necessary. I can only say that of late our relationship was rather tense. He probably felt that in some respect I was beginning to catch up to and even pass him. He didn’t take it well. Though I don't understand why take the rivalry outside the rink." Meanwhile, Zhenya was hoping for a long awaited new apartment, but the Sports Committee didn't come through on its promise, and he again had to wait.

    After the Worlds, the young Zhenya got a swollen head. "At my first senior championships I got the bronze, and could have gotten the gold. I came back with one thought - why work so hard if I can already do everything?" But mom quickly put her son in his place. "It didn't come to blows, she'd just say, “Hey, come down from up there.” I knew she was right". So the dizziness of success soon passed.

    A year later Plushenko was even stronger, and wanted to win even more. As a result, in 1998/ 1999 season he became the silver medalist of Europe and World. At the same time, winning his Grand Prix events brought Zhenya some money. It soon went to his head - gold jewelry for mom, gifts for all the friends. When Mishin was working with his students in Netherlands, Plushenko got all of his pals together to go to the shoe store for new snickers. Zhenya then gave everyone roller skates. When they tired of that, he rented them bikes. The coach didn't know how to get the kids back to the rink. That's when Mishin realized that as a coach, he had to put the breaks on, even if he doesn't like telling skaters what to do. When a student looses the sense of reality, it's best to wait a little, and then get him back to normal. Zhenya soon regained ground. At 16, he bought an apartment close to the "Yubilejny" rink, and gave his dad a 99 "Zhiguli". "Dad, I owe so much to you! Mom was by my side all this time - meanwhile you were the one working in Volgograd to make it possible".

    1999/2000 season started well for Plushenko. He won three major championships - Russian Nationals, Europeans, and Grand Prix Final. At Europeans, Zhenya debuted his unique combination of quad toe loop, triple toe lop, and a double lutz. "I didn't think it was a big deal. Especially since the combo came up by accident as Alexei Nikolayevich made me do it to improve my technique of landing clean triple. Honestly, I didn't expect such a reaction to the combo. We call it 432. Obviously, I am honored to have moved the sport ahead. All this led to Plushenko becoming the gold favorite at Worlds. Everything was going according to plan. "I was magnificently ready, perhaps better that ever. At practice, I did all the jumps. I was confident of taking gold." During the free program Plushenko could not complete the quad, making it a double; he then stumbled in the footwork. Thus, at the 2000 Worlds in Nice, Zhenya ended up with the fourth place, and without a medal. It was a tough break, forcing Zhenya to take a new look at things. "I learned a valuable lesson from that loss. I thought too much of the gold, it became an obsession, and as a result I burned out and could not overcome myself psychologically.”

    The new season arrived - the season of 2000/2001. Plushenko saw the world in a whole new light. He changed outwardly - he matured and grew long hair. His skating acquired maturity as programs became deeper and more adult. It was then that people started referring to Plushenko as the ice prince. Plushenko was confidently working toward his goals. He won all main competitions of the season, when the time finally came for the World Championships in Vancouver. "This season, I absolutely forbade myself from thinking of medals. Recently, a journalist asked me: what do you need to win the Worlds? I think I only need a little: just to do everything I am capable of. That is my attitude for Vancouver". Plushenko became the World Champion. He reigned on the ice; he was splendid and absolutely calm. "I wasn't nervous. That's why it was so good. I didn't think of the medals or the rivals." That Worlds was and remains one of the happiest moments in Yevgeny's life. "Winning the Worlds for the first time was unforgettable. I worked for it for four years - it was always close, yet the first place eluded me. And now, having finished, I was the audience getting up. It was then, even before the judges' marks, that I knew I won. It feels like you've just done something unreal. It's such a rush! Nothing is like it - full and complete joy." There, in March 2001 in Vancouver, another important thing took place - Plushenko showed the world his exhibition piece "Sex Bomb". The audience was shocked - no one ever did anything like that on the ice. "The idea for this dance belongs to my choreographer David Avdysh. He suggested I wear a skin color suit and play the body builder. Since my legs are pretty strong as is, we didn't increase them artificially as we did with the biceps. We prepared the dance basically in three sessions." The program became a classic right after its first showing.

    Then came the 2001/ 2002 season. The Olympic season didn't start well for Evgeny. He was plagued by injuries. Besides, Plushenko had to change his free program just a couple of months before the Olympics. It was hard for Zhenya, but it was inevitable. "I really liked the first program. It was very different - it was a story about an artist's life. But the judges said, “The program is good, but we don't understand what it is about.” They couldn't grasp its drama. So we decided to do something more traditional for the Olympics, and did a program to Carmen, which is easier to understand".

    Yet it's not Zhenya's free but his short that remains engrained in the figure skating fans' memory. During the short, Zhenya didn't do a quad. As a result, he ended up in fourth going into the free. "There were no tears, but I was very upset to have missed the combo, my most difficult element. I don't belong in fourth place." Everyone, both fans and journalists, tried to explain what happened. He was too nervous, or he was effected by Rudolf Zagajnov (Alexei Yagudin' psychologist). Plushenko himself kept his calm amidst the gossip and scandals. "I wasn't more nervous than usually. I tried not to think of it being the Olympics. But after the third revolution it was time to open up, and something went wrong. You can blame anyone. I don't believe it, and think it was fate". No one knows what Evgeny went through after the disastrous short. "The two days after the Olympic short program were perhaps the most difficult of my life." As a result, Zhenya became a silver medalist of his first Olympics. "I know how to win, but I also know how to loose. I've lost many times. After being fourth in the short, which I indeed skated worse than many others, I couldn't realistically fight for the gold. So the second place wasn't quite as painful, but I'll be honest - being second means loosing. Actually, I don't think that the second place at the Olympics is all that bad, especially for a young man of 19. More likely, it can be called good".

    Evgeny skipped the Europeans and Worlds due to injuries. "Athletes can have their downs as well. It's hard to always win even when you're not up to it."

    In the 2002/2003 season Plushenko again showed surprising programs. For the first time in the history of figure skating, music was written specifically for a free program. The program "Petersburg 300" was dedicated to the anniversary of Saint Petersburg. Evgeny skates the program as no program before, so full is it of feelings and emotions. "I literally feel that program from the inside. Perhaps, that's its secret." The new programs took Zhenya through the whole season, winning all the important championships - Europeans, Grand Prix Final, and Worlds. Plushenko entered history by pioneering his unique jump combo - quad toe loop, triple toe loop, triple lutz. Again, the talks started up about Plushenko being unreachable. But Zhenya doesn't spend time in clouds. He is realistic about the current situation, and isn't going to rest on his laurels. He’s ready to fight. "Everyone said, “You'll just win all season. You'll win all championships, where is the fun? You don’t have any competition.” I said, “It's wrong. This is a sport. If you make any mistake, you can loose.” So I cannot let any mistake in. In fact, it's very hard to fight. It's a sport. Sport doesn't stand in place, it progresses".

  4. #4
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    Plushenko profule article pt. 4

    It was my most difficult Worlds

    The 2003/ 2004 season started for Evgeny with a battle - a battle with injuries. During the exhibitions in Japan, Evgeny injured his right internal meniscus while doing footwork. "A blade got into a rut. As a result, the knee went too far".

    The injury effected Evgeny's general physical condition, since it was impossible to have full load summer training. "In a normal summer, I run 40 to 50 minutes a day, play a lot of tennis, work at machines. This year, I couldn't do any of it. At the beginning of the season, I seriously intended to add a new quad jump - a lutz or a salchow. But then the knee got injured, and I had to give up those plans. For over a month, I didn't skate at all, and seriously considered going in for the surgery. That, at least, was the doctors' recommendation.” This would have meant giving up the whole season. That’s when Zhenya and Alexei Nikolayevich decided to train and compete, but without overtraining the injured leg. Zhenya also worked with a specialist who can sometimes relieve the pain - Elena Vladimirovna Derjabina. She is from the same ilk as the famous June. She works with many celebrities.

    So Evgeny, despite the injury, started training. "I began to get into shape, but a lot more slowly than I'm used to."

    Zhenya presented his new programs in October 2003 in Saint Petersburg during Artur Dmitriev's show.

    The new short program was set to flamenco. It's unique in that it includes the most difficult footwork in the history of figure skating, yet was created very easily.

    Mishin recalls the difficulties that arose with the free, "We were prompted to do it after reading a book about the great dancer Vaclav Nizhinsky. Having read it, we got so enthralled with that personality and his creative achievements that we decided to create a program dedicated to this legendary man. Unfortunately, we didn't find any movie clips with his performances. We had to go to the museum to see the archives. Seeing a beginning pose and an end one we had to think up what the middle looked like". To help create Nizhinsky on the ice they worked with the choreographer Yuri Smekalov, a soloist of Eifman Ballet. There were also difficulties with the music, as Evgeny and Alexei Nikolayevich wanted to base it on the music that Nizhinsky himself used - fragments from Weber's "Invitation to Dance", Debussy's "Afternoon Rest of Faun", they tried Scheherazade, Weber, Petrushka, etc. Ultimately, they realized that it would be impossible to put those pieces together in a cohesive piece. They then asked the Hungarian violinist Edvin Martin to create a composition reflecting Nizhinsky's inner world in a modern form.

    Zhenya said of the new program, "I think this is one of my most difficult programs, both physically and emotionally".

    The 2003/ 2004 figure skating season was the last one judged under the tradition system. Grand Prix events that season already tried the new system. Its main departure from the old one is that the judges giving the marks don't know what placement they are giving the skater. During the program, the judges mark each element - all together, this makes for the technical mark. As for the artistry, the judges give five separate marks, looking separately at costumes, music, movement, etc. All those marks are worked over by the computer which gives the final result that sometimes surprises not just the fans, but also the judges. The benefits for this judging system are apparent for the athletes without obvious mistakes. It is now possible to win a competition while being weaker in technique, artistry, and jumps. The new system looks not at the overall impression of technique and artistry, but at specific parameters, including doing the same elements that were planned. On the one hand, judging each element separately gives some appearance of objectivity. On the other hand, the new system is incomprehensible to both the skaters and the fans.

    Plushenko became the first victim of the new and quite confusing rules. This happened at the Grand Prix Final in Colorado Springs in December of 2003. Evgeny's loss was sensational - he came second while having a perfect skate. A Canadian Emmanuel Sandhu came in first.

    Plushenko's technical mark was unbelievable low. This led to many questions. Evgeny's spins were all in order. Ditto for the jumps. He started his performance confidently with a 4-3 combo, then did a 4-2 (he was the first one to pair a quad toe loop with a double lutz), did a beautiful triple axel - and, apparently from over-excitement, added an extra double toe loop to that jump. The new rules categorically forbid athletes from including more than two combos into their programs. Had Plushenko stopped jumping after the triple axel that has the base value of 7.5, he would have had no problem beating Sandhu. As it happened, in full accordance with the new rules, he got 0 for the combo. There was also another miscalculation. According to the new rules, the men's free program has to have 8 jumping passes. A combo is considered one pass. Thinking that he’s had enough jumps with three combos and three stand alone triples, Zhenya decided to skip a triple salchow that was in the judges' list, thus getting 0 instead of 4.8. All of this led to the Canadian having a technical score of 3 points higher.

    Zhenya himself explained his loss as a misunderstanding, "Sandhu is a good skater, but I was pushed off the top step of the podium by the new judging system. After the competition the judges talked to me and admitted that I should have certainly won".

    This showed off the new system's drawbacks - they limit progress, since it's not necessary to learn the most difficult elements to win. Results are too dependent on one sole person - the technical specialist who sits with the judges and determines which element was completed (for example a triple or a quad). Finally, the fans, athletes and coaches loose the opportunity to see each judge's face.

    Despite rumors about Plushenko not taking part in Russian Nationals, Evgeny too the ice in Petersburg, and skated brilliantly. Plushenko received five 6.0’s the short program’s artistry – that’s a record. For the free, Zhenya received two sixes for technique, and nine for artistry. This easily gave him his fifth Russian title.

    Prior to European championships in Budapest, the press again started publishing rumors about Evgeny’s withdrawal due to injury. The rumors proved false, though Zhenya indeed had to skate with shots. Despite this, Zhenya led after the short, and was quite optimistic, “I think I am in good form. Sure I didn’t do a 4-3, just a 4-2. This is still normal”.
    In the free, though, things didn’t work out well. Evgeny made several serious mistakes, including falling on the triple axel and the flip. “I don’t know why axels aren’t working today. Had I done well the jumps I do well, I would have won hands down. It’s easy to explain this through psychology. I haven’t had strong opponents at Europeans for a long time”.

    Getting up from the flip, “I already knew I wouldn’t be the European champ”.

    French skater Brian Joubert became the champion. Many journalists explained Plushenko’s loss as a result of his knee injury. Evgeny answered this, “It’s not the knees. The knees are OK, or at least better than they were six months ago. Why guess why, it just wasn’t my day, though the ice was good. Not having had real opponents for a long time, I relaxed. Now I have them. Well, I’ll prepare for Worlds, and try to take hold of my nerves. In any case, I don’t intend to panic. It’s hard to always be the first, so it’s not so bad that I lost here. This means it will be easier for me at other competitions. I guess Brian needed this victory more than I did, and he deserves it. I don’t consider myself one of those athletes who always looks for faults with those who were better on a given day”.
    Prior to the Worlds at Dortmund, Plushenko’s knees felt much better. Zhenya even increased the load, and started training full force. He became happier. We again so the bright smile, the outward calm, and the self confidence.

    Zhenya led within his group at qualifying, and skated his short with confidence, “I felt great on the ice today; everything was exactly as it should be”.

    For the free skate, world competitors demonstrated the highest level of readiness, impressing everyone with difficult programs and great marvelous execution. Even the athletes skating in earlier groups skated to standing ovations. Then came the leaders. Coaches and specialists, who were at the championships in great numbers, all agreed that never had the level of medal contenders been so great. Evgeny skated last. “I knew I couldn’t make mistakes. None of the medalists, nor the Swiss Lambiel, made any”.

    Evgeny skated his free with confidence, and even the fall at the end didn’t spoil the overall impression. “The blade got stuck on something, may be a button or something from someone’s costume. It was tiny, red, and I didn’t notice it”.

    The judges understood, and weren’t stingy with the top marks – Evgeny got four 6.0’s for the second mark. All ten thousand people in the audience gave the standing ovation.
    “I am thankful for having won my third World title. Honestly, I was nervous. I was hoping to win, but it could have gone either way, since everyone in our group skated brilliantly. That was my best skate of the season, but I have seen such a competition as here at any one the five World championships in which I took part.”

    Plushenko defended his title on the night when 10 skaters did a total of 15 quads, and when all of his main competitors had the skates of their lives. It was the night that the triumphant coach Alexei Mishin called the greatest in the history of figure skating. Evgeny Plushenko’s new exhibition piece was kept a secret to the point where the skater and his coach refused to practice it the night before.
    Zhenya is attracted to joke numbers, even though he can master very serious roles as well. For this exhibition piece in Dortmund, Evgeny presented to the audience his new playful exhibition piece ‘Asisaj’ (the name comes from a sketch of a famous Peter clown Vyacheslav Polunin). Plushenko first went from a man into woman in a red skirt a la Carmen, then back into a man. Most of the work for this number took place during the two weeks leading up to the championships. Alexander Alexandrovich Strelin choreographed the number. He is a great acting coach, and teaches it at the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy. He has a lot of experience working with skaters. The renowned choreographer wasn’t stingy with his praise, noting how easy it was to work with him. “Zhenya has a very rich and energetically powerful inner world. I was just adding little details and finishing touches to his program”.

    The effort didn’t go in vain – the public was delighted, and Zhenya came out several times for an encore.

  5. #5
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Plushenko profile article pt. 5

    Personal life is a part of the athletics

    With mom, Tatiana Vasilievna. "Personal life is a part of my athletic life. My parents, my friends, and my girl are my faithful companions on that journey".

    Zhenya always emphasizes that he owed his success to his family, first and foremost to his mom. He finally moved his parents to Peter. “I am insanely happy to be able to provide for my parents, to be able to by mom a good present”. In 2000, Zhenya bought an apartment in a new part of Petersburg. “I just fell in love with that apartment. It’s huge, with four rooms, since I originally planned to move mom, dad, and my sister with her family here. It’s my thing to live as one big family, like they do in Mexican soap operas. I’ve lived with my family for eleven years. They really sheltered me. Now, it’s time to pay back, so I can let my parents not work.”

    Tatiana Vasilievna has been and remains Evgeny’s most ardent fan. At the same time, she’s never seen her son’s performances live, since, according to her, she gets so nervous that she can’t enjoy even his most successful performances. “No, the family never come. It’s our tradition. I was 6 when I went to my first championship in Samara. Mom didn’t go, saying ‘You have a coach, you have to go with him’. So it went from there. We have a TV, so she can see it there. Mom always comes to see exhibitions. I don’t bar anyone from coming.”
    Zhenya has many friends and acquaintances – some are athletes, others are not. He’s friends with the Slovak tennis player Dominic Khrbaty, with Russian hockey players from the NHL – Alexei Zhamnov, Boris Mironov, and Nikolai Habibulin. Among skaters, he considers his friends Anton Sikhuralidze, Alexander Abt, Vakhtang Murvanidze, Roman Kostomarov, Alexei Tikhonov, and Alexei Polishuk.

    When conversation turns to relationships with skaters, journalists immediately turn to Alexei Yagudin and start asking about the supposed hatred between the two athletes. Certainly, they’re first of all opponents. On the ice, that is. When he puts on is skates, Plushenko battles everyone, including his friends. To be fair, Lesha and Zhenya aren’t friends. That’s how things stood back from when Zhenya first moved to Peter. “Lesha immediately thought of me as an opponent, and it was reflected in everyday life.” But they aren’t enemies either. “I haven’t had a fight with him. We battle on the ice, but in life it’s OK. By the way, Lesha is a true fighter – always fighting to the end. I like that a lot.”
    Talking about Evgeny’s friends, we have to mention his best and most faithful friend – American bulldog Holden. Zhenya dreamed of a dog since childhood. Finally, in 2001, his mom gave him a puppy. Why bulldog? “Bulldogs are cute”. “I love dogs. I spend hours walking and playing with my dog”. Also living with the Plushenko family is a Persian cat Lalya. But Zhenya is certainly a dog person. “I got my coach Mishin into it as well. I gave him a Caucasian Shepherd. Mom called her Eva. Nice dog.”

    It would be impossible also to not talk about Alexei Nikolayevich Mishin. He isn’t just a coach to Plushenko, he is also his friend. “We don’t just spend time on the ice, we play tennis, pool, bowling, we go to each other’s houses, and we go to sauna”. Evgeny says he owes a lot to Alexei Nikolayevich. “It was Mishin who made me into a World Champion”. As to his work with Mishin, “you can write a hundred books about it. He’s a great man. When I came here from Volgograd, it was tough for me to live without my parents. I helped me, being a surrogate father to me for a time. He gave me decent clothing and skates, he looked after my diet. He’s a good cook. I’ve had offers from many coaches, both Russian and American. But I feel great with my coach, and I don’t need anything else, even if it’d bring me ten times as much money”.

    It’s possible that one day Evgeny himself will become a coach – he studies at the coaching department of the Petersburg Academy of Physical Education. Due to studying and practices, he has little time for R&R. But “talking about relaxation, it’s mainly sleeping for me, sleeping like a log. I’m a late riser – if no one wakes me, I can sleep ‘til three or four”. Other than sleeping, he also likes tennis. “I love tennis. But figure skating is better!”. He also likes to shoot pool or go bowling, to chase after a hockey puck or a soccer ball. He follows his favorite team “Zenith”. “I love soccer. I root for out team, but I don’t go to matches. Don’t have time. I watch it on TV”. In hockey, Zhenya roots for Peter SKA. He wants to learn mountain skiing.
    In his free time, Evgeny goes to clubs, but doesn't dance. "I like watching others. My favorite clubs are Plaza, Metro, and Aquatory. I can only do this on Saturdays, because normally Sunday is a day off". He can drink a little - "I like beer and red wine". Zhenya's favorite soft drinks are tomato juice, mineral water, and "Iron Brew". His favorite foods are the ones his mom cooks - ravioli, chicken with fries, borsht. He also likes Japanese cuisine and sushi. Also any kind of ice cream.

    Plushenko himself says, "By nature, I'm not a company guy, and can't stand too many people around me. I see up to twenty thousand people at the stadiums. After that, I just want to be alone, to watch TV (his favorite shows are Big Laundry, Domino Principle, and Windows) or play computer games". "My hobbies are quite childish. I like to PlayStation, and going to firing range".

    Zhenya enjoys movies. "I like action and comedy, especially Russian ones. Among the favorites are "Seventeen Moments of Spring", "Oligarch", and “Bandit Petersburg". He likes ballet, especially "Nutcracker" and "Giselle". In his free time, he enjoys reading. "Though there is not favorite author".

    He often goes to the circus, and thinks that he "could have easily been an animal trainer. I am rather fearless. For example, I like to have some fun behind the wheel. My personal speed record is 220 km/hr (137 mi/hr). I first sat behind the wheel at 11, and started driving at 15". He like motorcycles a lot, but doesn't to it much since it's too dangerous. "I have one, but it's parked in the garage. I haven't used it for a couple of years". Plushenko sometimes goes with friends to skate at a public rink "just for fun". This often leads to curious situations. "I come up to the skate rentals and ask for size 42. The lady answers - for girls, only 39 is left. At first, neither I nor my friends knew what was going on. But then we heard, 'Pretty girl, may be you can skate with a 45?'... Through laughter, my friends suggested I cut my hair. Earlier still, in 2001, Zhenya once went with his friends to the SKA rink. "We decided to rent the skates. I asked for size 41, but was given a 44. I say, 'I can't skate on those!', and the rent person answers, 'That's all we've got! If you can't skate - why come?" and closes the window in my face".

    Evgeny’s favorite relaxation is going fishing or to the sauna, or to go walking with his dog through the woods. This helps him relax, which is necessary since "relaxation is a necessary part of training".

    Dreams and Plans for the future

    Zhenya only sees his future in figure skating. “Honestly, I want to win more and more World championships. If I luck out, then Olympics as well. I’ll work, and I’ll fight. My biggest dream is to do all quads in my program.

    Zhenya would like to enter history books as an innovator. “Of course I want to create a revolution in man skating”. As to his eligible career, Evgeny plans to take part in the next two Olympics. “Of course it’s craze to skate ‘till 2010. But I think it’s possible. I’d like to do it, since I don’t want to stop growing, and want to keep skating at 30”.

    "I'm planning to do a show for Petersburg, for Volgograd where I lived before 11, in many other Russian cities, perhaps also abroad".

    As to the future... “I know for a fact I’d never skate in pairs or in dance. I like skating alone”. “May be I'll turn pro, make my own show. Perhaps I'll open up a night club with a dance floor or a restaurant. I’d like to try out in movies… I’d love to play the hero in a movie. That’s my dream. “I love riding my car, and want to learn extreme driving”.
    Evgeny also dreams of opening his own rink in his native Volgograd. “Unfortunately, I don’t visit Volgograd too often. But after I end my skating career, I hope to open a rink there. I want to teach kids to skate”.

    However, all that is in the future; for now “I intend to skate, skate, and skate”. “I don’t like to talk of the future or try to foresee it. I just want to be in people’s memories”.

  6. #6
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Plushenko profile article last part

    About himself
    Zhenya doesn’t talk much about himself. “I can better talk about myself on the ice. There, I am what I am. I don’t have to choose words to convince people of my sincerity. That’s why the public doesn’t know much about Plushenko’s life outside the ice. Is there a distinction between Plushenko on the ice and Plushenko in life? “It’s hard to draw a distinct boundary. I don’t like to talk about myself, I prefer to have others talk about me”. Indeed, Zhenya doesn’t like talking to journalists. “They just write lies about me. Not all of them, of course. There are decent people, but there are also the sell outs. I don’t want to be the babbling champion, it’s more important for me to be remembered as a great athlete.” Sometimes, though, Zhenya does talk about different subjects.

    So, Evgeny Plushenko on…

    …Figure Skating
    "I think I was born to be a skater. I think it was fate, and I thank God for making it happen. I had luck. That means it's from God. If I achieved something, it's thanks to my parents and my coach. Everything I now have - we did it together. Of course, there is work. You have to go against yourself, to work towards having every session be better than the last one in mastery and technique. Even if by a little. That's a lot of work, and you have to have athletic nerve as well".
    "It is sport, and art, and life, and suffering, and injuries. Primarily, though, it's my life".
    "Our sport is beautiful, it's a holiday. We, the athletes, have to exude happiness. Otherwise, why take the ice?"
    "I am used to having the ice all to myself, and do there whatever I want. I'd call myself an ice egoist".

    .. His jumps
    "Of course there's a trick. My skates have two springs. Special order".

    ... Judges
    “Here’s what I think – I had skated great, without errors, judges won’t dare put anyone else in first. When I loose I don’t get angry with judges. It’s my own fault”.
    “In the last five years, my own assessment of myself usually corresponded with the judges’. I am grateful that the judges really like me.”
    действительно любят.

    ...Role Models
    In figure skating, it’s Victor Petrenko. “I always wanted to be like him. Perhaps I even put in some movements reminiscent of Petrenko. Of course, I never took the ice consciously wanting to be like him. I imitated him subconsciously. I wanted to achieve the same mastery.”
    During the 1998/ 1999 season, Zhenya first took part in the same Pro-Am competition as Petrenko. “It turned out the judges marked my slightly higher, though I though Victor skated brilliantly. He wasn’t upset though. Now we’re friends, and he remains my role model in figure skating.

    “Outside the sport, it’s my parents and my coach. I am insanely grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.”

    Fame
    “I like it. I often hear nice things, though sometimes it’s the reverse. But I’m not obsessed with being famous.”
    “Fame brings some responsibility. If they say that Evgeny Plushenko is becoming a symbol and a role model, I work towards being that.”
    “It hasn’t tired me yet.”

    .. Big head
    “I hope never to get big head. I am proud of myself because I’ve always aimed for the highest peaks in life. Big head is when you stop considering others, and think you’re the king and better than everyone else. You have to come down from the skies, and walk the earth, be with others… being human after all. It kills me – sometimes walk through “Yubilejny” after practice, tired, not noticing anyone because there is no strength left, and then the next day… Not even next day, next hour everyone gossips, “That’s it! Plushenko think he’s better than everyone else!” It’s those who don’t like me who say it. My friends know what’s what.”
    “I won’t be allowed to have a big head. At least while I train at Yubilejny. Sometimes I won’t notice someone, won’t say hi, and I’ll hear right a way, “Plushenko! Come down from the skis!” When I was younger, I’d get upset when I’d hear people saying bad things about me. Now I’m used to it. There are as many opinions as there are people.”

    “You always have to remain human. Many have their heads stuck in the clouds, but we live on earth, and we have to walk it”.

    ... Those he works for
    “First of all, I skate for the audience. Secondly, I earn medals for my parents, because my parents helped me when I was little. They brought me to the rink, and they said I could skate. Probably also for my coach, who is continuing to help me grow to this day.”

    …Audience
    “Audience support is certainly important. It is very beneficial. It’s always nice to skate in the full house. Emotional state of the fans passes on to the skaters. Sometimes you talk to other skaters, and they say, “They’re just clapping, you have to ignore it”. Me, I see and hear everything. I like it when the fans, the audience are clapping and helping me. Together with them, I start to skate, to dance. For me personally, skating before the audience is a joy, I charge up with new energy.”
    “When you take the ice and the audience is screaming and yelling, you feel their support. That’s inspiring. Later, when you skate, you don’t just look up or down – you look into people’s eyes”.
    “Without a soul, you can’t do anything. You can skate, jump, and spin, but if you don’t mean it, those same movements will be nothing.”
    “Without audience, we’d have to skate for the judges, and that’d be boring.”
    “I can’t separate the audience into good ones and bad ones. One time, I take the ice at the Russian Nationals, and some guy screams, ‘Plushenko, you’re still not as good as Yagudin!’ I turn around and say, ‘OK, you like Yagudin. Be my guest. Others, though like Plushenko. The funniest thing is that man then came for an autograph. I gave it of course – it’s no skin off my back.”
    “People love me, and I’m grateful. Audience appreciation is important for any athlete. Sometimes more so than the medals.”
    “Suppose someone else gets “You’re the best” from be audience, and you don’t. The one who gets it now has an easier time at skating; it’s like a second breath. Fans mean a lot. It’s nice to see flags and posters that they bring, and I mainly skate for them.”

    … Fans
    “I am very lucky to have fans. It’s so nice to have people enjoy my skating. I try to bring them joy. I think it’s very important to have fans. They make you want to work harder and skate better. I value the fans support”.
    “I want to have even more of them!”

    …Letters and toys
    “I don’t throw away letters – I put them into big boxes and bags, though I don’t answer anyone. If I answer one girl, another one will feel bad. And I can’t answer everyone”.
    He donates most of the toys to orphanages. “So the abandoned kid would feel a little better”. Zhenya is a member of a charity fund “Anastasios”. He gives some of the toys to his niece and to friends with children.

    … Image of a heart breaker
    “I like this role a lot”.


    Girls
    “I like girls a lot. What, do I look like someone who doesn’t like girls? What, I do? O my god!”
    "I can love all my life. I am after all human".

    ... Betrayal
    "I think betrayal is a betrayal no mater where you go".

    ... Jealousy
    “According to Balzac, a man becomes jealous due to selfishness driven to extreme. I’d like to have nothing to with it. I try to be nice, attentive, tender, and sensual.”

    ... Envy
    “I don’t envy anyone. I’m friends with everyone.”

    …That which is unforgivable
    “Betrayal. When you trust someone, and…”
    - Предательства. Когда доверяешь человеку, а он...

    ... Superstition
    “I am very superstitious. I believe in many things, but I don’t tell anyone. I can only say one thing – it’s a must to sit down before taking the ice.”
    “I think most athletes are superstitious. I don’t know why.”

    …Perfectionism.
    “I want to look perfect. To be perfect. Both on the ice and in life. Without too many words or too much fuss.”
    “I am always eating away at myself.”

    ... Fear
    I am not afraid of anyone. More importantly, I'm not afraid of loosing.

    …Loosing
    “I’m no robot, I have a beating heart; I’m no motor, my veins have blood, not motor oil. I know pain and fatigue. I can loose, but I’ll always work toward winning.”
    “If I don’t win, what’s the point trying to blame others!”
    “When you loose, you won’t even prove to anyone you were in pain.”
    “I don’t know why people think I can’t take loosing. In sport, you win some, you loose some.”
    “When I was a kid, I’d go crazy when I lost. I’d be miserable, I’d go over all of my mistakes, all the elements… I’d drive myself crazy, it was really something. Now I’m calmer. Sport is sport. ”

    …Nerves before competition
    “You’re always nervous, you can’t escape that. It’s not good to be to nervous, but it’s even worse to not be nervous at all. You have to find right balance.”
    “If you’re not nervous, if you don’t care, you won’t have any results.”

    …Emotions during performances
    “I don’t feel pleasure. I have to keep my head cool.”
    “The more you practice the program, the easier it gets to breathe in it. You know where to breathe in, and where to breathe out. This leads to feeling much freer. Emotions then don’t take so much out of you.”
    “You have to forget everything else when you take the ice. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but it’s necessary.

    … Victory
    “Standing ovation is everything. You can give up a lot for that. I also feel it on the podium, when I hear the Russian anthem.”

    …Victory over himself
    “You have to take it easy. I waited a long time to win the Worlds. Leading after the short, I’d go back to the hotel room and tell myself, ‘Damn, it’ll all be on the line tomorrow. I can win the gold…’ If I’d talk to journalists, I wouldn’t think twice about announcing myself as the next champion. In the free, though, something would always go wrong, be it footwork or jumps. I started examining this. I realized you shouldn’t be overconfident, and shouldn’t brag”.

    ...The other side of gold medals
    "Injuries. Fatigue."

    ...Re-incarnation theory
    "May be I was a knight in a previous life?"

    ... Rare Smile
    "If I smiled all the time, I'd look like an idiot."

    ...Mysterious shine in the eyes
    "I'm just always drunk..."


    … What he dreams of at night
    “Jumping, skating, doing difficult elements…”
    “Before, I’d dream of standing on the podium with a medal. Lately, it’s mainly large dogs and flowers”.

    … What he hates
    “I hate early morning practice. Especially during competitions, when I have to get up at six, or even at five. That’s the most hated thing for me.”

    … Compromises
    “I never compromise with myself. For instance, at practice, if I fail at something, I keep at it until it works. With others it’s different, I prefer to do the way he wants to just to avoid a fight.”

    …Clothing

    ”I follow fashion. I buy clothing wherever I can. In Russia, abroad – I don’t care, whenever I have time.”
    “I usually wear jeans. I sometimes like the classics, but don’t usually wear a suit.”

    Russia, Saint Petersburg, and the abroad
    “Peter is my favorite city, and Russia is my favorite country. Abroad, everything is the same. I don’t feel fully comfortable there, though I like Spain, especially Khaka and Madrid. I like it in Russia, and have no intention of moving abroad. The more I travel the world, the more I like my home and Peter. I don’t want to deprive myself of this joy – coming back home.”
    “I like Petergof (Saint Petersburg suburb modeled after Versailles). It’s great to go there in the morning, and wonder around ‘till nightfall. Take the ‘racket’. I like leaving the city for picnics.”
    “In Moscow, I could have had everything including an apartment. However, material goods should not always be the deciding factor. If I needed that, I’d have left a while back. I was invited to America, especially to Florida, by my coach and I decided to stay here.”
    “I most like to skate in Russia – nowhere am I received quite like that.”

    ...Patriotism
    "Patriotism is not the words from the stands. It's good deeds that people do for their country. I try to earn medals for my Mother Country".

    ...Mom
    "I usually agree with her. She never yells at me. We're friends. We try not to argue. We rarely do."

    … His personality
    “I don’t think I’m a genius. I am an ordinary man who knows the value of work.”
    “When something isn’t working, I obviously get angry. I have a temper.”
    "I know how not to think of things I want to think about."
    “Basically, I always do what I think is right.”
    "I am a man of emotion, a sentimental romantic, and I keenly feel any falsehood in relations. But I'm not bad and angry, I'm cute and cuddly. I can easily tell real sincerity from flattery, though you see much of the latter when you become famous. I despise betrayal, which I have, unfortunately, encountered."
    "I have a bad temper. But I try to restrain myself. I am usually angry with myself, since I am especially demanding of myself."

    ... His goals
    "Olympic Gold is certainly an important goal. I guess it's the most important one if you're talking of the sport. But no medal can compare to spending time with my parents and friends."
    "I have one ambition left - to win the Olympic games. If I don't win, well, I'll still be a lucky guy."
    "At first subconsciously, but then from the age of ten I had one goal - ahead, only ahead, through fatigue, through I can't do this. I finally reached the goal, but there is not time to rest, you can't stop, because you can only be the first and the best one you’re constantly moving ahead."

    .. His Dreams outside the sport
    "To build a house on lake shore, to have a nearby a sports boat where one can lie down, watch the sky, relax from the sport, from the travel, from the busy life. Or to just sleep."

    ... His Life
    "My life consists of sport and ice."
    "My whole life is a very long way uphill, with visible and invisible barriers".
    "I'm lucky! At 20, I've achieved a lot. If I had to start my life over, I'd do it the same way."
    "I have everything - parents, friends, I am fairly well off, and I live in a favorite city, in Russia, which I don't want to leave. I have everything I want. But I want to always have this, and to this end I have to work."

    .. Faith
    "I believe in God. I was never ashamed of it. I was baptized at five. I convinced my parents myself. At training, I often noticed other kids wearing the little crosses, and started bothering my parents to baptize me. At first, mom just ignored me. Then I just followed her and was obnoxious enough for mom to take me to church. Now God doesn't leave me, and helps me a lot."

    ...What matters most
    "What matters most is to keep my skates".

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the translation. This is the most complete profile on Plushin that I've read....Hope he won the Gold at Turino, he deserves it.

  8. #8
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for this translation. It was a great read!! Also thank your boss for assigning you a project where you ended up with some time on your hands.

    It's easy to see why Plush is such a mentally tough competitor.

    DG

  9. #9
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    Thanks Ptichka for the most complete profile I've read in a long time! It was very informative and interesting and he's so level-headed and wise beyond his years. My admiration for this incredibly talented athlete continues to grow .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    …Figure Skating
    "I think I was born to be a skater. I think it was fate, and I thank God for making it happen. I had luck. That means it's from God. If I achieved something, it's thanks to my parents and my coach. Everything I now have - we did it together. Of course, there is work. You have to go against yourself, to work towards having every session be better than the last one in mastery and technique. Even if by a little. That's a lot of work, and you have to have athletic nerve as well".

    "It is sport, and art, and life, and suffering, and injuries. Primarily, though, it's my life".
    So humble...and grounded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    .. Big head
    “I hope never to get big head. I am proud of myself because I’ve always aimed for the highest peaks in life. Big head is when you stop considering others, and think you’re the king and better than everyone else. You have to come down from the skies, and walk the earth, be with others… being human after all. It kills me – sometimes walk through “Yubilejny” after practice, tired, not noticing anyone because there is no strength left, and then the next day… Not even next day, next hour everyone gossips, “That’s it! Plushenko think he’s better than everyone else!” It’s those who don’t like me who say it. My friends know what’s what.”

    “I won’t be allowed to have a big head. At least while I train at Yubilejny. Sometimes I won’t notice someone, won’t say hi, and I’ll hear right a way, “Plushenko! Come down from the skis!” When I was younger, I’d get upset when I’d hear people saying bad things about me. Now I’m used to it. There are as many opinions as there are people.”

    “You always have to remain human. Many have their heads stuck in the clouds, but we live on earth, and we have to walk it”.
    Hits the nail on the head. I never was under the impression that he had a big head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    …Letters and toys
    “I don’t throw away letters – I put them into big boxes and bags, though I don’t answer anyone. If I answer one girl, another one will feel bad. And I can’t answer everyone”.

    He donates most of the toys to orphanages. “So the abandoned kid would feel a little better”. Zhenya is a member of a charity fund “Anastasios”. He gives some of the toys to his niece and to friends with children.
    I think most skaters donate their toys? It's also nice to know that he keeps the fan letters, though I can imagine that the huge pile of letters that continues to grow must be sorta freaky. If he ever runs out of firewood ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    … Image of a heart breaker
    “I like this role a lot”.
    I knew it! He's quite the little heart breaker, isn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    Girls
    “I like girls a lot. What, do I look like someone who doesn’t like girls? What, I do? O my god!”

    "I can love all my life. I am after all human".
    I think it's safe to say he does like girls!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    ... Jealousy
    “According to Balzac, a man becomes jealous due to selfishness driven to extreme. I’d like to have nothing to with it. I try to be nice, attentive, tender, and sensual.”
    I think he's totally on the right track were jealousy is concerned. If you realize these things it's much easier to stay away from selfish and controlling desires, such as jeaoulsy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    ... Rare Smile
    "If I smiled all the time, I'd look like an idiot."
    Well, I can honestly say that I look like an idiot then because a smile is never far from my lips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    ...Mysterious shine in the eyes
    "I'm just always drunk..."
    Oh, there's that humor again! I think it looks more like a mischievous shine. He seems like someone who's playful, and funny, and light.

  10. #10
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    He should just retire.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBitch
    He should just retire.
    Why?

  12. #12
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    He's ugly.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBitch
    He's ugly.
    I see. Well, that's the kind of answer I expected.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBitch
    He should just retire.

    he should retire so your ugly fave can win

  15. #15
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    Last time I checked Ugly Irina wasn't competing in men's

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