Aleksandr Selevko, 21, represented Estonia at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and is, together with his younger brother Mihhail, 19, part of an up-and-coming generation of figure skaters from the small Baltic country.
Selevko started his season at the 2022 Ondrej Nepela Trophy, and while not everything went to plan, he finished seventh. In the Short Program, he slightly underrotated the Lutz and was upset about popping the Axel and falling in his expressive footwork.
“I can’t say that I skated so well, the skater admitted. “I lost a lot of points on the fall which is a shame, because I really like that element. But I am glad that I landed the quad Lutz.”
In the Free Skate, the Estonian Champion singled the Lutz and fell on a triple Axel. “My next event is Budapest Trophy and I think we’re going to do many run-throughs of the programs so that these mistakes won’t happen again.”
Despite fulfilling his big dream by competing in Beijing, the skater is not too satisfied with the past season as he feels he could have performed better. In Beijing, the three-time Estonian Champion had back luck when he dislocated his shoulder in a fall in practice and finished 28th after a sub-par performance in the Short Program.
“I am very happy that I went to the Olympic Games, but unfortunately, not everything worked out as I would have liked,” the athlete noted. “Overall, it was not my greatest season. I had a good competition at Golden Spin, though.” He placed fifth in the event in Croatia last December.
Selevko thinks that his nerves probably got to him during the Olympic year, but he feels even more motivated for the new season after his experience.
“After the Olympic Games, I wanted to show good results even more!” he said. “I would like to go to the next Olympics and it would be cool to go together with my brother.” For that, he has prepared over the summer at home in Tallinn and in training camps abroad. “We have mounted a new short program and we kept the free, but we made some changes to it.”
Ice Dance coach Rostislav Sinicyn, who is based in Oberstdorf, Germany, built the new short program to “De$ert” — an upbeat Arabic trap mix by BadAss and Dandy. Selevko watched videos of dance performances to get some inspiration for the piece.
“Somehow, I had the idea that I wanted a program to Arabic music,” Selevko shared. “This is a bit of a new style for me and it is interesting to try myself in it. We discussed it and I put the music together and my coach liked it. I really enjoy this program and the choreography is quite demanding!”
The skater and his team decided to keep his free skate from last year to Chopin’s “Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor Op. 48” and “Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72” from The Pianist soundtrack.
Selevko has been working on his quads and now includes the quad Lutz into his programs.
“We’ve made both programs harder and we have two quads in the short and three quads in the long,” he revealed. “I started to land the quad flip in practice, but for now, we have not included it into the program.”
The Estonian Champion feels inspired by different skaters and especially points out Olympic Champion Nathan Chen and 2011 European Champion Florent Amodio.
“In fact, I like a lot of skaters,” said Selevko, “or some specific programs or some of their qualities. Nathan Chen – you can’t even describe him (he is so good) and I really like Florent’s way of skating, his energy on the ice. I always wanted to be similar to him.” Selevko hoped to take part in a camp with Amodio, but it has not worked out yet.
Before his debut on the ISU Grand Prix at Skate Canada, Selevko will compete at Budapest Trophy this week and plans to also compete at Golden Spin Zagreb in December. Estonia also has one spot for the men in both the European and World championships and he hopes to compete there as well.
From this season on, Selevko will compete more often against his brother, who is one and a half years younger and has moved up from Juniors. The brothers have been training together since childhood under coach Irina Kononova, who gave them extra lessons when she realized their talent.
“They are very different, but they are both very talented,” the coach offered. “Aleksandr tends to get nervous when his brother is in the same competition, therefore, we usually try to assign them to different events when possible.”
“My brother and I have a very good relationship,” Aleksandr Selevko said. “We support each other, but we practically don’t talk about figure skating outside the rink. When we talk, we are discussing some details and we give each other advice.”
The brothers spend a lot of time together. When one is competing and the other one is at home, he follows his brother’s performances.
“When Misha was at Worlds and competed during our practice, we all stopped and watched him on the phone,” said Aleskandr Selevko. “Obviously, it is energizing to see him learning a new quad. And when I do something, he wants to do it too. I think if there weren’t for the two of us, we probably would not have reached this level.”
The brothers have artistic talents as well. While Aleksandr taught himself to play the piano, Mihhail enjoys digital drawing.
Selevko, who followed a cousin into the sport, is currently fully focusing on his career as an athlete and is not attending university. In his spare time, he coaches a group of kids and choreographs programs for them.
“I am not sure if I’ll be a coach, but I enjoy working with the kids,” said Selevko. “We’ll see what happens. For now, I’ll definitely keep skating.”