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Thread: Elena Berezhnaya's interview

  1. #1
    On the Ice windspirit's Avatar
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    Elena Berezhnaya's interview

    (I already posted it at FSU, so if anyone has read it there - it's the same one.)

    OK, a few things first:

    - my comments are in square brackets (and in italics)
    - before you bash Elena for anything she said, bash the translator first (my motto :D ), that is moi
    - it's Moskvina in the photo next to the interview, with the portrait Elena did of her (the link is at the bottom of the post)
    - oh btw, here's a photo of Elena from the ball she's talking about:

    Konsomolskaya Pravda
    Dmitri Ivanov
    December 23, 2003


    The renowned figure skater now creates not only on ice, but also on paper.

    Our correspondent learned at first hand about what has changed in the lives of our great figure skaters after the 2002 Olympics. We met with Elena Berezhnaya in a cozy Japanese restaurant on the Petrogradskaya Side.

    - Why do you like Japanese food so much?

    - It's light. And that's what athletes need. The first time I tried it in Japan. What's interesting, sushi doesn't seem to be so popular there. It's also different in different parts of the world. Here, in many places, they don't use fresh fish, but frozen. In result, it isn't as tasty.

    (Favorite Elena's Japanese dish - Fujiyama: eel; an avocado; tobico {flying fish roe}; "ukachi" [I have no idea how to spell it in English] {smoked eel}; sauce; an omelet. And the drink to go with that: "Japanese schizandra.") [it might've been: Chinese Schizandra berry (Schizandra chinensis), this is what I found out about it: "a famous tonic historically consumed by Chinese royalty and by Daoist masters."]

    - You are going to America again soon, aren't you?

    - Yes. On January 1, at 7:00 AM. We have the first show [SOI] on the next day. There will be sixty of them in total. The tour ends in the middle of April. Then we'll have 13 shows in Canada, until the middle of May. The schedule is tight; we skate for four days, and rest for one. The show is two hours long, then we get on a bus or a plane, and go to another town. We are at a hotel at 3-4 o'clock in the morning. It's good if you can sleep. In the evening there's another show. On the third day your whole body already hurts. Sometimes you take something to help you sleep. Sleep is important. Not that I indulge in it. I usually go to bed with a book.

    - How does the audience from overseas receive you?

    - The interest in figure skating is now declining in America. Imagine: sixty towns, and not once there's a full house. If seven thousand people come - that's good. People are quite scared of terrorism there. They're afraid to go places where there's a great accumulation of people. Also, the tickets were very expensive last year. [Even] For children: $50-70. Next year, if a family goes to a show, they won't have to pay for their child.

    - How do you spend your free time?

    - I've been renovating my apartment; so has Anton, by the way. We've been already dealing with it for a year and a half. My new place is on Ryleev Street. The old house has been entirely remodeled, and two new floors have been added. My apartment consists of three rooms, and has 120 square meters.

    - Do you plan to bring your relatives from Nevinnomyssk?

    - Mama won't come. The climate of Petersburg doesn't agree with her health. And she's told me: "When there are grandchildren, I'll be sitting with them." My younger brother is a student, and later, I think, he's going to join the army. My older brother takes care of the family café, "Axel."

    - And you, wouldn't you like to open a café in Peter?

    - That's what Anton's going to do. With his friends they're planning to open a restaurant with 500 sitting places, near the Moscow [train] Station. So far, I'm not involved in it. Maybe I'll be a part of some other project; they have a lot of ideas.

    - Wouldn't you like to become a coach?

    - You can become a coach anytime. That opportunity will always be there. I just want to try some new things. And later [after you become a coach], I can imagine, every day you have to stand at the boards, and beat something into others' heads... People often come to me and ask, "Lenochka, aren't you coaching yet? We'd like to sign our kid up for skating classes." And what would I do with children? They can be coached by any skater.

    - Does it mean that you're ready to work with experienced skaters?

    - I just know how to do it...

    - You said that your mom is waiting for grandchildren. Will it happen in the near future?

    - In the near future, no. Later - naturally.

    - Not a long ago you were seen at a ball with a young man...

    - It was at the Pushkin's ball! [I think it was the Pushkin-themed ball, "Golden Fall", at the Marble Palace in Petersburg, in Sep 2003] There were descendants of counts everywhere. Well, what can I say... Some people live luxurious lives. We couldn't afford to live like that, and even if we could, it wouldn't last long (laughs). As it comes to the young man, his grandpa sailed on the yacht "Shtandart." Generally, it's a man with distinguished roots. To tell you the truth, I don't like social gatherings. I'd rather go for a walk with my friends in Petersburg.

    - Are figure skaters among them?

    - All are not from the world of sport. There are not that many people who are close to me. I either let someone into my life, or I don't. And I can feel right away whom I can let into it. Instinctively. Many of the people in my closest circle I've met not long ago. And only one girl is my close friend. I'm a godmother of her child.

    - What do you value in men?

    - And what is there to value in you? (laughs)

    - Well, what do you like in men?

    - I really don't like fat men. What else? I'd rather they weren't younger than me... But there's already a man in my life, but I'm not going to describe him.

    - How come? Then maybe you could name just one of the qualities he possesses?

    - One quality? It doesn't happen that way. [that a person has only one good quality, I think is what she meant] However, it's important that a man respect you.

    - What about love, it's not necessary?

    - Love - it's a banal and big word. People often misuse it.

    - Let's talk about other kind of love. For art. I know that you draw...

    - It sounds better than it looks. But yes, I do, in my free time.

    - Whose portrait have you done lately?

    - It was one of my girlfriends'. A desire to do it comes spontaneously. I draw something and give it away at once. By the way, I haven't managed to depict Anton on paper yet. It's difficult for him to sit in one place for long. That's why I've only done some sketches of him eating or sleeping.

    - In America you attended an art class. What have you learned?

    - It was a class for amateurs. The teacher was a 70-year-old woman. They taught us how to position our hand. We drew mostly nude models. I was in shock, I didn't know what to do. Every day there were naked men, women, old people, huge fat "aunties." But I couldn't do anything; I had already paid for the class. One of the nude models told me that she liked my work best. There's a family in America that I stay with. I've left very realistic portraits there, that I like. The very first portrait I did was of Tamara Moskvina. I also drew Putin at the formal reception after the Olympics.

    - Do you want to develop your talent?

    - I do. But it's really hard to find a teacher who'd be willing to come to your house. But my new big apartment gives me that opportunity.

    The original in Russian:
    Last edited by windspirit; 12-23-2003 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #2
    On the Ice
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    Thank you thank you.. This is so great!

    Love that she has grown, matured and become such a sophisticated woman..

    I laughed at the part where she said, Anton's been battling helping out with the renovation. I recall reading another interview where they asked him somethng simple regarding him knowing how to renovate and getting into arguements withLena. He said they sometimes would argue about how she wants her curtains to be placed...

    Funny.. I love these two..

    I resepct her for keeping her private life private...

    Again, thank you for such a wonderful clear translation.


  3. #3
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Thanks Windspirit. And a nice translation, too. I envy where Elena lives -- Ryleev street is a gorgeous part of town!

  4. #4
    Arm Chair Skate Fan
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    Thanks Windspirit...........I enjoyed that! 42

  5. #5
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    What a great interview! Thanks for the translation, Windspirit. I was all the way through. She seems very grounded and at ease within herself.

    I was surprized to hear that SOI still has 60 cities on their tour. Let's see...60 shows times 7000 people times $70 per ticket...$29,400,000 (did I get the decimal place right) -- not a bad haul in uncertain economic times. Interesting that Elena blamed the fear of terrorism for keeping people at home.

    Great headline: IN AMERICA BEREZHNAYA DREW NUDE MEN!!!!!!! Is this publication the equivalent of the National Inquirer, LOL.?


  6. #6
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    Yes, but at many arenas they don't even pack in 7,000 people and the $70 price quoted is twice as much as the cheaper, higher seats.

    SOI lost around 4 million dollars last year, and poor attendance is why COI cut out their winter tour completely this year. Hopefully in the next two year cycle things will pick up as the sport moves towards the Olympics which always seems to put spectators in the seat.

  7. #7
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    Great headline: IN AMERICA BEREZHNAYA DREW NUDE MEN!!!!!!! Is this publication the equivalent of the National Inquirer, LOL.?
    No, it's "Komslomoslskaya Prvada". Mainly it's news (which I do not read because it's rather inaccurate), and some of the best Figure Skating interviews on the Russia Web. I was rather taken aback by the headline myself.

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