2023-24 Russian Pairs Figure Skating | Page 3 | Golden Skate

2023-24 Russian Pairs Figure Skating

AlexBreeze

Record Breaker
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
Daniil Butenko switched from Dobroskokov to Tarasov and Tutberidze (without Cheremnykh, they split).

I wonder what happened. He says that he "had to leave the team for some reasons". Danya really did a lot of for this partnership: waited for Varya when she was injured, worked on his strength so that they could keep and improve their pair elements, found a choreographer. So what happened mid-season? Why he had to change coaches? Their mixed zone interview in Samara was weird too.

 
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AlexBreeze

Record Breaker
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
I need a new pair to root for :(

I'll be looking forward to Yasmina's and Daniil's new partnerships. Yasmina is rumoured to be trying out with Ilya Mironov.
 

AlexBreeze

Record Breaker
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
Valeri Kolesov has announced his retirement. He said that he has reached his limit.

 

AlexBreeze

Record Breaker
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
More from Valera:
The decision was made after the Russian Nationals. We discussed further plans with the coaches and Yasmina. We realised that there was no point in wasting time, our paths were going in different directions. Yasya absolutely understood the whole situation. I am sure that she will achieve her goals in the sport, she has fire in her eyes. Her future partner will definitely be lucky to have her, I will be rooting only for them in the future.
 

3T3T

Final Flight
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Country
Ireland
That’s sad to hear about Kolesov. I always enjoyed his skating. They were unlucky not to get bronze in 2023 Russian Nationals but the judges were kind to T/M.

In Danils instagram he posted that he reached out to Yasmina but she wants to stay with Moskvina and he is staying with Tarasov.
 
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hanca

Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
I need a new pair to root for :(

I'll be looking forward to Yasmina's and Daniil's new partnerships. Yasmina is rumoured to be trying out with Ilya Mironov.
Wasn’t Mironov quite short? Yasmina’s previous partner was short and all the pair elements were suffering. She needs someone more robust.
 

Jumping_Bean

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Wasn’t Mironov quite short? Yasmina’s previous partner was short and all the pair elements were suffering. She needs someone more robust.
Mironov is exactly between Kolesov and Balchenko in height - He's 179 cm (5 cm shorter than Valeri and 5 cm taller than Ivan).

Apart from that, I don't think a lack of height (difference) is what caused Yasmina and Ivan's struggles - Yes, 174 cm is very short as a pairs man, but Yasmina is also only 154 cm tall (or was at the time, though I don't think she's grown much since then either), and 20 cm height difference are quite common in pairs and usually not a problem (Boikova/Kozlovskii have a height difference of 21 cm for example).
 

AlexBreeze

Record Breaker
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
So it's Kadyrova/Mironov after all.

I have doubts about their pair elements 🤔
 

LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH FEDOR KLIMOV

“I RECENTLY SENT A VIDEO OF EXERCISES FROM A WORKOUT, AND THE PERSON REPLIED THAT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HE HEARD ME SCREAM.”​

by Maksim Khorenkov

Google translation

Fedor Klimov is the champion and silver medalist of Sochi 2014, paired with Ksenia Stolbova. After completing his career, he tried himself in various fields, for example, he opened a bar in the Russian capital together with Maxim Trankov and worked on the technical committee of the International Skating Union (ISU).

Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
Now Fedor Aleksandrovich trains couples in Sochi, among his students: Veronica Merenkova / Danil Galimov, Karina Akopova / Nikita Rakhmanin, Daria Danilova / Michelle Tsyba (Netherlands), Maria Pavlova / Alexey Sviatchenko (Hungary). Match TV journalist Maxim Khorenkov talked with a coach in the south of Russia and found out:

  • how the engagement affected Karina Akopova and Nikita Rakhmanin;
  • about the mentality of foreign skaters compared to Russians;
  • whether Klimov remains a soft specialist and whether Evgenia Tarasova can start working as a coach;
  • how Fedor spends his free time in Sochi (sup boarding, overnight trips to the mountains, riding a bike, attending football matches);
  • will Zenit become the national champion this year and about the golden generation of the blue-white-blues;
  • about favorite books and problems of the zoomer generation (they spend a lot of time on their phones).

“IF WORKING WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST IS BENEFICIAL, THEN WHY NOT? BEING AN ATHLETE, I DIDN’T WORK WITH A SPECIALIST, I MANAGED ON MY OWN.”​

— Were Veronica Merenkova/Danil Galimov tired at the Junior Grand Prix final in Sochi? The last start of the season after all.

— Of course, all athletes have fatigue, but I would not talk about it in the context of this pair. The guys were determined for the Grand Prix final, for the result, and were preparing hard for the tournament.

The season didn't turn out exactly as we would have liked. There was a last chance to perform well and get into the national team. I wouldn't say that the couple exceeded expectations, but they were great guys. This is their best performance of the season.

— What didn’t work out at the Russian championship? The competition was the same, compared to the Grand Prix final.

— First of all, we couldn’t cope with our nerves. This is the problem throughout last season. The readiness was quite good, but psychological problems and nerves appeared.

— A sports psychologist works in some groups. Don't you practice this in your own country?

— We don’t have our own sports psychologist. But I know that Veronica is working with a specialist.

— What is your attitude towards an athlete’s work with a psychologist?

- If only it helped. If it is beneficial, then why not? Now I see that this helps Veronica. Being an athlete, I didn’t work with a psychologist, I managed on my own.

— Another interesting pair of yours is Akopova/Rakhmanin. What is happening to them now? Both athletes had a series of injuries.

— They are training. Fortunately, injuries are not a concern. The guys are working, but are wondering what to do next. We were a little burned out, plus there were injuries one after another for two years. During this time, the rivals have progressed greatly, now it will be difficult for Karina and Nikita to fight for high places.

- What are you telling them? When skaters are in limbo.

“The guys are no longer little, this is their life.” I talk to them like adults and advise them to make a balanced, correct decision among themselves.

— My opinion: their potential was higher, but due to injuries they were not able to fully realize it at the moment.

— I agree, they could have shown more. It’s especially a shame for good performances that were not shown at the competitions in full force, in the best performance.


Karina Akopova, Nikita Rakhmanin / Photo: © Dmitry Chelyapin / Match TV
— To give you an idea: how often do they go to training now?

— The usual schedule is six days a week. They are still candidates for the national team, working in training.

— Last year they announced their engagement. How did this affect your professional activities?

— After this event, there was an emotional upsurge, they began to skate much better, but then everything returned to normal. At first the splash was noticeable. I am truly happy for the guys, they found each other, live together, get along.

— Did you give any advice from your experience? You have been married to figure skater Evgenia Tarasova for a long time.

— I try not to interfere in family life. If they ask for advice, of course I give it.

— In general, do athletes often come to you with unusual requests, perhaps not related to sports?

- Happens. Sometimes you look at the guys and realize that something is wrong with them. I ask directly: what happened? It turns out that some event happened.

You should always talk, you shouldn’t keep it to yourself. I am for athletes to share their life problems and difficulties. After all, this is reflected in work. But everyone should have their own personal life, not related to sports.

“IN RUSSIA IT IS MORE DIFFICULT FOR A COACH TO ACHIEVE RECOGNITION WHEN COMPARED WITH THE WORLD LEVEL. I WANT TO PROVE IT WITH OUR GUYS AT INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS"​


— Let's talk about your international affairs. It seemed that Maria Pavlova/Alexei Sviatchenko had been cut on points at the European Championships. Do you agree with this?

- There was such a feeling, and I talked about it. They skated for big scores and had to get the best grades. There were no gross refereeing errors - everything was within the rules. It just seemed like they were holding back a little everywhere. I came to the conclusion that the lack of rating and recognition had an effect, the country is not the most figure skating. All these nuances influenced the final result.

— The guys took 4th place at the World Championships. Is this their ceiling at the moment?

“I don’t think that’s their ceiling.” Now they are making almost the maximum technical content, but we can and will improve in terms of the second assessment, skating, and performances. They can also do more difficult jumps. There is room to grow, and I am sure that this is not their limit; the guys can take the highest places. Could you be higher? If only the opponents were still wrong. But this is not the limit of their capabilities.

— I saw a foreign article that the Hungarian federation obliged visiting skaters to study the language. Is this really true?

— Yes, in order to receive documents to perform at the Olympics, they must pass a language exam, now the guys are studying with tutors. I think this is correct. If you represent the honor of another country, you must know the language and history of the state. This technique is used in many countries, including Germany.


Maria Pavlova, Alexey Svyatchenko Alexey Svyatchenko / Photo: © Anadolu / Contributor / Anadolu / Gettyimages.ru
— To perform at the Olympic Games, you need to get a country passport. Maria and Alexey in the process of receiving documents?

— Yes, in the process of obtaining citizenship. This is why they learn a language. There are no specific dates for the issuance of passports, everything is in progress. They rely on our guys in the federation, meet them halfway, and support them.

— The couple has been together for two years. Is progress noticeable compared to the debut season?

“They are making progress, they performed well at two stages of the Grand Prix, and made it to the finals. They performed well at the European Championships (4th place - Note: Match TV). They add stability and slowly become more and more interesting.
We struggle with the components, every time after the competition we come up and ask what is missing, the judges express their wishes. We will work on this, perhaps we will involve different directors in the training process, who will be able to add something of their own to the programs. The guys are now doing the best they can.

In general, the first year is spent getting used to each other; the second season can be difficult. The guys had injuries, not without difficulties. But now the couple feels each other well, and we can say that they are quite well-coordinated.

— Your second international couple is Daria Danilova/Michelle Tsyba.

— It’s interesting to work with them, Michel is European, but speaks Russian, they spent a lot of time in our country. We solve our problems with them and try to help them maximize their potential. In the summer, they conduct training camps with us. They come during the season - between competitions, when there is time. Sometimes they stay in Holland to make it easier to travel around tournaments.

— What didn’t work out for this couple at the World Championships (14th place)?

— The jump in the short program didn’t work out, although in training recently we performed everything consistently. We were in the first warm-up before the free skate, and we were also the first to skate—the scores depend a little on this. Although they performed the free program with dignity, with one mistake. We are happy with the guys, good skates, but we need to work on the jumping part - this is such a delicate area for them. I see progress, I think they can add more stability in jumping.

— Michel is European. What are his differences, comparing with Russian guys?

“He tries to enjoy everything, sometimes it’s hard for him to force himself to do something, but he can’t do without it. We explain that for the sake of results you need to step over yourself.

— Many Russian athletes noted that tournaments for them are stressful, a kind of battle, but Europeans have a simpler attitude.

— One hundred percent, they come to tournaments as if it were a holiday. I remember from myself: before the competition I was under enormous stress for several days; foreigners did not experience this. I think this is their advantage; we need to strive for such a perception of things.
At the same time, I noticed that the training ended - and our guys immediately left, and for some reason the foreigners were more responsible - after the main work they ran around the arena, stretched, although no one forced them. Purely for myself.

— Everyone in Russian figure skating knows you. There is no desire to prove your coaching worth abroad?

— I don’t know how well they know me in Europe, but in narrow circles they definitely have an idea. I have something to prove in Russia too. I have not been working as a coach for very long, there are points of professional growth, I have set many goals and objectives for myself.

I admit, I want to prove it at the world level with our athletes. Yes, there is no such opportunity yet, we work within the country, sometimes we go to international tournaments with guys from other countries.

In Russia it is more difficult to achieve recognition that you are a good coach, compared to the world level. There, if you have some worthy athletes, you immediately go to the European Championships, the World Championships, and show yourself. And if your students are selected for the Olympics, then you become an Olympic coach - this is valued by them. In our country, try to make it to the Olympics!


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © FT Sirius
— The competition within the country is now very serious, even at the junior level.

— Yes, this is both great and surprising: without entering the international arena there are many strong juniors, the seniors are not lagging behind. Many boys and girls can give a head start to older guys.

“It’s not easy for couples to transition to the adult level.

— It’s hard now to immediately shoot at the adult level, to break into the medals. Let's be honest: the couples that take first place are top, it's hard to move them. As long as they skate at their level, it’s hard to compete. In our time it was easier, they could immediately break through and make themselves known.

— Let me be more specific, are we talking about Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Gallyamov and Alexandra Boykova/Dmitry Kozlovsky?

- Exactly. And now they are immediately followed by three Perm couples who demonstrate a high level.

“ZHENYA TARASOVA DOES NOT STRIVE FOR A COACHING CAREER. YOU NEED TO DO WHAT YOU LIKE"​

— Earlier you talked about your mother’s influence on you as an athlete. Now do you turn to her for advice (Fedora’s mother is one of the first coaches of Anastasia Mishina and Alexandra Boykova. - Note: Match TV)?

- Sometimes I give advice. Her coaching experience is many times higher than mine, I am always ready to listen to her thoughts on work and training athletes. This all happens in the format of an ordinary everyday conversation, which sometimes involves talking about figure skating.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— Two years ago, in an interview with my colleagues, you called yourself a soft coach. Something has changed?

- Yes. I recently sent someone a video of a workout, and the person replied that this was the first time he had heard me scream. And I didn’t even notice, I was giving some instructions. It’s not just that I said this in an interview; it means that I believed that more rigidity and rigor should be applied. I consciously began to work in this direction. But everyone needs an individual approach.

— Have there been situations when you went too far somewhere and realized it after some time?

- No, I try to monitor my behavior. If this happens, I will definitely talk to the skater and apologize. Athletes are, first of all, individuals - and you can’t overdo it. I always control my emotions, the main thing is not to offend anyone.

— Your wife, Evgenia Tarasova, can start training with you?

— Zhenya doesn’t have such a goal now; she doesn’t strive for a coaching career. She has other goals, she now performs a lot in shows and performances. You need to do what you like. When she goes on the ice, she gives advice - these are the necessary, targeted instructions. She trained with many people and has a lot to give. Maybe someday he will come to coaching, but for now he is doing his own thing.

— Do you think that the current generation of figure skaters is more professional in their approach to the matter. Can you remember a time when you did something wrong as an athlete?

— The story is on the surface: before the Olympics I broke my leg. I rode a bicycle, in fact, I did not violate the rules. I'm not very good at riding two wheels, so maybe I shouldn't have done it then. But it happened the way it happened.


— How involved are you in world figure skating?

— I keep an eye on the couples, of course. I try to watch the main starts. In single skating and ice dancing, I watch the strongest representatives.

— How would you assess the state of pair skating abroad?

— There was a certain hole, the level dropped after the 2022 Olympics. It was hard to watch the European Championships with single and double jumps - it all seemed frivolous.

Now the level has leveled off a little. Of course, not like it was with our skaters, but still. This is due to the fact that after the Olympics, some people end their careers, some change partners, and so on. Now new couples are appearing, everyone wants to qualify for the Olympics.

— There are no bright names in the couples.

- Agree. There are several couples that are at the same level and can compete with each other. This is also a certain indicator - there are no guys who can be called even in the future a legendary couple, like Volosozhar/Trankov, Savchenko with any partner, even like Sui Wenjing/Han Tsun. These were super couples whose programs would be reviewed and looked up to. Now there are no such duets, there are only a few equal duets of a good level, which, in my opinion, do not stand out.

— Boykova/Kozlovsky, Mishina/Gallyamov would definitely be among the winners?

- In my opinion, yes. If our couples return to the international stage, it will be a cakewalk for them after such competition within the country. Leaders at European tournaments receive approximately 130-135 points for a free program, for us - 155.

“I BOUGHT A SUP BOARD, I LIKE TO WALK ON THE SEA IN THE EVENING AT SUNSET, DOLPHINS JUMP OUT OF THE WATER ABOUT FIVE METERS FROM ME.”​

— You are originally from St. Petersburg. How do you find working in Sochi now? Isn’t it hard to force yourself to do something in such a climate and conditions?

— At first it was like this: you couldn’t leave the feeling that you had come to some kind of training camp, but this goes away after a couple of months. I noticed this with the guys too: at first they feel like they’re on vacation. Then they settle in and perceive things differently; they have to put themselves in order and train to the maximum.

It’s not difficult to get used to the climate, weather, people. I like it here, I love the sea, the mountains. After training, you can just sit and look into the distance. It's inspiring.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— Have you tried snowboarding or skiing?

— I go skiing. I travel regularly during the season - it’s my hobby.

— What other hobbies arose during your stay in the south?

— I bought a SUP board, I like to walk on the sea in the evening at sunset, dolphins swim quite close, jump out of the water about five meters from me, you can say we walk with them.

I also started riding a motorcycle, I can ride almost all year round, and I also get some pleasure from it. In the summer I go to the mountains, I even stayed overnight. I try to spend my free time interestingly, not lie on the bed. There are a lot of things to do here that I haven't explored yet.

— If your athlete skied or snowboarded, would that be normal for you?

- This is dangerous, you need to do it very carefully. On the other hand, this is an outlet that should be there to relieve your head. I am loyal to this. If everything happens wisely, if all safety measures are followed, it may even be beneficial. But I always say that it is better to do this kind of thing after the season, so that even minimal injuries do not affect the competition.

— You also love literature, right? Last book read?

- Certainly. Currently reading Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram. After watching the film, I wanted to re-read The Master and Margarita. My favorite movie is “Fight Club”, I once read the book, now I decided to re-read it.

— Top 3 books from foreign and Russian literature?

— It’s difficult to make a top list. From foreign countries I like: Hunter Thompson - “The Rum Diary”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, Irvine Welsh - “Trainspotting”, I love the Harry Potter series of books by JK Rowling, I’ve read them several times. Favorite Russian book: Lermontov - “Hero of Our Time.”

— Do you recommend anything from literature to athletes? As a way to unload your head.

— It’s difficult with this: everything is on phones, computers. We play chess and board games with the skaters at training camps.

— Did any of the athletes beat you at chess?

- Nikita Rakhmanin - he was studying, he has some kind of discharge. He plays well, more often than not he even wins, but he and I are about equal.

— Another hobby of yours is football.

— Yes, I love to play, but I don’t always manage to go on the field due to lack of time. I run in a variety of positions, but I don’t stand up for goal, more often in midfield or defense. Among the skaters, many guys play well - Zhenya Plushenko, Sanya Gallyamov. But we must not forget that this is a contact sport, it is better for us not to go into contact somewhere, to remove our foot so as not to get injured.

— Do you go to Sochi football matches?

- Yes, if possible. If they play against Zenit, I try to get in. Sochi is interesting to watch - the result is always unpredictable. A couple of seasons ago they took second place, now they are fighting to maintain their registration in the RPL.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— You support Zenit. As a St. Petersburg resident, aren’t you offended that leading positions in the team are occupied by foreign players?

— We watched the match with Spartak... there were four Russian football players. Of course, I would like to see more of our guys. On the other hand, this team is fun to watch. They simply enjoy the game: they feint, score beautifully, carry out interesting combinations. Maybe it’s even more interesting than when only our guys fight, run around the field and score few goals.

— Did you follow the 2008 team?

— Yes, I started supporting Zenit in 2002. For me, the generation of Radimov, Kerzhakov, Arshavin will forever remain legendary for St. Petersburg. Golden composition.
— Will Zenit become the champion this season?

- I think yes.

— Footballer Alexander Kokorin was considered one of the most talented players in the country, but did not live up to expectations, according to many, due to sloppiness. Have you come across similar stories in figure skating?

- There are many such examples, and in pair skating there are many cool partners who have not reached the heights, I won’t even name names - they are completely unknown. They showed hope, everyone thought they would become champions, but it didn’t work out. But in couples, everything depends not only on one person: somewhere “chemistry” in a relationship with a partner may not happen.
 

thatdarncat

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2022
Country
United-Kingdom

INTERVIEW WITH FEDOR KLIMOV

“I RECENTLY SENT A VIDEO OF EXERCISES FROM A WORKOUT, AND THE PERSON REPLIED THAT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HE HEARD ME SCREAM.”​

by Maksim Khorenkov

Google translation

Fedor Klimov is the champion and silver medalist of Sochi 2014, paired with Ksenia Stolbova. After completing his career, he tried himself in various fields, for example, he opened a bar in the Russian capital together with Maxim Trankov and worked on the technical committee of the International Skating Union (ISU).

Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
Now Fedor Aleksandrovich trains couples in Sochi, among his students: Veronica Merenkova / Danil Galimov, Karina Akopova / Nikita Rakhmanin, Daria Danilova / Michelle Tsyba (Netherlands), Maria Pavlova / Alexey Sviatchenko (Hungary). Match TV journalist Maxim Khorenkov talked with a coach in the south of Russia and found out:

  • how the engagement affected Karina Akopova and Nikita Rakhmanin;
  • about the mentality of foreign skaters compared to Russians;
  • whether Klimov remains a soft specialist and whether Evgenia Tarasova can start working as a coach;
  • how Fedor spends his free time in Sochi (sup boarding, overnight trips to the mountains, riding a bike, attending football matches);
  • will Zenit become the national champion this year and about the golden generation of the blue-white-blues;
  • about favorite books and problems of the zoomer generation (they spend a lot of time on their phones).

“IF WORKING WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST IS BENEFICIAL, THEN WHY NOT? BEING AN ATHLETE, I DIDN’T WORK WITH A SPECIALIST, I MANAGED ON MY OWN.”​

— Were Veronica Merenkova/Danil Galimov tired at the Junior Grand Prix final in Sochi? The last start of the season after all.

— Of course, all athletes have fatigue, but I would not talk about it in the context of this pair. The guys were determined for the Grand Prix final, for the result, and were preparing hard for the tournament.

The season didn't turn out exactly as we would have liked. There was a last chance to perform well and get into the national team. I wouldn't say that the couple exceeded expectations, but they were great guys. This is their best performance of the season.

— What didn’t work out at the Russian championship? The competition was the same, compared to the Grand Prix final.

— First of all, we couldn’t cope with our nerves. This is the problem throughout last season. The readiness was quite good, but psychological problems and nerves appeared.

— A sports psychologist works in some groups. Don't you practice this in your own country?

— We don’t have our own sports psychologist. But I know that Veronica is working with a specialist.

— What is your attitude towards an athlete’s work with a psychologist?

- If only it helped. If it is beneficial, then why not? Now I see that this helps Veronica. Being an athlete, I didn’t work with a psychologist, I managed on my own.

— Another interesting pair of yours is Akopova/Rakhmanin. What is happening to them now? Both athletes had a series of injuries.

— They are training. Fortunately, injuries are not a concern. The guys are working, but are wondering what to do next. We were a little burned out, plus there were injuries one after another for two years. During this time, the rivals have progressed greatly, now it will be difficult for Karina and Nikita to fight for high places.

- What are you telling them? When skaters are in limbo.

“The guys are no longer little, this is their life.” I talk to them like adults and advise them to make a balanced, correct decision among themselves.

— My opinion: their potential was higher, but due to injuries they were not able to fully realize it at the moment.

— I agree, they could have shown more. It’s especially a shame for good performances that were not shown at the competitions in full force, in the best performance.


Karina Akopova, Nikita Rakhmanin / Photo: © Dmitry Chelyapin / Match TV
— To give you an idea: how often do they go to training now?

— The usual schedule is six days a week. They are still candidates for the national team, working in training.

— Last year they announced their engagement. How did this affect your professional activities?

— After this event, there was an emotional upsurge, they began to skate much better, but then everything returned to normal. At first the splash was noticeable. I am truly happy for the guys, they found each other, live together, get along.

— Did you give any advice from your experience? You have been married to figure skater Evgenia Tarasova for a long time.

— I try not to interfere in family life. If they ask for advice, of course I give it.

— In general, do athletes often come to you with unusual requests, perhaps not related to sports?

- Happens. Sometimes you look at the guys and realize that something is wrong with them. I ask directly: what happened? It turns out that some event happened.

You should always talk, you shouldn’t keep it to yourself. I am for athletes to share their life problems and difficulties. After all, this is reflected in work. But everyone should have their own personal life, not related to sports.

“IN RUSSIA IT IS MORE DIFFICULT FOR A COACH TO ACHIEVE RECOGNITION WHEN COMPARED WITH THE WORLD LEVEL. I WANT TO PROVE IT WITH OUR GUYS AT INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS"​


— Let's talk about your international affairs. It seemed that Maria Pavlova/Alexei Sviatchenko had been cut on points at the European Championships. Do you agree with this?

- There was such a feeling, and I talked about it. They skated for big scores and had to get the best grades. There were no gross refereeing errors - everything was within the rules. It just seemed like they were holding back a little everywhere. I came to the conclusion that the lack of rating and recognition had an effect, the country is not the most figure skating. All these nuances influenced the final result.

— The guys took 4th place at the World Championships. Is this their ceiling at the moment?

“I don’t think that’s their ceiling.” Now they are making almost the maximum technical content, but we can and will improve in terms of the second assessment, skating, and performances. They can also do more difficult jumps. There is room to grow, and I am sure that this is not their limit; the guys can take the highest places. Could you be higher? If only the opponents were still wrong. But this is not the limit of their capabilities.

— I saw a foreign article that the Hungarian federation obliged visiting skaters to study the language. Is this really true?

— Yes, in order to receive documents to perform at the Olympics, they must pass a language exam, now the guys are studying with tutors. I think this is correct. If you represent the honor of another country, you must know the language and history of the state. This technique is used in many countries, including Germany.


Maria Pavlova, Alexey Svyatchenko Alexey Svyatchenko / Photo: © Anadolu / Contributor / Anadolu / Gettyimages.ru
— To perform at the Olympic Games, you need to get a country passport. Maria and Alexey in the process of receiving documents?

— Yes, in the process of obtaining citizenship. This is why they learn a language. There are no specific dates for the issuance of passports, everything is in progress. They rely on our guys in the federation, meet them halfway, and support them.

— The couple has been together for two years. Is progress noticeable compared to the debut season?

“They are making progress, they performed well at two stages of the Grand Prix, and made it to the finals. They performed well at the European Championships (4th place - Note: Match TV). They add stability and slowly become more and more interesting.
We struggle with the components, every time after the competition we come up and ask what is missing, the judges express their wishes. We will work on this, perhaps we will involve different directors in the training process, who will be able to add something of their own to the programs. The guys are now doing the best they can.

In general, the first year is spent getting used to each other; the second season can be difficult. The guys had injuries, not without difficulties. But now the couple feels each other well, and we can say that they are quite well-coordinated.

— Your second international couple is Daria Danilova/Michelle Tsyba.

— It’s interesting to work with them, Michel is European, but speaks Russian, they spent a lot of time in our country. We solve our problems with them and try to help them maximize their potential. In the summer, they conduct training camps with us. They come during the season - between competitions, when there is time. Sometimes they stay in Holland to make it easier to travel around tournaments.

— What didn’t work out for this couple at the World Championships (14th place)?

— The jump in the short program didn’t work out, although in training recently we performed everything consistently. We were in the first warm-up before the free skate, and we were also the first to skate—the scores depend a little on this. Although they performed the free program with dignity, with one mistake. We are happy with the guys, good skates, but we need to work on the jumping part - this is such a delicate area for them. I see progress, I think they can add more stability in jumping.

— Michel is European. What are his differences, comparing with Russian guys?

“He tries to enjoy everything, sometimes it’s hard for him to force himself to do something, but he can’t do without it. We explain that for the sake of results you need to step over yourself.

— Many Russian athletes noted that tournaments for them are stressful, a kind of battle, but Europeans have a simpler attitude.

— One hundred percent, they come to tournaments as if it were a holiday. I remember from myself: before the competition I was under enormous stress for several days; foreigners did not experience this. I think this is their advantage; we need to strive for such a perception of things.
At the same time, I noticed that the training ended - and our guys immediately left, and for some reason the foreigners were more responsible - after the main work they ran around the arena, stretched, although no one forced them. Purely for myself.

— Everyone in Russian figure skating knows you. There is no desire to prove your coaching worth abroad?

— I don’t know how well they know me in Europe, but in narrow circles they definitely have an idea. I have something to prove in Russia too. I have not been working as a coach for very long, there are points of professional growth, I have set many goals and objectives for myself.

I admit, I want to prove it at the world level with our athletes. Yes, there is no such opportunity yet, we work within the country, sometimes we go to international tournaments with guys from other countries.

In Russia it is more difficult to achieve recognition that you are a good coach, compared to the world level. There, if you have some worthy athletes, you immediately go to the European Championships, the World Championships, and show yourself. And if your students are selected for the Olympics, then you become an Olympic coach - this is valued by them. In our country, try to make it to the Olympics!


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © FT Sirius
— The competition within the country is now very serious, even at the junior level.

— Yes, this is both great and surprising: without entering the international arena there are many strong juniors, the seniors are not lagging behind. Many boys and girls can give a head start to older guys.

“It’s not easy for couples to transition to the adult level.

— It’s hard now to immediately shoot at the adult level, to break into the medals. Let's be honest: the couples that take first place are top, it's hard to move them. As long as they skate at their level, it’s hard to compete. In our time it was easier, they could immediately break through and make themselves known.

— Let me be more specific, are we talking about Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Gallyamov and Alexandra Boykova/Dmitry Kozlovsky?

- Exactly. And now they are immediately followed by three Perm couples who demonstrate a high level.

“ZHENYA TARASOVA DOES NOT STRIVE FOR A COACHING CAREER. YOU NEED TO DO WHAT YOU LIKE"​

— Earlier you talked about your mother’s influence on you as an athlete. Now do you turn to her for advice (Fedora’s mother is one of the first coaches of Anastasia Mishina and Alexandra Boykova. - Note: Match TV)?

- Sometimes I give advice. Her coaching experience is many times higher than mine, I am always ready to listen to her thoughts on work and training athletes. This all happens in the format of an ordinary everyday conversation, which sometimes involves talking about figure skating.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— Two years ago, in an interview with my colleagues, you called yourself a soft coach. Something has changed?

- Yes. I recently sent someone a video of a workout, and the person replied that this was the first time he had heard me scream. And I didn’t even notice, I was giving some instructions. It’s not just that I said this in an interview; it means that I believed that more rigidity and rigor should be applied. I consciously began to work in this direction. But everyone needs an individual approach.

— Have there been situations when you went too far somewhere and realized it after some time?

- No, I try to monitor my behavior. If this happens, I will definitely talk to the skater and apologize. Athletes are, first of all, individuals - and you can’t overdo it. I always control my emotions, the main thing is not to offend anyone.

— Your wife, Evgenia Tarasova, can start training with you?

— Zhenya doesn’t have such a goal now; she doesn’t strive for a coaching career. She has other goals, she now performs a lot in shows and performances. You need to do what you like. When she goes on the ice, she gives advice - these are the necessary, targeted instructions. She trained with many people and has a lot to give. Maybe someday he will come to coaching, but for now he is doing his own thing.

— Do you think that the current generation of figure skaters is more professional in their approach to the matter. Can you remember a time when you did something wrong as an athlete?

— The story is on the surface: before the Olympics I broke my leg. I rode a bicycle, in fact, I did not violate the rules. I'm not very good at riding two wheels, so maybe I shouldn't have done it then. But it happened the way it happened.


— How involved are you in world figure skating?

— I keep an eye on the couples, of course. I try to watch the main starts. In single skating and ice dancing, I watch the strongest representatives.

— How would you assess the state of pair skating abroad?

— There was a certain hole, the level dropped after the 2022 Olympics. It was hard to watch the European Championships with single and double jumps - it all seemed frivolous.

Now the level has leveled off a little. Of course, not like it was with our skaters, but still. This is due to the fact that after the Olympics, some people end their careers, some change partners, and so on. Now new couples are appearing, everyone wants to qualify for the Olympics.

— There are no bright names in the couples.

- Agree. There are several couples that are at the same level and can compete with each other. This is also a certain indicator - there are no guys who can be called even in the future a legendary couple, like Volosozhar/Trankov, Savchenko with any partner, even like Sui Wenjing/Han Tsun. These were super couples whose programs would be reviewed and looked up to. Now there are no such duets, there are only a few equal duets of a good level, which, in my opinion, do not stand out.

— Boykova/Kozlovsky, Mishina/Gallyamov would definitely be among the winners?

- In my opinion, yes. If our couples return to the international stage, it will be a cakewalk for them after such competition within the country. Leaders at European tournaments receive approximately 130-135 points for a free program, for us - 155.

“I BOUGHT A SUP BOARD, I LIKE TO WALK ON THE SEA IN THE EVENING AT SUNSET, DOLPHINS JUMP OUT OF THE WATER ABOUT FIVE METERS FROM ME.”​

— You are originally from St. Petersburg. How do you find working in Sochi now? Isn’t it hard to force yourself to do something in such a climate and conditions?

— At first it was like this: you couldn’t leave the feeling that you had come to some kind of training camp, but this goes away after a couple of months. I noticed this with the guys too: at first they feel like they’re on vacation. Then they settle in and perceive things differently; they have to put themselves in order and train to the maximum.

It’s not difficult to get used to the climate, weather, people. I like it here, I love the sea, the mountains. After training, you can just sit and look into the distance. It's inspiring.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— Have you tried snowboarding or skiing?

— I go skiing. I travel regularly during the season - it’s my hobby.

— What other hobbies arose during your stay in the south?

— I bought a SUP board, I like to walk on the sea in the evening at sunset, dolphins swim quite close, jump out of the water about five meters from me, you can say we walk with them.

I also started riding a motorcycle, I can ride almost all year round, and I also get some pleasure from it. In the summer I go to the mountains, I even stayed overnight. I try to spend my free time interestingly, not lie on the bed. There are a lot of things to do here that I haven't explored yet.

— If your athlete skied or snowboarded, would that be normal for you?

- This is dangerous, you need to do it very carefully. On the other hand, this is an outlet that should be there to relieve your head. I am loyal to this. If everything happens wisely, if all safety measures are followed, it may even be beneficial. But I always say that it is better to do this kind of thing after the season, so that even minimal injuries do not affect the competition.

— You also love literature, right? Last book read?

- Certainly. Currently reading Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram. After watching the film, I wanted to re-read The Master and Margarita. My favorite movie is “Fight Club”, I once read the book, now I decided to re-read it.

— Top 3 books from foreign and Russian literature?

— It’s difficult to make a top list. From foreign countries I like: Hunter Thompson - “The Rum Diary”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, Irvine Welsh - “Trainspotting”, I love the Harry Potter series of books by JK Rowling, I’ve read them several times. Favorite Russian book: Lermontov - “Hero of Our Time.”

— Do you recommend anything from literature to athletes? As a way to unload your head.

— It’s difficult with this: everything is on phones, computers. We play chess and board games with the skaters at training camps.

— Did any of the athletes beat you at chess?

- Nikita Rakhmanin - he was studying, he has some kind of discharge. He plays well, more often than not he even wins, but he and I are about equal.

— Another hobby of yours is football.

— Yes, I love to play, but I don’t always manage to go on the field due to lack of time. I run in a variety of positions, but I don’t stand up for goal, more often in midfield or defense. Among the skaters, many guys play well - Zhenya Plushenko, Sanya Gallyamov. But we must not forget that this is a contact sport, it is better for us not to go into contact somewhere, to remove our foot so as not to get injured.

— Do you go to Sochi football matches?

- Yes, if possible. If they play against Zenit, I try to get in. Sochi is interesting to watch - the result is always unpredictable. A couple of seasons ago they took second place, now they are fighting to maintain their registration in the RPL.


Fedor Klimov / Photo: © Personal archive of Fedor Klimov
— You support Zenit. As a St. Petersburg resident, aren’t you offended that leading positions in the team are occupied by foreign players?

— We watched the match with Spartak... there were four Russian football players. Of course, I would like to see more of our guys. On the other hand, this team is fun to watch. They simply enjoy the game: they feint, score beautifully, carry out interesting combinations. Maybe it’s even more interesting than when only our guys fight, run around the field and score few goals.

— Did you follow the 2008 team?

— Yes, I started supporting Zenit in 2002. For me, the generation of Radimov, Kerzhakov, Arshavin will forever remain legendary for St. Petersburg. Golden composition.
— Will Zenit become the champion this season?

- I think yes.

— Footballer Alexander Kokorin was considered one of the most talented players in the country, but did not live up to expectations, according to many, due to sloppiness. Have you come across similar stories in figure skating?

- There are many such examples, and in pair skating there are many cool partners who have not reached the heights, I won’t even name names - they are completely unknown. They showed hope, everyone thought they would become champions, but it didn’t work out. But in couples, everything depends not only on one person: somewhere “chemistry” in a relationship with a partner may not happen.
Interesting interview, now I know who your profile photo is of and he is also married to Tarasova.
 
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