Alina's Interviews after Worlds | Golden Skate

Alina's Interviews after Worlds


Record Breaker
Mar 18, 2015
Translator: me

- Alina, we feel that gold at the World Championship is more important to you than the Olympics one.
- Yes, I said the same thing, because during the Olympic season I, as they say, broke into. For me, every start was something new and interesting. And now I know how difficult it is. It is twice as hard to concentrate. It was very important for me to finish this season well and with dignity.
- Exactly one year ago at the World Championship in Milan, you experienced a big failure, not getting on podium after winning the Olympics. Could you remove from your head what happened then?
- I forget both victories and defeats very quickly, and start all over again. To be honest, I went to the World Championship [in Milan] with the thought that next year we would have three quotas. It was the most important thing for me, so I knew with my head that there was still some physical strength, but there were no moral forces to concentrate. It happened the way it happened.
- You knew what your Japanese rival Rika Kihira was preparing?
- Probably, you have already heard when an athlete says that his biggest rival is himself. I am no exception, so you cannot jump over your head and do lets say a quadruple Salchow which you have never landed. You should do what you worked on in training, skate your content at the maximum level.
- What did you think yesterday after the victory?
- To pass the doping test faster. I sat there from nine in the evening to five in the morning, broke my record. I did not have time to be alone, and today I have not slept yet. Didn't manage.
- At the European Championship in Minsk you said that the first thing after the tournament you will want to go train. What do you want to do now?
- Get a little sleep. I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying in Japan and will be performing in shows. And then home.
- What attracts you to Okinawa, where do you want to go for a vacation?
- First, the country itself, Japan, attracts me. Secondly, there is a blue sea there and a lot of fish, corals. Things that I like. You are swimming and you wonder what is going on in the depths. Also, its very calm there.
- Will you swim with a mask?
- Of course.
- Scuba diving?
- I would be interested, but at the same time it is scary.
- You, and scared?
- I have never tried, but this is a closed space. You can say I have a phobia.
- To skate in front of 18,000 people is not scary, but is it scary to wear scuba gear?
- Maybe.
- How does your dog Masaru feel on the ice?
- On the ice, she just falls and licks it. Tumbles. She is just hot, and the ice saves her.
- There is a video in which your coach, Daniil Gleichengauz, performed an element with Masaru. This happens often?
- No, she sometimes comes to the rink, but does not always go on the ice. Usually she just meets me, but when she is on the ice, our training process becomes more joyful. It is a distraction, and it is good.
- They say that Akita-Inu dogs have a complicated character.
- Yes, complicated, but Masaru is a calm dog and understands everything. But sometimes she wants to do the opposite. Suppose we do not allow her to go into the kitchen, and then she looks at us as if she says: "I guess I'll lie down." Or she can lie in such a way that you cannot move her, since she already weighs about 25 kilograms. She understands this very well and therefore lies on her back. Very funny.
- Dogs can adopt the character traits of the owners.
- Yes, this happens. I have the same character now as hers. I want to do everything exactly the opposite. They say yes to me, I say no. They say to me: "No," I answer: "Yes." It seems to me that it happens to every person, and with age it will pass. I'm trying to overcome it. Both Masaru and I have calm characters. We are cheerful. When you tell her that we are going for a walk, she starts jumping from happiness and runs after her tail. Every walk on the street for her is a great happiness. I understand that the dog is happy every day, and you should be glad that you can breathe, walk, train. It is very nice.
- Now you have an Olympic victory, the title of world champion. What else do you need from life?
- For me the most important thing now is just to skate. There are two-time, three-time champions ...
- You need to collect titles? Want to break records?
- I don’t think about records, it's just important for me to skate now.
- For what?
- For myself. And for the millions of fans who follow me around the world. They came from Russia to Japan to support me, and I really appreciate it.
- This season was very hard. Did you enjoy figure skating often?
- Less often than in the previous season. But when it is difficult for you, and then you overcome, it is doubly pleasant. The path to this World Championship was very hard for me, but when you win, you realize that you are two or three times more happy than at the Olympics. Cannot say that it was easy in PyeongChang, but now it was very difficult for me.
- When was the most critical moment of the season?
- Russian championship.
- Free?
- Yes.
- Felt like giving up?
- There were moments, but the coaches found some very important words.
- Quiet?
- Various. Sometimes you need both a stick and a carrot.
- Was it mostly Eteri Tutberidze talking to you?
- Before this World Championship, there was also my family, the second family, ice one, “Sambo-70”. There were a lot of people who helped me and gave me strength. I was doubly pleased to win in Japan, I really wanted to.
- Of course. Strong satisfaction?
- Now I'm more tired. Now I’ll have a little sleep, and I think it will go off-scale.
-Yesterday your parents said they were insanely happy for you. What is their main help now?
- We don't communicate before competitions [with parents], but this time my little sister, she is 10, called me before the short program. And I am already putting the skates on. She asked: "How is it going?" I said it was all good, that i was getting ready for short program. And then she said: "Don't you dare falling!" My younger sister saying this to me! This motivated me a lot. She also said that she would watch me, stick it. And I, as an older sister, could not set a bad example. I teach her myself when she goes to the competitions. And I realized that she would now watch, learn from experience, and I should give a good experience. Perhaps it played an important role before the the competition.
As for dad, he gives me a lot of very vital advice. He spent 40 years in hockey, now he is a coach. In general, I can not imagine how he skated for so many years. He had a lot of injuries, and he somehow went through all this. He certainly has strength. And now he passed me a little bit.
- Was this season more difficult psychologically or technically?
- Both. First, technically, then you start to wind yourself up before a competition, you do not let go of your head, and then psychological problems begin.
- Do you feel that you have proved something at this world championship?
- The main thing is, I proved to myself that I can cope with technical problems, changes in myself and above all - with my nerves.
- In your team there are juniors who jump quadruple jumps. Will you add quad jumps to a new program?
- Quad flip, quad loop - for now i land them on a harness, I have not tried it myself yet. I understand that over time, you will inevitably have to train it if you want to stay on the top. So far my content is enough. Lets wait and see.
- Did the fans throw many gifts for you at this championship? How many bags did you get?
- Six or seven packs.
- And the most memorable?
- The best gift for me is a handmade one. Books in which my whole story is, from juniors to the Olympic Games, and drawings. I always keep them and take them home.
- You have achieved great success. What helps to motivate yourself? - asked Zagitova the Olympic champion of Sochi-2014 in ice dancing Meryl Davis.
- Love for figure skating, I guess. But you know, I cannot say that I am some kind of ardent fan of this sport, that I really love it very much. Sometimes, when something does not work, I still think that I want to give up everything and live a normal life. But then I think: "How will I live an ordinary life? You saw the whole world thanks to the work you love."
I develop, I learn about myself. And then I understand that I can not live without figure skating. That's how it all turns out. At first I think - done, I quit, then I understand that I can not. Because almost all my life which I lived up to this moment, I gave it to figure skating. And i keep giving.

Bonus interview with Eteri, from russian ladies thread, just in case:

Q: Did you have any doubts after Europeans? I was 100% confident that Alina would have the gold.
A: We actually wanted to WD on saturday


Oct 5, 2018
It's funny how Alina is only 16 but seems way more mature than many skaters in their twenties (and people in general too).


Record Breaker
Feb 19, 2014
Sabina Zagitova. The hero we didn't know we needed, but the hero we really needed all along.



Record Breaker
Mar 30, 2018
Thank you so much, moriel, for this! :pray::pray: Beautiful, honest and thoughtful interview.


Record Breaker
Feb 10, 2018
I'm joining those who are very thankful for this translation. Again, Alina showed her pure and honest character :thumbsup:


Record Breaker
Mar 7, 2014
Oh, she’s so cute. Scuba diving is scary, skating in front of 18000 people, no sweat! ;)

For the record, I am personally terrified by the thought of both those scenarios. I’ve always been a nervous public speaker, and I was painfully shy whenever I had to perform plays in high school drama class. I’d also get nervous when I was competing in singles competitions and performing in my skating club’s annual ice shows - none of which had a capacity for 18 thousand spectators, mind you. ;) Also, all my skating related performance anxiety was nowhere near as bad as my fear of public speaking and acting. I actually don’t get nervous at all competing in synchro now in the present tense as an adult. I love it, I always have a blast in out there on the ice, it’s just so much fun, plus having 15 other ladies out there with me likely helps a titch as well.

I’m not fond of scuba diving either; I tried it once while on vacation in Cuba; I was way too paranoid that my diving tube would malfunction and I’d drown. Eeeek. So I gotchu back, Alina. We should be best friends. :)

How old is Little Sister Zagitova? Is she also a skater? Are there any of Alina’s family photos floating around out there somewhere? I’ve never seen one before.