Sofia Akatieva | Page 7 | Golden Skate

Sofia Akatieva


Jan 12, 2018
(Google translation of:

Sport24's interview with the young star Sofia Akatieva

13-year-old figure skater from the Eteri Tutberidze group, Sofya Akatyeva, with a margin of 43 points, won the junior tournament at the first stage of the Russian Cup in Syzran.

After the awarding, Sport24 correspondent Konstantin Lesik talked with the skater about the results of the tournament, elements of ultra-si and the first meeting with Tutberidze.

“I am very glad that I managed to skate the program cleanly. But there were mistakes in the second half - due to the fact that in the last week of preparation I was more focused on quads. Because of this, errors appeared.

Of course, it's a shame that I didn't manage to make two ultra-si elements cleanly, but I will work to show my maximum at the next competitions,
”Sofia began.

- Sergey Viktorovich and Daniil Markovich have already said why the quadruple turned out to be imperfect? - Yes, of course, after the skate we analyze the performance with the coaches, they tell me mistakes. Today they said that I missed my feet a little, that is, I did not break away from the ice at the best moment. We will work on this in training, develop this link so that it becomes more jumpy and stable.

- Have you thought that you could become the first Russian figure skater to do both a quadruple and a triple axel in one program?
- I haven't thought about it yet. I am focused on rolling the program cleanly. And do what I'm working on in training.

- How did you spend two weeks from the Moscow championship to the Russian Cup?
- During this time, we decided to rearrange two elements in places: instead of a quadruple sheepskin coat, my first was a triple axel. I began to train this bunch, to roll the program to the music. And all the other elements that I jumped in the previous competitions, I performed here.

- Can you tell us how you came to figure skating? - At the age of three I saw the Olympics in Vancouver. I was shown how athletes skate ... I liked it very much! Then I asked my mother to buy skates. And then Santa Claus gave them to me (smiles and looks at my mother, who is sitting with us in the room).

My first coaches were Oksana Mikhailovna Bulycheva and Yulia Aleksandrovna Krasinskaya. After them, we decided to go to Eteri Georgievna. It happened in early 2017 when I was 9 years old.

- How was the selection for the group?
- We came to view. The viewing consisted of the fact that I went to training. Eteri Georgievna corrected mistakes and watched me train. Two weeks later, I was informed that I was taken to the group. I don't really remember the moment when they told me that I was staying.

- You were sure that everything would turn out well?
- No, I was not sure that they would take me. I just tried really hard in training. Eteri Georgievna corrected a lot of things for me, so I assumed that they would take me and very much hoped for it. And then she was already delighted.

- Did the new coach succeed in these two weeks?
- Yes! Jumped double axel + triple toe loop, as well as triple rittberger. Eteri Georgievna corrected a mistake that I did not understand. I also had many attempts, so I gradually began to get out. Eteri Georgievna plays technique well.

- And with whom of the coaches do you work more now?
- With everyone! Eteri Georgievna, Daniil Markovich and Sergey Viktorovich are all together at the training session. We have one team that works with the whole group. Of the skaters of the senior group, 8-9 people skate on the ice at the same time. There is enough space and attention for everyone.

- Do you ask more experienced colleagues for advice?
- Yes! Once I didn’t get the cascades with rittberger and Alina Zagitova corrected my mistake. I remember that very well.

- Did you ask her for advice or did she come up to you?
- Alina saw me fall many times and came up to me. Gave advice on how best to make a turntable (note: spin?). For me, Zagitova is an example in everything. Her hard work is endless.

- Do you remember your first impressions of meeting adult stars, when you first came to training in 1917? With Alina, Zhenya Medvedeva? - I was very surprised how they train. This is a much higher level than I have seen before. I was surprised how they work, how many attempts they make, how many rentals. I really liked how they do it, I began to take an example from them, and I began to succeed more.
Nice interview... That margin of 43 points is kind of mindblowing, if you ask me.. o_O


Record Breaker
Jan 5, 2019
" Do not think about falling. " Figure skater Akat'yeva - about working with Tutberidze and quadruple jumps


Eteri Tutberidze's student Sof'ya Akat'yeva is only 13 years old, by age she can not yet perform at the international level even among juniors, but she already possesses the most complex technical elements with which she can well defeat adult rivals, and performs in public with such confidence that many experts are already predicting her star status. This season Akat'yeva took part in two domestic Russian junior tournaments and took home the Gold medal from both. Moreover, at the stage of the Russian Cup in Syzran, in terms of points, she was not so far from the silver medalist of the European Championship Anna Shcherbakova, who won in the adults.

During a break between competitions and training, Sof'ya gave an interview to TASS, in which she told how she got into the "magic world" of figure skating, whose trainings she spied on in childhood and why Tutberidze is the best coach in the world.

- After the test skates, Yelena Chaikovskaya said that our skaters skate as if there was no pandemic at all. She spoke about the senior team, but this characteristic, as for me, can be safely attributed to the juniors too. Tell us what it takes to reach a high level in such a short time?
-- I spent 2.5 months in quarantine. For skaters, of course, this term was very long. I did training at home - just like in the gym. I jumped jumps, spins, stretched. I was engaged in choreography, general physical training. Of course, it was hard - I was afraid that when I go out on the ice it will be very strange.

Then we finally started our classes in Novogorsk at the training camp. Gradually came into shape. It's good that everything worked out - for this, by the way, many thanks to our coaching staff. In isolation, I mainly studied my school lessons, I had tutors. Also, I really like to dance - I improvised to the music.

- From the training camp in Novogorsk, Daniil Markovich made two videos about how Alyona Kostornaya and Anna Shcherbakova, for the first time after a break, awkwardly go out on the ice. Have you had a similar case?
-- About the same, yes. It was unusual. At first we slipped a lot in training, then gradually we jumped singles and doubles. After that, I began to jump triples slowly. Of course, a lot of people fell (laughs). But without it, nowhere.

- During the pandemic, many skaters said that they would have to remember what it was like to skate.
-- I didn't have to learn to stand upright again, of course. But we really re-learned the elements from scratch. Muscle memory is short, so it was really hard to recover.

- How long did it take to return difficult jumps?
-- I managed to jump triplets back in Novogorsk. A quadruple Toeloop and an Axel with three and a half turns - only when we returned to "Khrustalniy". This was around mid-August.

- So late? In a couple of weeks you have already won the Moscow championship.
-- Well, it happened (smiles).

- What will be the main thing for you in this vague season?
-- I really want to show the maximum and skate clean. Improve my spins, programs ...

- … and learn something new?
-- Yes. I have plans to jump two quad Toeloops and a triple Axel (in my free program). I also want to learn the quadruple Salchow. In training, I already go into it. I hope by the end of the season I will succeed in competitions.

- Hopefully, the end of the season is still far away. We must at least have time to hold the Cup of Russia and National Championships. By the way, what stage will you have as your second?
-- Most likely the fourth. In Kazan.

- You said that you became interested in figure skating from the Vancouver Olympics. But then you were a little over three years old - it is unlikely that you yourself stumbled upon the broadcast. Does your family like figure skating?
-- Yes, everyone in my family loves figure skating! We watch all broadcasts. It was my mother who showed me the performances of the skaters in the Olympic Games on TV.

- I suppose you go to tournaments with your mother?
-- She travels with me to all competitions, is present at trainings. And she really supports me.

- And she watches your performances? Doesn't close her eyes?
-- She worries, of course, strongly. But she watches my competitions, does not attend.

- Can you remember why figure skating attracted you so much?
-- I remember that I was so strongly pulled in by the white, dazzling ice ... I really liked how the skaters make jumps. Naturally - girls have costumes! Loved the way they dressed. Dresses with stones, they shone so brightly I immediately wanted to try on the same.

- This is the first time I've heard that a sport begins with dresses.
-- But it's really true, very beautiful! (laughs).

- Who will you call your main characters from those Olympics? Kim Young An, Mao Asada? Or maybe Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir?
-- Back then I did not know any names - I was too small. But what I saw on the screen just mesmerized me. I wanted to become a part of this fabulous world. Then, of course, I reviewed Vancouver. Mostly girls - Mao Asada and others.

- As far as I understand, you immediately got into Khrustalniy. Why did you choose this particular ice rink?
-- As soon as I received my skates, I tried them on every day at home and imagined myself as a skater. I constantly asked my parents to take me to the rink.

- It often happens that, in parallel with figure skating, children at an early age do something else. Did figure skating compete with any other sport for you?
-- When I just started figure skating, I was probably like any other child. In parallel, I went to dance class, drawing and painting. It seems even to a choir. Then I began to slowly get involved in training and realized that I liked the rink much more than anywhere else. So much for a choir here (laughs).

In a word, the more often I went to Khrustalniy, the more I wanted to devote time to figure skating and less to other activities.

- Since when did you realise that figure skating became serious for you and lasting?
-- Exactly with the transition to the group of Eteri Georgiyevna.

- Your first coaches were Yuliya Krasinskaya and Oksana Bulycheva. I remember Anna Shcherbakova told me that when she trained with the same specialists, she often spied on Yuliya Lipnitskaya's training at Tutberidze's. Who were you spying on?
-- Alina Zagitova, Zhenya Medvyedeva, Polina Tsurskaya. They skated ahead of my group, and before my warmups I looked out of the locker room, watched them train. I especially liked how they run through programs. At that time, I dreamed of learning how to jump as high, glide easily and gracefully like them.

- So you used to come to training to watch older girls?
-- And how other than to arrive early for this? (Laughs)

- In 2017, you yourself ended up with Eteri Georgiyevna. How strong was the contrast with your previous group? And what impressed you the most at first?
-- The contrast was strong, that's true. Well, I'll tell you right away - I dreamed of getting to Eteri Georgiyevna! I came to training, began to show jumps, which I then could perform. If I'm not mistaken, I had all my triples, except for the Rittberger. Eteri Georgiyevna corrected mistakes, and I tried to listen to every comment and do better. I remember that I was very worried then (laughs). I spent about two weeks in this mode, I managed to jump a Rittberger and a dupel-toeloop (a cascade of a double Axel and triple Toeloop).

And everything worked out. I was very happy when they told me that I could stay. In fact, I am very lucky to be skating in this group. I saw real champions at Eteri Georgiyevna. I take an example from them in my skating, jumping, working attitude, in striving for victory.

- I personally heard several stories when figure skaters who came to Eteri Georgiyevna, in the shortest possible time, began to jump what they were not doing before. You yourself have figured out this secret for yourself, why does this happen?
-- In fact, in my case, I was just very strongly motivated by the girls at the rink. I then trained with the senior group - Zhenya, Alina, Polina, Anya, Sasha Trusova. I watched them with admiration, wanted to try to jump something they jump.

- The most popular characteristic of Eteri Georgiyevna, which I have ever heard from those who worked with her, is that she appears cold to those around her, but at the same time open and friendly to “her own”. During the trial period, did you manage to feel her coaching severity and firm grip?
-- Eteri Georgiyevna is, first of all, fair. And she really loves what she does. It seems to me that only with such a mentor you can achieve truly great results.

- Fair? What is it like? Usually they say "strict" or "demanding"...
-- She's not exactly strict ... You know, that's exactly what fair is. When you don't succeed at all, she gives such advice so that you calm down and correct the mistake. That is, she does not start to swear strongly or something like that. On the contrary, she speaks calmly, tries to support you in every possible way.

- With the transition to Tutberidze, you did not change the ice, but you still had to change the group. How quickly did you manage to join the new team? And who helped you in this?
-- And I, one might say, immediately got involved. In the group, we communicate well with each other, we congratulate each other on the holidays. Everyone is on an equal footing with each other - there is no age separation and all that. Well, my family also supports me and helps me a lot in everything.

- You appeared with Eteri Georgiyevna exactly at the time the preparations for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang began? Did this prevent you from adapting to the new team?
-- Absolutely not. We have three coaches and eight - ten athletes on the ice. So everyone has enough attention in any case.

- With what kind of thoughts did you look at what was happening? Was there a feeling that something great was about to happen?
-- It really stimulated me to work. I liked watching the trainings, how they run through their programs, prepare the elements. I remember how we saw off Alina and Zhenya to Pyeongchang.

I also watched the Games, of course. The competition started at about six in the morning - very early, but I could not miss it. I was rooting for our girls, coaches, Russia. I so wanted them to win the Olympics. Well, after that - off to training.

- In fact, I remembered both Vancouver and Pyeongchang for a reason. It so happened that in the first case, we saw, probably, the last case in history of a victory in men's singles without quads, and in the second - without ultra-si among girls. And the latter is a direct consequence of the work of Eteri Georgiyevna's group and yours in particular. Watching from the sidelines how Anya and Sasha Trusova rotate quads in training, did you realize that you too have to join this stream of quads?
-- I had such a thought, yes. I looked at them and dreamed of trying some kind of quadruple. Of course, I wanted to be like them. It was interesting, but would I succeed? I really wanted to feel this feeling of flying into a jump, and after a few years I succeeded. Working with such famous athletes at the same rink adds to the incentive to develop. Everything needs to be done at the maximum.

- And what is in the future after the quads, you also understand?
-- Yes, but, you know, it's important to be calm about quads. Just train them and that's it. We can do them, so we must be calm about them. But it's really cool that almost everyone in our group can do such difficult jumps.

- You are talking about calmness, but how is it achieved?
-- When you do so many attempts in training, confidence comes. And you do not think any more when you go to it: "Wow, this is a quadruple, it is so complicated!" It is important to think only about the correct technique, not how difficult it will be to do it. That only gets in the way.

- All the coaches who worked with Sasha said that in her case, quads were just a matter of time. Anna said that for the first time in training she tried a quadruple Toeloop at the age of 12, and she did not prepare for it at all. Do you remember when and how you were asked to try a triple axel or a quadruple?
-- It happened in December 2018. I was just very good at getting my triple Toeloop, and I saw that quads are possible. I thought it meant that I could also do it someday. Well, I decided to go after it.

- By yourself?
-- Yes, I wanted to. Well, of course, I rode up to the coaches and told them. They replied: "Well, let's try using the fishing rod." We've tried it. At some point, I was told that they practically no longer hold me up. Then I was allowed to make independent attempts, and in March I already jumped it.

There was a similar story with the triple Axel. After the Toeloop, I even more wanted to learn something new, and again I asked myself (laughs). In January I began to train it, and jumped it in April - almost immediately after the Toeloop.

- And you weren't they afraid at all? Alyona Kostornaya, over there, rejected the triple Axel.
-- Well, no, I was definitely not afraid. I somehow ... I had more interest. After the Toeloop I thought: "Well, the quadruple has already turned out. The triple axel is probably no more difficult." And I went after it.

- In general, what should a skater think about when she enters a difficult jump? Or is it more important in this case, what not to think about?
-- I can say that in no case should you think about falling. It is important to concentrate on what the coaches said before you enter this jump and have them correct any mistakes. That is, focus on the element, but not think about the bad things.

- Can we say that in terms of learning ultra-si it was mentally a little easier for you than for Anya and Sasha? After all, they actually had to cut themselves a window into this world of difficult jumps, but you started getting to know them, living, roughly speaking, already in a new reality.
-- Everyone has their own way, of course. For me, these were just common elements that I would like to master. Somehow I didn't really think about others.

- I can't get out of my head, at the September Moscow championship, where you simply did not leave your opponents a chance. First, because of the first impression of your new short program. Haley Reinhart's vocals are not easy to keep up with at any age, but you do great. Secondly, because of how cleverly you "built" us - journalists - in the mixed zone after your free program. Such charisma and self-confidence are rare and very valuable qualities.
-- Self-confidence comes with experience. The better everything turns out in training, the more stable and confident you'll be skating in competitions. If we talk about the short program, then I myself really like this image. I like trying on different roles, thanks to Eteri Georgiyevna and Daniil Markovich for the opportunity to have me appear in different characters.

- I was talking more about confidence in everyday life. Where do you think it comes from at such a tender age?
-- I don’t know, it somehow appeared by itself (laughs). At competitions I try to be confident, but in life ... Probably, I cannot call myself a very confident person.

- All the specialists with whom I spoke, in talking about you, used the phrase "future star". Moreover, the context was not only purely sports - it was more about presentation of oneself and the ability to stand out in public. Tell me, have you ever wanted to be a pop star yourself?
-- Actually, in life - no, not really. But on the ice, I try to play this image to the maximum. I definitely don't consider myself a star. Too much more work to be done in order to become it. But I like performing in public, especially when I am supported. It gives strength.

- Recently, figure skating is getting closer and closer to pop culture with all its pluses and minuses. The advantages are obvious - for example, you already have your own fan club, some of your fans have even traveled to Syzran. But the disadvantages are at a glance - hate, fan squabbles, scandals. Tell me, do you follow all this going on around figure skating?
-- I don't really read all these comments, because I try to devote all my free time to studying. To be honest, none of this is very interesting to me. Only bit by bit, but in order to get carried away with it - there is no such thing.

- Does all of this interfere with training and performing?
-- Before the start, I don not think about it, because I am focused on clean skating of my program, and not on what will then be written in the comments or said somewhere. In these moments, the right attitude plays a very important role.

(c) Владислав Жуков
The greatness of Akat'yeva in this stunning performance from which the above photo was taken:

Her standout performance to "Secrets", best ignore some of the judges who are far removed from the world of children

Her other performances:
Gala concert
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Record Breaker
Jan 5, 2019
The difference is made by the interviewer here, and indeed, Sof'ya presented herself very well.

At 13 years, her Wonder Years, the world lies at her feet, on that white, dazzling ice ....


Record Breaker
Feb 27, 2014
Sofia and Kamila at her 12-13 are probably the most advanced skaters of that age ever.
It's pretty shocking how good she is I 13 how polished she is how artistic she is. I've never seen that in a 12 or 13 year old before. actually I have with the artistic part but not the triple axels and quads mixed with the artistry. Sofia and Kamila are 2 rare gems for TT and Russia. And then there's Anna arguably the best seniors lady skater in the world.


Record Breaker
Jan 5, 2019
Sof'ya humble and smart in her Medalist interview by Olga Yermolina:

Sof'ya and the other skaters training in the more fun lessons:

Sof'ya pleased with her Golden Wings sports apparel:
her first brand sponsorship made possible by the new media manager and agent of #TeamTutberidzeForProgress
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