Sofia Samodelkina

Edwin

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Sof'ya Samodelkina: " I am an optimist by nature "

12 December 2020
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Sof'ya Samodelkina, a student of Sergey Davydov, won the fifth stage of the Russian Cup in Moscow, skating programs with triple Axels and a quad Salchow.

A few days after her victorious start, Sof'yia performed at the Moscow Championship, where for the first time in competition she performed a free program routine with two quads - a Rittberger and a Salchow. The first attempt to skate a program with complex content was not crowned with success, nevertheless, the skater won her second start in a row.

After the fifth Moscow stage of the Russian Cup, in an interview with the FFKKR website, Sof'ya Samodelkina spoke about preparations for the season, explained why she missed the fourth stage of the Cup, revealed the secret of what new elements she wants to learn and what motto she is guided by in life.


- Sonya, you started performing this season in the final stage of the Russian Cup.


-- Yes, I didn't start all autumn.

- Was it difficult to enter into the competitions after such a break?

-- There was excitement, but Megasport has such a good skating rink, I didn't even expect it. A lot of people are scared by those brightly coloured stands here, feel oppressed. But in CSKA we also have red stands, blue ones, probably too, I'm used to it. For the first time I skated at Megasport. Before that, I only watched competitions there as a spectator. I have been at the Open Test Skates, the Grand Prix stage. But it's one thing to watch, another to ride yourself. But it turned out that the ice is good here, it's warm, the temperature is normal.

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And the break in the competitions ... For me there was nothing wrong with that, because every Friday our group is skating at the rink. There is a draw, 6-minute warm-up and we skate out our programs. The older group goes out first, then the younger. Sergey Dmitriyevich (Davydov) tells which programs to skate, short or free, after our skating runs comments, our other coaches are present. No, we are not given grades. But all the same, we are preparing for these skate offs as for competitions. We remember what mistakes were made previously, we try to correct them. Such mini-competitions do not allow you to relax, even if someone missed a start for various reasons.

- You planned to compete at the fourth stage in Kazan, but it didn't work out. What prevented you?

-- A leg injury. It turned out that we jumped, jumped in training, I got a bump, it seemed to pass, did not bothe mer. But when I got up, it hurt. We went to the trauma center, they said that I had damaged a muscle, we had to wait three weeks, but we have Kazan coming up. I had to miss that start. But now everything is fine.

- At the Russian Cup, you skated programs with triple Axels and quadruple Salchow, that is, did you manage to prepare for skating out of programs with such content?

-- Back in Kazan, we wanted to jump the triple Axel in the short and free program, add a quadruple Salchow. While preparing, we thought that if just one Axel, it’s not very good, so we set a goal to do a triple Axel and a quadruple Salchow in the free program. And we did a lot of those in training.

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I was upset that I could not go to the fourth stage. I wanted both in Kazan and in Moscow to show that I was growing in skill. We thought, maybe at the Moscow Championship we will complicate the free program.

- Everyone knows how difficult the preparations for this season were due to the quarantine. How quickly did you manage to recover difficult jumps, after all, you jumped a triple Axel last season?

-- Even after the break, triple jumps are not immediately obtained, but here there was such a long break without training on the ice. It took almost a month to recover the triple Axel. The Axel started turning out more or less steadily in July, two weeks before the training camp in Novogorsk. The quadruple Salchow began to turn out later - in early August, it jumped it for the first time.

- How was that?

-- It was interesting. I jumped quadruple Salchow after the weekend. On Monday, your legs are usually "fresh", so we succeeded. Then the whole week only so-so. And towards the training camp in Novogorsk, it began to work out. I began to learn, but at the Test Skates we decided not to perform it, because the jump is new, you have to jump often in order to do it more confidently. Therefore, I skated with Axels at the Test Skates, and then we began to work on the quad.

- What is more difficult for you, a triple Axel or a quadruple Salchow?

-- In principle, the jumps are all alike, but I think it was more difficult to learn the Axel.

- Because I was the first difficult jump?

-- Maybe. I didn't know what it felt like. And when we started working on the quadruple Salchow, I more or less understood what and how.

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- This season, due to the COVID -19 pandemic , the junior stages of the Grand Prix series, the Junior World Championship have been canceled, there is time for experiments.

-- When the junior stages of the Grand Prix were canceled, it was a shame. We discussed this with the coaches, hoping to hold on to the Junior World Championships. And then these were canceled. It's sad. Since last season, I really wanted to compete for Russia, but I haven't managed yet.

I was not particularly sad about the fact that there would be no competitions at all, I understood that some starts would be held, only fewer. In fact, there are two stages of the Russian Cup, the National Championship and the Finals of the Cup. If this had not happened, I think the athletes must have gone crazy. We have not rested so much in our lives. Three months without training, in quarantine, it's like a vacation for 6 years. Well, without ice, you loose your touch. Of course, all this time we were training on the floor, jumping quadruples, triple axels, doing choreography ... But this is on the floor, not on the ice, different sensations.

But when everything became clear, I thought: if there were stages of the Grand Prix, then there would be less time left to try something new. Stage of the Grand Prix, three weeks for everything to stabilise, and another start. There was not enough time to learn something new. And now, when there are few competitions, there is a lot to learn and practice, so that for the next season, when everything, God forbid, will get better, there will be a reserve.

- After the Russian Cup stage, you plan to immediately compete in the Moscow Championship. Two starts in a row ...

-- Someone says: it's hard to skate two tournaments in a row. But it's mentally tough. For the rest, it turns out like a day off. You skate for half an hour in training, well, let's say an hour, and you perform for three minutes. That's all. If we compare it with the loads in regular training, then the competition is like two days off. Only in terms of tension, competitions are mentally tougher.

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And if we talk about confidence in jumping, when in training a month or two before the competition everything was going well, then you are 90 percent sure you will jump. And if you understand that, at the same skating runs it never works out, it is unstable in training, then it is clear that there will be more doubts and less confidence. Everything needs to be worked towards to.

- You told, perhaps at the Moscow Championship, you will complicate your free program. Can you explain?

-- At the training session on Monday before the short program at the Cup, I got the quad Rittberger. Apparently I did it on adrenaline after the weekend. And today, before the free one, we made one attempt - it went well. Let's think, if one or two attempts work out, then, perhaps, I will try a Rittberger at the Moscow championship, I have to start somewhere.

- Do you try other quads in training?

-- Only the triple Axel and the quadruple salchow. Now I will add a Rittberger. I really want, like Sasha Trusova, to jump all quadruples. But if you insert them into the program, you need not only to be in good shape physically, but also to skate the programs well, because the program is not only jumps. It is necessary to train your program with all the elements, because you need to concentrate more on quads.

- It seems that the new generation of skaters takes quadruple jumps, triple axels as something necessary and self-evident?

-- Because many people have already begun to master these jumps. That was when Sonya Akatieva, an athlete born in 2007, jumped them at the end of the season, it was perceived really cool! Kamila Valiyeva jumped quads, and so it went, it went ... Now, I think, it no longer causes such a wow-effect: well, yes, I jumped, the level of skill grows, the score rises, but there is no such thing for “wow”. It's my opinion. Perhaps if someone skates a program like Nathan Chen with six quads, then it will be a sensation.

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- You kept both programs from last season, but at the Cup in Moscow you skated in a new dress.

-- Yes, we decided to update. I have grown a lot. At the end of the season I was 149 cm, now I am almost 157. But this did not affect my skating and jumping. Probably because there are people who grow quickly, add a lot in a week, and then it is more difficult for them to adapt. But for me everything went gradually.

- In connection with such a busy training schedule, do you give up your studies?

-- I study remotely, because sport comes first. But all the same, in between workouts I try to work with tutors at least on the iPad, phone, so it's easier to master the school curriculum.

- How are things in "your cottage"? Do you remember our first interview after the Russian Cup final when you said that?

-- Of course! (Laughs) It's okay. We have a new dog. The labrabor, who lived with us for 12 years, unfortunately died of old age. But my mother felt sad, and in April she brought a Tibetan Mastiff puppy. Tracy, as we called her, was then a month and a half, we could carry her in our hands. And then every week she grew and got bigger and bigger. And now she is so big! If she gets up on her hind legs, and she really loves to hug, kiss, then her paws are on my shoulders. She is kind with us, although by nature this breed is not. Sometimes she can bark herself to exhaustion, it is her pleasure. Our labrador didn’t allow herself that, and we spoiled Tracy very much.

- Lets return to sport:, do you have a feeling that you have chosen the right sport for yourself, figure skating?

-- Yes. I have been very active since childhood, which is probably why they sent me to sports. Dad always loved to watch sports on TV, soccer, tennis, and I always sat next to him on the couch. When he switched channels, and somewhere they showed figure skating, I asked to leave it on, I loved to watch. It is clear that at 3-4 years old you still do not understand a lot and do not understand this sport, but I really liked watching the performances of figure skaters.

- Great. Do you have a phrase or motto in life that you often repeat to yourself?

-- No, there is no such thing. Usually dad and mom repeat this often: today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today. I like this phrase.

- That is, you are an optimist by nature.

-- Exactly.

- Thank you and good luck!

(c) Олга Ермолина, Татьяна Фладе
 

Edwin

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" Samodelkina goes after records "

The CSKA skater showed the judges a quadruple Rittberger.

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Sof'ya is not afraid to perform the most difficult quadruple jumps and is able to become the leader of the Russian national team in the future.

Samodelkina, from Sergey Davydov's group,won two serious tournaments last week - the Russian Cup stage and the Moscow Championship in the Candidate Master of Sports category. Both competitions in the capital were not without errors. In the short program, Sof'ya fell on her waty into of a triple Lutz, but subsequently performed it cleanly, and in the free program she could not quite manage the quadruple Salchow and quad Rittberger. Samodelkina tried this jump for the first time a couple of weeks before the competition and almost immediately inserted it into the program. Further in the article - about the history of the girls' performance of the most difficult quadruples and about the potential of Sof'ya Samodelkina.

Quadruple Rittberger in female figure skating

In 2017, Aleksandra Trusova jumped a quadruple salchow (with underrotation) at the junior Grand Prix stage in Australia. Although the world champion from Japan Mikki Ando managed to jump this element 15 (!) years earlier, this GP event can be considered the starting point for the entire subsequent rise of quadruple jumps in women's single skating. Now it seems, in the objectively best coaching group in the world, all skaters should someday also start performing ultra-si - without this, you get practically nowhere in Eteri Tutberdize's group.

The two-time World Champion among Juniors has mastered all the other quads in three years - at competitions she jumped a Flip, a Lutz and a Toeloop. Only the quadruple Rittberger remained officially unconquered. But in reality, Trusova jumped it in training back in October. And after that, the fans began to wonder when Sasha would decide to insert it in a competitive skating run.

The Grand Prix stage in Moscow was supposed to be the premiere, especially since this is almost the only chance this season to appear at international competitions. So far, neither Sasha nor the Korean Yoo Yeon, who also has jumped the quad Rittberger in training, have officially become the athlete who was the first to succeed with this quad. And the only chance to do this is the World Championship, for which you must first qualify (this primarily concerns Aleksandra). But after the cancellation of the European championship, it is not clear whether this tournament will be held.

A few days ago, Sof'ya Samodelkina surprised with her attempt to perform a quadruple Rittberger. The pupil of Sergey Davydov jumped in training first the quad Rittberger, and then the quad Salchow. The first quadruple turned out to be clearly under-rotated - it is difficult to perform the Rittberger without this error, even for men.

Samodelkina's potential

Here you might think that in training a lot of people do the most difficult elements, and then upload videos to social networks. There is nothing wrong in this - who does not want to show what he is capable of? It doesn't always make sense to take risks in official competitions. The same Samodelkina a week ago performed the quadruple Salchow and triple Axel perfectly and got the highest score among juniors this season.

Surprisingly, a couple of days after the video with the quads from Sof'ya appeared, she tried to do the same jumps at the Moscow Championship. Samodelkina fell from the Rittberger, without twisting it fully round so that the quad was downgraded to triple in base value. Salchow - again a fall. The rest was executed cleanly, but the free program score was only 127.73. Apparently, they decided on the faster you insert a jump into your program, the faster it will turn out. What then about the triple Axel? Isn't it better to keep the proven jumpt, because the chances of winning with it are just greater?

It turns out that Samodelkina, who is already jumping a Salchow, Axel and (so far only in training) Rittberger, can almost become the leader of the National Team. So far, in the juniors, but in the future also in the seniors. This year she was supposed to go international and make her debut in the Junior Grand Prix series. But all the junior competitions were canceled, so only Russian starts remained. Kamila Valiyeva may not go to the Russian Junior Championship in Krasnoyarsk - so far, this year she is performing exclusively at senior level. That is, the main struggle in February should unfold between Sof'ya Samodelkina and Sof'ya Akat'yeva from Khrustalniy.

The athlete from the group of Tutberidze in competition jumped two clean quadruple Toeloops and one Axel in her free program. Potentially, this set beats what Samodelkina did at the final stage of the Russian Cup (one Salchow and one Axel). That is, there is definitely a sense to complicate the program. But maybe it's easier to insert a second triksel or Salchow, and not try to jump a completely raw Rittberger?

A quad Rittberger can be done purely to fix a record (overtake Trusova in this, for example). Samodelkina herself, in an interview with the website of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, noted that she would like to learn all quads, like the two-time World Champion
among Juniors. Only this season it makes no sense, as the performance of the Rittberger will not be officially recognized by the International Skating Union. She can really just perfect this jump in training, but along the way there is a risk of losing not only to Akat'yeva, but also to someone else.

Mariya Paramonova, Sof'ya Samodelkina, Mariya Rebrova, all CSKA medal rostrum in the 2020 Moscow KMS Championships

But in the long run, this tactic might work. Samodelkina will turn 14 next year, which means that she will not get to the Olympics at the age of 15. But if the main sports tournament is postponed for a year, as happened with the summer games, then Sof'ya will have every chance of getting there. By that time, she may have acquired the Salchow, Axel and Rittberger. It is difficult to guess now, but the athlete's potential allows us to count on it. Add to all of the above good spins, step sequences and the components part of her program (and in this aspect Samodelkina will add more) - you get a dangerous rival for today's leaders. It will be extremely interesting to watch the development of Sergey Davydov's student.

(c) Анастасия Плетнева
 
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Edwin

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Sof'ya in pictures from the 5th Stage of Russian Cup:
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Her spontaneous nose bleed is nothing to get worried over, caused by excitement, dry air conditions and physical strain.
 

Edwin

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Davydov commented on it, and said it's nothing serious. Cannot find the interview right now, but he said something these spontaneous nose bleeds of thin mucous membranes in the nasal cavity are caused by dry air and high strain. No doubt the G-forces of jumping and spinning play a role too.

There were more 'bloody' photos even, but I've left those out of the small collection I've gathered.

It has been commented here and elsewhere, Sof'ya could use with a little better 'packaging' in hair and perhaps some subtle makeup, but I sort of prefer her no-nonsense, almost casual tomboyish attitude to the 'girlie' aspect of figure skating. Sof'ya and her sister Dar'ya sure are/were tomboys in their own big yard with trampoline, tree hut, play fortress and all the other fun contraptions, to go by the social media pictures.

She is a solidly built girl, still only 13, let's hope puberty will be kind to her.
 
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Edwin

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Wonderful and extensive 1TV feature with Sof'ya:



Sof'ya talks freely, honestly and with confidence :) Davydov too, there is little to hide after all.

Footage seems to be somewhat older, did I notice Valeriya Shulskaya still with Team Davydov?

Then, when the feature switches to the 5th Stage that concluded just a fortnight ago, one notices how Sof'ya has grown, the gaps in her teeth have closed, she is much taller and has gotten stronger still.
 
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Novalis

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Wonderful and extensive 1TV feature with Sof'ya:


Sof'ya talks freely and with confidence :)
Another long Sofa-special😲, she also had that "day in Sofia Samodelkina's life" earlier in the season
 

Dmitryfromsiberia

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Если не ошибаюсь, Самоделкина - единственная фигуристка с ультра-си, у которой все каскады произвольной программы в бонусной зоне.
 

Edwin

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Biopic with Sof'ya, showing some private moments:

Clips in part taken from this feature on Sof'ya:

Very good to see she and Team Davydov by extension are getting recognition for their efforts to progress and elevate the sport to new levels of excellence.
 

Scott512

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Biopic with Sof'ya, showing some private moments:

Clips in part taken from this feature on Sof'ya:

Very good to see she and Team Davydov by extension are getting recognition for their efforts to progress and elevate the sport to new levels of excellence.
Sofia reminds me of Adelina. Especially with the smile and enthusiasm. :)

The pictures of her nosebleed we're pretty shocking! I use a gentle saline solution a few times a week especially in the winter because obviously your nasal passages get dried out. Also now because of covid-19 we need to clean out our nasal passages with a saline solution regularly. That doesn't matter if you're an athlete or a couch potato. Obviously the Russian figure skaters have been hit harder with covid-19 than any figure skating country from what I know. We don't want that to happen again and it should not happen again if people take the proper precautions.

Watching the first video it looked like Sofia was in the middle and Valleva was on her right and in another picture SS was in the middle with Akatieva was on her right which means Sofia has wins over both Kamila and little Sofia. I did not know that she has beaten Kamila. That is very impressive. It's also nice to see an elite ladies skater being developed in Russia somewhere else besides TT.

It's just sad a skater like Sofiia might have to wait a few more years to go to a Europeans or worlds on the senior level. I think we all expect the age limit for the ladies to be increased from 15 to 17. I have mixed feelings about it. I think my vote would be to keep it at 15 or increase it to only sixteen . How about 16? The Russian Federation should be pushing hard on no higher than 16. It almost feels like the ISU has been targeting the Russian ladies ever since Alina won Olympic gold at 15 in18.
 
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flanker

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Sofia reminds me of Adelina. Especially with the smile and enthusiasm. :)

The pictures of her nosebleed we're pretty shocking! I use a gentle saline solution a few times a week especially in the winter because obviously your nasal passages get dried out. Also now because of covid-19 we need to clean out our nasal passages with a saline solution regularly. That doesn't matter if you're an athlete or a couch potato. Obviously the Russian figure skaters have been hit harder with covid-19 than any figure skating country from what I know. We don't want that to happen again and it should not happen again if people take the proper precautions.

Watching the first video it looked like Sofia was in the middle and Valleva was on her right and in another picture SS was in the middle with Akatieva was on her right which means Sofia has wins over both Kamila and little Sofia. I did not know that she has beaten Kamila. That is very impressive. It's also nice to see an elite ladies skater being developed in Russia somewhere else besides TT.

It's just sad a skater like Sofiia might have to wait a few more years to go to a Europeans or worlds on the senior level. I think we all expect the age limit for the ladies to be increased from 15 to 17. I have mixed feelings about it. I think my vote would be to keep it at 15 or increase it to only sixteen . How about 16? The Russian Federation should be pushing hard on no higher than 16. It almost feels like the ISU has been targeting the Russian ladies ever since Alina won Olympic gold at 15 in18.
I guess it can be easier to find agreement fof 16 than for 17 (I would very hardly argue against 17 as such age of eligibility has very little support in other sport branches), so it could be a compromise.
 

Scott512

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I guess it can be easier to find agreement fof 16 than for 17 (I would very hardly argue against 17 as such age of eligibility has very little support in other sport branches), so it could be a compromise.
We always go back to a sport like tennis with the age rule. Martina Hingis won a grand slam singles title when she was 16. In fact she won three of them at 16.

In ladies figure skating the most I would go is to age 16 and without that July birthday deadline.

Because someone in Norway wants the age limit raised to 17 or 18 for ladies that should happen? No. I mean it's bad enough that someone like SS will have to wait until the 2026 Winter Olympics to even have a chance to ever be in the Olympics. It would not be good for her career if she had to be in juniors for 4 freaking years. If they raise the age limit for the ladies to 17 that's what she's going to have to suffer with. Juniors for 4 years.
 
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flanker

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We always go back to a sport like tennis with the age rule. Martina Hingis won a grand slam singles title when she was 16. In fact she won three of them at 16.

Because someone in Norway wants the age limit raised to 17 or 18 for ladies that should happen? No. I mean it's bad enough that someone like SS will have to wait until the 2026 Winter Olympics to even have a chance to ever be in the Olympics. It would not be good for her career if she had to be in juniors for 4 freaking years. If they raise the age limit for the ladies to 17 that's what she's going to have to suffer with. Juniors for 4 years.
I've mentioned tennis recently. Senior age eligibility is 15 for seniors, just the 15 y. o. players have some limits how many tournaments they can attend in a year. And some top players, incl. Federer, call for removing such limitations. What a difference from figure skating :)

I am fully against raising the age limit because all those "concerned voices" are completely substitutive for the real reasons, we don't need to explain that to each other. I'm quite curious how the ISU proceedings will look like.
 
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Scott512

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I've mentioned tennis recently. Senior age eligibility is 15 for seniors, just the 15 y. o. players have some limits how many tournaments they can attend in a year. And some top players, incl. Federer call for lifting such limitations. What a difference from figure skating :)

I am fully against raising the age limit because all those "concerned voices" are completely substitutive for the real reasons, we don't need to explain that to each other. I'm quite curious how the ISU proceedings will look like.
No question this is done for political reasons. I'm against going from age 15 to 17 as well but I fear it will happen this time whereas they just went through this 2 or 3 years ago and we survived it. You look like some of these young girls like SS and you can't believe what you are seeing. I would take age 16 at this point with none of that July BS involved at all. It's a political movement and it's all a days and it's against one contrary who keeps producing thien arms from age 13 to 15. .

I don't know what to say anymore it's like a cat chasing its tail it just keeps going on.
 
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