The Sweetest Thing (Aliona) - Bolzano Passion Gala

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
This post is about meeting the skaters before the event.
2 hours Before the show, the athletes joined some of the fans for an aperitif.
I had the chance to talk and take pics with some of them.
Here’s a recap.

Aliona Kostornaia:
She entered the bar with her usual Guess black dress and a pair of snickers while all the other women where in high heel so she looked even smaller in the group but she was the most requested by the fans.
At first I just took a pic with her and exchanged some courtesy words (congratulation, how exceptional is your skating, etc...).
Her English is not fluent, but she understands and reply.
She smiles, looks directly into your eyes and does not seem shy like in some press interview.
Her eyes are made of Caribbean Sea water or some other magic fluid (they really attract you attention), she’s incredibly cute and her smile is contagious and warm.
When you’re close to her she looks tiny and delicate, yet we all saw those powerful trixels: never underestimate a girl with skates ��.
Later, after she received a lot of gifts, I asked Liza (Tuktamysheva) for a pic, none of my friends was there so I asked Aliona to take it and she agreed with a smile (she took 3 shots).
When she gave my phone back, we talked another bit and joked about the big unicorns farm she should have by now.
She had a smile for everybody, not a diva at all and seemed very happy like she genuinely like the attention.
Many other skaters seem to like her a lot and searched her to talk, take pics or joke.
I also had the impression that if you’re lucky to know her more you will discover a wild and funny side of her personality.

I bumped into her again at breakfast.
She literally sat the table next to me with her mother (I suppose did not asked)
I just turned to my left and saw her unmistakable profile.
I just wanted to congratulate her for the show, but the moment I got her attention she immediately stood up smiling to take a photo, and we exchanged dome words about her trip home.
Other fans approached later and she took pics with everyone.
She really is the sweetest thing.
She’s been my favourite since I saw her skating so effortlessly like there was a magic wind pushing her, now I literally adore her on and off the ice.

Liza Tuktamysheva:
Liza come in a glamourous dress with an artic fox pelt around her neck like a stole.
Well: they won’t call you Ice Empress for nothing.
She looked confident in any situation, like the grown-up young woman she is.
When leaving the bar to take seats in the arena she come running into a stair the stewards just closed: she looked lost for a moment and when I asked if she needed help she burst into laughs and shook her head, like she was ashamed to admit being lost in a place she trained the last pair of days.
You know: there are people you immediately like, may be the way they look at people, how they talk, how they move or behave. I instantly liked Liza.

Javier Fernandez:
A gentleman and an artist.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres
Vanessa was really a surprise.
Dressed in perfect Gatsby style (there was a group skate on it as show opening), wonderful smile, fluent English, chatty and cheerful.
Physically she’s not the classical skater: she seems really athletic and powerful but with an innate grace, like a jaguar.

Did I say that Aliona is the sweetest thing?

Daniel Grassl:
The local hero (born 30 Km from the arena)
Some talking almost at the end of the meeting.
Very positive, gentle, happy to be part of a show so close to home and involved.
I whish him all the best for the European and his future career.

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise
Matteo is a very warm person, really talkative.
He talked highly about the sound, the lights and the organization in general while explaining why some other venues do not work so well for ice shows.
Asked Nicole about her injury: the shoulder is ok and they’re training hard.
I also met Matteo at the hotel the day after: there will be no more show until the EU championship, just training.

Did I say that Aliona is the sweetest thing?

Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte
The pic I will really miss is with Anna.
While my friends were talking with Luca (very nice guy) I talked with Anna.
They are working in Russia actually, because it offers a lot more opportunities for skaters.
She said in Moscow there are multiple show running at the same time, so we talk about popularity and importance of figure skating in Russia vs Italy and starting from the show Zagitova is starring in about the difference in traditions and tales between west and east Europe.
During the conversation some kids come and took photos with Anna, until the television arrived to interview her and I realized I was so engaged in the conversation I totally forgot about the pic I wanted with her.
I will not forget Anna with her big beautiful eyes and the gift of talking about skating with a world champion.
Her dress was pure elegance and perfect for her btw: I really liked it.

Alexandra Stefanova and Ivan Bukin
Ivan is very nice, we even talked a bit about his father (former Olympic gold)
Alexandra was polite (we took a pic and exchanged few words) but she looked distant from everything.
Lost on her phone chatting most of the time, not even talking with Ivan even the next day at the hotel.
I hope everything is ok at home and she was just missing her lover and chatting with him.
But boys: she is so beautiful and sensual.
One of those women who can silence a room just stepping in.
Her presence is terrific and she does not need to dress up, act up or pose to be admired: she just is.
The next day she boarded the same lift I was in and I wanted to write “God do exist and I now have proofs” on the mirror.
I already admitted to have a crush for her: being so close did not help at all.
She is so incredibly gorgeous!

Did I say that Aliona is the sweetest thing?

To end this wall text, I just want to say:
If you’re going to a show and there is a chance to meet your favourite skaters take it.
You may have to pay something extra, show up earlier, voluntarily work for the organization or something else but don’t miss it.
If you approach them with courtesy and respect you will be rewarded and you’ll take home some really good memories and emotions.

Oh… Did I say that Aliona is the sweetest thing?
I really wanted to say it.
 

SkateSkates

Medalist
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Thank you for your review of the gala! It looked like a really fun and star studded cast. Glad you were able to meet the skaters before too :)
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres
Vanessa was really a surprise.
Dressed in perfect Gatsby style (there was a group skate on it as show opening), wonderful smile, fluent English, chatty and cheerful.
Physically she’s not the classical skater: she seems really athletic and powerful but with an innate grace, like a jaguar.

Erm, if it's Vanessa specifically that you are referring to when you are talking about the fluent English, there's a very good reason for that - it's her first language.

  • She was born in an English speaking country (Canada)
  • She grew up in an English speaking country (Bermuda)
  • She spent her teenage years living in an English speaking country (America)
  • She represented and became Ladies Singles champion of an English speaking country (Great Britain)

It was only after she switched to Pairs that she ended up in a French speaking environment.

Anyway, thank you for your review of your experiences at the Gala. It was a very enjoyable read. :bow: :clap: :points:

CaroLiza_fan
 

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Erm, if it's Vanessa specifically that you are referring to when you are talking about the fluent English, there's a very good reason for that - it's her first language.

  • She was born in an English speaking country (Canada)
  • She grew up in an English speaking country (Bermuda)
  • She spent her teenage years living in an English speaking country (America)
  • She represented and became Ladies Singles champion of an English speaking country (Great Britain)

It was only after she switched to Pairs that she ended up in a French speaking environment.

Anyway, thank you for your review of your experiences at the Gala. It was a very enjoyable read. :bow: :clap: :points:

CaroLiza_fan

It was too good :laugh:
I didn't know her history and tought she could be from some bilingual ex french colony or from a family with an english/US father ("James")

Caro+Liza? I do approve ;)
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
It was too good :laugh:
I didn't know her history and tought she could be from some bilingual ex french colony or from a family with an english/US father ("James")

Caro+Liza? I do approve ;)

No problems. Vanessa's family is from Bermuda, which is still a British colony (hence why she represented us). Her twin sister, Melyssa, also competed for GB in Singles skating, but the difference is that she switched to Ice Dance and stayed within the British system.

Glad you like the username. And relieved that you worked out the reason I chose it. Over the years, some members have got very confused when they found out I am male, because they assumed my name was "Carol" :laugh: :rolleye:

Have you worked out the significance of my custom title as well? ;)

Speaking about Liza, that story you told about her getting lost was so funny. And so relatable. Although I have never met her (that would be a dream!), I took an instant liking to her too the first time I saw her, when she made her Senior GP debut. And since then, I have come to like her even more because it has become clear that she has a great personality. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that she's absolutely gorgeous! :love:

So jealous that you got your photo taken with Liza. And what a great story you now have, that it was Aliona that took the photos! I admit that I am not a big fan of the way Senior Ladies is being taken over by kids at the moment. However, there is something about Aliona that just draws you in. And I agree with you - it's her eyes.

Now that I have read your stories about her, she really does seem to be the sort of person that you can't help but like. And it makes me feel really bad for taking a dislike to her last season. The irony is that the reason was nothing to do with Aliona herself - it was because I was updating her Fan Fest and it was taking ages to complete because of the sheer number of fan videos on YouTube.

But, I have now seen the light! :biggrin:

Oh, and so sorry that you didn't get a picture with Anna. But, the main thing is that you met her. And you will still be able to cherish those memories in your head.

Glad you had a great time, and I hope you get more opportunities like this in the future.

CaroLiza_fan
 

littlesheep

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
I am super curious about why Alyona was in snickers with her Guess dress. Did she forget to bring her heels?[emoji1787]
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
I am super curious about why Alyona was in snickers with her Guess dress. Did she forget to bring her heels?[emoji1787]

When she is forgetting passwords, it is possible that she is also forgetting stilettos :biggrin:
 

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
I am super curious about why Alyona was in snickers with her Guess dress. Did she forget to bring her heels?[emoji1787]

I should have asked about it.
The Snickers were Guess too btw.
I wonder if she has a contract, but that I thought it was too intrusive to ask.
 

Manitou

Medalist
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
This post is about meeting the skaters before the event.
...

I know it would violate your privacy, but in an unlikely case don't care about it I would love to see the photos you took ... :)

Did Aliona speak English?
 

rosy14

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
Just a side note:
Ondrej Hotarek, Anna’s husband and well known former Italian pair champion, is playing the Prince’s role in Navka’s show Sleeping Beauty, where Aurore/Rosebund is Alina.
Anna and Ondrej often spend Christmas holidays in Moscow.
 

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Have you worked out the significance of my custom title as well? ;)

I fear that eludes me :scratch2:

Speaking about Liza, that story you told about her getting lost was so funny. And so relatable. Although I have never met her (that would be a dream!), I took an instant liking to her too the first time I saw her, when she made her Senior GP debut. And since then, I have come to like her even more because it has become clear that she has a great personality. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that she's absolutely gorgeous! :love:
What's strikes about Liza is her colors.
Raven hair, Ivory Skin, Deep Blue Eyes.
That's the palette for a Caravaggio or a Raffaello.

So jealous that you got your photo taken with Liza. And what a great story you now have, that it was Aliona that took the photos! I admit that I am not a big fan of the way Senior Ladies is being taken over by kids at the moment. However, there is something about Aliona that just draws you in. And I agree with you - it's her eyes.
With Alions it's been love at first skate for me with that sensation that the ice is downhill for her and her skating looks totally effortless, but while the 3A are absolutely fantastic I agree that something get lost in traslation moving peak age so young, and you can see it by looking at the exibithions of top men like Fernandez or Yuzuru.
Taking Alina as an example, it's ironic that she's been pushed aside the moment her skating started to show some real personality.
I really admire Liza and Zenya reworking their skating day by day fighting an apparently lost battle for the love of the sport.

I also hate that selection system based on federation quotas that leaves out some of the best skaters in the world.
Aliona is my favourite, but as a fan of skating i can't accept that the season of Alina, Zenya and Liza is over.
That's a waste!
Skaters so good are heritage for the sport and should compete at top level regardless of passport

Now that I have read your stories about her, she really does seem to be the sort of person that you can't help but like. And it makes me feel really bad for taking a dislike to her last season. The irony is that the reason was nothing to do with Aliona herself - it was because I was updating her Fan Fest and it was taking ages to complete because of the sheer number of fan videos on YouTube.
But, I have now seen the light! :biggrin:
She just inspires positive feelings. :luv17:
Welcome to the bright side of the skating force :laugh2:

Oh, and so sorry that you didn't get a picture with Anna. But, the main thing is that you met her. And you will still be able to cherish those memories in your head.
I would never trade that conversation with a simple pic but I can't help wanting it all :laugh:
 

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Just a side note:
Ondrej Hotarek, Anna’s husband and well known former Italian pair champion, is playing the Prince’s role in Navka’s show Sleeping Beauty, where Aurore/Rosebund is Alina.
Anna and Ondrej often spend Christmas holidays in Moscow.

that's how we ended up talking of sleeping beauty and she started explaining about the difference with the story we know.
It seems that he's really appreciated for his ability to skate both in pair and as a single.
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
It seems that he's really appreciated for his ability to skate both in pair and as a single.

That's the main quality in a professional performer in ballet or on ice. Stability, constant quality and ability to sustain the daily workload.
 

McBibus

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
I know it would violate your privacy, but in an unlikely case don't care about it I would love to see the photos you took ... :)

Did Aliona speak English?

from my instagram

Aliona
https://www.instagram.com/p/B66PB9iqN7c/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B68BzhYq3-b/

Liza (By Aliona)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B66lsyYqHo8/

Yes: Aliona does speak english.
You just have to avoid talking to fast and pay attention to her speaking to have a conversation.

For example her reply to "Are you flying home today or you're staying a bit?" was
"Yes.. Moscow now" but she's so cute it sounded like poetry to me :love:
 

Manitou

Medalist
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
from my instagram

Aliona
https://www.instagram.com/p/B66PB9iqN7c/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B68BzhYq3-b/

Liza (By Aliona)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B66lsyYqHo8/

Yes: Aliona does speak english.
You just have to avoid talking to fast and pay attention to her speaking to have a conversation.

For example her reply to "Are you flying home today or you're staying a bit?" was
"Yes.. Moscow now" but she's so cute it sounded like poetry to me :love:

Awesome photos and I envy you. I have similar pictures with other elite skaters and other artists/athletes, but they were all adult - males or females. And I am just like you - a guy over 60. Probably I would be hesitant to approach a minor for a selfie, but I guess sometimes the star quality of the athlete prevails over those reservations. If I run into Aliona, Zhenya or Alina in a fan-dedicated place where the athletes expect close interaction with fans then probably I wouldn't resist taking selfie either. :)
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
I ran it through Google translate. It means "A Swedish subsidiary of Pay Pal downloads milk in Estonian. :yes:

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I actually just tried that to see if you were serious or just winding me up!

I fear that eludes me :scratch2:

Take the first letter of the first word
then the first letter of the second word
then the first letter of the third word
then the second letter of the first word
then the second letter of the second word
then the second letter of the third word
and so on...

I was messing about one time trying to see what it would turn out like if I wrote it in differing numbers of columns. And when I saw that it made 3 pretty good words when written in 3 columns, I decided to use them as my custom title.

I also hate that selection system based on federation quotas that leaves out some of the best skaters in the world.

You're preaching to the choir here.

I hate the way that everything seems to revolve around representing your country. No. It should be about representing yourself, your family, your coach, your club, your rink. The country bit should only be a way of describing where you come from.

That's why I have a particular dislike for the Olympics. Because they put up even more unnecessary barriers.

But, all this is probably just a side-effect of me being from a small country that doesn't get represented in it's own right in most sports. (Football and Netball being the notable exceptions where we do get to compete as ourselves).

Aliona is my favourite, but as a fan of skating i can't accept that the season of Alina, Zenya and Liza is over.
That's a waste!
Skaters so good are heritage for the sport and should compete at top level regardless of passport

That really is the tragedy of Russia being so successful at producing so much talent. My heart is already breaking that Anna Pogorilaya is unlikely to get another shot at going to the Majors, so the thought of Liza, Zhenya, even Alina possibly being in the same boat is too much.

I would never trade that conversation with a simple pic but I can't help wanting it all :laugh:

Just being able to see Anna Cappellini in real life would be enough of a dream for me. Talking to her or getting a photo of her would be an unimaginable bonus. Luca and Ondřej are two very lucky guys!

CaroLiza_fan
 
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