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Fiasco made us take a more sober look at things

1-2 (2010)
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Russian figure skaters haven't changed themselves in a modern way. We have to make them do more difficult and various elements, calls the Olympic champion and showman Ilya Averbuh.

Ice Averbuh's show is the successful commercial project. And not only commercial. In many respects thanks to «Ice age» the boom of figure skating began in Russia. However, on a wave of total euphoria, nobody paid attention to the fact, that spectators watch show but not the championships.

" There were no objective preconditions for our victory".

— Ilya, the failure of Russian sportsmen in Vancouver causes the most fierce discussions. And who do you think is guilty?

— There is a curious and discrepant situation: at first we rejoiced without grounds, now we sprinkle ashes upon our heads. And, the most interesting thing, it is not clear who is responsible for it. Who was responsible for medals? Olympic committee or the Ministry of sports? Tyagachev or Mutko? There is no answer. Therefore, appeared a ridiculous version that Fetisov is responsible for everything.

— We didn't even thought, that our figure skaters will lose ground, it was meant, that there is there's life in the old dog yet …

— The miracle did not happen. Germans and Chineses brought eminent, skilled sportsmen to Vancouver. And we, having put on a label of indestructible Olympic champions, sent there young sportsmen, who have not reached the level of the competitors. There were no objective preconditions for our victory. And everybody should have realized it, as our leaders Kawaguchi and Smirnov had never been world champions before.

Russians have performed worse than they could. It is impossible to use the name of the Soviet figure skating school forever. Figure skaters used to bring two-three gold medals from the White Olympic Games. This kind of sports had no success — and we failed the whole Olympic Games. It is useful in some measure. Fiasco made us take a more sober look at things.

«To get involved as much as possible of domestic trainers into the Sochi Olympic Games».

— What do you think is necessary to change radically, for your colleagues to perform adequately on the Olympic Games in Sochi?

— Still there is time to try to correct something. To try, for now we are inferior in those things, which are not so easy to make up even for four years. We got used to win and pretended, that did not notice, that rules had changed. The North American school of figure skating, which was introduced variously, not only by quarter twist lifts, became very strong.

— And how to suspend the outflow of «gold» trainers abroad?

— I think, that on the threshold of Sochi Games it is necessary to get involved as much as possible of domestic trainers into the Olympic Games — both skilled, and young. Probably, up to the moratorium on work with foreign sportsmen. Now our trainers work with everybody. It is wrong, but it is not their fault.

«Plyushchenko's return is not a feat, but the desire to fill in the hole».

— Not only figure skaters names', but also trainers' names resounded in Russia. The last, actually, had also created the domestic school of figure skating known all over the world. What are doubtless pluses and minuses?

— Tarasova, Kudryavtsev, Mishin… Linichuk, Kar-ponosov, Dubova… There was a whole galaxy of trainers, and everyone had his champions. Now the figure skating school has given out very much. Mostly, because sportsmen and trainers haven't changed themselves in a modern way. Since the times of Stanislav Zhuk we had made an emphasis on power elements. Therefore, now in Russia man's single skating is more successful.

Modern world figure skating is the balanced program, which demands multipurpose approach. The Russian skating, the Soviet skating is high-speed, emotional. This is the advantage. But sometimes we have extra emotions. Western colleagues even have the insulting expression: «Russians have stomachache again».

— Or skates hurt… What do you think of getting involved as much as possible of star sportsmen into the Olympic Games?

— I think, it is necessary to be guided not by old experience, but by young generation. And we shouldn't forget, that the century of the sportsman, alas, is transient. Plyushchenko, of course, is the good fellow, but his return is not a feat, but the desire to fill in the hole. Evgeny is «the old» sportsman, and there aren't new, and it is sad.

«It is necessary to shake ourselves up!»

— In February you managed to go round twenty Russian cities with «Ice age» program. And you haven't visited the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Aren't you sorry?

— I visited Olympic Games for many times, including summer Games. And has understood one thing — the sportsman should go on Games compete, or ex officio. It is not interesting for me to go there as a tourist — to hang about the «Russian house», get under feet and make myself noticed in TV reportings. I'd better work here.

— If you were offered a post of the sports official, for example the head of federation of figure skating. Would you agree?

— I do not pretend to governing post in this sphere. It is not interesting to me.


Author: Irina Varlamova