A famous specialist – about contracts between coaches and students, and also that the bar set by the Russians is currently unattainable for Europeans

The first official figure skating competition in five months has started in Moscow. In “Megasport” in the presence of about 30 spectators, juniors fight at the city championship. At the girls’ starts on September 3-4, there will be more spectators, while the main intrigue will be among the guys, where Artem Kovalev won the short program with a minimal advantage, Mark Lukin and Vsevolod Knyazev from Khrustalny sensationally occupy only fifth or sixth places, and on the 15th position is the son of Maxim Marinin Artemy, who plays for CSKA.

Couples have an impressive advantage over all the others in the duet of Artur Dmitriev Ekaterina Belova / Dmitry Chigirev. Honored coach of Russia Nina Moser closely watched this view from one of the first rows, promising that future participants of the 2026 Olympics would ride here. Nina Mikhailovna spoke about the plans of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, the influence of Russia on the crisis in European figure skating and the difficult attitude towards the topic of contracts.

Couples Moskvina did not leave the rink. Still they shouldn’t be ready

Nina Mikhailovna, although we are with you at the Moscow junior championship, I can’t help but ask you about the Evgeny Tarasov / Vladimir Morozov pair. Do they want to be in time for the Russian Cup and the Grand Prix?

As far as I know, two options are currently being considered. They are in America now, but they should probably come. It was talked about September 11, but there are difficulties with flights, and perhaps they will return even earlier, on September 7. But I’m not a personal trainer for the guys, Marina Zueva and Maxim Trankov write their plans. I am a senior coach of the Vorobyovy Gory school, and my functions are now more extensive.

Russia’s Alina Zagitova competes in the women’s single skating short program of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Against this background, news comes from St. Petersburg that the couples of Tamara Moskvina are very ready, judging by the rentals.

Well, thank God, I’m happy for them. They did not leave the rink, they are almost the only ones in the country. They wouldn’t be ready yet! There were also several skating rinks in Moscow, but there were no athletes there. Now you don’t even know what to expect from couples. That’s why I came to the junior championship in Moscow, to see the youth of our school. People have not skated for four months, and at that age it is a serious test. But they come out and try to restore the elements at breakneck speed. Several promising guys are performing here for the 2026 Olympics.

It’s a pity that none of those who are in 2022 came. Except that 14-year-olds will not suddenly be admitted.

Why? We have a very strange perception of figure skating, a completely different view compared to other countries. If we want to evaluate skating, then older people should perform. And now everything has turned into children’s skating. Rich but childish.

Can the division into artistic and technical programs help? With the division of medal sets in perspective.

I do not presume to define such global things. Thoughts, of course, I have, but I’m not sure if they should be voiced now.

How are the youth now? I have heard that in some schools pairs are simply not recruited. Is the popularity of pair skating really falling?

In principle, there are fewer athletes who can be put in pair skating. In Russia, a tradition has taken root – in single skating, the smallest and most nimble ones are left, the larger ones are given to dances, and there is no one to take in pairs. There are a lot of low partners now, including because of this. Or you have to bring people from other cities. I have 15 couples at school, there are new good ones, I look at their development. We work all day in four groups.

The bar set by Russian figure skaters is still unattainable for Europe

If you look at other countries, Europe, they dream of such “problems”.

In Europe, figure skating is really bad. Because the bar set by the Russians is currently unattainable for them. They have no choice, no opportunity. One or two singles skaters can skate in the country, claiming for major competitions, and then this cannot be called a sport of the highest achievements. These are the realities.

Is it real to change?

The rules are as follows. I spoke with members of the technical committee about the need to diversify the format of the competition. On some of them those who can compete at the highest level would compete, on others medals could be fought by weaker athletes. Because no country will be interested in funding athletes in 25th place. For them, at least some kind of reward is important. But for now it remains my exclamations.

But the Olympic medal is still one in each form.

Of course, it cannot be divided. But in European countries, many are engaged in figure skating not for the sake of an Olympic medal, but for pleasure. Maybe it’s easy to present different technical requirements.

In pair skating in this sense, everything is very monotonous.

Yes, the requirements of the technical committee are such that people follow the path of least resistance. Everyone is trying to do the fourth level to raise the technical grade. Ultimately, this translates into what you see now – the same rotations, approaches to todes, positions in supports. Things are really getting corny. And the winner is the one who is more stable or stronger from a choreographic point of view.

Is it possible to say that ISU has scored on pair skating? For a long time, the technical committee had no one from this species to Fedor Klimov.

No, why? This is not related to the number of committee members. All specialists and coaches are sent offers in advance before the new season. Someone is simply lazy, someone does not think about the importance of this process. One is listened to, the other is not accepted. Everything is so trite that it’s not even interesting.

First, I would read a sample skater-coach contract

The Russian Cup has acquired a unique status this year. Was his program really expanded to other cities?

You know, we would still have to spend what we have. God grant that no one canceled the stages. We still live in times of a pandemic and do not understand what will happen tomorrow. I must say “thank you” that it is at least in this form and the guys have the opportunity to compete.

The main topic of this summer is transitions, and after Alena Kostornaya’s transfer, contracts are being actively discussed. Do you support their introduction?

For me, a philosophical question. On the one hand, I would like to see some rules. The rules of decency in the first place, with the same transitions. On the other hand, it’s scary to get addicted to things that might be too difficult to work with.

So if there was a vote on the coaching council, would you abstain?

I would read a sample contract first. In order to conduct a discussion, you need to understand what we are discussing.


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