Mar 31, 2021
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“Now the champions.” Tamara Moskvina about the battle of characters and competition on ice

The World Figure Skating Championships ended on March 28 in Stockholm. It was a triumph for Russian athletes who won 6 out of 12 possible medals. Congratulated them Vladimir Putin, and sent congratulations to the St. Petersburg team Alexander Beglov

Skating masters from the city on the Neva performed excellently. Mikhail Kolyada and Evgeny Semenenko entered the top ten (5th and 8th places) and provided the country with tickets to the 2022 Olympics for single men. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva won silver in women’s skating. In this discipline, our figure skaters took the entire podium, which happened for the first time in the history of the world championships. Sports couples were also at their best. Gold – also for the first time in the last eight years – was won by the debutants of the championship Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Gallyamov, but Alexander Boykov and Dmitry Kozlovsky were awarded bronze.

Both the strongest duos are trained by the Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation Tamara Moskvina… How did she manage to make the newcomers world champions? And are there any “magic words” with which she admonishes the students before the start? The legendary coach spoke about this immediately after the end of the World Cup in an exclusive interview with AiF.

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Elena Danilevich, SPB.AIF.RU: Tamara Nikolaevna, we congratulate you and your pupils with a brilliant victory! When you left for Sweden, did you hope for such a result, or did it exceed your expectations?

Tamara Moskvina: I thought that both of my pairs should be in the top three. Together with the coaching staff, we equally prepared them to show everything to the maximum in Stockholm. In general, we always motivate the guys to skate without mistakes, to be one hundred percent gathered and concentrated. Another thing is that someone succeeds, but someone does not.

Russian figure skaters managed to take the entire podium of the World Championship: (from left to right) Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova.)
Russian figure skaters managed to take the entire podium of the World Championship: (from left to right) Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova.) Photo: From personal archive / Tatiana Flade

“But today they call you nothing more than a seer. For the first time participating in tournaments of such a high rank Mishina – Gallyamov skated in a free program to the “We are the champions” of the “Queen” group! Was the music selected with leadership in mind?

– I didn’t anticipate anything! I just heard a melody suitable for the show. At first I took the song “Queen” without words at all. Then I saw that in this form it does not give the desired effect, bright colors, and returned the vocals. At the same time, I constantly felt discomfort, if you want – pangs of conscience. I foresaw that reproaches would begin: they say they were debutants, but they swung at such a composition. Somehow immodest. But then I thought: “They don’t claim to be champions. Nastya, Sasha are just performing with their own program. ” I know, today some people connected it with my foresight, even impudence, but it happened so. The music matched the result.

– By the way, about bright colors. In the coaching area of ​​the World Cup, you were in a beautiful turquoise coat. Although you usually prefer stricter colors. Many also associated this with the spirit of winning.

– There was some courage, because I usually try to dress quieter. Over the years, a habit has developed: let everyone look at the skaters, and I prefer not to attract attention. Although in life I love the color red. Maybe because I’m small, and in red I can be seen better (smiles). So now I thought: “I’m 80 soon, why not come up with something“ refreshing ”. She dropped all doubts and put on a turquoise coat. I admit that someone will start the hairpin again – they say, where, grandmother, in such an outfit, but I prefer not to react to empty criticism.

Gather all the will and strength

– Nastya and Alexander skated the program very confidently. However, at the championship there were many situations when figure skaters consistently performed the most difficult elements in training, and when they got to the start, they made mistakes and fell. Lacking character or miscalculation in something else?

– One of the reasons is the strongest psychological stress. Often this does not allow collecting all the will and strength. The thoughts are crushing: “My competitors have already received good points, but will I be able to do better?” Such excitement is very disturbing.

For example, I watched an American performance Nathan Chen, who became a three-time world champion in Stockholm. You could see how he was assembled, completely controlling every movement. It means that I set myself up this way – this is also art, skill.

In this regard, I always liked how my Sasha Boykova and Dima Kozlovsky got together on the eve of the starts. It is no coincidence that they have a reputation as a “plus start” pair. This means that athletes know how to mobilize, fight, give the maximum at the right time and time, they have the qualities to achieve great victories. The results confirm this: Sasha and Dima are famous for their reliability and error-free execution of elements. This time, not everything worked out as planned, but not today – so tomorrow. There is no reason to be upset: they climbed the podium, won bronze – they became the third in the world in their discipline. Very worthy and honorable.

Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky won the bronze medal in the championship.
Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky won the bronze medal in the championship. Photo: From personal archive / Tatiana Flade

– Nevertheless, everyone noticed Boykova’s outburst and the words thrown to you: “Congratulations, you now have world champions.” What is this attack – emotions, nerves? It turned out ugly.

– I don’t take it as an attack. Sasha congratulated me and Arthur Minchuk, who also trained both pairs (coach of the Sports Club of Figure Skating T. Moskvina. – Ed.) with a wonderful event – world champions appeared in our group. As for competition, including internal competition, this is a guarantee of development, and it should only be benevolent and constructive.

– Mishina and Gallyamov have rightfully become world champions. It is all the more outrageous that some foreigners want to question their success. They even write abroad that “the victory was stolen from the Chinese.” Where does this dislike come from?

– It is the right of people to discuss certain events. But if someone talks about stealing, let him go to court. They write about the bias and bias of the arbitrators. However, the rental is evaluated by professionals from different countries. A whole system of judging has been created, and points are awarded objectively. Excellent figure skaters from 18 countries, including Korea, Japan, America, took part in the pairs competition in Sweden. So ours were better. We must discard the negativity and rejoice at the success of others, because each medal is truly won.

No “fist fights”

– In Stockholm, a lot of restrictions were introduced because of covid. All day – in a “bubble”: contacts are prohibited, the sides must not be touched, health questionnaires were filled in every day. How does it feel to perform without spectators and even award medals to yourself?

– The most important thing is that the championship has taken place. It was canceled last year in Montreal due to a pandemic, and a second skip of major starts of the season would have dire consequences. So I am very grateful to the International Skating Union, which allowed the championship. Well, there are restrictions everywhere. We were given good hotel rooms, decent food. The schedule and logistics were very clear. Routes from the skating rink to the hotel and back were built so that the streams did not cross. This is a must when it comes to health and safety.

Yes, there were no spectators. So what? Athletes often skate programs in front of empty stands. It also happens that in some countries few figure skating fans come. Of course, the audience creates a certain mood, an emotional background. But we prepared the guys for this situation, therefore, if necessary, they know how to “turn on” themselves.

Mikhail Kolyada (right) and Evgeny Semenenko entered the top ten (5th and 8th places) figure skaters in the world.
Mikhail Kolyada (right) and Evgeny Semenenko entered the top ten (5th and 8th places) figure skaters in the world. Photo: From personal archive / Tatiana Flade

– Russian couples in Stockholm received the maximum number of quotas for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022. Have the winners and prize-winners already guaranteed their place in the national team?

– Much will be decided at the Russian Championship, which will take place in December this year. Of course, the title holders of the planetary championship awards have advantages. Including – higher rating and popularity. But the composition of the national team will be determined at the end of 2021.

– You will now coach the two strongest pairs in Russia. This is ambition, rivalry. How difficult is it to find an approach to each?

– This is not the first time my team and I have worked with leaders. I had two leading pairs at several Olympiads. And now, I think, we will not arrange “fist fights”.

We have a beautiful, intelligent sport. You have to win with an original program, new elements, a smile, ease of sliding. And not envy and jealousy. If someone wants to embroil us, he will not wait for it. On the contrary, we will act as a united front and support each other.

– Tamara Nikolaevna, they say that there is a magic word that you say to the students before the decisive rental. Will you reveal a secret?

– There is such a word. And it sounds not only at competitions, but in all classes: “Work properly, at every training session, and then everything will work out at the most important starts.”

Dossier: Tamara Moskvina

She was born in June 1941. She started figure skating in the 1960s. The six-time USSR champion, paired with A. Mishin, won silver at the 1969 World Championship. From 1971 to the present day, she worked as a coach. Tamara Nikolaevna is the world’s most successful pair skating coach. By 2021, her students have won 63 medals at the European, World and Olympic Championships. T. Moskvina – Honorary Citizen of St. Petersburg, Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation. There are two daughters, a granddaughter.

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