"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" March 29, 2003
By Alexandra Geguchadze

- How do you feel as two-timed World champion?

- Of course, I'm very glad that I second time won the competition of such a level. It wasn't easy. Timothy Goeble skated very well, did two quads. I didn't watch his skating, but I knew the result and it pressed psychologically a lot. Now I feel that I'm very tired.

- How you manage with the negative emotions?

- Sometimes I simply can't skate, I leave the practice. In such cases I try to relax: I shower, go to sleep or try to switch over to something else. The psychology, certainly, means a lot in sport. It's very important, the way you tuned to skating, the words the coach said to you.

- Do you have enough of time for the personal life?

- Of course, no. I'm at home not often, so I can't spend a lot of time to my family.

- How you spend you free time?

- I play billiards, tennis, I love bowling. Sometimes I go to the night clubs.

- You didn't fear to come to America because of the war?

- No. There was a lot of securities, which worked very professionally, providing the safety on the highest level.

- What brought you to the figure skating, why did you choose that sport?

- I didn't chose. When I was 4, my mom took me to the figure skating and I liked it. At the beginning I occupied just for the health and at the same time I wanted to play hockey very much, and I still dream about it. But as you can see I stayed on ice in another way┘ In my childhood I wanted to play soccer and ping-pong, I even studied in a chess section. But it's happened so that the figure skating became my main occupation.

- Do you play hockey now?

- Yes, a little bit. But only with my friends.

- How do you feel about professional sport? Are going to leave amateurs?

- I believe that ones become professionals who achieved the top as amateurs. And I can't say it about myself. Perhaps I'll skate as an amateur 4 years more and maybe 8. My plans are two Olympics. Of course if my health will be alright.

- What is more profitable from the financial point of view - skating as an amateur or as a professional?

- I don't know what contracts the professionals have, with what sums. I think that all are paid differently. There are titled and stably skating athletes, and there are them who shined just once┘ I can assume that money in amateur and professional figure skating is approximately equal.

- That sport is quite risky and even dangerous. A lot of skaters have injuries┘

- Any sport is dangerous. In the figure skating everything depends of what elements an athlete does, how difficult they are. If you begin to learn quad jumps, you can't avoid the injuries. I had different injuries. I two times cut my leg with a skate and after that they had to sew up the chords. I had strained and broken muscles, different damages of the chords. Recently I injured my hand and I had to skate with a plaster bandage. But I take it as the inevitability, sport is sport┘ When I began to skate in Volgograd, I fell to the ice often and it was rather painful. But I was lucky about the coach. Tatiana Nikolaevna comforted me like that: "Never mind, Zhenya, now you fall, but bear it and then you will win the competitions!"

- And now at the practice do you have painful falls?

- I do sometimes. But when you're jumping you're thinking just about doing it right, landing it without mistakes. Now I've got a lot of experience and fells rarely.

- Tell about your girl-friend.

- Let's not speak about it for now. But maybe soon I'll answer that question.

- Do you go to a common skating rink? Just for pleasure?

- Once I went with my friends to SKA skating rink in Peter [St.Petersburg]. But I disliked it very much, I'll go there no more. Firstly a lot of people, secondly the bad ice, thirdly it's cold. Also the people working there was not too affable, even remembering is unpleasing.

Translated by Yulya (Pyatatchiok)



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