"Sovetsky Sport" March 29, 2003
By Darjya Srebnitskaya

World Championship. The interview near the podium.

Evgeni Plushenko confessed that he's not satisfied with his skating. On his opinion his 3axel-3toe - combination was successful just with 80%.


- If Timothy Goeble did the third quad, could he win to you?

- I can't discuss that theme because I don't know if he has done it or not. If he was succeed in that element, that I'd tune to my skating in another way. But still I started after him and knew how he skated, that I decided to change nothing in my program.

- Mishin told you?

- No matter who. Good people.

- Actually while competitions your coach tell you how your rivals skate?

- In different ways. Sometimes I myself ask him about it and sometimes he tells me.

- At this championship there is very rigid judging. Did you feel it yourself?

- No, because I came not to win, but to show the good skating. And I didn't think about who would judge. At least I didn't discuss it with my coach.

- It's hard to believe that the athlete of your level doesn't think about the victory.

- Thoughts like that distract me, that's why I always say this way.

- Alexey Nikolaevich said that on the practice you did successfully quad lutz. But if your leg hurt, was it necessarily to make an experiment?

- I practiced lutz before my leg got hurting. The pain appeared two-tree days before the competitions, and after that I immediately refused that jump.

- Do you know that next season Yagudin will return to the team?

- Now I do. You told me. Let him skate! So I though he wouldn't go to the professionals. He just did a tactical maneuver - a year of rest.

- Are you going to do the same way?

- I'm not going!


- Why did you come to America so early, on the 16th of March?

- Because of acclimatization: I wanted to get accustomed to the warm weather. We lived near Washington, at our close friend Rashid Kadyrkaev home.

- What a mysterious story happened with you just after arriving to the States? Why did custom officers stop you?

- It perhaps was my fault that I didn't point in the declaration my future address in USA. I had my cell phone, which didn't work I don't know why and I can't call to Rashid. And when the custom officer asked me to call with a public phone I answered that I had no coins. He said: "I'm not interested in it". I stayed and waited for 20 minutes. Then I was tired of it. I came to the cop, which ordered: "Wait more". I locked in the lavatory and just from there I could call to my friend permanently adjusting the antenna and trying to connect with the service. I believe the custom officer carped specially.

- Did he recognize you?

- He asked: "Are you going to the Worlds? To win?" I swore that not, just to skate well. And wrote the address of the skating rink. He asked where it was. And what was further I already told you.

- Mishin was stopped too?

- No, he had a green card. And went through the special corridor, but I suffered in the queue.

- While training how did you spent your free time?

- Went shopping, because our baggage was lost. We've been waiting for it for 4 days. I had to buy the most necessary stuff: training costume, socks, boots.

And your skating costumes were also in the baggage?

- Only one. For Carmen. The rest I took with myself. And my skates too.

- After that story you didn't think about getting a green card and never giving thing to the baggage?

- I don't care the costumes. [Actually Zhenya said something like "F**k them, the costumes". But in Russian it's not an expletive, that doesn't sound rude. It's just very colloquial. I simply don't know how to translate it.] The main thing is my skates wouldn't be stolen. And about the green card I, to be honest, didn't think yet.


- Evgeni, you improved your English so much, you have a good teacher?

- Not yet. Once I with my girl friend went in a car and I said to her: "I need to set about English". She answered: "I'll call my teacher just now". She called and wanted to agree about the time - for instance 2 o'clock. Warned that Plushenko wants to get lessons. The teacher said: "No, I won't be able to work with Zhenya". I don't understand why it happened so, and now I need to find a good teacher, who won't be so shy and afraid me.

- Who is, if it's not a secret, your girl friend?

- A regular person. She's not from the sport world. Just a girl.

- How are you going to spend your vacation?

- After the Worlds for two months I will skate in American Tom Collin's tour. Then I was going to come for a month to Turkey, but it's dangerous there, they shoot.

- You have no plans to live in America a bit longer?

- I already want to Peter [St.Petersburg]. I love my home very much.

- They say you're building a cottage together with Mishin?

- Yeah, together. He digs and I take the soil out of the site. A joke! And if seriously, I have such an idea - to build my own house. And Alexey Nikolaevich helps me with that project.

- Is that true that you both are dog fans?

- On Mishin's birthday I gifted him a sheep-dog. My mom called her Eva. A great dog, so powerful. I have two dogs: an American bulldog and a York terrier. Firstly I was going to gift a bulldog to my coach. But the dog should guard the territory above all, because Alexey Nikolaevich lives in the countryside. That's why I chose a sheep-dog.

Translated by Yulya (Pyatatchiok)



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