"Komsomolskaya Pravda" March 29, 2003
By Andrey Kabannikov

Out reporter talked with the champion just after the victory ceremony.

- Zhenya, your coach said that today you woke up with the red knee. Did the injury influence a lot?

- My knee became hurting three days ago. This morning we decided not to do injection, but just to use massage and salve. I was ready for 70-80% of my best form, but that happened to be enough.

- Is it the reason you chose more economical variation, not including the most difficult elements to the program?

- I skated after Tim Goeble and just at that moment we decided that. Actually technically my rivals were ready magnificently. I needed to use another way to win to them. Plastics and artistry.

- Did you feel pressure of the strange ice, audience, judges?

- How one who won on all three days can complain? I generally tried not to think about the medal, but about showing the good skating. And I've been succeeded in it.

- Did you miss the rivalry with Alexey Yagudin?

- You saw yourself, there were no lack of the strong competitors. I didn't miss Yagudin here.

- At today press-conference here he promised to begin competing soon.

- That's great. He's a fighter, a perfect skater. Of course, he will return, he just took a tactical pause. His presence will be just a plus to competitions.

- How was it happened that you were kept so long at the border?

- An odd story. An officer of the immigration service asked: "So you're coming to win the Championship?" No, I said, I'm coming to skate. "And where are going to live?" I didn't know the exact place and wrote the address of the skating rink. Then he waved with his hand - wait!

- And how long did you have to wait?

- 20-30 minutes. All "ours" already went through. The most funny is what I was forbidden to use my cell phone. "Call with a public phone!" "But I have no coin!" "It's your problem".

- And how was all that settled?

- I slipped to the lavatory and called sitting on the lavatory pan. There I was told the address.

- They say your things were also delayed.

- Yes, we've been waiting for them for three days. I had to rush to a shop and buy a sport costume, boots. But happily I took my skates with me to the airplane.

- At the press conference you managed answering in English not badly. But used to you mixed through a translator. Where did you learn?

- While moving, mixing with another skaters. I can't find a teacher yet.

- Why?

- You see, lately I went in a car with my girl friend. And I said to her: "Uljyana, I need an English teacher". She immediately called, we're coming to an agreement. But suddenly, when one on the another end of the line got to know he needed to teach Plushenko, the teacher refused, said that he wouldn't be able.

- What did frighten him?

- I myself don't know. And so far I'm looking for a good teacher.

- When will you come home, Zhenya?

- Alas, only in two months. For all that time I will skate in "Champions on Ice" show.

- With the injury?

- It's not difficult program there. Actually - the rest. And then I will rest in the full sense of that word. I was going to Turkey for a month. But now I don't know - they are shooting near it. Maybe I'll go to some place else. While that time it will be necessary to undergo a cure.

- And then? You don't think like Yagudin about taking a break as long as possible, resting from competitions in being a professional?

- No. My plans - skating and skating. About eight years more.

- And just because of that, they say, Plushenko is going to build a house at St.Petersburg suburb?

- Yeah, I have such plans. I'll come home and dip into building.

- Is that true that you're a big dog fan?

- Yes, very big. At my home I have an American bulldog and a Yorkshire terrier. And also I enlisted to that my coach Mishin.

- How did you do it?

- I gifted to him a sheep-dog. My mom called her Eva. A good dog.

- Why a sheep-dog?

- I hesitated - a sheep-dog or a bulldog. But Mishin lives at the suburb, he needs a dog guarding the territory.

- Do you have a wish to stay in America longer, where a lot of our skaters live now?

- No! I love Russia. And especially St.Petersburg.

Translated by Yulya (Pyatatchiok)



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