"Molotok" N2/2003
By Sasha Geguchadze

When they come to ice, all hearts sink. Fan's - out of their jumps. Rival's - out of their high marks. Coaches' - out of their falls and injuries. But the golden medal is just one, they are the main pretenders for that, so - competitors. Evgeni Plushenko and Alexey Yagudin!


Why did you choose the figure skating? Usually girls are interested in that sport┘

- Actually, I didn't chose. When I was 4, my mom took me to the figure skating. She said: "Skate a month and further we'll see". On the whole that "we'll see" was delayed. But I myself always wanted to play hockey. I played ping-pong well, studied in a chess section. But in time I had neither force, no time for anything else but figure skating.

And now you play hockey?

- Yes, I still adore that sport. I play mainly with my friends.

Is it not dangerous? You might get an injury!

- By the way, the figure skating is more traumatic sport than the hockey. If you begin to learn quad jumps, you can't avoid the injuries. I myself two times cut my leg with a skate and after that they had to sew up the chords, dozens times strained groin, and another strained spots are numberless. Recently I had the muscles contusion: I injured my hand and I had to skate with a plaster bandage. Last season was very hard, I strained an Achilles tendon, had the periostitis and the back injury.

Do you fall in training often?

- Sometimes. But from my childhood I'm accustomed to bear any pain. Tatiana Nikolaevna, my first coach, always comforted me: "Never mind, Zhenya, now you fall, but then you will win the competitions!" Also when a kid comes to a skating rink, he's necessarily taught to fall right "to the side".

Do you have the days when you fail in everything in the training?

- Certainly, I have. In such cases I leave the skating rink. I try to relax: I shower, go to sleep or try to switch over to something else.

To what? How do you spend your leisure time?

- I play billiards, I like bowling. When I have the opportunity go to the night-clubs. Besides I'm a fan of good cars, I love fast drive. If I have more time, perhaps, I'd enter some a auto-club. I want to learn the extreme driving, just in winter, along the impassability. It's so exciting!

Do you go the skating rink just for pleasure?

- Last year I went with my girl-friend and with my friends to the public skating rink. I disliked it very much! Firstly a lot of people, secondly the bad ice, thirdly it's cold.

By the way, tell about your girl-friend┘

- Sorry, no comment. But maybe soon I'll answer your question.

What is your nearest plans?

- I'm going to skate as an amateur for four years more, or perhaps even eight. I want to win all competitions, which exist, including two Olympics. If only the health won't let me down!


"Despite of all rumors, I mix with Liosha absolutely normally. Just recently I met him in Tula, we played football and tennis together. I can't say we're enemies in life. The only thing we'll never share it's the medals."

Translated by Yulya (Pyatatchiok)



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