Grand Prix Final 2003 Booklet
By Andrei Simonenko

The last time Evgeni Plushenko performed in the Ice Palace in November 2001 on "Cup of Russia". Jne of the brightest moments of thet tournament have taken place on the official training? When the present champion of the world under an applause of pair hundreds of the spectators from the third attempt absolutely right has performed the fourfold luts. The spectators and the experts waited then from Evgeni and the new free program. Alas the performance, born in the hardest torments, was issued only on the ending of Grand Prix in Kitchener in Canada and for some reasons weren't showed in Salt Lake City, because it conceded a place for "Carmen". Present season the skater will spend so, as if he has intended to forget about the Olympic "silver", about that dreadful accident in the short program which has deprived all the world of the unique opportunity to see the fighting of two Russian giants. All his starts after Salt Lake City 2002 Plushenko has won "in one gate", by forcing even to recollect the season 2000/2001. Then we shall remind that this unique skater has not lost any tournaments. And his main opponent A. Yagudin was in complete health and in the very good form. Now, to tell the truth, Evgeni has remained in loneliness: the heavy injury has put under a doubt the further career of Yagudin.

At the same time, despite of lacking of the real competitors, the leaders of the Russian team will have not the easiest life. It is necessary to him to find the correct answer to the most important question: whst to do in a situation when your favorite words "my basic contender is myself", at least have found a real tangible sense? For the destiny of the main award on the Olympic Games in Turin will depend on his answer in many respects.

It is a very difficult question. It is easier to answer what is not necessary to do. You should not stay at the same place. To put for yourself the purpose to ascend already conquered tops, which provide that the chance to rise on unique unsubdued one will come only in three years, is painfully difficult. However the other way doesn't exist. It is possible to win gold medals, not straining and quietly performing one fourfold jumping. Any tome it will occur easily. But it is possible thus to lose a taste to struggle and then never return it. It is not necessary to follow the fashion. On the contrary, the present leader himself should establish his own standards.

Whether it turns out or not, will judge the spectators. Most of all disputes were caused by the new performance called "The Gangsters St. Petersburg", on the music by Igor Korneluk. Someone reproached the skater with an excessive adherence to soundtracks. However this performance is a gift to the citizens to 300-year Jubilee of St. Petersburg is very intresting as a whole. But incomparably more successful work of a new team of choreographers led by Valery Mihailovsky - brilliant short program on immortal "Adagio" by Tommaso Albinoni. Plushenko looks masterly in it. And it seems that this work of art will become the most sure step at Plushenko in the fourth measurement of figure skating, when the person, who has overtaken secret is absolutely named the great one without thinking about his medals and titles.

Plushenko has one more performance of potentially the same quality. Potentially - because really to thunder all over the world it was not possible. It is "The life of actor" the torture born program of the autumn of 2001. The program which hadn't been publicly performed only twice and then "set on a shelf". Though even to performances of the program were enough to realize: on a depth of expressiveness it is among the best of his performances.

After the Moscow stage of the Grand Prix Plushenko has given to understand that, most likely, the second free program in the final will be the "Artist". It isn't necessary, perhaps, to outstrip the events and to give to Evgeni the third title of the winner of the Grand Prix Final. In the fifure skating could be everything but that we shall see the performance of the hightest class is undoubtedly.

And almost for certain we shal the witnesses of his victory above himself. You see, he has own answer on a question: "What to do?"



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