I HAVE MY OWN CHARACTER
Cup of Russia 2001 Booklet
The season of 2001 proved to be so far the most successful in the career of Eugeniy Plushenko, the 19-year old St. Petersburg's figure skater: he was awarded the gold medals of the World and European championships in skating. Moreover, he bacame the champion of Russia for the third time.
Many observers have often drawn attention to the fact that Plushenko has been a master of the unique cascades of jumps, including four revolution ones. But by emphasizing this very fact, these observers fail to notice another advantage of the nineteen year old figure skater, perhaps, the main one: Plushenko demonstrates the most harmonious and steady style of skating in every composition of the previous years. Evgeniy himself emphasizes:
- I should consider the maximum marks awarded by judges, 6-point assessment, to be the most valuable indicator of my skill.
- Does the quality of your basic competitors' mastership play any role for you?
- As a matter of fact, my coach - Alexei Mishin usually gives either me or his other pupils special instructions: never to compete with somebody, but first of all think only of maximum successful performance of the program. This point of view radically changes my attitude towards the competition, and aims at quite different manner of skating...
- How many full four revolution jumps are included in your new program?
- Basically, two jumps of four revolutions are planned. But the number of such elements is usually defined by tactic of concrete competition, concrete results and my physical condition. My coach and I try to elaborate carefully on artistic impression of the program. Figure skating is not a jumping competition. A spectator comes to enjoy a performance on ice. Russian school has is always been famous for the special artistic impression. A sportsman is an actor, that's why he must be a master of movement. We form special hand-flow, and gesture, which should correspond to the whole image to a certain musical fragment of the performance. Usually we cooperate with chareographers David Avdysh and Edwald Smirnov, great masters in this field of art.
- Is it possible to combine training and studies?
- In some way this combination helps me to expand my outlook. A science and modern sport tightly connected. Therefore it is rather easy for me to study in Lesgaft Institute of Physical Culture.
- Which performances on ice has given you the special creative gratification?
- Perhaps the start of the World championship in Vancouver, 2001, and the Final of Grand Prix in Lyons, 2000. My short program, accompanied by "Bolero" of Ravel suita my character best of all. While skating I planged into the tune step by step, and managed to gain the illusion of real flight. I remember, that while skating in France the tribunes were delighted, you see, the French are the real judges of music. Later journalists told us, that mother of the world ex-champion Elvis Stoiko from Canada, being there on the tribune has asked everybody: "Where do Russian coaches manage to find such "golden" boys? Initially, Urmanov has shocked everybody, now - Plushenko..."
The ice arena of Prague wasthe first happy landmark for Plushenko in season of 1999. It was the first competition of such level for him and there he came second. And Eugeniy's ascension started in January, 1999 in Moscow's Palace of Ice Sports "Sokolniky", during the championship of Russia . Just before the start, forecasts named the world champon, 1998, Alexei Jagudin, to be the leader. And suddenly a real thunderclap blew above the ice arena: Eugeniy Plushenko, 16-years ols skater.
- Yes, Eugeniy has been favoured by fortune, - the coach of Plushenko, professor , the Honoured Master of Sports Alexei Mishin, mentioned then. - His childhood wasn't easy one. Eugeniy spent his childhood in Volgograd in an unpretentious family.
But the boy was lucky to meet wonderful teachers. His first coach Mikhail Makoveev treated Eugeniy as his own son, and carefully looked after him. To my mind, Spartan conditions of life had led to formation of a steadfast male character. Having achieved the championship of Russia, Eugeniy proved, that a "golden boy" had been transformed into a real sportsman.
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