"" March 8, 2000

Evgeni Plushenko: took some time during the ISU Grand Prix season to speak with ABC Sports and share his thoughts on family, his past and the future. Translated excerpts from the interview follow.

ABC Sports: Now you're from Volgograd. Why did you move to St. Petersburg and how did your family manage it?

Evgeni Plushenko (translated): It happened because the figure skating school in Volgograd, got closed. That was a tragedy for me because by that time, I started progressing. I was making good jumps and spins. And my family, my parents, told me about, that if I chose to go to another school, then I would have to go to Leningrad. I was only 11 years old and my parents told me that I was going by myself. My parents stayed and I went with my trainer to Leningrad.

ABC Sports: When did your mom come then to meet you?

Plushenko: My mother came to St. Petersburg one year later when I was 12.

ABC Sports: Why did she choose to come then?

Plushenko: She came because the family got money. When I was moving they didn't have money to move. But then she started working really hard and my father started working very hard. As a result, they got this financial possibility and she was able to come.

ABC Sports: How often do you see your father? How often does the family get together?

Plushenko: I see them now more often than I did before I bought an apartment in St. Petersburg. So my mom and my dad moved to live with me, and my sister is still living in Volgograd but she is visiting me.

ABC Sports: How old is your sister?

Plushenko: 23.

ABC Sports: Who are the people in your life that motivate you for your skating? Who are the people who motivate you in life?

Plushenko: My mother.

ABC Sports: Can you describe your relationship with your mother?

Plushenko: It's very difficult to me to describe it, but I know that we love each other very much. That's it.

ABC Sports: Now that Urmanov is not competing anymore, do you think you'll miss having him push you in training and in competitions?

Plushenko: Well, we're still training together and Urmanov is still skating very well. He didn't push me to do anything. He wasn't the motivation.

ABC Sports: What does skating mean to your life?

Plushenko: It's everything for me. Without figure skating, I'm nothing. Some time ago, back in Volgograd, I tried to quit it a couple of times. If I haven't been skating for a week, for example, I didn't know where to put all of my energy, which I used to put into skating.

ABC Sports: How do you feel about having all these Grand Prix events now? Do you think you're good prep or are they too much competition?

Plushenko: I don't consider competitions as preparation and the training is preparation and competition is competition.

ABC Sports: What will it take for you to become the world champion this year?

Plushenko: Just to skate well.

ABC Sports: Who will be your biggest competition for the world championship?

Plushenko: [LAUGHS] First of all myself and then - all the others.



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