INTERVIEW TO EVGENI PLUSHENKO
By Ekaterina Kudryavtseva, 2001
The world figure skating championship has passed and the winner's name is not, as ever, Alexei Yagudin, but Evgeni Plushenko. He proved everyone that he's going to win the Olympic games in the USA and that the figure skating school of St.Petersburg, Russia is considered to be the best on the Earth. It sounds loudly, but truthfully! Probably, somebody thinks, that Evgeni has a star fever, that he's now a hoity-toity, but.... It's not true, and if it were true, would he meet with me and honestly tell about his past, the present, plans for the future, family and friends, dreams and ladies... So, here's everything that Evgeni had told me, while communicating in SP "Yubileiny"...
- Where do you study?
- In the Lesgaft institute.
- What department?
- I learn to be a coach.
- How do you succeed to compare sports and studying?
- Very seldom and almost impossible, because now we're choosing the music, then I'll have to train on the floor - I need to wear in the shoes, of course, not on the ice yet, but on the floor, then we'll have to make the dress... And all these must be done! But when? That's why it's impossible.
- Do your fellow-members of course envy your sports achievements?
- Probably, they do. I suppose, somebody has envy.
- Have you acquired or lost any friends after becoming famous?
- I always had lots of friends... I have friends, comrades and acquaintances. There's not a great number of friends, but I have many acquaintances.
- If you are called up for military service, will you serve in the army?
- I think, if I am called up, I will. But, actually, I do sports, because I have to win the medals, the Olympics, the World Championships...
- And can you make a dancing number to the music of the Russian national hymn?
- Yes, I can. Why not?
- And is it allowed?
- I'll ask if it is.
- Whom are you mostly compared with and with whom would you like to be similar with?
- I don't know whom am I compared with, and to be similar... I used to want to be like Victor Petrenko, and now I just want to be myself.
- Do you have a star fever?
- It's all the same to me.
- And what do you think is a star fever?
- A star fever - is when you start not thinking of people and think that you are a king and you're the best of all. You just have to come down, communicate and... be a person!
- Being a child, you once told your mother that you're going to become the champion of the world. You are the world champion now, so what are your plans for the future?
- I have only one aim left - the Olympic medal. If I win it, everything will start again.
- What do you mostly care about today?
- About my parents' health.
- Winning prestigious contests, do you think about your own interests or about the thing that you raise the statute of your city, country...
- Sure, firstly, about my interests. And, of course, we need to promote Russia.
- When you become a coach, will you work with Russian sportsmen, or will you go abroad because there you'll get more money?
- I didn't think about it yet. Today my aim is to win the Olympic medal, and I'll think after that. I'm going to skate for the next 10 years!
- Aren't you hurt when your fellow-members of course go and have fun after the end of the lectures or exams, but you must go and train?
- Training - is my job, first of all. It's not just for fun. And on weekends, when I don't have any trainings, I can have a good time while going for a walk somewhere.
- Are you often recognized in the streets?
- Yes, I'm recognized... started to be recognized.
- How do you concern to your fans?
- Cool, I like it! With great pleasure, excellent!
- When you receive letters from your fans with their phone numbers and addresses, do you reply these messages?
- No, I never answer such kinds of messages, not just because it's early for me to have a girlfriend, because I don't have any time for it.
- You are only 18 years old and I suppose that you already have enough money for the rest of your life. How do you spend your money?
- I have a big family: my parents, sister, niece... I help them, because nobody works in my family. I told them: "You've worked off!" They gave me much, that's why I want them to relax.
- Have you ever dreamt of going abroad forever?
- No, I've never dreamt of it, because I'm an often visitor there. I wanted to leave for America, but when I spent there about two weeks, I said: "No, I better stay in Russia." Here, in St.Petersburg: "Yubileny" we have everything: good ice, good conditions, gym. I don't need anything else, I won't have anything better in America. I have a remarkable coach, I'll never leave him.
- What do you dream of?
- Firstly, of the Olympic medal, secondly, of... being with my parents. They are on the first place for me.
- What was your greatest disappointment and joy?
- I had only one disappointment, when I was only the fourth on the World Championship, but I forgot it immediately. The joy - is the Championship of the World this year.
- Do you like the games of chance?
- Yes, I love the games of chance.
- Do you play them?
- Not often, but I do.
- What sports do you like except figure skating?
- A lot of them: soccer, hockey, tennis...
- And what is your favourite sports team?
- In hockey it's "Detroit" and "New Jersey". I don't have one in soccer, but I support "Zenit" when it plays. I was much surprised when I returned home from America and I was told that "Zenit" is on the second place. How's it on the second place? Usually it's the seventh or the eighths, though they can play very well. I don't know, why do they play very bad?.. But not always, that's why I was very surprised that they're the second.
- Do you wish a success to "Zenit"?
- Sure. I wish success to everybody!
- Do you think you think you achieved success because somebody put much into you, or it's because you worked hard?
- My mother, coach put really much into me. It was some special work...
- Did you ever have a wish to give up figure skating?
- I had such a wish and I gave up figure skating twice. I stopped and didn't attend trainings for some two weeks.
- When have you understood that figure skating is your main occupation?
- At the age of 11.
- Did you have any problems at school because of it?
- I always used to have some problems. But, of course, they started when I was 11 and came here from Volgograd alone, without parents. Alexei Nickolaevich (Mishin) made me train, watched me, but teachers at school couldn't make me study. I, naturally, missed the lessons, could come to school without homework done. I was not under control and had a poor progress, because I had the trainings twice a day, I had choreography and what not... So I couldn't cope with everything.
- What is your ideal of a girl?
- She must be a good person, first of all. It doesn't matter if she is a beauty or not, tall or thin... It's all the same, because chiefly she should be a good person in communicating.
- Do you introduce yourself to any girls in the streets?
- If I like a girl, I introduce myself. But I never thought about it, I have no time.
- Are you mostly friends or rivals with Alexei Yagudin?
- We have never been friends, rivals, of course. We are rivals on the ice. And I don't compete with anybody in the common life. I don't have to divide money, pretty girls or anything else and figure skating - is medals. Everyone of us tries to do his best, to win, that's why I fight with everybody on the ice, even with friends.
- Does it mean that you wage war with him?
- We wage war on the ice, but as soon as you've taken off the skates and left the ice, you may talk, communicate, drink beer and do whatever you want!
- Do you have any special diets?
- I have my own weight that I watch, but I don't have a diet. If I put on a kilogram or two, I'll watch my food and easily lose them.
- What would you like to wish the readers of our news paper?
- Is it the main thing for you?
- It's the main thing for me. I was 14 and had a contest in the Saint Petersburg sport complex. About 15 thousand spectators came there to watch it and I couldn't skate: while training I hurt my back and couldn't make any jump. That final was to be in about 4 hors. I couldn't walk and was carried on a stretcher to a doctor, they gave me medicines and without any training I took part in the competitions. It was hard, but I made everything through the pain that was terrible! Then I was treated for the whole year, but anyway I took part in contests. And now, when 4 years passed, it still hurts sometimes. So the main thing is the health - everything else can be bought! More love and luck! Good luck!
Translated by the author
тнрнюкэанл : пегскэрюрш : яяшкйх
тнпсл : цняребюъ