"" January 29, 2004

A Press Conference was held on 29 January 2004 at the Stadion Hotel in Budapest by Russian Figure Skater Evgeni Plushenko and Hungarian musician Edvin Marton.

Edvin Marton plays a 1697 Stradivarius violin.

"Now we are best friends" said Plushenko. Plushenko then performed at other Art on Ice shows in Zurich in collaboration with Marton.

When asked, Marton agreed to play at the Gala Exhibition on January 8. When the comment was made that, of course, Plushenko would be a European Championship medallist and would skate at the exhibition, Plushenko modestly replied, "We'll see. I hope I can skate very good."

Coach Mishin is, of course, very involved. He stated, "The skater and musician are very important together. It is a sign of progress when very complicated tasks are decided by outstanding skating and excellent music."

All three consider this a future way of sport. Sometimes it is impossible to make a good cut of music. Chopin and Beethoven may roll in their graves at some music. This is a symbolic step by Plushenko and Marton to develop this art form.

Plushenko arrived in Budapest last Monday from Zurich. He has been looking around the city, shopping and relaxing. He has gone to Marton's home to play billiards, swim, sauna and relax in the jacuzzi.

Plushenko has skated in the new arena and found the quality of the ice to be beautiful.

When asked if he is relaxed going into the championships, Plushenko replied the this is not like a vacation. He is preparing for a "hard competition, like usual."

Plushenko is also dealing with a new problem, a new injury. He has injured his left knee. He has cut back on his skating practice schedule to protect the knee.

Mishin is looking at possibilities to have a joint performance with Plushenko and Marton. He has some ideas for the future and hopes to have the opportunity here in Budapest to work with Marton.

Mishin is very proud that Hungarian representatives are currently working in the ISU. Mishin and local organizer Georgy Sallak are working together to solve some skating problems. They hope to start a program for new stars next summer. This program will help present skaters with athletic programs and excellent choreography.

When asked about Hungarian skater Julia Sebestyen, Mishin claimed her jumps were outstanding. He believes it is important to initiate the idea that elevation (height) of jumps is most important in the marking of jumps. He stated, "Hungarian girl is world record holder." Her outstanding talent in jump technique should be recognized.

Plushenko has added a new element to his program. He will attempt the combination jump quadruple toe loop, triple loop, triple loop. He is also working on two more quads for the future.

When asked how serious is his knee injury and dangerous for his career, Plushenko replied in Russian to Mishin. Mishin translated, "Of course is risky, but life is risky and sport is risky."

Sallak closed the conference stating, "I am proud to have my friend (Mishin) and his superstar in Budapest. The European Championships will have an outstanding performance because Evgeni is improving every year."

So far, the men's event has sold the most tickets to the Championships.



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