Three time world figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko
has just came to Prague

"sport.idnes.cz" October 25, 2004
By Barbora Zehanova

Blonde young man was walking through the corridor to the ice and back again, carrying a little suitcase on wheels. The most of its space took skates. Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, a three time world and European figure skating champion, stopped in Prague for a few hours. He'd be here again on November 5th as a main star of the show Art on Ice.

- How do you deal with days in which you are just heading from place to place and give interviews?

- I like my life. Move, competitions, exhibitions, shows. It's like this.

- And can you be just at home?

- Sometimes I like it when I'm tired. I've bought a house for myself, where I spend my time with my parents, my friends. We watch TV, DVDs, play computer games, I play with dogs. I want to buy another dog, so they'd be four ones. And I have a cat, too. I like to relax. But a weekend is enough for me.

- How often do you let yourself to have such a weekend?

- That's hard to say. I can stay at home lots of time this season. I'll be competing only in Grand Prix in Russia, in world, European and Russian championships.

- That's because of your knee problems, isn't it?

- With my knees and my back. And I need some rest, too. The Olympics is forthcoming, that will be an important season for me. And I want to continue my work, do new quad jumps, combination.

- You don't want to compete a lot but still you are going to take part in the Prague show. Then why?

- I skated a European championships in Prague. I remember the audience which was great. In addition, Art on Ice is like a family for me. For example Oliver HЖner (creator of the show, author's notice) is my friend.

- Just because of this?

- Though I don't want to compete too much I still need to skate for my shape. Maybe I'll try a quad here, triple Axel. You have to be concentrated all the time during a competition. In exhibition, you skate for fun, for the audience.

- So a show only. You're not just a splendid jumper, but a showman as well. Are you like that in your common life, among your friends?

- Sometimes. But I spend almost whole my day on the ice, so I can't be a showman out as well.

- You say that whenever is there a possibility to win something, you want to manage it. It's like that for tennis which you like to play, too?

- Of course. When I started to skate in the age of four, my parents and my coaches told me that I should win over everyone because I am an athlete. So I do that. (laugh) I try to.

- How do you cope with losses?

- That's easy, it's a sport. Sometimes I have health problems, sometimes concentration problems. In the age of 15 I was shaking after a loss and started to work hard again. I didn't relax. Now it's different.

- You had to choose between figure skating and ballet when you were 11. Why did you choose the first possibility?

- I like figure skating. And I've had skated for seven years then.

- What do you like most?

- Step sequences and jumps.

- You're well-known for your jumps. But you have to be aware because of them, you cannot be heavy. When do you let yourself eat everything?

- Of course, I'm on a diet. But after the season, when I was on Champions on Ice tour, I ate everything. Then I had a holiday for a month. I gained on five seven kilo. I couldn't even jump after that. It was terrible.

- What aren't you allowed to eat?

- Sweet. And after 6 p. m. My practises are until 5 p. m., 5.30 p. m. Before I finish, it's 6 p. m. And I am hungry after that.

- You can do the hardest jumps. Have you ever been afraid to jump?

- When I was 15 I broke a thumb on my foot. I couldn't skate for a month, I underwent a surgery. Then I was scarred to jump even a double Axel, because it was the jump I got injured during. It took three months before everything was okay.

- It's possible to have all quads in a program? Is that your goal?

- I made it in practice some three years ago. I tried a quad-quad combination last year. It was almost good. I want to push figure skating forward.

- Figure skating is a rather individual sport. You don't get along well with the Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin, do you?

- (interrupts the question) No, no. We're not best friends but I like the way he's skating. He's a great athlete, a fighter on the ice.

- I just wanted to ask if it's possible to have friends among figure skaters.

- I have a lot of friends.

- You're young, you still can skate for a lot of time. But what will happen when you stop?

- I'd like to skate for another fifty years! If I'd be healthy, I'd like to remain in amateurs because I like to compete, to win, to kill my competitors on the ice.

Translated by Zuzana (Nougatte)



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