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by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Irina Slutskaya: "I open my eyes and go to ice"

Article printed in Russian language Newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda on November 24, 2004

Article by Igor Emelianov (IE) written on November 26,2004

Irina Slutskaya, (IS) who became the world's best single skater two years ago, went in March of 2004 to the World Competition in Dortmund after suffering from severe vascular disease.

Then, she said that her main goal was to get on the ice and not to die. Eight months later, at home in Moscow, the main goal for her is to get on the ice and to win.

IE - In October, you had a terrible fall at the practice. But in November you were first at the Grand Prix Competition in Peking…..

IS- Please do not write that I have damaged my knee cap, as the Chinese agency reported! I never had a problem with my knees! I have pullled some ligaments, did not skate for a couple of days - that was all.

IE - In the capital of China you encountered some problems….

IS - What problems? They have a different culture, we are not used to it. I was going on ice and some fan grabbed me by my breast and demanded an autograph. I got scared, broke off and run away, but a local policeman looked at me as a mad person. I do not know, but may be it is their tradition. I was rather shocked.

IE - It seems that their home raised psychotics did not interfere with your great victory in Peking- the first in the last few years….

IS- I did not win the Grand Prix since 2001.

IE- It looks like the Chinese are pushing hard in the figure skating?

IS- There are no bright stars among the Chinese women, so far. The leaders are Japanese, Americans, and us (Russians).

IE- Young ladies from the country of the Rising Sun are performing quadruple jumps. Can't you do them, or are you afraid?

IS- I am not trying these jumps, because I do not need them at this time. I want to develop a program that I could perform at the highest level. It is not hard to learn how to make four turns, and than what? Nothing, emptiness…. By the way, I did not see who of my competitors has new elements, because at the practice I do not look around - I have other things to do. And at home I do not have a satellite dish….

IE- Are you scared of the new judging system?

IS - At first it took me sometimes a half of the competition to "skate in" into the new system. But if I would be afraid of it I would not participate in the competitions. When I finally understood everything, I saw that there were pluses and minuses.

IE - You look like a commercial for the healthy lifestyle. Did you go back to the full load in your practice?

IS - I even increased the load from the beginning of the season.

IE- Did you have a long resting period?

IS - I went to Turkey with Sergey, my husband. But I could not stand it just to sunbathe all day long. My friend was working in the hotel staff and she arranged for "active resting". I participated in different games and received everything that is included in the notion of 'Turkey vacations".

IE - Is your friend also a figure skater?

IS- I do not have friends in my sport. All my friends are adults and they understand that I will never trade a nap for a meeting with girlfriends and I would not rush to a party at midnight. Nevertheless, I am a normal young woman and I live a normal life - go shopping and to restaurants…

IE- Did you try the local cuisine in China?

IS- We lived in a very respectable western type hotel with a European cuisine. In general I like Chinese, Japanese and Russian dishes. Since I am a good cook, we are often having situations where my husband would come home from work and would say, “I am so hungry,” and we would both go to the market, buy the groceries and cook something right away.

IE - Is it all happening in your summer-house?

IS- It would be nice to have a cottage, but I live in town (melancholic smile). I do not want to build something small like a one yard square hat, we had one like that already… But we do not have enough money to make a serious step.

IE - How does your day begin?

IS - I open my eyes, check if my hands and feet are in the right places, excellent, and run off to the practice. I finish my day with a practice as well.

IE - How many hours do you spend on the ice daily?

IS- It differs. The coach decides this.

IE- Are you dreaming of getting the world crown back?

IS- What crown? What are you talking about? This weekend, I have Cup of Russia. Then the nationals. We have only 2 spots on the National team and there are a lot of respectable ladies. It will all be very complicated. I have to make it to the Worlds Championship.

IE - Is it possible that at some moment in time that super techniques and super elements would destroy the theatrical elements of the figure skating?

IS - It is impossible. It would be like a person with one foot. One can improve endlessly, but the second mark will always be for the "artistic performance".

File of the KP

Irina Slutskaya was born on February 9th, 1979 in Moscow. Height 160 cm, weight 55 kg. Adores soft toys and her large dog Akita- Ina. Reads a lot. Studies the basics of stage speech and telejournalism at the "Ostankino" TV studios. Drives a jeep. Her coach is Jana Gromova. Irina and her husband Sergey live at the North East side of Moscow.

Translation provided by Genrikh Sivorinovsky.


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