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by Alina Adams

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Friday, December 03, 2004

MAXIM MARININ - 12/3/2004

Marinin and Totmjanina dancing to "Ava Maria"
(After terrible crash the star couple is shining on ice again)

Interview by Julietta Smirnova (JS) published in the Russian language newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda ( on Friday, December 3, 2004

Introduction: What happened to Tomjanina
October 23, 2004. Skate America competition. After the short program, Tomjanina and Marinin are the leaders. The terrible crash happened during the free program that they were skating to the music from the ballet "Shecherezade.” Tanja fell down on the ice from the lift by Max, from the height of more than 2 meters (about 10 feet). She hit her head on the ice. Lost consciousness and came to only in the hospital. Diagnosis - concussion.

While other pairs were fighting over the ice crown, Tatiana and Maxim tried to forget the terrible accident. They renewed their public skating at the Moscow segment of the Grand Prix Competition last Sunday. At the exhibition show in "Luzniki" sport arena they were enthusiastically skating to "Ave Maria".

We interviewed Maxim Marinin (MM) as soon as he took off his skates.

MM - I have to confess that I was very worried. After what happened at Skate America I had to go to a shrink. When things like that happen, one never knows how serious it is.
And when it dawns on you that everything could have ended in just a second, it becomes really scary. I felt guilty, although it was not 100% my fault. I am the strongest part of the pair and my primary concern should be the safety of my partner. Now it is most difficult to forget the whole thing.

JS- Your fall was shown in Russia at the beginning of the news program. If you would just simply win the American segment, you would not have gotten so much attention. Is it not a pity?

MM- When we came back to Chicago, instead of 2 live interviews on American television we had 12! From 6am to midnight we were rushing through the downtown from one TV studio to another. Pity or not pity, I do not want to think about it. As we overcome the difficulties we become more perfect.

JS- How does Tatiana feel now, is she scared at the practice?

MM- No, I envy her. Women handle stress situations differently! Tanja's horoscope is Scorpio. This sign's feature is self-destruction. They rejuvenate through self-destruction and this way they are getting new positive features. When I saw Tanja in the hospital with huge bruises and black eyes, she watched me with just one eye and tried to smile and told me that everything was fine! Those kind of people are great! I always respected her, but now - much more.

JS- Are you lifting her more carefully now?

MM- I do not like to be too careful. When one becomes too careful, one becomes scared. I just pay more attention to what I am doing. If before I could have missed part of what Oleg (Vassilieve; the coach) was saying, now I pay more attention.

JS- We used to see Tanja with dark brown and short hair, but now she is blond and has long hair. Is this change of image for her soul or for the new programs?

MM- I do not know. Women are complex. The main thing is to feel good. I have never seen Tanja with long straight hair, because naturally her hair is curly. But I like it. Other people like it too. I wonder why people say that all men like blondes?

JS - Do you like brunettes?

MM- It is like in the commercial- I like the smart ones! The color of hair does not matter, the main thing is what kind of person she really is.

"It is nice in Russia, but we are not coming back".

JS - Did you come back to your programs with complex elements?

MM - We are doing fine at practice. We will get back into competitions in January, beginning with the Championship of Russia.

JS- You will definitely make the National team - you are the best pair in the country. Does the absence of stiff competition bother you?

MM- We are not lazy. Someone may need competition at the Nationals. But we have our goals and objectives that are defined by our coach. We are also mature enough. We do not need to be prodded.

JS- These days in pair skating, people are winning with the same elements as 20 years ago. The same triple toe-loop was performed by your coach, Oleg Vasiliev, in 1984 in Sarajevo. Single skaters are now performing quads in combination.

MM- Last year we performed in Sarajevo. And there on the screen, a tape of the Olympic program of Valova and Vasiliev was shown. Maxim Stavijski, who represents Bulgaria, mentioned: "Oleg, with such skating you could be easily winning prizes today". I agree that pair skating progresses slowly. Why? But which coach would give up a good single skater to the pairs?

JS- About 2 years ago you said that it was hard to be in America: You were not close to anyone and your parents could not understand your problems. How is it now?

MM- I calm myself down by considering that a human being is a creature that gets used to anything to the good things faster. The first year was the most difficult one, because I was boiling in my own juices. But in time I have gotten to know people, gotten friends. And our life is the same as for a majority of Americans - work is the first thing. We are not planning to go back yet. It is more tranquil (in America).

JS- But the Russian spectators will definitely see you in St. Petersburg at the Nationals and in Moscow at the Averbuch and Lobacheva show in December?

MM- Yes, on December 26th we will skate in "Luzniki". It feels nice to come to Russia. Our base support is there. In US, you just come out and work. The spectators there that are eating popcorn, forget our names after 5 minutes. But when we perform in Russia we feel like heroes! Once in Omsk, after show, we were invited to the dacha (summer home) of the local administration. Max Shabalin and I were walking on the beach. We met a man who was guarding the dacha. He told us everything about relations of Mishin with Tarasova, about Yagudin and who Plushhenko was. I was shocked. People in Russia are hungry for information.

Maxim Marinin was born in 1977 in Volgograd. Now lives in Chicago. Height 187 cm. (6 feet 2 inch). Skates from the age of 4. Initially skated single. Since 1996 skates with Ttiana Tomjanina. They are 2004 World Champions, three times European Champions. Coach - Oleg Vasilie.

Translated by Genrikh Sivorinovsky.


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