Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Friday, March 25, 2005


The Tarasova Touch
The famous coach is ready to return to Russia. But it seems that she is not wanted there.

Interview with Tatiana Tarasova (TT) by a correspondent of Russian Language on-line publication Express Gazeta Mr. Sergey Dadygin (SD) published on March, 2nd 2005
It was not the first time that she was expelled from the Palace of Sports. In her native land. In the city where she was born and grew up. Outstanding coach Tatyana TARASOVA, whose pupils brought the USSR and Russia seven gold Olympic medals, cannot find a permanent job in Moscow. When she comes from the USA to our capital each time she guesses: will she be allowed to have the ice or not? Tatiana Tarasova is distressed.

TT - I do not understand why in my own country I should go begging with a stretched hand. It is humiliating. In December I and my pupil, Andrjusha Grjazev, were accepted by Elena Vodorezova at the Ice Palace of CASC. (The Central Army Sports Club -GS) It is a remarkable place, but all the ice is scheduled for a long time in advance. I was allocated only 2.5 hours per day. For one figure skater it is normal, but I still have the pair of Kulikova - Novikov. What would they do? I made an agreement with Ilya Averbuhom, who works at the other skating rink - "Central", and went with the dancers there. But for me, who in February turned 58 years old, it was difficult to rush back and forth every day. It would be nice to find a skating rink where I could coach all of my students in one place. Once we arrived with Sveta and Vitalik at "Central,” we were not allowed to enter the rink. The director has forbidden it... It appeared that the Federation of figure skating did not solve the problem with payment. We were told rigidly: either pay money, or get out. It was necessary to search for another place.

SD- Did the Federation not stand up for you?
TT- In general, Valentine Piseev (the President of Federation. - S.D.) has officially suggested that I return to Russia and coach at the stadium of Young pioneers. I would love to do that, but in this stadium it is impossible to work normally, it needs repairs. While in the USA, in the state of New Jersey, where I am working for the last ten years, all of the conditions are created for me. It is not necessary to go anywhere, there everything is nearby. But it is difficult for me there, it is a different country. I want to go home. And all the same, I shall return.

SD- Some sports functionaries reproach that you began to work for our competitors - you made Shizuka Arakava of Japan the World Champion, and before that you trained American Sasha Cohen and dancers from Italy.
TT- I am a coach. It is my trade. If talented figure skaters ask me for help and I know that I can help them, why I should refuse? By the way, other coaches work with the foreigners as well, only the results are not at all similar. I would like to remand that in the last two Olympics my pupils won three gold medals for Russia. After that how it is possible to say that I do not work to Russia? Really, is it only Mishin with Evgeny Pljushchenko that work for it?

SD- You are coaching again the Israeli dancers Galit Chait and Sergey Sahnovsky. I have an impression that this pair tosses and turns and does not know how to regain their former confidence.
TT- Yes, they left me once, but in a difficult time for them, they asked me to take them back. And I have taken them. I feel this pair, I love them, they are terrible workaholics. I am never bored with these figure skaters at the practice.

At the world championship of 2002, Chait - Sahnovsky won third place. They literally snatched the bronze from the Lithuanian figure skaters Margarita Drobjazko and Povilos Vanagas by a whisker. Then the press made a terrible noise - it was charged that a judicial conspiracy took place. The Lithuanians performed better, but they were moved to fourth place. Since then, the Israeli duet, no matter how they perform and notwithstanding that Drobjazko and Vanagas already left the sport, cannot rise to a victory podium.

SD- Tatyana Anatolevna, does it not seem to you that after the scandal the judges are afraid to give high marks to Galya and Sergey?

TT- Yes, I think, that Chait and Sahnovsky are now paying for that championship. In my opinion, Rita and Povilas were stronger, but Serezha with Galya had nothing directly to do with the judicial mistake. Issues with the judges are solved not by figure skaters, but by other people. If anything, they should live through it. And they lived through it and became stronger and better. It seems to me, I have helped them with this.

SD - Do you regret, that your best pupil, Alexey Jagudin, became a professional?
TT- It does not make sense to regret. So it turned out that way. Lesha was compelled to live with a trauma which did not allow him to carry out too complex elements. For example an axel. But all the same he performs a quad! Lesha is the best performer at the ice show "Stars on ice,” he wins almost all the professional tournaments. When he was leaving amateur sports the spectators were crying. They stood in passages and sang songs. I am proud of Lesha. He is a very clever and nice guy.

SD - Do you think that he could become a coach?
TT - By all means. When he has a few days off, he comes on the ice at six o'clock in the morning. He adores figure skating. And it is very important for a coach to love the work.

SD - I heard somewhere that Jagudin in the USA taught you to drive.
TT - No, I was taught by Ilya Kulik. In the mornings we went to the old stadium and while he ran, I turned the wheel and pushed the pedals. Kulik was not afraid to sit down with me and to become for a while my driving instructor. The first time I was terribly nervous. I understood that I drove with the future Olympic champion - if anything would happen, I would never forgive myself. But we went on a deserted country road and I was very cautious. Besides, a long time ago, about 20 years ago, I already had a driver’s license. In general, everything went well. And now I receive a real pleasure from driving.

SD - Why did Maja Usova, the former world champion, leave your group?
TT - Maja told me that she wanted to be in Malboro - where her house was. Her mother, whom she cannot leave alone for a long time, also lives there. Initially Maja worked with me during the week, and on the weekends she went home. Now Maja will be coaching children. I hope that she will establish herself.

SD - It was said that you had a conflict with her.
TT - Said by whom? I did not see any strangers around us when we made our decision.

SD - Do you approve of the new system of refereeing which will be applied in the world championship in Moscow?
TT- It is not ideal. But this system has forced us, the coaches, to move forward. For the last half a year enormous progress in the fields of sliding, rotations and jumps was made. Now it is clearly visible who is virtuous on skates and who should work and work. However, in dance, the technical innovations are still less visible. However both in the old, and in the new system of refereeing, all depends on people. On the professionalism and honesty of the judges. I do not think that the opportunities for conspiracy were completely removed.

Translated by G. Sivorinovsky


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