Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Interview with Irina Lobacheva (IL) by a correspondent of the Russian Language Internet publication ""
O. Shablinskaya (OS) of April 24, 2007


Introduction: Irina Lobacheva and Ilja Averbuch are the World and European Champions and Olympic silver medallists in ice dancing. The life of this most beautiful couple of ice dancers has changed recently. Each of them has their own career now. Also, recently they stopped moving from one rental place to another - they now have their own home.

OS - Irina, it seems that Ilja's TV project "Stars on Ice" was a smashing success. Were you proud for your husband?

IL - Actually I was mad at him for producing 160 dances for the show, while when we were competing, we did not have a decent dance for our exhibition performances.

OS - It seems that Ilja's career is going well now, why do you have to work so hard from dawn to dusk as a coach?

IL - Ilja actually said to me: "Stay home with the child. What do you need to work for? Standing off ice at the Championships you could not help your skaters anyway. What ever will be, will be. It is just hard on your nervous system." But by living for the last 20 years out of a suitcase and being constantly in motion, it is very difficult to stop myself. I tried for some time to stay home. I almost drove myself up the wall - did not have any outlet for my energy. As soon as my baby turned two months and I recovered from the childbirth, I went back to work. Ilja and I are very mobile, dynamic people. That was why we came back from the USA. The arrangement there was driving all the time. Absolutely actionless life. And another thing, since we were not able to become Olympic Champions, we decided to make our pupils become ones.

OS - Your family is so picture perfect. Do you want another child?

IL - If we could do it over the phone, we would definitely have a second child. And long ago. But we see each other so rarely. Ilja is busy with his projects and I am always away with my students at the competitions. We see each other just for a few minutes. It came to the point that my husband came for a date with me to another city. Not long ago Ilja flew more than 20 hours as to see me for 2 hours. Hope that in June we will have vacations and will spend time together. Of course we are planning for a second child, but at this time we have to complete a move which I am terrified about. We have to move a lot of stuff which is spread around in storage and 3 houses. When we came back from the USA we rented places in different cities and each place I was cleaning till it was shining.

OS - But now at last you are closing this rental chapter.

IL - Yes, it is true. We bought an apartment and are finishing remodeling it. How hard it was for us, only we know. After the Olympic Games the mayor of Moscow, Mr. Luzhkov, helped us to buy a place for 30% of it's value. Even for that amount we had to work hard on the tours. If not for that giant discount, we would not have a place of our own and would continue to rent. It is not all that rosy in the life of sportspeople as it is written. The papers publish our gross income, but no one mentions the taxes that we pay in the countries where we work. In Russia it is only 13% - one can live with that. But the Russian tours are rare, most of the high paying tours are in Germany or US, where taxes are 30%. The rest is divided into 3 parts - 2 for the skaters and one for the coach. And at that time what is left for the sportsperson is just peanuts. So, we had sometimes real financial troubles, to the point that Ilja had to drive a taxi to make the ends meet.

OS - As a working mother myself, I understand how worried you are that you do not give enough attention to your child.

IL - Our position with Ilja is such that when our son Martin will grow up, he will be glad to know that we preserved our personalities when we left the sport. We take our son to different events where he is having a good time with us. If he would lack some attention, he would not be as he is now - very mobile, friendly and active. He adapts very well to different situations.

OS - By looking at you and Ilja it is hard to believe that you may quarrel.

IL - Oh, come on, we are regular people! There were several situations where we came close to divorce. To avoid that, people should see each other less. But it is possible to argue even on the phone. I think that each couple has ups and downs in their relationship. The crisis needs to be waited out. One should always use the head and not to abruptly break relations and not to say : "It is the end, good bye!" When we argued and quarreled I sometimes was telling Ilja: "Go ahead, find yourself another woman and start a new family, maybe you will be better off." To which he always told me that without me he could not be better, but would be only worse off.


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