Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

For more info on my individual books, please visit!



Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Why would Yagudin want to come back?

Interview with Alexey Yagudin (AY), Oxana Kazakova and Alexey Urmanov by a correspondent of Russian Language newspaper "Nevsky Sport" Elena Yazeva (EY) printed on May 17, 2007.


News about the return of 27 years old Yagudin, the Olympic Champion of 2002 and the four time (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) World Champion to amateur sports exited all lovers of figure skating. It was so significant because he left the sport in November of 2003. Even the announcement of his return by Pluschenko, who left the sport just a year ago, was met with substantial skepticism.

One could suggest that Alexey keeps himself in top form and is constantly participating in professional competitions and in ice shows. But to anyone who may know anything about amateur sports, it would be obvious that professional sport is not comparable with amateur sport. Different pressures, different nerves. Getting medals and titles is very different from making money. Yagudin can jump quads sometimes in his practice, but will he be able to do it 20 times in practice each day? It is doubtful. One of the reasons for his leaving the sport was serious hip trauma. And it is not clear if the problem will be fixed by the operation that everybody talks about. Not long ago Yagudin participated in a competition in Japan. After he completed his performance, the grimace of pain could be seen on his face. If everything was so simple, he could have gotten an operation back in 2003, miss just one year, and easily come back. But he did not do it because he did not feel that it was necessary. Yagudin reached in sport everything that he wanted. Olympic gold was a logical completion of his brilliant career. There was nothing left for him to reach for. And so now the main question is - why should Yagudin come back to sport? It is not the money, because in commercial shows he makes much more than in sport.

Could it be his need of glory? Maybe. The Olympic gold is shining brightly for the first four years, until another champion takes the title. A skater who is used to being in front of cameras would be upset by losing the spotlight. Yagudin seemed to be content with his new life. But maybe now he wants to get his former glory back. The decisive factor in this story may be the desire of Yagudin to be unique. Now he is considered a high class figure skater, he has his followers, but he is one of many. But if after such a long break he would be able to overcome his problems and come back and reach his former level, then his name would be written in gold letters in the history of sports. It may be the only serious reason for his comeback. But if it is true, then should we expect a comeback from Irina Rodnina, or Belousova and Protopopov? They regularly practice and participate in shows.

The subject of returning to sport was addressed by Mr. Yagudin himself.

EY - Alexey, when should we expect your coming back?

AY - I am sick and tired of the calls that I get on the subject. The more people ask me, the more I think that maybe I should come back.

EY - So will you renew your amateur career or not?

AY - Everything can happen in this life. Given the right circumstances, I may even jump a five turn jump. Never say "never". Nor would I refrain from comments. I like my life now, but I would not predict the future.

When asked about the possibility of Yagudin's coming back to the sport, some of his colleagues told us as follows:

Olympic champion of 1998 Oxana Kazakova: "Such a genius skater as Alex, even with such a long break in his career, could easily come back to sports. The level of men's single skating did not progress that much in these years. Yagudin was always a head above others. All of his competitors are just starting to get now up to his level. If he could perform at the level of his peak performance at the 2002 Olympics, he could compete with anyone. Another question is - if he really needs to do that. He does not have to prove anything to anyone. He showed to everyone that he was the best in the world. May be he is just bored with his life and missing the adrenaline rushes? I know from my own experience that I miss amateur sports while working at the professional shows. At the regular competitions there are different emotions, different level of passions. Maybe that is why Alexey would like to come back. At this time he would skate for pleasure, rather than for medals or prizes. He has to overcome a serious bureaucratic problem though. The International Skaters Union is extremely critical of such returns. Officially it is prohibited. Yagudin will hope to get some favors from the officials. If they allow him to come back, maybe I should think of coming back as an amateur as well? Why not?"

Olympic champion of 1994 Alexey Urmanov: "All this hype about their returning is getting on my nerves. One day they are coming back, the other they are not. It bothers us, the coaches of the younger generation of skaters. I am tired to hear this nonsense. At first it was Pluschenko and now Yagudin. It is a lot of talk. If they are real men, they should stop talking and start acting. If one wants to come back he should start practicing, go on the ice, start making jumps and then make bold statements. There is a lot of smoke and no fire. It is hard to say which form Yagudin is in now. But if he could get back to his previous peak form, I would applaud him."


  • At August 03, 2007 5:03 PM, Anonymous said…

    I doubt Alexei is coming back unless there is a miracle surgery that elimate all of his hip pain - then by all means. The mens isn't that great these days though...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Previous Skaters