Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I forgave Averbuch, but….

Interview by a correspondent of the Russian language publication “Argumenty and Fakty” Valentina Obremenko (VO) printed on September 10, 2007.


Channel One of Russian TV starts a new season of an ice show where Marina Anisina (MA) will take part. For the first time in many years, Marina did not come to Russia only for a few days to participate in a competition and then fly right back to France. This time, Moscow will be her home for several month.

Marina stated to the press that she did not leave Russia just to have a better life. She confesses that she left because she was not allowed to do what she loved to do in her motherland.

VO- Marina, currently you are participating only in ice shows. Don’t you miss the adrenaline rush that you get when you participate in competitions?

MA – I adore the competitive feeling, but show and sport are absolutely different things. When the Olympics were over and we won, I was extremely tired. I just wanted to calm down and to think of what I would do next. At some point I was even thinking about starting a bakery business, but then I realized that it was not what I was used to doing.

VO – Did you reconcile with Averbuch? Your life could have been quite different if he had not done what he did. (Averbuch dumped Marina as a partner and went on skating with Irina Lobacheva, who later became his wife. Marina had to leave for France and to start skating with Gwendal Peizerat.)

MA – Yes, Ilya “helped” me in my life, but I do hot have a grudge against him. We see each other now and then sometimes at competitions. Of course if it did not happen that way, who knows what I would be now. When I came to France at 17 it was a shock for me. I was alone, did not speak French and no one around me spoke Russian. I did not have any friends and for some time was going only to the skating rink and back home. Many times I wanted to go back to Russia, but thank God things worked out for me.

OV – Gvendal Peizera did not speak Russian and not much English and you practically could not communicate.

MA – The language was not Gwendal’s problem, it was my problem. When you skate together you need to communicate. But in time we reached such a relationship that we could understand each other from one glance. There was another problem. For Gwendal, as a true Frenchman, skating was a hobby. He was not serious about it. It took me a long time to reeducate him.

OV – Your pair is famous for a lift where you, such a petite lady, are lifting your partner. Did you practice in lifting weights?

MA – No, I did not have to practice lifting weights. The “trick” was really memorable and every time when we skate the spectators expect us to do it. In reality it is all calculated in such a way that the weight was not totally on me, but it is distributed between both of us. So, I did not have to become a bodybuilder.

OV – Some time ago you complained that because of the amount of work you did not have any personal life.

MA – I really did not have a free minute for anything else.

OV – And now?

MA – Same thing. Just imagine, a few month in a year I live in the States, than in Japan, than my show in France and now I will have to live for a few months in Russia. Which man would tolerate that? Of course I would like to find my mate. I want a family, children. But so far I can not have it. I hope that I will have it all later. I am a strong woman, but I would like to meet a man with whom I could be weak and defenseless.

OV – I heard that Gwendal said some time ago that if he would not skate with you, he would pay you attention as a woman.

MA – Don’t you think that I am worth his attention?

OV – I do, of course.

MA – Also, Gwendal said that for us to be a husband and wife and to work together would mean that we would be together 24 hours a day and he thought that it would not work. I agreed with him. He is like a brother to me and I see him more often than anybody else. I would even say that he has created an image of a superman, but we are only friends and partners on ice. He has enough women who are worshiping him.

OV – Are you upset that you had become a national hero in a foreign country, while at your motherland there were gossip that Alimjan Tochtachunov bribed the judges as you would win the Olympics. You were referred to as a foreigner who took away the gold from Russia.

MA - I do not feel myself a foreigner in Russia, no matter who says what! When there was a scandal with the medals, the sportspeople supported me. On the streets I was asked for an autograph by Russian people who told me that they were rooting for me, because they still considered me as Russian. I never felt myself a foreigner – I am a Russian person living in France.

Commentaries by:

Irina Lobacheva – Someone wanted to hurt me and that was why the gossip of Ilya being romantically involved with Marina started. It was said that I took away Ilya – her boyfriend at that time. They were children and there was no love between them. Someone even said that she left for France being pregnant. Ilya and I were hurt by these gossips.

Ilya Averbuch – We broke up because it was a decision of our coach. It was said that in our pair a boy was skating with a tomboy. I needed a more feminine partner. We broke up on a professional base.

Editors – At the 2002 Olympics, Marina Anisina was involved in a big scandal. Businessman Alimjan Tochtachunov was accused of bribing the judges as to give the gold medals to the French pair and to push Russian pair Ilya Averbuch and Irina Lobacheva into second place. It was suspected that Marina knew about the conspiracy and even discussed the plan with Alimjan. After a long investigation both the businessmen and the French skaters were acquitted of all charges.


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