Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Translation of an interview with Irina Slutskaja (IS) by a correspondent of the Russian language newspaper ”ExtraM,” Ramazan Ramazanov (RR) printed on November 9, 2007

Born on February 9, 1979 in Moscow. Started skating at 4. From 6 years old to present time worked with the same coach – Janna Gromova. In 1996, she became the Ladies European Champion - the first Russian woman skater to reach that level, and then repeated this achievement four times in a row. In total, she was the seven times European Champion. In 1998, she became a silver medalist at the World Championship. In 2001, she graduated from the Russian Academy of Physical Culture and then became Olympic Silver Medalist. She lives in Moscow with her husband, Sergey Micheev, with their akita-inu dog Bars and a lizard, Guan. She collects soft stuffed animals that her admirers throw on the ice during her performances.

RR – Irina, you are always full of sunshine and cheer. But you are saying about yourself that you are very stubborn. Could you really be like that?

IS – Certainly. I can cry when I am upset, but also I can be coarse.

RR – Is it easy to upset you?

IS – Not at all. Only people who are close to me could do that. Coarseness or rudeness on the part of outsiders does not affect me. I ignore them and move on. Sport taught me not to waste my attention on nonsense.

RR – Are you being chased by the tabloids?

IS – They always try to present me as a scandalous person, but I am completely none of that kind. I have a family; my husband is my treasure, the father of the child that I carry. I know a lot of people, and half of them are men with whom I can be seen in restaurants or on the streets. It does not mean that all of them are my lovers.

RR- What about stardom? Have you been bitten by that bug?

IS – The people around me bring me down to earth very quickly. But sometimes people on the street act as if they are my close friends and become overly familiar. When I put those in their place, I can hear people saying that I act like a naughty star.

RR – You told us that your living conditions were not up to par. Are you not annoyed that you, the world champion, have only a drafty 3 room apartment?

IS – I can not afford a posh apartment and I do not want it. After the Olympics, the president of Russia presented us with apartments and cars and it was enough for me. One had to appreciate what one has and this way it will seem priceless.

RR- Once you happened to be near Putin. What did you feel being next to the president of Russia?

IS – I was sitting next to Putin at the reception for the participants of the Olympic Games. The president was like any other person, very attentive and tactful.

RR – If it is not a secret, what did you talk about?

IS – Mostly about sports. Next time when we met at a restaurant, he remembered me.

RR - You are a successful sportsperson, and an attractive woman. You probably get a lot of attention from men who want to meet you. Are you aware of that?

IS – I can not say that I lack men’s attention. I just always have been so preoccupied with my profession, that I did not see anyone. Also, I am a straight girl. I was always interested in the inner content of the person rather then the content of his wallet. I was never a wealthy sportswoman. I am different. I do not like to shop at boutiques; I do not proudly demonstrate my new handbags or shoes. I live one day at a time. One of my friends called me and asked if I purchased the stuff for my upcoming baby. I told her that I just did not have time to go to the market. She was very surprised that I was going to buy the baby stuff at a regular market. I think that she would like to go there herself, but she is afraid that her status would suffer if she would be seen at the market. It is just funny. I will not love my baby less if he will not wear designer label clothes.

RR – Due to your pregnancy you may have more spare time.

IS – You would not believe it, but I am so busy and do not have time for everything that I want to do. I thought that when I will get pregnant I will learn to play the piano. But I do not have time for it, I am always running somewhere. But to be honest, I am glad to have a job.

RR – Are you afraid of not having what to do?

IS – Without a job I am getting restless. I have to be busy, I can not stay in one place for long and I like to be always in motion. When I became unexpectedly pregnant I accepted it with great happiness. But then I started considering my next moves. On the one hand, I had a lot of contracts and I did not want to fall out of my working schedule for a long time. On the other hand, I wanted to make sure that noting would harm the new life inside me. But nevertheless I made my choice.

RR- Does you husband participate in supporting your vitality now?

IS – There are professionals – doctors, psychologists to do that. My husband handles different problems and tasks.

RR – Pregnant women are usually capricious. Does Sergey fulfill all of your desires and whims?

IS – In reality I became more calm and peaceful. And if I would ask Sergey to bring me something to eat or to drink, I do not consider it a whim. I can come to the kitchen myself, but I like it when Sergey takes care of me. He likes helping me around the house as well and he is doing the shopping.

RR – What kind of wife are you? Do you know how to cook?

IS – My husband is always well fed, his shirts are ironed. I would not allow him to go out untidy.

RR – Does Sergey boast that he is the husband of Irina Slutskaya?

IS – He does not boast. He is proud to be my husband. He is a wise and modest person.

RR- You tried yourself on the stage. Also, you studied to be a journalist. Does it help you in your work now?

IS - I did have a small part in the movies. I did not complete the studies at the school of television. I went back on the ice but some experience, especially the speaking classes, were very helpful in my current work at the "Ice Age" show. But in reality I am not speaking for myself – everything that I say is spoken to me in the earpiece.

RR – You promised to have a lot of children. But what about sport?

IS – The number of children that a woman will have is known only to God. Let me have this one and than we will see.

RR – It is probably hard after your triumphs to stop and to forget the ice arena?

IS – Nothing is eternal. Everything has a beginning and an end. And besides, I can come back at any time. The question is – what for? As a matter of fact, I achieved everything. I won the 2002 Olympics and it will stay with me for life. And if I was not given the first place it was a matter of business and commerce, but not of sport. New segments of my life started. I opened in myself new talents, I have places where to go forward and honestly I do not want to go back. Figure skating is my main profession and I will not leave it ever. I want and I will skate again.

RR – Your life motto is “Never fall down," but on the slippery ice it is so easy to fall.

IS – I meant never to fall down in the eyes of other people and always to keep my personal integrity. Falls on ice are such a trivial thing in comparison with moral falls. I am not playing a game. I am what I am, and I am not going to change.


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