Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, December 17, 2007


Irina Lobacheva: I was afraid of the divorce. It is always difficult for a woman to be left alone.

Translation of an interview with Irina Lobacheva (IL) by Zipha Archincheeva (ZA), a correspondent of the Russian language publication “OK” printed in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on December 10, 2007.

ZA – Let’s start from the very beginning. When did you and Ilja first see each other?

IL - We met when we were 7 years old. We skated in one group. Then our ways went apart and we met again in the group of Natalia Linichuk, where Ilja came over after changing several coaches. At that time I was 18 and Ilja was 17. A year later we rented an apartment and moved in together.

ZA – What brought you back together after so many years?

IL - It is hard to say. We met at a sports camp in Novogorsk, sat down together, started talking, and then one thing led to another by itself.

ZA – Was it your first love?

IL – No, before Ilja I had a boyfriend, my partner Alexey Pospelov. But I think that for Ilja ours was the first serious relationship.

ZA – I remember that Ilja was very jealous of you at the beginning of your relationship.

IL – Yes, it was so, but after I gave birth to our son he realized that I was not going anywhere and he became rude - made me stay at home.

ZA – What do you remember most of your family life?

IL – Sport is a difficult thing, and to remember something separate from skating is difficult. Our whole life was dedicated to the medals. Of course there were some vacations, holidays, but I can not say that any of them remained in my memory. Really bright moments were only two – the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 (where Irina and Ilja lost the gold medal by just one vote to Anisina and Peizerat) and the birth of our son, Martin.

ZA – What was holding you in your family all these years – love or a habit to be together?

IL – Habit alone would not cut it for 16 years. Of course there was love.

ZA – You met again in November of 1990. When did you register your marriage?

IL – In 1994. But it was not that we wanted to legalize our relations. It was just that a situation occurred that we wanted to skate for Israel. Ilja would become a citizen automatically, but I would get it only if I was his wife. But then we were offered a long term contract for 5 years that scared us. We did not go and instead of us, Sergey Sakhnovsky went to Israel.

AZ – When did the problems begin in your family? It seems that they coincided with the first TV show, “Stars on Ice.”

IL – You are exactly right. Before that time we could quarrel as any family, could even stop talking for three days but then we reconciled. About one and a half years ago everything changed. I could see that something was different about Ilja. Although he did not hide it. Our fights became more frequent. I could not quite understand what was happening and why he expressed so much rejection toward me. I tried my best to save our family, hold on to Ilja, but he was moving away from me more and more. We stopped skating together. After the completion of the show, "Stars on Ice," Ilja did not take me on tour. He told all of our surprised colleagues that I did not want to lose my students in the skating school and did not want to go on the tour, but of course it was not so.

AZ – Do you feel sorry that the project "Stars on Ice" appeared in your life?

IL – No, if not that show there would be another one. When relations end, they end.

AZ – Is it true that lately Ilja was unfaithful to you?

IL – It is possible, since he did not live with me. From the time when we came back from summer vacation, we were separated. But Ilja is a man and hehas his needs. I heard a lot of gossip, but I still loved him till the last day. I never inspected his phone; I do not have that habit. I never controlled him, was not investigating him and did not spy on him. May be it was my fault that I let everything run that way. I was forgiving him a lot, was not showing that I was insulted and most of the time was keeping quiet. But when my patience ran out, I told him that if he wanted freedom, he should have it. Although, frankly I was afraid of a divorce. It is always hard for a woman to be left alone - it is not easy to start a new life. But now I feel that I made the right decision – it was not as hard as it seemed. I wanted an official divorce. I could not live with him and did not want to step out on him. He would be comfortable if we were just separated. He would be able to live alone and to come back when he would like. I would go crazy over such life. Now it is much easier for me. I reevaluated a lot. If before I was rushing home to prepare dinner and to clean up the place as he would come to a nice home, now I am relaxed and it feels so good. I live now for myself and for my son, and I don’t even thing of getting back together with Ilja. God forbid! It is even hard to imagine for me what would happen if he would come back.

Of course the divorce was hard. At first, we were consulted. Than three weeks later we met again at the courts, but we were told that they would try to reconcile us. Ilja sharply rejected that step. We asked to have all of the procedure done in our absence. Ilja promised to leave the apartment, which we just finished remodeling, to me and to transfer our apartment in Crimea to our son when he turns 16, but as of now these things were not legally finalized and I am not sure if it would happen.

AZ – In one of the interviews Ilja said that he would support you and Martin.

IL – When he would do something for real, than we would talk about it.

AZ – When you were pregnant with Martin you said that you would have 2 children – a boy and a girl, Ilja would be producing some show, and you would be a coach. You were right on.

IL – Yes, if one would not count that we divorced in the process. Actually I had a girl. Not many people know that, but I had a miscarriage at the third month of pregnancy. Probably it was because of stress, but there were other reasons as well. It happened exactly a year ago in November. I just recently recovered. Ilja did not even come to visit me in the hospital. He was on a tour and told me that he could not get a flight. In the past he would find a way to come over by train or by bus. Than I forgave him even that, but it made me understand that I had to learn to rely on myself.

AZ – By the way, is the ice show “Ice Period” only Ilja’s property, or do you have a share in it?

IL – As all of the participants, I receive only honorariums.

AZ - Then, if I understand it correctly, your total income consist of the honorariums plus the profit from your skating school?

IL – That is correct.

AZ – What about dividends from the tours?

IL – If I participate in them, I get standard honorariums. But I did not go on the tours for a long time. I was not invited. Now Ilja seems to be suggesting for me and my partner Dima Marjanov to select the cities that we would like to go on the tour. It is some progress.

AZ – Do you still feel anything for Ilja?

IL – Nothing, neither he nor I have any feelings for each other any more. He is totally free now and I am going to put my personal life together.

AZ – That a girl! Do you have some candidates?

IL – Let’s say that I will have to make a hard choice. I know for sure that I want something completely different. I want love and respect. But in any case I am not ready to get married yet.


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