Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, April 07, 2008


Alexey Urmanov: I do not want to be a mediocre coach.

Translation of an article printed in the Russian language publication Novie Isvestia (NI) on April 1, 2008.

Many sports fans remember the recent performance at the World Championship in Geteborg of Sergey Voronov, who took seventh place there, while in Zagreb at the European Championship he was forth.

Of course after the wins of Pluschenko and Yagudin it was not such a great achievement, but it gave hope that men’s single skating will be resurrected soon. And that hope is supported by the fact that Mr. Vorovov is coached by a famous figure skater, the Olympic champion of 1994, Alexey Urmanov (AU).

NI – Alexey, it is known that a first class skater can rarely become a great coach. Did you decide to disprove this opinion?

AU – The work of a coach is such that one can not be sure of himself for 100%. But to be honest, from the very beginning I did not want to become a mediocre coach. If you would not set a goal for yourself, you would not gain anything. But do not rush to praise me. I clearly understand that to become an elite coach I have to work a lot.

NI – In the “kiss and cry” zone at the World’s Championship, you were so happy for your student. It seems that you did not expect him to do so well after last year’s 19th place.

AU – We worked very hard and smart on his program. This season he was actually competing, compared to last season. He was performing then like in the fog. It was not planned that he would participate in this competition. Also, his leg hurt him very much. He completed his performance, but the old trauma of a stressed fracture became so acute that after the competition he was moving around Tokyo in wheelchair.

NI – What kind of trauma was it that sometimes it allowed him to jump and sometimes it put him in the wheelchair?

AU – It was a fracture of the bone due to the heavy load. Sometimes in this condition the bone splits and there is nothing that one can do about it. The only treatment is rest; one can not glue the bone back together or put a plate in. Sometimes such trauma heals by itself, because while the body is young, bone tissue is still forming. Unfortunately, Sergey’s trauma is not healing. We talked with many doctors and so far have had no positive results.

NI – In general, do you think that men’s singles skating is moving in the right direction?

AU – I think that it is, although people often ask me why there are no new developments in singles. It is so because it is much more difficult to skate these days, compared with the days when I was skating. The requirements are much tougher. To put together an image, an idea of the program and quads – that's an insurmountable goal for many skaters.

NI – With the introduction of the new rules, many coaches confessed that their load also increased. They have a constant headache of exactly the sort you were talking about. Incidentally, not that many single skaters of your generation became coaches. In Geteborg, except for you, there were no new coaches at the side of the rink.

AU – I do not feel sorry for myself. I wanted to become a coach when I was still competing as an amateur. I had a very good foundation myself and had a good understanding of where I would lead the young sportsmen. There is a lot of work for me now. Children are going into figure skating in such numbers that we do not have time to refresh the ice.

NI – But in any event, is it not difficult psychologically to stay at the side of the rink?

AU – Yes, very much. When I was a skater I knew that the one who is standing at the side of the rink is also getting nervous and worrying, but I never thought that I would worry more than my student. I feel with each cell of my body how my student performs. Even though with each performance of my student, I am getting more experience, I can not say that it is getting easier.


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