Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


Anna Semenovich dreams of winning gold at Vancouver Olympics

Translation of an article by Alena Snezhinsky printed in the Russian language publication on February 1, 2008.

Anna Semenovich went on vacations in a hurry. It seems that she started her preparation for the upcoming Olympics. She is currently restoring her forms after her work as a singer; she is swimming, tanning and not forgetting to practice on the ice.

Anna wants to follow her long standing dream, which she was aiming for most of her life - to win a gold medal in figure skating at the upcoming Vancouver Olympics.

She is so devoted to her skating that her dog is also practicing with her on ice. When she was in Italy, her fans promised to outfit her dog, Marcy, with her own skates. Anna thought that it was a joke and was very surprised when the next day a shoemaker came to her to take measurements of the dog’s paws as to make the boots for her.

Anna says: “I am seriously aiming at the gold at the Olympics. There is some information that I can not participate in the Olympics for various reasons. But these days everything is possible. The main thing is to want to win. Despite all of the gossips I am in a very good sports form which I want to demonstrate to my admirers on March 8th (international woman’s day). I am preparing a surprise for that day. It is possible that on that day we will all go to the skating rink. A star of the show – “Star Story” will participate in our program.”

Editor's Note: Riiiiiight.
Monday, February 25, 2008


Oleg Ovsannikov landed in Russia

Translation of an interview by Sergey Dadigin (SD) printed in the Russian language publication “Express Gazeta” on January 30, 2008.

Not long ago spectators in the stands applauded Oleg Ovsannikov (OO). But at the beginning of the 21st century, Oleg, a two time World Champion in ice dancing, somehow unnoticed left Russia and no one heard from him. And now his unexpected return. Oleg waved goodbye to America. He reappeared as the chief coach of the Russian national synchronized skating team. It is not an Olympic sport, but it is very beautiful. Also, Oleg is responsible at the Russian Figure Skating Federation for dances on ice. He may have never returned to Russia, if he hadn't played soccer with a group of friends.

SD – Oleg, it was said that you received a terrible trauma. What happened?

OO – I was playing soccer and after jumping landed in a hole and twisted my foot. As a result I had four ligaments torn in my knee and nerve damage. I spent 6 months on crutches. All of that happened in America. My knee healed, but I had to pay a lot of money for the treatment and lost half of my assets.

SD – Why was it that bad? Didn’t you have insurance?

OO – It is possible that I was at fault myself. The doctor for a long time could not find out what actually happened – the damage was very serious. Three times I was placed in a special barometric chamber and my knee was studied under a microscope. It came out later that the barometric chamber was not covered by my insurance! I was not told about it upfront and found it out only when I received a bill. I almost fainted when I saw the bill. My situation was tough. I could not work as a coach, lost up to 80% of my business, my wife just gave birth and we decided to go back to Russia. Thanks to Figure Skating Federation president Mr. Piseev, who promised to support financially my second operation that is scheduled for April. Now I can move without support, but I still feel pain in my knee.

SD – Where will you have an operation?

OO – Most probably in Germany.

Oleg Ovsannikov, while being an amateur sportsman, was skating in a pair with Angelica Krylova. They were just partners, but Oleg was crazy about another figure skater – Elena Sokolova – a silver medalist of 2003. Oleg did marry an Angelica, although not Krilova, but Kirchmajer.

SD – I wonder how you met.

OO – My wife was born in Riga. Her mother is an Austrian and her farther is a Latvian. Angelica was also a figure skater; she was dancing on ice with Dmitry Lagutin. They were Junior World Champions and skated in the group of Natalia Linichuk, as we did with Krylova. When the Soviet Union broke down, she was facing a dilemma which citizenship to choose. She selected Austrian. Incidentally, our daughter will have dual citizenship – Austrian and Russian.

SD – Oleg, which figure skaters did you work with in the USA?

OO – It was very hectic there – some were coming, others were going. Together with Artur Dmitriev, Olympic Champion in pairs, we once brought to Moscow a couple of skaters from the US for participation in the Grand Prix. I used to coach everyone who would pay for the lessons, especially if parents were wealthy and could afford it. It is customary in America.

SD – Do you keep in touch with Krylova by phone?

OO – She moved from Delaware closer to Detroit. In September of last year she had a second child. Now she has a son and a daughter. She lives for many years with a former Italian skater, Pasqual Camerlengo.

SD – I remember that Angelica was planning to marry another Italian – a former soloist of LaScala and a famous choreographer. Would you know why they separated?

OO – Maybe there was a big age difference, or they did not get along well.

SD – When you came back to Russia did you want to meet with Elena Sokolova? She just announced that she was leaving figure skating, while she could be still one of the best European skaters.

OO – No, we do not communicate with Elena. When we were together, she won the silver at the World Championship. I must have had a positive influence on her. Later she started having weight and other problems, but it was all after me.
Friday, February 22, 2008

Could Pluschenko produce his jumps again?

Translation of an article by Jaroslav Korobatov from the Russian Language publication “Komsomolskaya Pravda” printed on February 21, 2008

A few days ago, Evgeny Pluschenko finalized his divorce from his wife, Maria Ermak.

Finished with the hardship of the divorce process, he immediately stated that he was ready to come back to amateur sports and even mentioned the specific dates.
He said that he planned the start of his new career for September/October of 2008. It would be a small national or international competition. He said that he was in good shape now and can easily do jumps of three and a half turns. If everything will go fine, he hopes to participate in the Vancouver Olympics.

But the emotional trauma of the divorce, the split of properties and the separation from his son, Egor, should have left a scar on the sportsmen. His fans are still guessing if he would be able to come back to his best form. The history of sports has a lot of examples of negative effects of emotional traumas on sportspeople’s careers.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Chait: One has to work and fight.

Translation of an interview with Galit Chait (GK) by Anna Savchik (AS) printed in the Ukrainian publication on January 18, 2008.

The former figure skater is currently the coach of the Ukrainian ice dance duet of Anna Zadoroznuk and Sergey Verbillo.

Not that long ago, Galit herself went out on ice, but now she stays off the ice as a coach. But if one would observe this famous Israeli figure skater for just a few minutes, one would not claim that she was not skating any more. She mentally repeats every move of her pupils and no less emotionally than them performing the dance.

Anna and Sergey are her first real pupils. That is why she is surrounding this young dancing duet with such loving and tender care. She did not hesitate to come with them to Kiev to participate in the Ukrainian Championship. Incidentally it was not her first visit to the capital of Ukraine.

GC – I was here fifteen years ago with my parents who brought me here to practice with local coaches. Ukrainian specialists were always held in high esteem in the world of figure skating. We stayed at the Olympic sports base. Kiev was very pretty in the summertime. But even more than the architecture I was impressed by the kind and friendly people.

AS – I presume that this memory was somewhat spoiled by the modest size of the rink “Ldinka” where the Championship took place.

GC - I was expecting a little bit more, but the rink was not that bad. As a coach I am happy with everything. There is only one large ice rink in Israel located in Metulla. There are comfortable conditions for practice and there are a lot of people there. Not everything depends on pupils. No matter what is the level of the talent of the child, the coach is needed to bring the talent to the high level.

AS - Would you consider the perspective to move from America to Israel?

GC – Whenever I can, I come over and help in Metulla. But I can not move there for good and lose the unique chance to work with Nikolay Morozov. I consider him a genius. He is an endless source of ideas. I am learning from him every day. But in addition to his tremendous talent as a coach and choreographer, he has a unique ability to create a special atmosphere among his students. In addition to the Ukrainian couple, he is currently coaching ice dancing duets from Israel, Japan, Azeibardjan and Georgia. They help each other. They explain to each other during the practice how to perform different elements. In a short time they will be competing with each other. They do not have any arguments or express any jealousy. It is hard to believe that it could be like that. I know what I am talking about since I was coached by many different coaches.

AS – Tatiana Tarasova pays you a lot of compliments. What did you have to do to reach the rank of a favorite student of such a legendary coach?

GC – I also love her very much. She taught me the main thing – to put my soul into everything I do. There was no single day that she would come to practice in a bad mood, she was always charged to work, and she had so much energy. I could not understand how she could do it than, and now, becoming a coach myself, I understand it even less. She forgets about herself and thinks only about her students. In general, every coach gave me something. Natalia Linichuk taught me to work harder, Natalia Dubova taught me to be strong. Incidentally, the choreographer of my first program was Nikolay Morozov when he began his coaching career.

AS – How do you divide your responsibilities with him in working with the Ukrainian couple?

GK – Nikolay is the boss. He produced all of the numbers. I work with the students on their compulsory program and not only on the ice, but in the gym. I love Anna and Sergey very much. This is my first pair, I am learning with them and they help me a lot. Actually, two years ago I practiced with them at the same time at the World Championship. I always liked them and I did not think twice when Mr. Morozov proposed that I would work with them as a coach. At that time I was coaching young children. Sergey Sakhnosvky broke his leg and I was waiting for him to recover. I wanted to go on skating, but apparently my partner had different plans.

AS – Was the bronze won by your couple at the Grand Prix in Moscow your first medal as a coach?

GK – Yes, and I was feeling like we won the Olympics. I was not as happy with my own medals as I was happy for my students at the Cup of Russia competition. They grew up a lot in the last year. Their skating became really adult and emotional. This couple differs from the others mainly by the cleanness in performing the elements. All of the runs and turns were not just interesting, but also performed with high quality. The bronze showed that they were taken seriously at the world stage and that they may be real contenders for the medals.

AS – In Kiev your couple skated worse than at the Grand Prix in Beijing and Moscow. Is there another explanation why they let the lower ranked couple of Alla Beknazarova and Vladimir Zuev take the title of the Ukrainian Champions?

GK – The Chinese Grand Prix was the fist start for my students and they made mistakes. In Moscow they felt surer in themselves and went on the attack. In Kiev, Anna and Sergey worked well, although in the original program they made a mistake and were penalized for it. They were very good in the free program. I felt bad for them that they did not win the Ukrainian Championship although I think that they skated better than the Champions. I asked them not to give up and I know that they would be strong and understand everything. It is much more important that they perform well in the international competitions.

AS – Are you nostalgic for the old system of judging?

GK – Yes, I miss the marks “6.0”. The system changed, but the subjectivity remained. In the past everyone could see who gave what marks. Now the spectators do not understand anything. Maybe it is better for single skaters, but for pairs it became worse. It seems simple – you skated well, you get good marks. But reality is not that simple.

AS – Would you agree that the new rules make skating a compilation of elements, without room for creativity?

GK – Everything depends on the choreographer. Nikolay produced a program that both judges and spectators liked. The composition called “Nostradamus” was very well accepted and Anna and Sergey looked very good in it.

AS – When you were skating did you like more classical or contemporary programs?

GK - I love skating and I liked all programs. I liked most the program called “Paganini” created by Tarasova and Morozov. But we won the 2002 World’s Championship medal for a Jewish dance created by Natalia Dubova. Actually we had 2 versions of that dance – the fist one was prepared by Natalia Linichuk for the Nagano Olympics.

AS – Do you remember your only World Championship medal with happiness or with negativity?

GK – Margarita Drobjazko and Povilas Vanagas claimed that we did not deserve the medal. One could understand the Lithuanian couple: they were elderly, never won anything serious. That Championship was their last chance to win something. But what they did did not really help them in their skating. Many people who signed their petition apologized to us later. I forgave some and did not the others. In that case the signatures of Bulgarian skaters Maxim Stavisky and Albena Denkova weighted a lot. As you know, fate was tough on him lately.

AS – Some specialists think that after that scandal the judges did not want to put your pair on the pedestal.

GK – It may be the case, but it made me stronger. And it does not hurt me in my work as a coach, it rather helps. I am not afraid of anything and I can pass my self-assurance to my students. We have the medal; the Lithuanians have only a piece of paper. We made history as the first Israeli skaters who won a medal at the World’s Championship. People remember that, rather than a scandal. We also had situations when we were upset with the judges. I was crying many times when we lost to couples who fell down, but we never stooped down to writing a petition. We went back home and worked harder, since the injustice could be overcome only with the hard work.

AS – I remember that you fell in Turin and it eliminated all of your chances there.

GK – Yes it was the first time in all of our life as skaters that we fell down in the compulsory program. I do not even know why it happened. I was absolutely calm, I just tripped. It happens – the ice is slippery. The next day all the favorites fell down as well. It seemed that I started a trend.

AS – Maybe the reason was that you were carrying the flag at the opening of the Olympics. In the Ukrainian team it is considered bad luck to carry the flag since very often the flag carriers were dropped off the team.

GK – I was carrying the flag not only in Turin, but also in Salt Lake City. There everything was fine. I considered it an honor. Israel gave me a chance to do what I liked most. Actually in my life there were three Olympics. I hope to go to the forth one as a coach.

AS – Based on your own sports experience, what would you like to protect your students from?

GK – I would do my best to make sure that they do not pay attention to the minor things and would see only the big goal in front of them. They should not be afraid of anything with a coach like Nikolay Morozov. They have to work and to fight. If you believe in what you are doing, you may achieve everything!

AS – Galit, you speak very good Russian.

GK – Thanks for the compliment. My parents talked to me in Russian when I was a child, but I wanted to communicate only in English. I lived at that time in the USA. I had to learn Russian when I came to practice in Moscow when I was 16. I am happy that I know Russian and can communicate with many sportspeople and coaches. Once at the competitions I asked a Russian friend the meaning of a word and he was very surprised that I was not Russian, since my name translated into Russian is Galina.
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