Translation of an article by Inna Karagezian printed in a Russian Language publication Sobesednik.ru on April 28.08.
The family of the beautiful figure skater Maria Butirskaya and hockey player Vadim Khomitsky on April 16 celebrated the first birthday of their son, Vladislav. They invited friends to a restaurant to show off their “treasure” and later, when he was taken home, the parents continued their party.
All of the friends assured Maria that she has a very quiet son, but she herself does not have anyone to compare her firstborn with.
During the interview, Maria was often districted by watching her son who was running around the house.
Said Maria: - “Any woman changes after giving birth, and I am no exception. I always think about him. My head is only dedicated to my boy. If he has a fever, my heart sinks. He is a defenseless little creature who can not say anything and I have to guess if everything is all right. When he is capricious I lose my mind trying to understand what is bothering him. In this respect, I am a crazy mother.”
Maria is very lucky with her husband. He always helps her with their son and she trusts him with the boy. The father can feed and bathe their son while she is busy with other things.
Said Maria: - “It does not happen in our family that one is lying on the coach while the other is working. We do everything together – while my husband gives our son a bath, I am getting ready the towels and then we both take him to bed. These activities are bringing us closer together as a family. When he will be a year and a half we are going to take Vlad to the swimming pool.”
Maria hopes that her son will also grow up a sportsman since he has good genes for that, but she will not let him become a figure skater. She feels that figure skating is not a man’s sport. It is ideal for a girl. But it is too early to talk about that. He is too little and can not talk yet. He makes some sounds, but Maria can not understand him. She hopes that her next child will be a girl, but in general, Maria thinks that the ideal family should have 3 children.
Translation of an article by Elena Kuznetsova printed in the Russian language publication “Sport” on May 1, 2008.
The silver medalists of the European Championship of 2005 in pair’s figure skating, Julia Obertas and Sergey Slavnov of St. Petersburg, this season fell out of sight of their fans. Where are they now? Will they come back to amateur sport?
Last summer everything seemed to be fine. The pair was practicing in the usual schedule and, according to their coach Ludmila Velikova, they did not have problems with the jumps which Julia had troubles with for a long time at competitions. Just before the beginning of the season, Julia had a trauma and the skaters were advised to take a pause in their skating.
The National, European and World Championships passed without this pair. They participated in the show of Evgeny Plushchenko and gossip started that they had decided to concentrate on exhibition shows and were not planning to come back to amateur sports.
The author of this article asked their coach, Ms. Velikova, if that was true.
Velikova replied: “I myself am not sure how to answer that question. A few days ago I talked to Sergey and he did not have any concrete information. He would like to compete in the competitions, while Julia likes to skate in the shows. If I was them, I would come back. Julia could overcome the psychological barrier about her jumps only by working on them. I think that if she would really want it, she would master the jumps. Everything depends on her. I often tell her that, but she is indecisive. I think that if they would decide to come back, they would have good chances for medals. During the breaks in the show schedule, they come to my rink and skate very well. They should consider it a disgrace what is going on now in pair’s skating. Everybody has problems with their jumps. Sportspeople are chasing the complex moves and are trying to perform two triple jumps in a row. They are “burned out” at that. Julia and Sergey have in their repertoire a very complex quadruple turn, and if they would perform at least one jump and a throw, they could be competitive with the world’s leaders.”
Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication Sports.ru on April 24, 2008
The first competition after the return to big sports of Olympic Champion and many time World Champion Evgeny Pluschenko will most probably be at the Cup of Russian segment of the Grand Prix, in Moscow in November of 08.
Says Plushchenko: Currently I have a very busy life, but it does not interfere with my active practicing and only makes my desire to come back to big figure skating stronger. How can I do it? It is really not difficult. The short program and parts of the free program I perform in my exhibition tours. A few days ago, I came back from Japan, prior to that I was in the Czech Republic. I do not see any problems in participating in the May competition called “Evrovidenie” where I will perform with my friend violinist Edvin Marten in the number of Dima Bilan. I will go to Beograd with my personal coach Mr. Alexander Mishin and we will continue our practice there. The schedule for my summer training includes trips to Italy, Spain and Estonia. Currently, with my coach I am learning new combinations of jumps and counting the points, all for real. If someone doubts my return, they will be convinced soon.
I am sure that I will participate in the Championship of Russia next January, where I need to be selected to go to the European and World Championships. To be “selected” sounds very unusual to me. And of course I am thinking of participating in the Moscow tournament of the Grand Prix this November. So far these are just plans, but what can be better than to come back in front of my native and beloved public? When I was in Japan I was invited to their segment of the Grand Prix – NHK Trophy. I refused the invitation – it is too far to travel. Most probably I will return in front of our spectators – either at the Cup of Russia in November or at the Nationals in January.
Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication Sports.ru on April 6, 2008.
During a break in the Olympic torch rally at Isaakievsky Square in St. Petersburg, most of the torch bearers were taking it easy and spending time in a friendly chat.
But the 2006 Olympic champion in pair figure skating, Maxim Marinin, was diligently practicing.
Said Maxim, “At this time I am not worried, but I know that I will get an adrenalin rush as soon as I will take the torch in my hands. It was decided by the organizers of the event that I will receive it from the hands of my partner Tatiana Totmjanina. I was getting ready for the event differently than other torch bearers. My friend, Aleksey Urmanov, told me that he was practicing by running around the house with a cigarette lighter, which acted as a torch for him. I did not have time for it. I just came from Moscow this morning and went to the square directly from the railroad station. I am going back tonight. We are continuing to participate in the show by Ilja Averbuch. I am sure that I am in a good sports form to run the 250 meters (820 feet) of the rally. I do not know at this time what I will do with the torch that will be given to me as a present. Maybe I will put it next to my Olympic Gold Medal. It is not the most original decision, but it is the best that came to my mind at this time.”
Translation of an article printed in Russian language publication Sports.ru on April 7, 2008
An appeal of the sentence received by the two time World Champion in Ice Dancing Maxim Stavijsky was filed in the appellate court of the Bulgarian city of Burgas.
Earlier, the lower court sentenced him to 2.5 years of suspended sentence; 5 years of probation; a fine of 150 thousand Euros and suspension of a driver’s license for 4 years.
The prosecution found that sentence to be too light and demanded he be given a more severe punishment that would include prison time.
The attorneys for the victims are also demanding higher fines. In particular, the father of Manuela Gorsova, one of the victims of the accident, is demanding one million Euros.
According to the law, the appellate court will make its decision within a month.
The accident happened on August 5, 2007, when Stavijsky was driving his Hummer under the influence of alcohol. He crossed over into oncoming traffic and collided with a Honda. As a result of this accident, the driver of Honda, a 21 years old man, was killed and an 18 year old woman was put into a coma. Several other people had lighter traumas as well.
Irina Slutskaya – I wanted to try myself on the stage and I did it!
Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication Sports.ru on April 9, 2008.
World Champion, two time Olympic medalist Irina Slutskaja debuted on the theatrical stage. After the premiere of “Antigone Always,” she told the press why she decided to participate in the play based on the great Sophocles tragedy.
Said Irina – “I was interested in trying myself on the theatrical stage. It was later that I understood how difficult it was to work on my role. However, nothing is easy in this life. Even now, when I completed the play, it is still not easy for me. It is too early to say if it was a success, but thankfully, it was not a bust either. While preparing for the play I was working on my diction, my pronouncement of the words, with the director, Nika Kosenkova, and we are continuing this work even now. She is a great teacher and a very interesting person who has very keen feelings for poetry and literature. It was very interesting to work with her.
I am also thankful to my partners who gave me a lot of help and support. I think that they saw that I was not slacking, but put in a lot of hard work. I also understood that acting on stage was hard work, which requires a lot of physical and emotional strengths. Now I would like to try myself in the movies.”
I am single-handedly destroying the Jewish community. Or so I've been told.
Well, maybe not single-handedly. I am, after all, just one person within the vast ocean of intermarried American Jews (47 percent of us, according to the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-2001). But I am, quite often, the only intermarried person at a given Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah/Shavuot table, and so, de facto, I tend to attract the cumulative blame for having married a non-Jewish man--thus destroying the Jewish community. Haman couldn't do it. Hitler couldn't do it. Stalin couldn't do it. But apparently my 5-foot-7-inch husband can.
Translation of an article by Galina Kovalenko printed in the Russian language publication Komsomolskaya Pravda on April 8, 2008
The famous figure skater stated that he preserved good relations with his former wife after their divorce. He came to the city of Orenburg with his ice show “Ice Period” and was asked by the correspondents about his former wife. He said with a sad smile that their divorce with Irina Lobacheva was final and it was it. They do have as normal relations as those that could be between former spouses. “We meet from time to time and we are raising our common son. If the schedules would allow we would definitely dance together in the "Ice Period" show” - said Ilja.
After the concert in Orenburg, Ilja is planning to take a vacation. He is going with his son Martin to Paris. There he will combine pleasure with business. In Paris he will work on his new project on the theatrical stage – a new version of “Sleeping Beauty” where skaters will be performing alongside theater actors.
It will be a full scale production of a theatrical play, not just an ice show, stated Averbuch.
Irina Rodnina wants to run the Russian Figure Skating Federation.
Translation of an article by Andrey Klinkov printed in the Russian language publication “Express Gazeta” on April 9, 2008
Irina Rodnina went on the offensive against the President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Mr. Valentin Piseev. The three-time Olympic Champion and now a member of the Russian Duma (The Parliment) insists that the leadership of the Russian Figure Skating Federation has to be changed.
At the last two World Championships, Russian figure skaters won just a single medal. And it was only a bronze medal for ice dancing, where the Russian were just 0.26 points ahead of the American pair. Ms. Rodnina feels that the Russian skaters were just lucky, since the Americans fell down in their compulsory program. In essence in Geteborg the Russians may have been left without any medals. Moreover, in the next season Russia may have in competition only two duets in ice dancing and one single lady skater.
Ms. Rodnina claims that the Federation should have thought about preparing the reserves ahead of time. “When was it a time that we were proud to take seventh place in men’s skating? And what about pairs? If the Japanese skater, Yuko Kawaguchi, would not become a Russian citizen, we would have been behind in pairs as well. In that type of skating we were the best in the world for decades” - said Irina.
Rodnina feels that Valentin Piseev should retire. He was not able to bring back to amateur sports Tatiana Totmjanina and Maxim Marinin and the situation with Pluschenko is still not clear. Many figure skaters have to make their own costumes and buy their skates. The Federation did not secure a corporate sponsor yet.
Mr. Piseev was very upset and angered by the statements of Ms. Rodnina. “She was trying to get in my seat 2 years ago, but at that time she did not have the votes.” - claimed Mr. Piseev.
The vote was taken soon after the Turin Olympics where Russian skaters won 3 gold medals. Who would replace the head of the Federation after such a success? It seems that Ms. Rodnina would like to replace many people. She tried to take the place of the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, but failed. In the last Duma, she wanted to become the Chairperson of the Committee of Physical Educations and Sports and failed again. In the new Duma, she is not getting any more success either.
Piseev continues – “Irina was upset that Russian skaters won bronze medals, because the worse they perform the better it was for Ms. Rodnina - she had the chance to criticize. It is easier to flap one’s tongue than to work. What did she really achieve after she left sports? If she is so smart, let her take over and run the Federation. But I am not sure that she has the votes.”
Point of interest:
Mr. Piseev has run the Russian Figure Skating Federation for more than 20 years. In 1982, for a short period, he was replaced by a former husband of Ms. Rodnina – Mr. Alexander Zaitsev, who was soon fired for a drinking problem and Mr. Piseev was reinstated in his position.
Alexey Yagudin – I did not hide my relationship with Masha Savelieva.
Translation of an interview with Alexey Yagudin (AY) by Maria Remizova (MR) a correspondent of a Russian language publication “Komsomolskaya Pravda” printed on April 17, 2008.
The famous figure skater talked about his personal life and many other things.
Alexey Yagudin left the big sport, but he is still the center of attention as a famous persona and one of the most valuable bachelors of Russia. Not long ago, during his work at the Ice Period show, there were a lot of talks about his romance with singer Victoria Deineko. There were even rumors of a wedding, but Mendelssohn was quiet that time. Recently his autobiographical book “Stopping at Nothing” came out where he honestly talked about the behind the scene events in figure skating.
MR – Alexey, are you getting ready for the Olympics?
AY - Currently I am working at the show “Symphony on Ice” with Ilja Averbuch. We are performing a lot and I am in good form. We are working ourselves into the ground. In reality, I am not getting ready for the Olympics for some time now, because of my operation. Unfortunately the rehabilitation was not going as I expected. Now I am just supporting my form to make my spectators happy every day.
MR – Who do you consider to be the main competitor of yours in figure skating?
AY - I respect the work of practically everyone. For me the first place or the 25th place really makes no difference – everyone has their positive and negative sides. I am just observing other skaters and I am trying to use their positive qualities for my own development. I have a great choreographer – Alexander Zhulin. Prior to him I was working with Tatiana Tarasova with whom I still have very good and warm relations. She is forever my coach number one and the only coach who gave me everything that I have in this life.
MR – Do you often visit your mother? Does she spoil you with some tasty things?
AY – Of course she spoils me with homemade meat patties and other things. Lately I am staying in Moscow most of the time and very rarely go to St. Petersburg. My mother and grandmother are the main people in my life, and any time I visit with them, they try to stuff me with some tasty food. They are always telling me that I lost weight, but it is how all normal loving parents are.
AR – Do you observe a diet?
AY – I am watching my body and sometimes I go on a diet.
MR – Did you give any thoughts to what you would be doing after sports?
AY – I am considering two options while currently I am still skating. I also am considering investing in real estate. I have a transportation company in St. Petersburg. But I am doing it only for financial reasons. My main business is figure skating. The other areas that I like to develop are the movies and music or other creative sides of life. Currently I am involved in the production of a TV series under a working title – “Hot Ice”. It is my first try out as an actor. We have already taped 20 episodes. Of course I have other proposals and I like it very much. I just published a book, which was also some different activity from figure skating. Of course I did not write it myself, I was just dictating the text. Initially it came out in Japan and later in Russia.
MR – It came out as a very revealing book. Was anyone upset?
AY – I did not set a goal to upset anyone. I just wrote about the events as they were happening. I feel that the main thing in our life is to stay a human being, not to step over some lines.
MR – Many are talking about your competition with Evgeny Pluschenko. Do you maintain any relations with him?
AY – We never were close, even when we were skating in the same group. At this time we do not call each other or write to each other. We are moving in different circles, we have different friends. To be honest I am thankful to Evgeny that all these years we were practicing and competing together. This way we helped each other to fully develop. The level that we reached at the 2002 Olympics has not been reached since then by other skaters. I have respect for his achievements and contributions to the sports. We never had bad relations.
MR – Who did you consider as an echalon of woman’s beauty in your childhood?
AY – No one. For me each person has her beauty. I can not say that I like blonds more than brunettes. Each person has her best feature.
MR – Many people think that you are a Casanova.
AY – In my life I never created any image of myself, I just live. Life is unpredictable and thus it is interesting. One never knows what will be next. But that is interesting is the process. If we would know what is next, we would be bored. And what is related to me being a Casanova, I think that all men are like that.
MR – It had been said that you are now dating a soloist of the group “Fabrica” Dasha Savelieva. How did she conquer you?
AY – It is clear that I meet ladies based on their external beauty, but if there is nothing behind the beauty, we can not have relations. Sasha is a very open, nice person. The main thing is that I can trust her. She is a good friend, very devoted and I appreciate it very much.
MR – Why did you keep your relationship with her a secret for so long?
AY – We did not really kept it a secret. We did not want to have outsiders get involved in our relations; it is usually not a good idea. Our private lives are fine, we are dating.
MR – Do you seek advice on your private matters from your mother?
AY – I am an adult and can make my own decisions.
MR – Are you planning to settle down and to start a family?
AY – I like the way I live now.
MR – So, you are not planning to get married?
AY – I was not planning to go to Germany for exhibition performances, but all of a sudden I got an invitation. I do not plan things, I just live my live and whatever happens, happens!
MR – Would you like to have many children in the future?
AY – Maybe. I am a man who often changes his mind. My views and tastes are constantly changing. Considering children, one must be an idiot not to want children in the future. Regarding the number of kids – life will tell.
MR – Did you have an event in your life that you feel sorry that it happened?
AY – Absolutely not! All actions that I took were parts of my life. We all make mistakes. One just has to draw conclusions from these mistakes. It is easy to say that one has to learn on someone else’s mistakes. But it rarely happens. Usually we make our own mistakes. It is especially true for the Russians.
MR – What is missing in your life now as to make you happy?
AY – Honestly I am happy now. I have everything that I need now. I have a job that I love; people that I love are around me. I have devoted friends and I am calm and happy.
Translation of an article by Anastasia Pleshakova printed in a Russian Language publication Komsomolskaya Pravda on April 9, 2008
Former figure skater played a leading role on the theatrical stage.
The tragedy of Sophocles about the daughter of Oedipus named Antigone is one that many people read in their youth. That was the reason why for many spectators who came to the theater, the intrigue was not in the plot of the performance. The main attraction was the fact that a famous figure skater, many times Champion of Europe and the World, Ms. Irina Slutskaya debuted as a leading lady in the performance.
When choosing the leading lady for the role of Antigone, the director – Ms. Nika Kosenkova, was using simple logic – who would be better than Irina, with her temperament and her strong character to play Antigone, a woman who was not afraid to stand up to her uncle, the tsar. It did not matter that Irina did not have theatrical experience, and that she felt much more confident on ice than in an antique drama.
It was said that when Irina was offered the project she was at first puzzled, but then took it very seriously as a true sportsperson. She was working very hard at rehearsals. But she got pregnant at that time. The show was supposed to start running in November of last year, but at that time Irina had her son and opening night was postponed. There is even a joke among the troupe – Irina’s son is a result of the project.
Incidentally there are other amateurs participating in the performance – a publisher of a business magazine and an architect. One of the professional actors, Georgy Melsky, who played the role of the tsar, Kreont, was proud to announce that in his youth he was also a sportsman – master of sports in boxing.
Before opening in Moscow, the show opened in the city of Orel. There is an old theatrical tradition in Russia – to test a nontraditional performance in the provinces before taking them to the capital. The citizens of Oreal were known to be tough spectators who could even throw rotten tomatoes at the stage and express their dissatisfaction with loud whistling if they did not like the show even if it was performed by professional actors. They did like the show very much and Irina had an ovation and several curtain calls.
Official press release of the Russian Federation of Figure Skating.
Olympic Champion of Turin, Evgeny Pluschenko, and his coach, Alexey Mishin, on April 4, 2008 submitted to the Russian Federation of Figure Skating a detailed official plan for preparation of Evgeny for the 2008-09 skating season.
The plan described all of the goals and milestones for each step of the preparation, defined the due dates for selecting the music, dates for developing the short and free programs, making of the costumes, participation in obligatory skating events, sport camps, competitions and exhibition shows.
“After I received the official plan for the preparation of the 2008-09 season, I truly understood the seriousness of intentions of Evgeny Pluschenko to come back to amateur sports and I am very happy to support his decision” – stated the President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation Mr. Valentin Piseev.
Figure skater Evgeny Pluschenko was denied entry to Croatia.
Translation of an article by Roman Grigoriev, printed in the Russian Language publication Pravda.ru on April 21, 2008
The MTV channel is working on a reality show – “Live with Pluschenko." The leading personality of the unique show will be the Olympic Champion Evgeny Pluschenko himself. For the first time, spectators will learn everything about the life of a famous figure skater. (Ed. Note: A concept I explored in the book, Death Drop.)
“Live with Pluschenko” is a continuation of a series of reality show projects with famous people where the TV crew is traveling with the stars all over the world. The heroes are telling themselves of all of the events of their lives on the tours.
In the first segment of the show the group goes to Japan, where Plushenko is literally followed by his fans. The spectators will see the fragments of the show on ice in Japan and even some scenes from a real Japanese steam room.
But if in Japan Plushchenko is adored, he was not able to enter Croatia at all. He was stopped at the border as he did not have an entrance visa, a condition that was introduced by the Croats recently for Russian nationals. The Border guard would not give in to Evgeny’s fame and would not let him in the country.
Another “situation” occurred at the famous resort in St. Moritz. A few minutes before the show, Evgeny remembered that he forgot his costume at the hotel. Evgeny found the solution by doing his number in the pants that he used for practice and the spectators, who paid several thousand Euros for the tickets, appreciated his resourcefulness and were very supportive of him.
In Italy, Evgeny decided to make pizza by himself for the first time. He decided to surprise his friend, the violinist Edvin Marton, and during dinner at a restaurant, he went to the kitchen. Unfortunately, the cook did not speak English and Evgeny did not speak Italian. The result of his efforts was a nice looking but inedible pizza that was appreciated only by the dog of the owner of the restaurant.