Translation of an interview by Ekaterina Evsukova (EE) printed in the Russian Language publication “Sobesednik” on October 22, 2008.
Beautiful Russian figure skater and star of the show “Dances on Ice” Anastasia (Nastia) Grebenkina (AG) won the silver medal in the previous season of the show in a pair with Sergey Lazarev. This year she is skating with a new partner – movie and theater actor Maxim Averin.
EE – Nastia, how do you feel after your last fall?
AG – I do not feel that well. I have headaches and dizziness. Doctors recommend staying in bed for some time, but I can not afford that luxury. The show starts soon and I have to practice a lot. I am used to it; it is not my first concussion.
EE –How many did you have?
AG – Four, one severe and 3 light.
EE – And after all that you did not want to quit the sport?
AG – Of course not. These are minor things. Sport is my life. Not long ago, with my partner Vazgen Azroyan, we opened a figure skating school and are planning to open a class for children. You would not even guess how many elite moms, almost all of them from show business, approached me.
EE – Last season you won the silver at the show. Could you say now, a year later that the judges were not fair?
AG – I do not want to judge the judges. I always believed that if one did not get first place, it was a stimulus to work harder next time. Then everything will be OK and you will be first. If one does skate better than the others it is impossible not to notice. And the spectators see it first.
EE – Were the female admirers of your partner Sergey Lazarev jealous of you?
AG – Well, after out first show, Sergey told me that his female admirers hate all of the girls that they see him with. But for some reason they liked me. I was very pleased by that. It is normal to be loved by men, but to be loved by women – it is worth a lot.
EE – You are a beautiful single woman. Do you feel that your new partner Maxim Averin is attracted to you?
AG – No man can resist me! Of course I feel his emotions. They should always be present.
EE – Should we expect a new romance?
AG – I do not know. First I should like the person and then everything will fall into place.
EE – You have the eyes of a woman in love. Confess!
AG – OK, I will not hide it, I am in love.
EE – With Maxim?
AG – I will not tell. I am a person who easily falls in love. I can fall in love not only with a man, but with anyone else. To be in love is a necessary condition for a creative person.
EE – It is known among actresses that competitors in show business rarely become friends. How is it in sports, could competitors be friends?
AG – It is rare that competitors become friends. If you are in dancing, you may be friends with a single skater. I have been very friendly with Anna Semenovich for many years. Her sport’s past is not a problem for us. This summer we went together for a vacation in Jordan.
EE – How did the men there share you between them?
AG – We were lucky, it just happened that some men liked me and some liked her. We are so different that we do not have any problems.
EE – What if you both would like the same man?
AG – It was important for both of us that the men follow their feelings. We did not want to conquer them. It is not in our characters. If we see that we are not a favorite with a man we would not fight for his attention.
EE – It is known that sport in Moscow does not pay much, but at the age of 21 you bought a three room (one bedroom) apartment in the center of Moscow.
AG – I was not planning to buy it, I was considering buying a studio, but I liked it very much and I took a loan and borrowed some money for it. One could earn good money in any profession.
EE – What do you usually spend your money on?
AG – I love to shop. Recently I was in Rome where I spent 3 days shopping. The shops there are like museums, one can not stop looking. From every country that I visit I bring back dolls. I also collect porcelain figurines of figure skaters although I do not have that many so far - they are very rare.
Peter Chernishov and Anastasia Zavorotnjuk got married.
Translation of an article by Anton Stepanov printed in Russian Language publication “Zhizn” on October 14, 2008.
The church wedding service was performed in the temple of Resurrection of Christ which was built in the Byzantine style in the Ukrainian town of Foros in the Crimea region.
The couple came to the wedding directly from the European skating rinks. They met at the taping of the show “Dances on Ice” on the TV channel Russia and fell in love from first sight.
Peter Chernishov was born in St. Petersburg, but the last 16 years he lived in the US, received the US citizenship and skated in pair with the American figure skater Naomi Lang. For seven years he was married to another figure skater – Natalia Annenko, but when he left for the States, he divorced her.
The former wife of Peter told reporters that Peter was a great husband: - “They do not make husbands like that any more.” Natalia was telling the reporters that Peter was usually nice, kind and easy going; took good care of her and left her all of his assets when he left.
Alexey Yagudin – “I am not coming back to big sport!”
Translation of an article by Raisa Murashkina printed in a Russian Language publication “Komsomolskaya Pravda” on October 6, 2008.
After receiving the Crystal Ice prize for 2008, the figure skater dropped his pants in front of the correspondents and confessed that he had grown up.
Last year, Yagudin also received a Crystal Ice prize for coming back on the ice after a hip replacement operation. This year he received a prize as Mister Congeniality.
Reporters asked the skater if he tripped the alarms of the metal detectors when he passed through airports. Rather than explaining what was going on, Yagudin told reporters to turn off their cameras and then he dropped his pants and showed the reporters his bandaged up right hip.
“The alarms are going off, but I am warning the airport workers,” - confessed Yagudin. And then he added – “I really wanted to come back to sports, I was living that dream, but the recuperation was not as successful as I expected.”
When asked if he would completely transfer his attention to going into business, he replied: “I will never trade creativity for business! I am acting in the movies and in the theater. I became quieter now, I have grown up. I am not planning to get married soon. Why bother? Look, every second couple is splitting these days.”
Translation of an article by Dmitry Borisov printed In a Russian language publication “Sportsdaily.ru” on October 5, 2008. (I presume the initial interview was in English, making this version twice removed from the source.)
After a two and a half year absence, the Silver medalist of the Turin Olympics, American skater Sasha Cohen is coming back to big sports. The sportswoman who is going to be 24 at the end of October is planning to compete in the World Championship in the US in 2009 and at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Sasha was considered to be one of the most talented single skaters. And the most unlucky one. Good physical form and work with famous coaches the likes of Tatiana Tarasova, made Sasha a favorite for any World Championship. But she failed to win any of them. The problem was mostly psychological. Every time she stopped, it was just one step away from the gold. In 2004 and 2005 she won silver and in 2006 – bronze. The biggest achievement of her career was the silver at the Turin Olympics, but even there it was due to the kindness of the judges. Cohen fell twice while performing the free program, but the arbiters gave her higher marks than the Russian skater Irina Slutskaya, who won the bronze. Even Sasha looked embarrassed on the podium.
At the World’s Championship in Calgary in 2006, where the main contenders for the gold – Russian Irina Slutskaya and Japanese Shzuki Arakava -- were absent, Sasha was considered to be the main contender for the gold, but she only got the bronze. She could not control her nervousness. That performance became the breaking point for the American skater. She was so disappointed by her performance that she decided to quit eligible sports and become a professional.
Sasha explained her decision- “I know that I am being perceived as a skater who did not win a lot of titles. The wins mean much more that how one skates. I can not become a robot who stamps out high quality performances.”
She signed a contract with “Stars on Ice” and for 6 months was traveling all over the world. She took some time off and went to Hawaii to water ski.
And then she decided to go back to amateur sport:”I want to concentrate on figure skating and to do what I like and know how to do. Lately, I've practiced a lot and I hope that soon I will be able to compete with any figure skater. I would like it very much to start competing in the next season.”
Cohen is ambitious. Her motto in life is: “Try to fly to the Moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” But currently there are new heroes in vogue. Could she, after such a long break, compete with Japanese skaters Mao Asada and Yukari Nakano, Korean Kim Yu Na and Italian Carolina Kostner? Many experts doubt that she could do it. She is considered to be too unstable and it is not known how fast she could get back into her form after the break.
But no matter what, the return of this miniature (145cm – about 4ft 8in) and artistic sportswoman will make the women’s singles competitions more interesting.
Translation of an article printed in Russian language publication “Zvezdy” on September 25, 2008.
“Genetically I am susceptible to becoming overweight,” reveals Anna. "When I was 16 years old and practicing with Linichuk and Karponosov, they issued a condition for working with me – to lose 10 pounds. And for a whole month in the middle of the summer I was running for two hours every day in a woolen sweat-suit and ate only shrimp and apples. I do not know why I decided on this diet, but my experiment worked and I lost 16 pounds.”
This discovery helped Anna in her future life. Even now, in spite of her constantly being busy and traveling and moving around, she tries to eat properly. Of course she does not have to eat shrimp and apples any more. But she says that she always tries to eat healthy food – vegetable salads, fruits and seafood. She does not eat meat, just poultry and very rarely eats fast food, only when she is very hungry and does not have time for a proper meal.
Anna Semenovich – Biography
Anna Semenovich – figure skater, trained with Dubova, Tchaikovskaya, Zhelikov, Linichuk and Karponosov. Danced on ice in pair with Maxim Kochanov, Vladimir Fedorov (1995-1999); Roman Kostomarov (1999-2000) and Denis Samokhin (2001).
Anna Semenovich won many international competitions and was the Champion of Russia in pair with Roman Kostomarov. This pair, who were coached by Natalia Linichuk, was considered to be the second strongest Russian dance pair after Irina Lobacheva and Ilja Averbuch. They were among the six strongest ice dancing pairs in the world.
At 23, Anna left sport due to a meniscus trauma and moved from the US back to Russia. She was invited to join the ice ballet of Bobrin, Bestemjanova and Tarasova, but decided to create her own musical band named “Charlie’s Angels”. They successfully performed in Moscow and together with producer Daniil Mishin created a clip where Maria Butirskaya danced on ice to their performance.
Shortly after that, the group disbanded and Anna went to work for TV. She interviewed different groups and one of the interviews with the group “The Shining” became a career changing experience for Anna. She left TV, joined the group and was very successful in it. Currently she continues her career as a singer and movie star.
Competition for the heart of a woman by two skaters.
Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication “Zhizn”, printed on September 30, 2008.
Jana Rudkovskaya has a lot of problems at the show “Stars on Ice”. Her lover, Evgeny Pluschenko, from the very beginning was jealous of her skating partner, Ruslan Goncharov.
Pluschenko is one of two announcers at the show and knows everything that is going on there during practices and tapings. He often comes to the practices together with Jana as to keep an eye on her and to protect her from advances by Goncharov. At the taping of the very first show, he openly announced that Jana belongs only to him and he was not interested in sharing her with Goncharov, who did not contradict him but could not hide his fondness for Jana.
Pluschenko even threatened Goncarov with physical violence if he would flirt with Jana. But Goncharov said that he was not worried about a scandal, since he was not intentionally provoking Pluschenko, and besides, Gonchrov stated that everything would depend on Jana’s behavior.
Initially Jana was skating with Pluschenko, but when he became an announcer, she had to change partners. It was obvious from the very beginning that the Goncharov relates to Jana not only as a partner.
“I do not keep it a secret that I am attracted to Jana” – says Goncharov. “As of now we have just friendly relations. But we are working on ice at a show where there are many different scandals happening all the time and different and unexpected situations occur. It is a big and serious project and our work together can not just end at the end of the project. I think that after the show, Jana and I will continue our relationship. It is impossible to skate in a pair and not to have any feelings of love, of intimacy and of support for each other. I do not know now how it will end.”
It is very hard for Jana to ignore this temptation. When she is alone with Goncharov, she hugs him, straightens his hair and holds his hand. “I am happy that I have such a partner as Ruslan,” – says Jana. “He supports me as much he can: he brings tea, sandwiches and makes me smile when I fail to perform some skating elements. But I have to be on guard all the time, because Evgeny – the love of my life, is always around.”
“Crystal Ice” - the figure skater’s Oscar of Russia.
Translation of an article printed in Russian language publication “Newsru.com” on October 5, 2008.
On Saturday, October 4, 2008, at the Moscow’s Sports Arena “Luzhniki” there was a presentation of the prize called “Crystal Ice 2008” which is considered to be a Russian figure skater’s version of the Oscar.
The bronze winners of the European Championship in ice dancing Jana Chochlova and Sergey Novitsky won the category of “Best Figure Skaters of the Year.”
The three time Olympic Champion Irina Rodnina won in the category - “Sports Legend.”
The figure skating coaches Irina Zhuk and Alex Svinin won in the category - “Greatest Contributions in the Development of Figure Skating.”
Irina Slutskaya won in the category “The Love of the Nation.”
Alexey Yagudin won in the category - “Mister Congeniality.”
Tatiana Totmjanina and Maxim Marinin won in the category – “Endurance.”
Natalia Pavlova won in the category – “Coach of the Year” for her work with the Olympic Champions of 2006 Totmjanina and Marinin.
Dmitry Ivanov won in the category of “Hope of Russia.” As his prize he received a scholarship to work with coach Elena Vodorezova.
The winners were selected by a jury headed by distinguished coach Elena Tchaikovskaya.
The presentation “Crystal Ice” was organized by the Moscow Federation of Figure Skating and produced for a second year by the silver medalist of 2002 Olympics Ilja Averbuch of the company “Symphony on Ice.”