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Klimov – about the departure of foreigners, life under a ban and relationships at a distance

More than eight years ago, Fedor Klimov, together with Ksenia Stolbova, became the first ever Olympic champion in the team and sensationally won silver in the individual tournament. The Russian couple outperformed Alena Savchenko and Robin Sholkova from Germany, who were considered real contenders for gold. Today, Klimov works as a coach at the Sochi Olympic Training Center and takes a seat at the side of the Iceberg during competitions. After completing the second stage of the Russian Grand Prix “Velvet Season”, he answered the correspondent's questions.

– Can we say that you have already settled in Sochi and created your own school here?– Soon it will be two years since I live here. Only the school is not mine, but the state. If they talk about the school of Moskvina, Mishina or Moser, then I can’t say the same about myself yet. In Sochi we were well received, all conditions for work were created.- Last season you trained couples from Hungary, Germany, Croatia. Now none of the foreign skaters have contacted you? . We had a contract until the end of the Olympic season. In the current situation, one cannot rely on students from other countries.

– Is it difficult to formalize such cooperation?

– All issues are resolved at the level federation. This is a complex process.

– Is the style of work of the young coach Fedor Klimov similar to the style of his mother and first coach, the Velikovs or Nina Moser? – Do not consider the answer banal, but I tried to take something from everyone. Sometimes this happens unconsciously. I hope that I took only the best.

– Now in the world of figure skating there is a lot of discussion about the state of pair skating. Some argue that it is in stagnation, while others, on the contrary, consider it the locomotive of development. What is your opinion?

– In Russia, pair skating is now developing. The best raise the difficulty bar. There seems to be some stagnation in the world. Single skating, in my opinion, is developing faster.

– How will pair skating progress?

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– Now the leading couples are trying to complicate the jumping elements. Many perform triple loots and flips, which until recently seemed fantastic. Although no less gains can give quadruple twists and emissions. At the Grand Prix stage in Sochi, at the official training session, Alexandra Boikova and Dmitry Kozlovsky performed an excellent quadruple twist. I understand that this element is very difficult to learn, and even more difficult to insert into the program, but I hope to see it at competitions soon.

– You worked in the ISU Athletes' Commission. What did this experience give you, and was it not a shame to leave this position after the removal of Russian athletes, judges, functionaries?

– It's a shame that he worked in the commission of athletes for too little time to influence something or contribute to the adoption of important decisions. Due to the pandemic, we saw each other very little, we worked mostly online. I gained colossal experience, I looked from the inside how new rules are adopted, how decisions are made that are discussed at the ISU congress, I met a huge number of specialists who have their own vision of the development of figure skating.

– When the ban on Russian skaters is lifted, do you plan to continue your career as a sports functionary? answer this question. Moreover, the prospects associated with the full restoration of Russian figure skaters in their rights are uncertain. So I will not say that I am eager to work at the ISU right now.

– Do you follow the pair competitions at the ISU Grand Prix, and can you compare their level with the Russian Grand Prix?

– You need to compare. Just in pair skating in Russia, everything is in order. Any of the six couples that competed at the stage in Sochi could become a champion in any European country. The competition of couples at the “Velvet Season” was very interesting. Boikova and Kozlovsky stood out, of course. The remaining five pairs were close in level, there was a real struggle between them. The level of competition for couples at the two Russian Grand Prix events is higher than at the two ISU Grand Prix events in North America. in order to compete with adults in the near future?- I am sure that Yulia Artemyeva and Alexey Bryukhanov, as well as Anna Moskaleva and Maxim Lozhkin, will not get lost in adult competitions. The rest are still demonstrating junior skating. They need to add elements in the purity of the performance, and in the productions. Although the level of our junior competitions is higher than the international average for adults.

– You and Ksenia Stolbovoi transition from juniors to seniors was quite organic and fast.

– The first adult season was very difficult. I was pursued by injuries and illnesses, a lot did not work out at the stages of the Grand Prix. It was only before the Russian Championship that they found themselves and performed worthily at the European Championship. To be honest, we were lucky. Ksenia and I got to our first world and European championships, replacing one of the injured experienced skaters. This helped to adapt in adult figure skating.

– For many, your wedding with Evgenia Tarasova has become a sensation comparable to defeat ” Zenith” in the RPL. How did you manage to keep your romance a secret in the era of social networks and journalists’ close attention to the personal lives of skaters?

– Zhenya and I didn’t try to keep our relationship secret, it just happened . It is very good that our relationship has not become the subject of a detailed discussion in the media and social networks.

– You have a job in Sochi, your wife – in Moscow. Does this create difficulties in family life?

– Even before the wedding, we were often separated due to the competition schedule. So we've gotten used to it. We don't see each other as often as we would like, but fundamentally nothing has changed. The distance between Moscow and Sochi is not that big, we spend every weekend together.

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