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“Shut your mouth, Alexei”: Yagudin is frank about Valieva, WADA and Bach

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Olympic champion 2002, presenter and commentator Alexei Yagudin told reporters about his view of Russian refereeing, about the character of Mikhail Kolyada and his attitude to the statements of the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach.

— Four stages of the Grand Prix have passed, can you sum up some intermediate results? Can we say that it is successful?

“The most important thing is that it passes. This is probably the main factor. Now I am starting not from my vision of how it should go, but from the situation in which our athletes are. The most important thing is that this series of Russian Grand Prix is ​​taking place. Yes, of course, I read in the media about the filling of stadiums and so on. But, for example, when I wanted to look on the Internet at which arena the second Moscow stage would take place, I got information that tickets cost at least five thousand and go to eight and more. I approached Alexander Kogan to find out why. It turns out that a certain site has existed for a long time – not from the federation. Tickets in reality cost 700 rubles, in my opinion, the cheapest. But there are speculators, and therefore, probably, people have the opinion that our federation breaks such price tags. That's why they don't go. Regarding the fact that there were no people at the Sochi stage … We understand that people in Sochi do not live by figure skating, but still they come to relax. Sochi is a separate issue, but in Kazan… You know, I even liked that such a small stadium for 3-4 thousand people – it turns out so atmospheric: everything is together, everything is nearby. But, again, the main thing is that these tournaments exist. Moreover, they are well supported by finances for prizes. All the same, the incentive to continue working, winning and earning, plus competitive practice is also added. It is clear that at the international Grand Prix the leaders from all countries are divided into stages, and we have the leaders of one country. Here it is impossible to arrange that at each of the stages there will be a direct fight for places: somewhere a more stubborn struggle, somewhere practically without a fight. It is clear that the fight will be in Krasnoyarsk. The fight will be at those tournaments where everyone will really gather. And here it's already good that there is a (tournament).

– Our skaters are very generously judged at the stages of the Grand Prix. Do you think this is correct?- I have always said and will say: I absolutely do not care about the points with which people perform. I am not cheating on myself at all and will again express my point of view: I absolutely do not care if you have a record, eight hundred per element … There are first, second, third places – this order is interesting to me. But did Misha Kolyada win, excuse me, with a hundred and something points for practically nothing, even with one quadruple, when people on the world stage get a hundred and something for two quadruples. OK. Not only Misha receives, everything. But generously, not generously … In every country, the situation is exactly the same. Never in their lives at the national tournament of this or that country will they find fault with their own, so this is absolutely normal. Again, I say, I absolutely do not care what scores: records, not records. I would like to see a clean rental, and then the places where they will be distributed. And how many, again, I will say, our athletes in our country also perform. There is no such thing that one is molded directly a lot, and the other is not. Everyone is treated well.

—I also want to ask about Misha Kolyada. What to do?

— Finish! We do not know, they are silent. Even now I read some interview, I don’t know where he gave it: two words or one word in response. They are silent, they do not speak. Well, please, if such a secret – be silent. And what? The guy is not 14 or 13 years old, when you can hope for the future. All. Sorry, the man did not even compete at the last Olympics. And where were you from the Russian Championship to the beginning of this season? Again I will say without any attacks: a deep bow to the talent of this person, but just to say that he is talented, that let's wait … I'm tired of waiting. I said this phrase on the air: your expectations, your problems, said Arshavin. Yes, these are my problems, here I am sharing with you my problem that I have been waiting for. I don't want to wait any longer. I want to see, not wait. Just a person, which means absolutely no character and cannot collect elements. This is his life, not mine. I am purely from the outside (look) what is happening. Why do others with less baggage of data bite into the ice and try, pull elements out of the coffin, but Misha doesn’t … And here, it seems to me, it’s not about Alexei Nikolaevich, it’s just that there are people who are unrealistically talented, but nerves, head. Here, it seems to me, absolutely everyone understands this, but again they will tell me: “Shut your mouth, Alexei, be correct.” And I think that I am absolutely correct in my statements and will continue to speak. “sneeze”…

– I'm not sneezing, I'm just talking. Let's change the rhetoric. Misha is great! Great! Bear, you're awesome! The bear is so cool. Remember when I asked him: “Misha, how do you skate?” And also in a nutshell he says: “I just hear the music.” It's just that person who is unrealistically gifted with life. But that's where it all ends. He just hears the music.

– Did you have a personal conversation with him? At competitions, did he approach you or did you approach him?

– We crossed paths at the First Channel Cup. I don’t have such that I have more sympathy for some, and, on the contrary, find fault with others. Just why comment on a person who is clear that initially he is in a different situation and something does not work out, and when a person is different, sorry, as many say, this is just a person without character. Without the character of a champion. As soon as something is under pressure, everything (shrugs his hands).

— Then who do you expect from Misha, if you don’t expect Misha anymore?

“Just look at how our girls ride. In our years, girls watched guys ride, now we need to look and take an example, like Dasha Usacheva, Anya Shcherbakova, (Kamila) Valieva, Alina (Zagitova), and look at all the girls: (Sofya) Muravyova, (Sofya) Akatieva, (Sofya) Samodelkina. Just look with what audacity and desire to show your maximum to the last. But the problem is with all our guys. Everyone is well aware of this. Once again I say that (Dmitry) Aliyev likes it. He confirmed my words. I was very interested in how he would cope with his second stage. We know, problems with the foot, they warned, but I was silent until the rental. It is not known whether it will come out or not, went out and did it. Aliyev is happy so far. Kondratyuk, let's see what happens with the next stage.

— Zhenya Semenenko is still back.

– Here! I thanked Zhenya Semenenko for her desire, that after the first fall in St. Petersburg, then the case when he crashed again. It was very difficult for him to return, but here is an example. We saw test skates without quads with some kind of double, triple jumps. Now with almost three quads in the free program. Yes, he slightly greased one salchow, but you can still see where (it moves). And where are the others?

—But this season, men are no worse than girls, because Valieva without quads, Trusova also had difficulties, there were many falls at this stage.– On this one, yes. By the way, the most surprising thing is that only two girls did not fall, who took 12th and 11th places. Seriously! All the rest fell. If you look not only for this season, but for everything, then the girls are those whom our men should now follow and watch how they train and analyze what helps them in clean skates.

—You recently quoted Kamila Valieva: “I'm not a flower to please everyone.” Is this the right position? Have you tried to please the public in your career, or is Camila right that you should not try to please someone?

– (Pleasing) the public – no. We performed. I think that every person, first of all, speaks for himself. When we say: “We are for the country.” It's understandable, it's an axiom, a theorem, it's all there. But still, when you go out on the ice, there is only you and your coach. Here's what should work together. And will the audience like it … The judges should like it, because your points and your place depend on the judges. It is clear that active athletes will talk about what we want to please the public and so on. All the same, a person goes out and has one thing in his head: to do what he has in the program. The most important thing is not how the viewer will react, but what the judges who look at them will say. So that they like it, so that they put additional pluses. Ultimately, when professional sports end, the professional path leaves, shows begin – there, of course, your judges are there – they are spectators. There you want to please and somehow interesting to put yourself. But in sports it's you, it's your jumps, spins, lanes and judges. That's all.

br>- I already said. Decision is made? What people want or the structure wants – you can want whatever you want. And I want, as I said, that Kutuzovsky Prospekt be expanded by … Let's make it completely clear to everyone, up to 15 lanes in each of the directions. I want to, but it is clear that this will not happen. You first, please, either prove it or don't prove it. We will talk further there.

– How do you feel about Bach's new speech at the G20 summit, where he said that everyone should be returned?

– This, in my opinion, is already ridiculous. I understand that a person of high flying, but already ridiculous. You may not even read it. For one week he says about our athletes that they should, then immediately recommends that they be suspended. Today we read that, of course, you need to return.

– Wants to please the audience, apparently.

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I don't know who he wants to please, but he's already funny in his statements.

– Alexey, you recently went to Sochi for a football event, so I would like to tell you about football. Would you like to play in the Medialiga yourself? Evgeni Plushenko, for example, played. Do you have such a desire?

– I do everything badly in this life, I can only comment, so I will continue to comment. And in Sochi, the final stage of the football tournament “Steel Will” was opened. If many people talk about our Russian football with elements of humor, then there is no need to dig hard, it's all on the surface. We just did the action. Thanks to Smertin for making this happen, to the RFU, for helping, in fact, those people who are not going smoothly. Although they themselves do not like to talk about it in this way, but with certain health problems. I came there more than once, did some kind of warm-ups, and now a football tournament has already taken place in reality. Many stages, just was the final part. We have always admired the Paralympic athletes, their victories, but the most important thing is that this admiration is reinforced. If we are talking about football, then these guys have training camps, tournaments, both all-Russian, and we hope for the international level. It's good that this is not in words, but in reality – people with certain limitations have the opportunity to enjoy football. Are you planning to watch the World Cup? Starts this week.

– Listen, well, everyone is hacking something. Even recently, I read that it was generally a mistake to hold the World Cup in Qatar, but I don’t know, it seems to me that it will be cool, there is some kind of zest in this. Traditionally, the football powers that hold this championship, but here all the same … I understand that it's hot, it's hard, but the championship will be slightly shifted in time for the comfort of the players. Honestly, I will (watch). Probably after the group. Globally, I love when they play, especially national teams, but our football … Sad music turned on (smiles). Ours – no, but the Champions League … Really play those who know how to play, and the World Cup is, as they say, directly selected characters in their teams. The only regret is that they hold the European and World Championships every two years, it's a pity that not every year, as in figure skating. Because in reality it is also very unpredictable how the game can develop. It would seem that you are the leader, but here you lose again. Watch, honestly, I will!

— Who will win?

— I don't know who will win. But I am for France.

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