At the stage of the Russian Grand Prix in figure skating in Samara, a 21-year-old won the men's competition Peter Gumennik. It was so convincing that the fans’ creativity gave rise to an iconic nickname for the skater, which immediately spread in bright letters across homemade posters in the arena. And it was even heard in the voice of the announcer at the time the results were announced. Peter the Great – now Gumennik can be called that.
“This is a serious name, a great historical figure. I like this nickname,” Peter, despite his modesty, is a fairly confident guy. Being the son of a priest, he never denied himself individuality. Parents also did not interfere with their son’s self-expression. This is how the well-mannered, educated Peter grew up, who can perform a work by Beethoven on the piano and put everyone on earshot by choosing a song by the German group Rammstein for a short program.
When, before the national team's skates in September, obscurantism began with an emergency change of Gumennik's program due to supposedly unworthy music for a Russian figure skater, Peter, it seemed, would be thrown out of his emotional balance for a long time. His name was tilted on TV and the Internet in every minor way. In addition to masters like Ilya Averbukh and Irina Rodnina, these were often people who, in principle, had never watched figure skating. Few of my fellow skaters stood up for freedom of creative choice in general and for Gumennik in particular.
The problem was solved with a compromise – the song Rammstein replaced with the same song performed by other artists. There are no longer any complaints about the cover. But Peter still spent some time rolling out a new version of the program and restoring Olympic calm.
Gumennik did not perform his first stage in Krasnoyarsk brilliantly – he performed the updated short program poorly. As a result, he became third, but scored the usual amount of points – 242.77. In Samara, as the skater put it, instead of bricks, he had balloons tied to his feet – he jumped and rolled easily and with inspiration.
Honored coach of the USSR Tatyana Tarasova, with her trained eye, discovered champion qualities in Gumennik this season. She did not specify what exactly had changed in Peter, but one can assume that the skater gained unprecedented confidence.
In the free program, Gumennik skated last and heard the assessments that the competitors skating in front of him received. In particular, Roman Savosin gave an excellent skate – in order to beat him, it was impossible to make mistakes.
And Gumennik skated as if his opponent’s assessments were not I heard that ice in Samara was poured only for him. It’s as if he’s not worried at all and is in perfect physical shape.
And so it was: the only element that the skater abandoned at the insistence of coach Veronica Daineko was the quadruple lutz. There are two quadruple Salchows left and a quadruple loop. Gumennik coped with all the jumps, spins and tracks perfectly. But the main thing is the magic of the program. He managed to revive Dorian Gray, show his restless soul, which with every passing moment leans more and more towards darkness, irrevocably disfiguring the once beautiful portrait.
For two programs, Gumennik scored 300.66 points – a record amount for Russian competitions and our skaters in general. Thus, Peter entered the unofficial club of those over 300. This is the elite of men's single skating. The ceiling is still high, it takes a long time to reach it – Olympic champions Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu received 335 and 322 points for their performances, respectively. And even the American Russian Ilya Malinin, who is now a nightmare for his rivals in the international Grand Prix series, has already broken the mark of 310 points.