Former world junior champion Andrei Mozalev rides like a roller coaster. In an interview with Sport, the figure skater spoke about his dream of a girl, international competitions and a white streak.
“You must be able to catch Zen”
– Andrey, how do you evaluate the results of the Grand Prix stages for yourself? -under Russia?
– At the first tournament in Ufa, I skated a good short program and pushed myself too hard that I had to do the free program just as well. What is necessary is necessary… I squeezed in, and it didn’t work out. In Samara, on the contrary, I tried to let myself go after such a short period. That I don’t owe anyone anything, I just need to enjoy the performance. Because if I have fun, everyone gets it.
– It’s probably quite difficult to have fun when “we’re in shit,” as you posted on your social network.
– I was trying to somehow cheer myself up and those around me. Despite such a short rental, we must maintain the spirit. There will be a lot more starts where I can show myself. Therefore, with this video I wanted to somehow smooth out the impression on the fans who follow me.
– Have you recently come to such thoughts regarding the mood?
– The idea was there a long time ago, but I didn’t know how to implement it. I understood that I shouldn’t worry, I don’t owe anyone anything, and I just need to do everything with joy. I really want to get to this point, so as not to pay attention to mistakes and just ride.
– You worry in everyday life ?
– It depends on what… But in principle, probably yes. I often worry about things. I'm worried about the exams too. Although there are retakes, it’s not so scary to fail the first time. But you are still worried – you want to do it the first time.
– It seems to me that many of our skaters, as they say, do not have mulligans in their heads. Is this the case with you too?
– Yes. I want two good skates at once – so that both the short and the free skate are done in one go. You start to think about it and worry about it. And you don’t need to think at all. The body already knows everything, can do everything. Jumping is all in the body, not in the head. You need to think about something good before skating.
– For example?
– You need to be in a good mood. This time, for example, my friend Arseny Dimitriev and I were joking and talking about some abstract topics. You need to maintain fun so as not to feel pre-start tension.
– Before the short in Samara, what were you thinking about?
– How did you get yourself ready for the free program in that case?
– And that’s how I got ready – calmly, with good mood. I didn’t think about starting at all.
– Yesterday you said that you want a “happy, joyful life”…
– Yes, I saw this headline. I would like to clarify – I meant that despite some failures, one must be able to catch Zen, so to speak.
– We can say that in previous years, when Did something not work out for you, is this what was missing?
– Yes. Yes, in general this is not enough, in life in general. There is a good streak – then down, a bad streak. I would like a different schedule, less variation. I want to be calmer, more positive.
“International starts are an exchange of cultures”
– Have you thought about working with psychologists on this topic?
– I did. And I will try again, with different specialists. Perhaps this will help. I don’t stand still, I want to try different development options.
– Yesterday you briefly touched upon the topic of the domestic season – they say, since there are no international competitions, you need to let yourself go a little. Isn’t it possible that due to the internal nature of the competitions, this competitive adrenaline is lacking?
– Yes, I’ll be honest. However, when we had international competitions, the sensations were completely different. If you go to the European Championships, the Olympics or somewhere else, several of our guys from the national team are with you. There we are a team, supporting each other. Not even in words – it’s some other feeling of partnership. Some kind of elbow feeling, or something…
At domestic competitions the struggle is completely different, the mood is different. And interest. Previously, you had to get into the top three of the Russian championship in order to go somewhere. This was not the final goal. And now our season at the Russian Championship can be said to be over. Then there will be more competitions – Spartakiad, Channel One Cup, but this is more like a show. The season is already in decline.
– Are you missing status competitions?
-Yes, very much. I hope everything will be resolved soon.
– Does it really hurt your motivation that there is no certainty?
– There is such a thing. But I still hope that I will catch more international competitions. Although this has all taken a little longer… I thought it would be faster, but no. Now such thoughts are appearing – will I have more international starts?
But, thank God, I have been to a lot of places. The Olympics, the European Championships, juniors were at all competitions, including the Youth Olympics, this is rare. Challengers are the same. Traveled to other countries.
It's a shame that everything is like this. Personally, I feel very sorry for our juniors, who have never been to the Grand Prix or other competitions. I performed, took a place, but they didn’t. They might miss everything altogether. Well, at least junior age, which is also very important. This is a rating, experience…
– Do you think the FFKKR can do anything more to make our domestic competitions equal in intensity to international competitions? That is, it is clear that the federation is trying very hard, and it doesn’t all depend on them, but nevertheless.
– I think no. It's too difficult, it won't be the same in the end. We can invite someone from friendly countries, yes. But there are all the countries there, there are more strong athletes with whom it is interesting to fight. I won’t say that we are weak – on the contrary, we have such a selection of guys in all events that many will envy. It’s just that international starts are completely different. This is an exchange of cultures, communication, this is not enough. Inside the country, we have already known each other for ten years.
– At the beginning of the season you said that you would like change. What did you mean?
– It was more about everyday life. Perhaps I don’t need to change anything in my approach to figure skating. Maybe I need to add something off the ice, pick up a hobby… I really want a hobby so that after training in the evening I have the opportunity to go somewhere and take my mind off figure skating. I’ve been doing it for a very long time and my head is already tired.
– You speak like a person who has fallen into a routine.
– Yes, there is such a thing. Now at least I changed my place of residence inside St. Petersburg – and already something new, some other colors appeared in life. At least there’s a different view from the window.
– Have you already looked at something for your hobby?
– I love billiards. Arseny and I often go to play it. This is a fairly smart sport, but physically it does not take away your strength. It’s also quite difficult to get injured in it, which is very important for us – we need to maintain our health. In general, I love both football and volleyball, but here the risk is higher.
– Have you thought about going to football? There, in “Pure Peter” with Sasha Gallyamov?
– Well, no one invited me. And, probably, now I would still say “no.”
– How would you rate Sasha’s skills in football? Let's say, from 1 to 10.
– Let there be a solid “five”!
– What a blow to the self-esteem of the son of all his mother’s friends!
– Sasha, don’t be offended!
– I can’t help but ask about changes – at first it seemed that you were talking about sports as well.
– Definitely not. I just want some color in my life.
– I understand. There were simply fears that something was wrong in the relationship with coach Kirill Anatolyevich Davydenko…
– I definitely didn’t mean that. I can definitely say that everything is fine with us. Kirill Anatolyevich, for his part, does everything and even more. The problems are more in my head, and I need to work with it. It would be wrong of me to blame everyone around me for this. I am to blame for my failures myself.
– What needs to happen in the time remaining until the end of the season so that you can say to yourself in sports terms that you have begun a bad streak?
– To begin with, don’t think about anything. And not be…
– … “in shit”?
– That's for sure. In fact, I really want to go to Chelyabinsk for the Russian Championship. I love this city very much, I like everything there. When I was there at the Russian Championships 2021, I liked everything so much. And now they tell me that they are preparing something even cooler there. It would seem, where even better? But they are preparing. I hope the stands will be full and everyone will enjoy themselves. It's still New Year after all. So let there be a holiday.
– And in ordinary life, what should happen for this?
– Probably, so that in personal life everything things got better. When the girl appears, then there will be a white streak in life.