GENERICO.ruSport“I hit my thigh with a blade”: Sinitsina and Katsalapov - about injuries and longing for sports

“I hit my thigh with a blade”: Sinitsina and Katsalapov – about injuries and longing for sports

World and European champions in ice dancing, Beijing Olympic champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov told in an interview with Sport about dreams of creating a coaching group, terrible rules in rhythm dance, swearing with respect and the “inflexible little person” Kamila Valieva.

“Sometimes I really want to go back”
— You have been performing in Tatyana Navka’s show for the second year. How do you feel?

Nikita Katsalapov:We are glad that the sport has such a colorful continuation. For us, the most difficult thing at the moment is preparing for a new fairy tale. Last year we did “Scheherazade”, this year we did “Evenings on the Farm”, there are a lot of rehearsals in the process, but the payoff is good – in “Megasport” that year the stands were full every day.

— When you watch our Grand Prix in dancing, don’t you want to come back and show who’s boss?


N.K.:Feelings on this matter are ambivalent. Everything must be done on time, like Victoria and I. Now we can say about this feeling that, on the one hand, sometimes you really want to return. We miss the competitive feeling. But, I repeat, everything must be on time.

— Quite a categorical answer, in fact.

N.K.: Well, not exactly categorically. It’s just that the show for us is a continuation of the sport, thanks to them we open new horizons and get to know ourselves a little deeper. This is the same figure skating for us, only with less stress and more pleasure. Because now we no longer skate for judges and ratings, but directly for the audience. We won Russian championships, European and world championships, and brought two medals from the Olympic Games. A career with such titles, if we are not even taken into account, but as if in a vacuum, in my opinion, took place. Now the situation is difficult, the Olympic movement seems to be completely lost from sight. It seems to me that it is difficult to collect motivation, also because there are no international competitions. It is very unusual for athletes that the opportunity to receive the title of world champion, for example, is no longer available. But this year I am very actively following all the competitions. Plus, Victoria and I are going to open some of them. Our level is very high, sometimes you just want to go out on the ice.

— And you end up in a commentary position. By the way, doesn’t it fly to you from fans after the broadcasts?

N.K.: Oh, I really like the commentary. An offer came in – I accepted it immediately. And as for “arriving” – to be honest, I get nervous every time I go to the studio, because I need to be objective and tell the audience about the nuances. Maybe you can remember some of your stories. And this is actually not so simple, because the time between couples is limited, you have to do everything and not interrupt anyone. Sometimes I'm afraid of missing something.

—You actually have a fairly fresh commentary style. Usually they try to praise as much as possible with or without reason or, on the contrary, they go too far with indiscriminate criticism. And you try to support and criticize objectively. This is very rare.

Victoria Sinitsina: In general, supporting our athletes is now very important, it seems to me. An additional incentive to ride in the current conditions will not hurt anyone.

N.K.:When we were skating ourselves, we re-watched how they commented on us on television. And somehow I decided that if I do this myself, I will try to talk about everything, let’s say, from the inside. Well, basically everyone seems to like it.

“It’s rare to see a good rhythm dance”
— If not from the position of a commentator , and as spectators – what attracts you in modern ice dancing and what repels you?

In .S.:If we specifically analyze our dances, then this season there are so many new couples, they are improving very quickly.

N.K.: In fact, now we do not have all the stages The Grand Prix are even in composition. But on those that I commented on, I identified a lot of cool pairs for myself. There are traditionally more of them in Moscow, of course, but I was also surprised by how many cool guys appeared in the regions. Everyone tries to create their own style, I personally really like it.

V.S.:But at the same time, I don’t really understand the rules of the rhythm dance of this season. For me, even figure skating disappears a little in it. No, the idea itself with the 80s is cool (the obligatory theme for rhythm dance in the current season is music of the 80s – approx.), but the fact that they combined it all with samba, with a pattern – it mixed everything up so much that I I'm really lost. It is very rare to see a good rhythm dance nowadays.

N.K.:And I’ll say it even more harshly: this short program is killing the whole type of figure skating. And so in these three minutes of rhythm dance, you need to put all the elements in and at least show the image through choreography, skating, emotions, but they also throw in extra stuff. Sometimes he walks for a whole minute, the first time you don’t even understand that this is a path, choreographic steps, jumping…

Everyone is trying their best to make candy, but it is very difficult. It seems to me that no one has any idea how to do it, so it’s simply impossible to watch the rhythm dance of this season. Not only here, of course, it’s the same in Europe and America. The rhythm dance was simply destroyed, I hope that next year all the people responsible for this will come to their senses.

— What to do with it?


N.K.: At least return to the previous rules. In recent years, short dances for all couples looked original, but now they are a jumble. />

— One of the most resonant stories of autumn in our dances is the clash between Liza Shanaeva and Annabel Morozova. Who do you think is to blame and should Lisa have apologized?

N.K.: You know, we watched this clash with our own eyes from the stands. But here, it probably won’t be very correct to take someone’s side. It’s just that the warm-up before the start is generally quite traumatic – there are five couples on the ice, you need to have time to warm up all the elements, everything is very fussy.

V.S.: But in any case, even if this happened, there are sporting and human principles. Nikita and I, by the way, had a similar story – at one of the Grand Prix we encountered Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Virtue/Moir are three-time Olympic champions from Canada – approx.). We rode with our backs supported, and they just stood there. And we flew into them.

I was very scared because I hit Tessa right in the thigh with the blade. It didn’t cut, thank God, but it still hurts, you never know if it’s some kind of injury. I approached her, of course, and apologized. Colleagues must be treated with respect, regardless of who is to blame for the clashes.

N.K.:But specifically in the situation with Annabelle and Lisa, I wouldn’t want to judge anyone. This is a very individual moment – to approach or not to approach. Victoria and I, fortunately, did not have such serious clashes, but it seems to me that if suddenly something like this happened, then in the company in which we competed, everything would have been resolved amicably.

Although they often collide during warm-ups. Before my eyes, there was once a terrible incident with the Canadians Paul and Islam. It was the Grand Prix in Japan, training early in the morning, everyone was trying to stretch their temper – and then they ran into another couple. My partner has either seven or nine stitches on her thigh, and they also tried to go out for a ride. All these situations are very complex, I don’t think there are right and wrong in them.

“Valiyeva is a little person with an unbending will”

— Don’t you want to get into coaching?

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N.K.: I personally would really like to, very often I scroll through the thought in my head and talk to my loved ones about this topic. In the future I would definitely like to have a team so that my wife Victoria would be nearby. We have great knowledge, we have gone through the best ice dancing coaches on the planet, we would really like to share this and train champions.

I talked to Alexander Vyacheslavovich (Zhulin) about this many times – and he called me, and I spoke. After all, we still go to team training, very often I can’t restrain myself – I drive up to the guys, and they ask me for advice. Alexander Vyacheslavovich sees them every day, and here is a fresh look.

— Zhulin, I suppose, misses you in sports.

< strong>V.S.:Certainly. Yes, and we miss it, to be honest. Because we often skate in shows, we are in good shape. Sometimes we do something during training, and he says to us: “Wow, now you can easily finish the Olympic short!”

strong>N.K.:The path that our team and I have traveled is for us for centuries. That's why we miss you. We don’t see each other that often now, so during training I want to show off myself and draw attention.

— What needs to happen for you to come back?

N.K.:The question is interesting, even philosophical to some extent, but there is no answer to it now. I can probably only say that the circumstances for returning can only be pleasant.

– But so far, unfortunately, there are few pleasant circumstances – the same story with medals though I wish I could remember. Is she very worried?

N.K.:Very much, to be honest. We want a fair solution as soon as possible. And so that our entire team gets their well-deserved medals back.

— How hard do you think it is to wait for a decision when you also have to go to competitions? For example, as in the situation of Kamila Valieva.

V.S.:Kamila is such a little person with an unbending will. How she got through this Olympics, with all the difficulties… We have always supported her very much, all the way, and we still support her. We are on very good terms with her. We chat, joke, take an interest in each other. So we are always for her. And she’s a great guy for continuing to compete and prove to everyone that she’s a fighter even in the current conditions. It’s simply impossible not to respect it.

— Let’s end with something pleasant. After sports, what changed in you?

V.S.:We have become even more united and more confident on the ice. We feel very calm and comfortable. We do what we love, and we don’t need anything more.

N.K.: We had all these feelings in sports. Just sport, as Marina Zueva said, it hurts. And everything hurts, not just some muscles, but everything inside. Now it can also be difficult, but in your head you feel much calmer, so we have become freer and more relaxed.

— Have you managed to get to know each other from a new side?

N.K.:Certainly. We spend almost all our time together now and never separate. We saw each other both in the household and in everyday life.

— Only now in everyday life?

N.K .:Probably yes. When we were involved in sports, we tried to take more rest from each other on our days off. Training is constant stress, especially when it doesn’t go very smoothly.

V.S.: During sports, we lived separately and in our free time we tried to give each other friend air. It was definitely needed for training and the goals that we had. But the full-fledged one began only with the beginning of our life together, and this happened not so long ago.

— Sometimes household grinding can be difficult.


N.K.: And here, by the way, everything went very easily. We love each other and support each other in everything. We even try to swear with respect! When everything is completely smooth, it’s boring. And here we are never bored.

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