Interview Artur Dmitriev jr
Moskau, May 2011
Artur Dmitriev (18) is the current Russian Junior Champion. He finished 8th at 2011 Junior Worlds and 7th in his debut at 2010 Junior Worlds.
Q: I don't
have to ask how you got involved in figure skating. But what is your first
memory about skating?
A: My first
memory... I didn't really want to skate, I just went out on the ice and skated,
in the Jubleini ice rink there is this small sheet of ice, and I had a friend,
Maxim Kadyrkaev, he is the son of (Soviet pair skater) Rashid Kardykaev. So we
run around and chatted, we were very close friends. We are still good friends,
but we don't see each other very often. And so everything started at this ice
rink. I was about six years old.
didn't you want to skate so much?
A: At that
time I guess I just was too young, the time hadn't come yet. For me it was more
interesting to play and to talk to my friends and so on. But later, when I was
eight years old and w e were already in America, in Hackensack, I really started
to skate and then step by step, slowly, got until where I am now (laughs).
Q: Did you
ever consider gymnastics as your mother was a gymnast?
A: No, I
didn't think about gymnastics. I really wanted to become a racing driver, I
wanted to participate in rallies, but it didn't happen and I really liked
figure skating and in the end it happened that I chose figure skating.
Q: What do
you like about figure skating?
A: I just
loved to jump and I still do But now there are also new things and I like to
work on choreography, on spins, everything is very interesting. Maybe it comes
with the time, I don't know, but it all became more interesting for me.
Q: What is
your favorite jump?
A: I don't
have a favorite jump, I like them all.
don't you like in your sport?
I like everything. I am happy with everything. I think now after the World
Championships figure skating is going into the right direction. Patrick Chan
showed a strong result. He was able to combine what many people think cannot be
combined, but in fact it is all real. He did the quad-triple, skated
brilliantly and spinned very well. I am very pleased to see that people strive
to do quads and choreography and it is looking good. It is nice to see that.
Q: Who was
or is you idol in skating? Patrick?
A: No, I
don't really have an idol. I'm looking at myself.
Q: And when
you were younger? Did you look up to someone, to Plushenko maybe?
A: No, you
know, I was always listening to my parents. They were helping me.
Q: I heard
you were doing three different quads in practice.
A: This was
last year in May, I did three different quads (toe, Salchow, loop) and I tried
to do the Lutz, I rotated but fell. This was in the USA, when I was working
with Platov, I trained my long program and I started to jump. It worked. But
then I went through a difficult time. I changed coaches, I had an injury and so
on. Now I changed my boots, they were old, the blade came off at (Junior)
Worlds. So now I have new boots, it is going very well and hopefully I'll be
able to bring back what I could do and maybe add something new. I won't say too
much now. But it is a goal. I don't know how other people feel about it, but
for me it is interesting.
Q: How do you
feel about the past season?
A: I won't
say it was my best season. It was simply very hard. There were so many factors
– the back (injury), I changed coaches in the middle of the season, this is
very hard after all, but I still pulled myself together and at (Junior) Worlds
I skated well in the short program. I think it is difficult to skate such a
program after a few months. The free program just didn't work out so well. I
was tired after the qualifying, there were many factors. Of course I should
have done better, but it just didn't happen. So it was a hard season but there
was also something positive.
Q: What are
your plans now for the new season?
A: I will
have two new programs. I want to improve my spins and I really want to work a
lot on the choreography, I hope the jumps will be there. We'll see what
happens, maybe we can surprise everyone. I would like to skate senior. I need
to improve my rating, it is rather low. So in juniors I can improve my rating.
short program is to Beetlejuice as I just heard in your practice.
Anatolievna (Tarasova), Elena Germanovna (Vodorezova), the whole team chose it.
Everybody liked the music and so we decided to use it. I still have to work a
lot on it.
Q: What did
you pick for the free program?
A: To be
honest, I don't know the music. It is a great music. I didn't ask (for the
title), to be honest, I'm not interested in it so much, I mean in the name of
the music. I am interested in the music itself, how I feel it and how it works
for me. We've tried different kinds of music. I had an interesting idea and the
coaches had an interesting idea. We've picked this one in the end. They brought
me a CD, showed me the music and said, 'do you like something from there', So I
listened and I said, this is good, and we took it for the short program. Then I
suggested my ideas, but this music didn't suit me so well. They played this one
and I felt right away, this is a great music and we decided to try it. It
worked. I like it. I also really like the program. I have to work a lot and
I'll show it in the next season and I think many people will like it.
Q: As you
said, there were a lot of changes last year for you. Why did you decide to
switch coaches in the middle of the season?
A: I don't
want to talk about these problems, because they were personal, we had our
arguments. I just don't really like to talk about this topic, the important
thing is that I am very happy with my conditions now. I like to work here (at
CSKA Moscow). Alexei Nikolaevitch (Mishin) is very good coach, and I respect
him very much. But it just happened that way. Maybe it was my fault. It just
didn't work out. I can't say anything negative about him. He is also a good
coach. Now it is going very well.
moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow. How was that for you?
Obviously, it was hard to adapt to Moscow, because here is so a rush compared
to St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is calmer. But by now I got used to it, I got
into my practices, and now I got used to that pacing.
Q: You are
living alone, right?
A: Yes, I
am living without my mom. I deal with it fine, but of course I miss my mom, but
basically everything is fine.
Q: Who is
eating at the ice rink, they have a cook here. I have lunch and dinner here and
I do breakfast myself, I make myself porridge, cereals or something and I
prepare my food myself. I live in a hotel on the territory of CSKA, this is for
athletes and I got a room. The conditions for me are fantastic. It is not in a
dormitory, I have my own room. I am very happy to have such good conditions.
Q: How did
you adapt to your new training group?
A: All the
guys are nice and kind. I just like everything here.
Q: What are
you doing off the ice?
Sometimes I play football and I do other sports. I also want to play paintball,
this is a lot of fun, we also want to go karting. I'm interested in a lot of
things. But right now I'm studying, I have to pass my exams. I have to pass
them end of May, then I'll have more time to have fun. I'm now finishing school
in St. Petersburg. I went to school in America. We moved from Russia and they
put me into an American school although I didn't understand a word. I was using
my fingers and then I studied until the 7 th class there. I studied
well, I got good grades, and then my mom and I returned to Russia. Obviously I
don't know the grammar of the Russian language, and everything was in Russian.
It was difficult, documents needed to be translated and so on. Here the
problems started and I've lost two years. So now I have to prepare to pass my
exams to finally finish school and to be able to start university. I'm
embarrassed myself about it, but these were the circumstances. It is not nice
that it happened and I am eager to start studying.
Q: Do you
regret that your family moved back to Russia?
Everywhere are positives. To be honest, I really like Russia. I want to live
here. In America it is also very good, so each place has its positives.
Q: How long
did you live in the US after all?
A: We left
when I was about six, close to seven years old. We returned when I was 14, so I
lived seven years here and seven years there.
Q: What is
your character like?
A: I can't
really answer, I prefer that others characterize me. These questions are
difficult for me and I don't like to judge myself from my own point of view.
Q: What are
your goals in the sport?
A: Goals in
the sport... Before, I always wanted an Olympic medal, I used to think only
about an Olympic medal and so on. Now... of course, I still want it, but it
became more interesting for me to present myself in an exciting way on the ice,
for example by doing an interesting program, do something original. I grew
interested in this and I want to show something. Now my goal is basically just
to skate that everyone enjoys it and that I enjoy it myself. If I skate well,
the result will come and everything else.
Q: Where do
you see you strong points?
now I'm stronger in jumps, but we are working now to balance it out more, so
that I'll have also good choreography and spins. The spins improved already. I
also worked a lot on skating skills, steps, also with dancers, on spins. There
is improvement, and I just have to continue to work and to balance it out, like
Patrick Chan. He has spins, and footwork and skating skills, all this is of
high quality and well done and he is skating with his soul, with emotions. I
want this, not the same, but that I can improve everything in my own way.
Q: How much
responsibility do you feel as your dad is a two-time Olympic Champion and your
mother is also a World Champion in her own sport.
responsibility, you know, it doesn't really concern me that my parents (were
successful athletes), yes, of course, it does concern me that they are my
parents, but I don't feel responsibility because of that. I am by myself, this
is my destiny. If I don't accomplish anything, what kind of responsibility is
that? Yes, I am their son, but I don't feel a special responsibility. Just
because of a name... I just need to be a good person.
don't you feel pressure because everyone says, „oh, here is the son of Artur
know, this is actually good for me, because people know me better. Actually I
don't like to be called the son of Artur Dmitriev. I want to prove that I am
myself Artur Dmitriev. I even thought at a time to change my name to my
baptismal name, Artiom, so that people would stop calling me the son of Artur
Dmitriev, but I still didn't change it.
Q: What do
you want to tell your fans?
A: I wish
them strong nerves and a lot of patience (laughs).
three things would you take to an isolated island?
A: It has
to be things, not people?
Q: If you
really want, you can take people.
A: I'd take
my mom, my coach and an ice rink, and skates I'd make out of wood (laughs).
Q: Thank you for the interview and all the best!