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.

Q: Why 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.

Q: What don't you like in your sport?

A: Actually 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.

Q: Your short program is to Beetlejuice as I just heard in your practice.

A: Tatiana 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.

Q: You moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow. How was that for you?

A: 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 cooking?

A: I'm 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?

A: 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?

A: 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?

A: Right 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.

A: Well, 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.

Q: But don't you feel pressure because everyone says, „oh, here is the son of Artur Dmitriev“?

A: You 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).

Q: What 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!