Interview Amani Fancy/Christopher Boyadj

Q: Why did you decide to skate pairs?

Chris: I did it for three years and I split up with my ex partner after the World Junior Championships in 2012. I was looking for a partner and in France, but there are not a lot of partners. So I wrote to Amani.

Amani: I never wanted to do pairs. It was not my character. I was a single skater, but we tried it out and it worked perfectly. We had great harmony, we had great results after 5 days and then... we were a couple! Pairs!

Chris: I waited 8 months for her, because she wanted to do single and she could do World Juniors and Junior Grand Prix and so she wanted to focus on singles.

Amani: In one season I did Junior Worlds, Youth Olympics, Junior Grand Prix and so I told him to wait. But now I'm more focused on pairs.

Q: How did you team up?

Amani: Facebook! (laughs)

Chris: Yeah! It is funny, because when I was young I was training here in Oberstdorf in singles and one day I saw Amani coming for the iceDOME show...she was a baby

Amani: I was 9 years old!

Chris: I was really impressed when I saw her, because she was very young and so cute. And when I was looking for a partner I said to myself: Oh! Do you remember, Chris, this girl! Maybe it's funny you can see her in everything and I found her.

Amani: It was really destiny!

Chris: Yes, destiny! Because I was watching Nationals of all countries to see if there are maybe girls that can do pairs. I didn't know that she was from Great Britain. And I found her and I looked at her, thinking, she has the perfect size for pair skating. I started writing to her and said to myself...this girl...this face....??! I searched on YouTube and I saw her when she was eight years old. It was destiny really, it was very funny.

Q: Chris, why did you quit single skating?

Chris: I was injured, I broke a ligament in my right foot and I had to quit. I had two surgeries and it was impossible for me to do too many jumps. I was in pain... one day day no... but I didn’t want to quit (skating) and I started (doing) pairs.

Q: How did your first training go and what were you thinking? And how did you overcome difficulties?

Chris: Now it's really good. I have to say it's good....she's a beginner in pairs....

Amani: I've done one month of pairs in my life, this is it - with him.  So it was really difficult for me. In singles, when I know what I did wrong I could fix it. In pairs it was so new, I don't know what I was doing wrong and it was hard at first. But now it's going really good. He annoys me sometimes, but that's okay.

Chris: This is pair skating! It is okay.

Amani: We work well together!

Q: Amani is new to pair skating. What is the most difficult thing for you to do and to learn?

Amani: Death spiral! It's the death of pair skating! That’s why it is called death spiral,
really! It is so hard. And everything else...throws I love... solo jumps, skating, spins, steps, lifts... all is good. But the death spiral is a hard element

Q: How scary are the lifts and throws for you?

Amani: The first lift was scary, because you feel you are a hundred meters in the air. But now it's fine. He is short. I'm good. But the throws I love from the first time I tried them, because it feels like a single jump, you have so much time to close. I want to do 5 rotations in the air (laughs)

Chris: Amani wants more, more....every time more... she did a triple - she wants to do a quad...she will do a quad - she wants to try a quintuple.

Amani: I will, one day, for sure.

Chris: Maybe a quad.

Amani: And maybe a quintuple.

Chris: Yeah, a quint - why not? (laughs)

Q: How is your progress going?

Chris: It's really good

Amani. Yeah, in one month we do all basic lifts, we do a throw triple Salchow and we're working on other throws, we can do a double twist, ugly, but okay. The spins and steps are really great, we work together when we skate. We have a good presentation, so it's nice.

Chris: The short program is finished and the free is half done.

Q: Can you tell us about your programs? Which music did you choose?

Chris: The short is Concierto de Aranjuez

Amani: It's classical Spanish. But it doesn't sound so Spanish...very emotional, love. The free is like a mixed Tango, there are three different pieces of music: Tango, Spanish, Flamenco. It is really nice.

Q: Who had the ideas?

Chris: Both of us! The short it was more her, I think.  And I found two of the three music pieces for the free.

Amani: ... and (coach) Mr. König. He agreed with everything.

Q: You are an international team. Why did you decide to compete for Great Britain?

Chris: The truth is, if we skate together, we had to choose between France or Great Britain. We cannot skate for another country. She did Junior Worlds this year (2013). So, if we want to represent France for example we have to wait 12 months. So (there is) no European competition, no international competition during one year, just preparation (for us). I didn't compete this year and if I switch to Great Britain I can compete right now.

Amani: Our goal is maybe get to the Europeans this season, it would be really great for us.

Chris: There are two spots, that is Stacey Kemp/David King and maybe us, if it is okay for the Federation.

Q: Do you have the release?

Chris: I got the release one week ago.

Amani: Yeah!!!

Chris: So now I can skate. At the beginning it was difficult. They said no, finally they said yes. So
now I can skate for Great Britain. But it was not that I wanted to quit France. If we could skate for France we should have done it, but if you want to compete right now, it's easier to represent for Great Britain.

It's because we are neutral for both. We like Great Britain, we like France... we like both, but we had to choose and it is easier at the moment (to skate for Great Britain).

Q: What are your goals for this season and what is your general goal?

Amani: This season our goal is just to skate clean at Nationals and really get our experience and maybe as we said, to go to Europeans.

Chris: To get the minimum score for Europeans at an international competition and to skate well at Nationals.

Amani: It is just about building up experience, I'm a baby in this sport at the moment

Chris: I'm also a long baby (laughs)

Amani: In general what is our goal for the future... 2018?

Chris: Yes, I think the Olympics in 2018.

Amani: It would be really nice.

Q: What fascinates you about skating?

Chris: Oh, this is really complicated (laughs)

Amani: For me it is to express myself to the music, I love it. That’s why I skate.

Chris: Why I like figure skating? I don’t know, I’ve been doing since I’m eight years old
(laughs). I think that I like more pairs than singles. With the experience I can say that I prefer pairs to singles.

Amani: But why do you love skating, why not swimming?
Chris: Because it is really cool when you are on the ice with your partner and you do your program
in the front of everyone and if you skate well it is so great, the feeling is so great.

Amani: And to be able to express all your emotion to the music... and then to do three rotations on a blade that is so small... you can think that you are god doing this. It's great.

Q: For example in ice hockey there is no emotion.

Chris: Yeah, I'm too romantic for ice hockey.

Amani: But for me I do lots of other sports, although skating is my main sport, but I am very diverse with what I do, there is a lot of variety, there are a lot of options, but skating is of course the passion.

Q: What are you doing besides skating? Do you have hobbies?

Chris: In Oberstdorf this is difficult (laughs). But I like playing football with Ruben (Blommaert), every two days I play football.

Amani: I write a lot, I dance, I sing, I do rock climbing, wakeboarding... I like lots of things.

Q: To which pair teams are you looking up and why?

Amani: I think that we are really similar to the Canadian pair Meagan (Duhamel) and Eric (Radford), concerning the height difference and everything.

Chris: He is like two meters tall! You are like Meagan!

Amani: She is tiny and all muscles and I feel she really wants it.

Chris: And Eric is so skinny.

Amani: And Tatiana (Volosozhar) und Max (Trankov) are amazing.

Chris: I am Chris! That's enough (laughs). I think that we have to do what we want to do.

Amai: We want to try to be different, we don't want to try following one person, we just kind of see what we can do.

Q: I wish you good luck and thank you for the nice interview.