photo shoot

Interview with Javier Fernandez at Nebelhorn-Trophy, September 2011

(Mitarbeit: Nicole Graff)


Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Why and when did you start skating?

A: I started skating when I was six years old. My sister actually started before me, she's two years older than me, so she started and when I saw her I wanted to join a club, too, with my sister. So I guess it was 'cause of my sister. In a small club in Madrid and, I don't know, after I guess after became good enough, I joined a better club, and I kept working, working, working and I start to be like „I'll be a national champion“ I guess then I kept going kept working and here I am.

Q: What do you like about skating?

A: You mean in this competition?

Q: No, in the sport in general, what do you like most about skating? Or is there anything you don't like in this sport?

A: Ah, in the sport I really don't like the people who want to go to Europeans or anything and use stuff that's not allowed, because I personally don't like it. And I don't know, I cannot say anything else. I mean, as in all sports that you do like a job you have to put in a lot of work. All sports are different, there is many in this sport that I understand, but I don't understand it all. I think everybody has to work for themselves and they have to do, you know, their stuff.

Q: How do you weight your past season? Can you tell us about your ups and downs?

A: I think this season actually was... I really liked it...uhm...maybe because of the Worlds, you know, I guess, for me, I had to change coaches before Worlds and actually I really liked it because my freeskate was one of my favorites. we picked two Quads. And, you know, everything about my season was for Worlds, everything I did. I mean, Europeans was good, like I get couple of things in the short program [wrong], made a few mistakes. And Grand Prix was ok, I mean, they were not bad. I think I'm really happy with the last season.


Q: What did you feel when you did the quads? Can you tell us about your emotions?

A: Oh my emotions... I don't know... Of course you like yourself when you do a good job and you're so happy and you're like no one can beat you down, you know? And you're so proud. Uhm, but anyways, I know I still have to be working and I know every competition counts, so..

Q: Are you planning a third quad?

A: No, no I'm not working on a third quad. I guess I try a couple of times, you know, the quad loop, but it's not really... I mean I don't think I really need three quads in a program. I guess if I did I would probably, but if I don't there will not be [any more quads] in the program.

Q: You have switched coaches. What was the reason for the change and how well have you adapted to your new coach and training?

A: After Europeans and few more weeks, Nikolai was more focusing on Kim and Miki Ando because they had more chances to be in a good position at Worlds. So he put me a little bit on the side. I mean, HE never really put me on the side, but I was feeling like that.. I didn't like it and we get into a couple of fights. So I decided to change my coach before the Worlds. Me and my federation, we started to look for a coach and of course we like Brian, Brian Orser, and we asked if I could go there, train with him and he said, yes, of course. So he actually is a really good coach, he is a good person. He is kind of my Dad in Canada. He takes care of me, he helps me with whatever I need. He is just great, he is happy all the time. I really like that. And how we work is amazing.

Q: What are the differences in practice on and off the ice, compared to your former coach?

A: I don't only train with Brian. At the rink, there are many coaches and sometimes we work with two more coaches and after we choreographed everything in the free, we worked with Jeffry Buttle, who helped me with my short program. And I have two other coaches to help me with the spins and so on. So that's good, then if on one day Brian does not have time, because he has to do something or train with one of his other skaters, I'll have another coach who can be with me like, you know, all day.

Q: Can you tell us about the new free program? It's very different from the old free program? How did you find the music?

A: Actually I wanted to change it, because I felt like everyone thought I only could do funny programs. Because when I skated, everybody was like „Make some funny stuff“. So I wanted a change and asked Brian what we could do and we looked for music with David, the choreographer. And we had fun when I saw a video of the opera, I just thought I had to have it, because I really liked it, the music is beautiful. So I was very happy and everybody seemed to like it. I skate good to it so I want to try it again in the Grand Prix Series and see how the judges and the people like it.

Q: What is your impression of the competition here, the Nebelhorn Trophy, in general, and what do you think about your own performances?

A: Well I think the icerink is really cool and beautiful and located in the mountains and all, it's really natural and I like that. The competition is great. Actually everything is great. But everyone being in different hotels... I don't like that because I like to be around all the skaters. But anyway that's not a big problem. The weather is great, but when the sun is going down, it's freezing. Then you can't even go out and think of the sun, it's just freezing.

Q: You are the first man in figure skating to represent Spain in the Olympic Games since 1956. How do you feel about being a role-model for other Spanish skaters. Is it pleasure or pressure?

A: Actually ice skating didn't use to be a big sport in Spain. I mean, now it's getting a little bit more famous. I mean, everybody likes to see ice skating but on television they never showed the competitions like Worlds or Europeans, but now they are starting to do it, come to the practice to interview us, you know, they really care now, actually, the media in Spain, because it's a sport we really love to see.So, of course I'm glad as a skater, because I want to make my sport famous and want to see kids become skaters and want to do Olympics and Worlds and Europeans. So I'm the first that's true, but I really wanna see how those kids grow up. So that's why I want to be a coach and will stay in Spain coaching. I want to see more people go and try and see them do the best they can [in figure skating].

Q: And do people in Spain know who you are?

A: Uhm, not really... not really many. I mean sometimes they recognise me, but that's like ten times in a year. It's good actually, you know, I can do what I want (laughs).

Q: Hypothetically speaking, which other career would you have chosen, if you had not become a skater?

A: Do you mean a sport? Because I would love to do another sport, because I'm not the guy who can't do anything, I have to do something. So maybe I would play hockey, because I really enjoy it. I play hockey sometimes, as a hobby, not professional. I even like football or other sports, I actually like every sport. I don't know what else.

Q: What do you like to do, when you have some spare time? What are your hobbies?

A: Right now, in Canada, I'm only around my coaches and I can't be with my friends and family. So I meet them on, once a week. And...I love playstation, I like games (laughs), yeah I really like games. It depends on whether I'm in Canada or Spain. When I'm in Spain, I usually go with friends to play soccer, but when I'm in Canada I cannot do the same things, it's two different lifes.

Q: Reading, maybe?

A: No, I don't like reading, I like movies.

Q: What kind of movies?

A: Puuff... everything. Scary movies, funny movies, action...everything.

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: Myself? I think I'm really based. I think I'm a happy person. I like to be myself. It's the same thing I like about Patrick Chan. Whether he wins the gold medal or not, he is still himself, he will never change. So I think I'm like this, I'm a happy person and aside from being a World Champion I just want to be a person. And, I don't know, I have some goals in my life, you know, after skating – and in skating (laughs)... and I cannot stop, I always have to do something. So that's me, probably. (laughs)

Q: When you were younger, did you have a rolemodel in skating? Or maybe you still have one?

A: When I was really young I really loved Plushenko. He was my favorite skater. But when I started to compete, I started to see the skaters [differently] no longer [as a] fan, but as persons I have to try to beat, so everything changed. Of course I still have styles that I like, for example I like how Patrick (Chan) skates. But when I was younger it was Plushenko.

Q: What kind of people do you not like?

A: The people who are really proud of themselves, the people who are like „Oh, I'm the best.“. I don't like those people. I don't like those people who are mad everyday. I always feel like smiling all my life, so I feel like telling them to smile.

Q: Oh but sometimes that's not so easy...

A: I know, there are difficult moments, but still, you can smile everyday. It's the same thing in skating. If you practice on the bad days, that means that you would have to skate bad because you have a bad day. But you still have to be skating... I mean, if you skate good on a bad day, it means that on a good day, you'll skate amazingly.

Q: Which place have you never been to, but would really like to go?

A: I think I really want to go to China, because I love Japan, and I want to see what's the difference, same with Korea. And I want to go to Las Vegas (laughs), Miami, I will go to this summer for a week, as a vacation.

Q: When you were sent to an isolated island and you could bring three things with you, what would you chose?

A: That's difficult. (laughs) Ok, I will take... If I had a girlfriend, I would take my girlfriend with me. Because if I wouldn't take my girlfriend it would be so boring. And if I did not have girlfriend, I would take a friend. Ah, that's one... The other ones... Uh, nice one... uho... With my skates I cannot do anything...on an island...

Q: Oh maybe skate with the dolphins... (laughs)

A: I think I could talk to them, like this movie, you know. The one, where the guy talks to a ball. (laughs) Uhm...very difficult question. Uhm... I don't know, I have no idea. If I bring a boat, I would also have to bring gas... Well, if I have to live there, I'd have to bring a knife, to cut something. And maybe a lighter to have a fire. Something like that. I don't know.

Q: What would you like to tell your fans?

A: That if I don't answer in the facebook I probably got too many messages. I mean, usually I answer everybody. I mean, on facebook.

Q: Oh you have many fans there, much to do.

A: I know, but usually I answer eeeeverything. But sometimes, usually during a competition, I get maaany [messages]. So maybe some of them are like „Oh my God he answered that person, but he didn't answer me.“, then it could be because of the question. Sometimes they ask too personal stuff. But sometimes they tell me they were at the competition with the flags, you know. Sometimes when I see so many Spanish flags in the competitions, sometimes I want to cry. Because I think there's no way those people are here with that Spanish flag, cheering for me. Sometimes it's many people. It's like wow. I mean, I'm Spanish, I'm doing ice

Q: What competitions are you planning to go to?

A: Skate Canada, Cup of Russia and after that Worlds and Europeans.

Q: Thank you very much for the interview.

A: You're welcome.