Oberstdorf, July 2012
Q: Can you tell us
something about yourself, please?Your mother is from the Czech
Republic, your father is from Greece? How come you found your way to
A: The czech side
of family made me skate in the first place. I have a young aunt, my
mother's sister. She is just nine years older than I am and she has
always been my favorite aunt. But she was almost never there, because
she was always practicing on ice. So once I went with her and it was
immediately decided that I wanted to step onto the ice. So this is
how I started figure skating. I got my first pair of skates from her.
Yes, my Mom is from the Czech Republic, my Dad is from Greece, but I
was born in Germany. I have been living here all the time, though
I've often attended kindergarten in the Czech Republic. Even for a
longer time sometimes and so I grew up there, too, a little. I am
from Stuttgart and am living in Oberstdorf for two years now.
Q: How old have
you been when you started skating in a serious way? What do you like
and what do you dislike about it?
A: Well, serious
skating at six years of age. Of course it is demanding and quite
compley, but I like everything about it. I get most of the fun out of
interpreting [music]. I like to skate in front of an audience. That
is also when I skate best. I can't say there is something that I
Q. How do you
appraise your last season? You have been plagued by injuries and
couldn't skate in a lot of competitions. How are you feeling now?
A: True, I was
injured right at the beginning of the season, even before the first
Grand-Prix events. This was a little setback. I got back to the ice
in late September and already had a few competitions. I just wanted
to reach the points necessary for the german national squad. To be
honest, I wasn't hoping for more by then. I was growing fast,
suffered from pain in my knees. However, I skated well in those
competitions and after German National Novice Championships I made
the decision, together with Mr. Huth, to study for school and work on
my technical elements on the ice. To catch up on what I've missed, so
to say. After all there was no more pressure, I already got those
everything is quite good. I am preparing for competitions and can't
complain, I don't have any injuries.
Q: I'm keeping my
fingers crossed it'll stay that way.
A: Up until now it
looks that way. I'm keeping myself in shape and also do more off-ice
workout. I did a lot of work last summer, but I put a little bit more
thinking into [practice]. Carolina [Kostner] really helped me a lot
on that. While training with her – and after all she is the world
champion – I asked her how to cope with things.
Q: How is
preparation [for the upcoming season] going up until now? What are
you working on most?
A: First I was
wearing in my new skated, and then, in June, was iceDOME. It was all
happening very quickly. But I personaly don't have problems with
getting back on track and up til now, it's all working out smothly.
There was iceDOME and at least I have some foundation now,
staminawise! Because, I do have competitions coming up quite soon.
I'm working on skating through my programs and do it well...well,
well enough for me. I think, everybody wants that, to skate through
the programs without any mistakes. I also want to work on my spins,
'cause I lost some levels last seasons due to them. They have to be
there in competitions.
Q: How stabilized
are your triples? How's the Salchow doing?
A: The triples,
toe-loop, salchaw, loop, are quite well. There are no problems with
them. I have the flip now, too, which is quite important. It's
required for junior Grand Prixs this season. I' still working on a
3-3 compination, which is still hard for me. But we're working on it
and it is only a matter of time. Lutz is good, except for the edge.
We're working on the outside edge. Past season, the salchow was good.
I mean, the quad salchow. This season I didn't do it up until now.
Mr. Huth asked for it in practice, but I said no, because I didn't
feel like it and suffered from stress in school. But I think I'm
getting there next week.
Q: How is iceDOME
helping your preparation? What are you gaining out of it?
A; IceDOME is
helping me a lot mentally. I gain a lot of self-confidence. It's not
like I'm pushing myself through the others, it's more like me
realising there are others on the ice and it's not always easy to
find a place to skate. I do realise I have to stand up for myself and
be more self confident. Plus it's different from usual practice and
it's fun. We also get to practice with other coaches and I think
that's a most-do from time to time. To prevent monotony.
Q: Every coach
has another way, stile and methods, isn't that confusing?
A: No, it's not
like that at iceDOME, every coach doing his special way with every
skater. That simply wouldn't work. The give advice and the skaters
collect them and take the best out of it, mix them for themselves.
Well, that's what I do.
Q: How do you
reflect on your own developement?
A: Well, the first season
here in Oberstdorf was quite good, I made it into the squad and
skated well in competitions. I can't say much on the second season as
I didn't skate in any competitions, yet. People are telling me I
developed my skills since I started to skate here. They're saying
that there are not many boys my age who skate the way I do and that I
do well with the components. But there is more than that. I have to
improve technically. Though I must say, I also improved my technique
since starting in Oberstdorf.
Q: How was
settling in in Oberstdorf?
A: That was easy.
I came from Stuttgart and at first I thought I was ending up in a
tiny village and be bored. But it's not like that at all. I was well
acceptet. I am still living with a guestfamily, with Mr. König. The
family athmosphere made a lot things a lot easier for me. I also got
along well with Mr. Huth from the very beginning. We skaters also
know eachother anyway, so we all got along easily. I didn't even have
problems in school.
Q: What has
changed concerning practice, compared to before?
A: Oh it's like
another world! I can practice unconditionally... just the way I want
to. That is something they couldn't make possible for me in
Stuttgart, even though we had a lot of talks, going back and forth. I
then decided, after I had been participating in the iceDOME the year
before, that I would move to Obertdorf. I was fourteen years old back
then and it wasnn't easy for my parents. But I wanted to go at all
costs and thus it took me three months to make them listen to me and
have them realize I was serious and really wanted to move to
Oberstdorf. Oberstdorf has the best ice possible! One can only
benefit from that. There are a lot of international skating stars in
Oberstdorf, even during vacations. One can get a lot of motivation
from that. We are like a little family here.
Q: Any personal
A: The 2002
Olympic champion, Alexei Yagudin, was definitely an idol of mine. I
always wanted to be just like him back when I was younger. I also
skated to “Man in the iron mask” as a novice. Right now it's
probably Daisuke Takahashi, because he is always doing something new.
It just doesn't get boring with him.2002
Fernandez, who got a lot better over the years and his quads are
quite impressing, it's like he can pull them off as if he was just
pushing a button.
Q: What else did
you plan? Which programs will you skate and which competitions will
you be in?
A: I will keep
last season's programs. We decided on that due to the fact that I
didn't skate them in a lot of competitions and they were well
received. I only did five competitions last year and was done in
december. That's not much. Both programs feel good. The short is a
tango, the free a rocking, modern version of The Nutcracker. There
are no similarities between both programs and I have to impersonate
two characters, who are both fun.
I will try to
skate two Grand Prix events, the first will be in Courchevel. I hope
to be ready by then and then skate at international events such as
NRW Trophy and maybe go abroad for a competition. However, I will
stick to junior level this season.
Q: What are
you expecting of yourself for the coming season? Did you set yourself
any goals?Was erwartest du dir von der kommenden Saison? Welche Ziele
competitions, I didn't set any specific goal. Of course I want to
make the podium at German National Junior
habe ich mir eigentlich keine Ziele gesteckt. I have been coming in
third last year, but I was still quite disappointed. Even though I
was told it was well the way it was. Well, and it was good, but I
still want to ascent a little.
And, at any cost,
I want to prevent injuries and, also, want to reach the norm set for
the German squad. But that might happen on it's own. I just want to
present myself well, regardless of national or international
[competitions]. Thus people might remember my - difficult – name.
Q: What do you see
for yourself in five years from now?
would be 2017...
Q: Or let's say in
six, because that's when another Olympic Games are literally knocking
on the door.
A: That's what I'm
aiming at! That is where I definitely want to be! 2014 is definitely
a tad early, but in 2018 I want to be there and represent Germany, as
well as at Europeans and Worlds.
Q: How would you
A: Very openminded
and full of joie de vivre! Many also say I have a talent for acting.
Q: What do you
spend your freetime with, aside from skating?
A: I have some
leisure time when I am in Stuttgart. I don't have so much freetime
here [in Oberstdorf], due to school and sports. Sure, we sometimes go
to the Freibersee for a swim. Other than than I am a great soccerfan,
because my brother is a soccerplayer. He is fourteen years old, so he
is two years younger, and already quite successful. He made it to the
DFB-squad and I keep up with everything he does.
Q: Thank you and all the best!
(translation by Nicole Graff)