Interview with Kristoffer Berntsson in Oberstdorf, July 2015
Q: How did it happen that you are participating as a coach in this camp?
A: I was contacted by Claudia Huth. She asked me to come to enjoy the camp as a coach and then I said yes. Actually she asked me last year, but I couldn't manage.This year I could come.
Q: How does it feel to be back here in Oberstdorf after training and competing here before?
A: I love coming back to Oberstdorf. It's a nice little village. These facilities (are great). It's an amazing rink. The atmosphere (is good), everbody is very friendly here. It's great.
Q: What do you like about coaching?
A: Mainly I love to be on the ice. That's the most important for me, I think... to be on the ice and then when you can teach somebody and you see that they understand, that they learn and that they do better, that's an incredible feeling.
Q: You are not a full-time coach, as far as I know. What else are you doing? How much coaching do you do at home in Sweden?
A: I work as an engineer. I develop products that we do. So I'm an electrical engineer. I make constantly circuit boards and so on. That's my job. And then I'm also still skating, I do some shows and I try to come to the rink as often as I can. And whenever they need help I'm there to help them, to coach. Sometimes Andrea and Oksana, the coaches in Landvetter are both away at competitions and maybe they need some help. If I can I try to be there.
Q: Have you planned a show now?
A: Right now I don't have planned anything. I did a couple of shows in Sweden in March and I did Christmas on Ice in Tokyo. It was great.
Q: You were a commentator during the European Championships in Stockholm. What kind of experience was this? How did it feel to watch the competition as a commentator and not participating?
A: It was a new experience for me to do this on TV and it was very challenging, to sit there and look in the camera and say smart things. But I enjoyed being there and being at the European Championships and could see everything. Really my main feeling is great to be there, but I know how hard you have to work. Really, that is what I feel like I just see them and then I see all the work you have to do and then I say ...nothing (laughing). You know October, November...this experience is more fun in the summer because when the winter comes and you just push push push, program, program, program.....no more.
Q: What has happened in your life since you retired from competing?
A: A lot. I stopped competitive skating, I got my job, I got married, I got two children. I got twins, two girls. Now there are two and a half. So it's a very different life. A lot has changed.
Q: Looking back, what was your favorite moment in your career and why?
A: I did a lot of competitions and skating. I always remember my first Europeans in Vienna. It is such a huge difference if you come from the rinks in Sweden and the smaller competitions and go to Europeans... the arena , the cameras and the judges, it's like others, it's a big thing. This is like my first triple Axel. I will always remember Tokyo (World Championship in 2007), this was the greatest achievement, and this feeling to do like everything in the program and you work so hard for so long and then you accomplish it. It's such a rewarding feeling, it's amazing. And you and the crowd are crazy... very, very, very fun memory.
Q: What would you do differently and why?
A: (Laughs) Yeah, if I had in mind like I do now, like I know much better what you have to do … that's easier. But this is not life, no, unfortunately. I guess I would do some different things, but mostly it's the mentality. And I think maybe I should have focused on my presentation a little bit earlier.
Q: How is figure skating in Sweden developing?
A: I must say that I don't have a very good view on Swedish skating. I'm not so much involved in figure skating in Sweden so I can't really say. But of course now Viktoria (Helgesson) quit and now we have Joshi (Helgesson). There are some good skaters coming up, youngsters like Anita Östlund, she's here, also from Landvetter. She went to Junior Worlds last year. She has really potential. I know there are a lot of younger skaters, lots of potentials. I hope that Alexander's (Majorov) injuries are better and that he can get back doing well.
Q: What is the most important advice you can give to young skaters?
A: Heavy! You really have to work hard, but also enjoy the awards. You can never be satisfied because then you will not evolve. But you have to be proud about what you accomplish. So always keep striving for more, but be proud of what you do. This is very hard to do. I would say this is my advice.
Q: Thank you and all the best.