The 2020 European champion came to the meeting on crutches.

She explained that she could move without them, but she felt discomfort.

However, something else was more surprising: for an hour and a half of a conversation in a crowded place next to the skating rink of a large shopping center, not a single person approached the skater.

- Alena, tell us finally what happened to you?

- The leg bothered me from time to time, we just never carried out any examinations on this matter.

And one day, when I was already skating at CSKA with Elena Germanovna Buyanova, it somehow felt completely painful.

At first, I didn’t attach any importance to this - you never know, I could have landed unsuccessfully, but I didn’t have to run to the doctors because of every unpleasant sensation?

She didn't say anything to the coaches either.

I didn't want to look like a whiner.

It all happened in the spring, when the season was already over for everyone, and the shows began.

Well, since the pain did not go away, and it became harder and harder to jump, I nevertheless admitted this to the coach.

And she suggested, since I can’t work on jumps, start putting on a free program so as not to waste time.

Then we had a short vacation, I didn’t particularly load my leg, and it seemed to me that everything went by itself.

But I went out on the ice, and the discomfort returned.

It became clear that everything is more serious than I think.

- Where is the boundary beyond which it becomes clear that one should not endure pain, but urgently consult a doctor?

- If something hurts in training, but does not hurt at rest, then the problem is not so big.

But when it hurts constantly, it hurts badly and it becomes unbearable to walk, you have to go for treatment.

In early July, I had to perform in a show with Evgeny Viktorovich Plushenko, the day before I had somehow injured my ankle, and my ankle was very swollen.

And this is Sochi, it's hot, my legs are swollen.

I won’t say that the ankle became the size of a soccer ball, but the leg did not fit in the boot.

In addition, I got very hot in the sun while lying on the beach.

The temperature rose, a nightmare, in general.

I just didn’t know how to go out on the ice in such a state.

- Did you have to swallow painkillers again?

- Not.

Liza Nugumanova helped me tape my leg, together we somehow stuffed it into the boot.

And so before each exit.

Bad story, but it happens.

Was it impossible to refuse that performance?

- But as?

People came to see me, what should I tell them?

All that remained was to be patient.

As far as painkillers go, it's a dangerous story.

If you go overboard with them, they stop working.

- Was there such an experience?

- Of course.

After all, I skated with a fracture for a whole year when I was in juniors.

The tibia of the left leg was broken.

At first, I could not be diagnosed for a long time.

Accordingly, I trained as usual, and the coaches allowed me to reduce the load only before the junior world championship.

This, however, could no longer affect the general situation: by that time I could not walk - I jumped on one leg to the gym.

The left leg is sheepskin coats and almost all cascades.

I even tried to change these cascades, put rittbergers instead of sheepskin coats.

But the coaches explained that it was pointless to do this.

That it is better to be patient once and roll back your usual program.

That's when I felt what it's like when you swallow handfuls of painkillers, but the effect is zero.

As a result, I still had to miss the competition.

It was very embarrassing.

- When the film crew of Channel One came to the skating rink in Novogorsk, did your thigh hurt a lot?

- Not really.

We were filmed during the second training, and the leg was very sore on the third.

We were just making jumps.

Well, then, at the insistence of Elena Germanovna, I had an MRI, and I realized that all our previous and rather large work was going down the drain.

Well, at least the programs managed to deliver.

What was the final diagnosis?

- There were a lot of them.

The main one to be operated on is a rupture of the articular lip and something else with complex names, which I simply did not remember.

According to the doctors who examined me, it will be necessary to make decisions on concomitant injuries during the operation.

Maybe everything will turn out to be easier than it seems now, but, maybe, on the contrary, it will be more difficult.

The only thing I would really not like is to end up in the hospital on August 24 on my birthday.

Therefore, if the operation does not work out before that day, I will ask you to operate on me on the 25th.

- In your rather eventful life, there is a period, remembering which, you want to say: “What a fool I was!”?

- There are, of course, separate moments, but they are more connected with some harsh statements, which then it is embarrassing to remember.

But in general, I adhere to the principle of never regretting any events and actions, if at that moment you were happy.

Did you come up with this phrase yourself, or did you hear it from someone?

- I can not say.

In general, phrases happen to me, because of which I almost pass the category of Smesharikov.

Although in fact they are very, very correct.

Is it better to be fat but happy?

“That’s what my mom once said.

- Not so long ago, you noted that you feel much more comfortable working with a female coach.

How does your departure the year before last, following Sergei Rozanov, into the purely male team of the Evgeni Plushenko Academy fit in here?

- I left for Sergei Alexandrovich, because he worked with me a lot in the junior seasons.

He corrected the wrong edge on the lutz, helped me a lot with the triple axel - he set it up for me in just one training session on the “rod” after the first junior world championship.

Yes, and when they punished me, leaving me on children's ice after my training, Rozanov always controlled what and how I was doing.

It has never been a problem for me to find a common language with people.

Chatting, as they say, I can anyone.

But with Sergei Alexandrovich, such a number did not work.

We always talked a lot, and he never let me leave the ice without finishing something.

- You and Rozanov once had one coach, or am I mistaken?

- Not certainly in that way.

Before joining Khrustalny, I skated with Elena Zhgun, and Sergei, when he graduated from college, wrote a diploma under her guidance.

Therefore, we often found ourselves on the same ice - it was there that Rozanov began to drag both me and Dasha Pavlyuchenko on the “rod”.

Helped us a lot.

Therefore, when I myself began to train with Eteri Georgievna, and then Sergey came to her team, he was not some new person for me.

And the understanding that I was more comfortable working with women came already when I returned to Khrustalny from Evgeny Viktorovich.

This, in fact, became one of the main reasons for leaving: I lacked a feminine look and feminine opinion.

“Women coaches often work much harder than men.

- Well, yes, there is.

Perhaps that is why girls are stronger than boys.

Many female coaches know how to put them in their place without any shouting and swearing ... For example, Elena Vyacheslavovna did it brilliantly.

In all the time we worked with her, I never heard a single rude word from her.

She looks very small, thin, but if something went wrong, she drove up close and began, hovering over you, it’s very menacing not to even speak, but to hiss.

It was my worst childhood fear.

And now it also sometimes arises when you have to communicate.

Have there been periods when you hated one of your coaches?

- Not.

Rather, it was different.

When I trained with Elena Vyacheslavovna, she always told me in great detail what we were doing and why.

Even during the OFP between sets, she explained: we are doing this for something.

And here you need to download these muscles, so that later we can do this and that.

That is, I have absolutely never encountered a situation where the coach demanded that I do something just because he wants to.

And I'm used to this kind of work.

Did you have to change your habits at Khrustalny?

Well, everyone has their own way of working.

You can't say that they didn't work, can they?

But it was hard to readjust, yes.

- When one director works with all the athletes, do you get offended by the feeling that someone else's program is more interesting than your own?

- I had this once.

I really wanted to skate the blues, and it was given to Maya Khromykh and Sonya Akatieva.

On the one hand, it was a shame that the blues was not staged for me, but on the other, I understood that there were apparently reasons for such a decision.

- Did the conflict with Daniil Gleikhengauz happen on this basis?

- Yes, there was no conflict, I don’t know why they think so.

It’s just that, while training with Eteri Georgievna, I could occasionally mess up - it happens to everyone.

After the skates, she usually expressed her opinion, but for the most part I kept my opinion to myself.

But when, for some reason, Tutberidze was not at the rink, Daniil Markovich began to distribute marks, and for some reason I was very offended to hear all this from him.

On this basis, we periodically clashed.

- Was it comfortable to ride your famous "Angel", despite the fact that by nature you are not even close to an angel?

- The first season is quite, although then I got fed up with the music.

As for the transmission of the image, it was much easier than, say, not falling from a jump.

I did not put any excessive energy into this image.

All the gestures were so memorized and polished to such an extent that I just went out and did the program on the machine.

- And how was the production process this season at CSKA?

“For me, it was extremely interesting.

First, Olga Orlova, Irina Tagaeva, and I set all the steps, and I was offered to do the hands myself.

Irina Anvarovna explained that she did not need me to repeat the movements after her and, accordingly, interpret the music the way she does.

And I need to try to express exactly what I feel myself.

I was shocked by this approach, to be honest.

I rode and thought: “What, is it possible?”

At the same time, I felt like Mark Kondratyuk, who has a bomb every time - he is so different every time on the ice.

- Figure skating is a sport where athletes are closely guarded by their parents on a daily basis.

What made you want to live separately?

- I was tired of control, I wanted to try myself in adulthood, to see if I could handle it.

And what can I do without outside help.

- What was the experience like?

- At first there was such euphoria from absolute freedom.

But very quickly I realized that I didn’t even know how to calculate my own budget.

I got used to my mother buying groceries and cooking, and I spend all my money on whatever comes to mind.




- By the way, who paid all your expenses before you got into the national team?

- Dad and grandfather.

Although my mother brought me to the rink.

Interestingly, all of them are not very fond of figure skating.

They were always against my training.

First, because all this required very large investments, the money went like a river, and now - because I do not get out of my injuries.

- Why, by the way, did you decide to enter the Institute of Physical Education, and not the medical one?

- I really want to go to medical school as before, but it is very difficult, especially if you study at Sechenov University.

And I don't really want to go to other institutes.

So until you just get to study normally.

Think for yourself, what kind of doctor will I be if I start skipping couples?

What will I say to the sick?

“Oh, you know, you definitely have something very serious, but when it happened, it so happened that I flew to the competition ...”.

But I will still try to enter medical school.

I even set approximate dates for admission.

I decided: if I don’t do it the first time, I will try to pass the exams for the second and third time.

But if three attempts are unsuccessful, then no luck ...

Do you watch videos of your winning season?

- Not too often.

I often review triple axels, and not only my own.

- Have you experienced an inferiority complex from the fact that the girls next to you are jumping quadruple jumps, but you are not?

“I was just doing my job.

And then, you know, I always looked at sports simply: we all have the same arms, legs, head.

And the result depends only on what you want yourself.

Any quality can be developed.

Look at least at Sofa Titova: with Eteri Georgievna she jumped, as they say, without leaving the ground, and with Evgeny Viktorovich now she does almost all quadruples.

- There are legends about the powerful general physical training adopted at the Plushenko Academy.

- Oh, yes, the OFP is at a very high level there.

In Khrustalny, we also did pumping, but the main work in the gym was reduced to practicing jumps on the floor.

Tours, axels - everything in a row.

Plushenko is different.

A lot of some twists, some other devices, exercises.

I remember that after the first workout I crawled out of the gym and for a week I could not move my arm or leg.

Then I somehow adapted, but looked with admiration at those who, after the hall, went on the ice and began to skate.

In CSKA, too, a lot of time is devoted to OFP.

If for some reason someone does not work on the ice, then the training is replaced by work in the gym.

- While you were at CSKA on probation, did you go out of your way to please the new coach?

I don't like to do things to please someone.

And it’s not that she was afraid of not making a proper impression, it’s just that there were already quite a few cases when athletes at an already “stale”, let’s say, age moved from one specialist to someone else.

And then there was a series of injuries, and people just finished skating.

It is clear that injuries have been accumulating for many years, and the new coach may not have anything to do with them at all, but the situation hits precisely on his reputation.

When this happens time after time, it is natural to come to the decision not to take athletes from a certain specialist at all.

This is the situation I feared.

On the one hand, it still happened, but I'm not going to finish skating because of this for sure.

“Now is a difficult time to set some goals and build far-reaching plans.

What motivates you?

- In this regard, it is somewhat easier for me than for those who are now in good shape - there is time to recover without forcing the process.

As for the goals that I set for myself, they are very small for me: to survive until the operation so that I don’t have to endure it again, go through a normal rehabilitation course, recover, then go on the ice, restore steps, make a track, make a track to the music ... My whole life is now made up of such little steps.

— Is there a global goal in this case?

- Restore the condition to the level of good competition.

— Have you talked about the technical content of the competitive programs yet?

We always start with the bare minimum.

That is, there is one triple axel in the short program and one in the free program.

But the fact is that with the first free jump I have a snipe (double axel. -


), and then there is a similar race for lutz.

And if you change these two jumps to triple axels, the ride on them will remain the same.

That is, there is no such thing that for the sake of a jump you have to change the entire program.

- Is the program with two triple axels hard?

- For me, it’s better to jump a triple twice than a triple and a snipe.

You can really crash on this combination of jumps, because the triple axel gives a different feeling of flying.

When you jump a snipe, and I have a huge one, you immediately start thinking: you need to push weaker, you don’t need to start spinning too much ... And this is where the problems begin.

Are you lazy in life?

“It seems to me that man is generally a lazy creature.

I can’t say that it somehow manifests itself in training, but I have one feature.

If something doesn’t work out the first time, I never get hysterical, I calmly say to myself: it didn’t work out today, so it will work out tomorrow.

But if I fail tomorrow, I will break to the last, like a kamikaze.

- A broken arm in training after returning from Plushenko to Tutberidze - a consequence of this?

- I trained the triple axel, it didn’t work out for a long time, then I still jumped it and I think: oh, how cool, now I’ll do it for the second time in a row.

I even managed to shout to Kvitelashvili: “Maurice, look!”

And I land on my hand.

It was painful - tin, I even yelled.

My hand swells before my eyes, I can’t move my fingers, I take off my glove, tears flow.

We went to the emergency room, where it turned out that the fracture.

The coaches gave me three days of rest - on Monday I came out, the plaster was from my fingertips to the elbow, the elbow did not bend ... I didn’t know that plaster could be like that - nasty, cold, wet.

Well, when the cast was removed after three weeks, and I started jumping triples, I did salchow, rittberger in training, then I went to flip.

And, despite the fact that she was in a small weight and did not lose her physical form, she fell in the same way as the first time, only on her left hand.

My fingers immediately began to go numb, but I thought that I would have time to go to this flip again.

Still, she did it - before going back to the emergency room.

I realized that the hand was broken when I could not hold the dog with this hand.

- I imagine what the coaches told you.

- That day they were not at the rink, and when I came to the next training session after the day off, you should have seen how they looked at me.

Like, "How do you do it?"

It was the end of February, Eteri Georgievna's birthday was approaching, and somehow she detained me at the skating rink and said that it would probably be better for us to part.

- Were you not afraid that after your aggravated hip injury, Buyanova could do exactly the same thing?

- By that time, I managed to study the character of Elena Germanovna well and was sure that she would not do that.

Most likely to support and help.

Do you feel your age on the ice?

- Well, Liza Tuktamysheva does not feel it, why should I feel it?

Although this year I will have the sixth adult championship of Russia.


When you think about it, the thought involuntarily comes to mind: “Damn, I'm old!!!”.

- And from what age do you remember yourself on the ice?

- From the very first competition.

I don’t know how old I was, but the initial pose was imprinted for the rest of my life.

I stood sideways to the judges, with my face on a short board and depicted a barrier with my hands.

And when they told me that I had to put on the second program, I burst into tears.

For some reason, I was sure that with programs it’s like at school.

Until one skated to the “five”, they will not give another.