Alina Zagitova: “I am Ready to carry the flag at the closing ceremony”

Our first Olympic champion at the Pyeongchang Games told the journaliststhat while she does not have a medal in her hands she can not fully understand what has happened.

– Now I am just happy, that my hard work was not in vain, said Alina Zagitova. – But I still do not have a feeling of being the Olympic champion. Perhaps, I will, when I will be holding the  gold medal in my hands.

What instructions did your coach give you before your skate?

– Eteri Tutberidze never gives bad advise. She always finds the right words. When there is something to criticize, she punishes me. All the praise — is also the only thing. Many thanks to her and to all the people who led me to this victory.

How do you find confidence for the most difficult jumps at your 15?

– I have one secret. Every day I go out on the ice and do a little more than what was planned.

Do you like working so much?

– I love figure skating.

Do you remember your first emotions when you ended your performance?

– Devastation mixed with joy. I realized, that 10 years of trainings were not in vain.

During this time, a lot of things happend: ups and downs, severe injuries. It was a difficult way.

What prevented you from making a cascade of two triple jumps?

– Excitement. I had no right to make a mistake!

At the training sessions did you prepare to make up a different combination of jumps on the spot?

– Yes, we worked out all possible options.

A cascade of five jumps at the training session was a kind of psychological attack on rivals?

– No, what do you say! I needed it to be sure. When you can do more than you need, it’s easier to perform.

Алина Загитова: «Готова нести флаг на церемонии закрытия». Изображение номер 1


Alina, today you have reached the main peak in sports. What’s next?

– In our sport there are many titles that you want to win. Soon, for example, the World Cup will be held.

Did you understand everything immediately after Zhenya Medvedeva’s skate?

– No. A higher score for the technique does not guarantee victory. Jenya always gets more for the components.

Would you be very disappointed  if you were second?

– For me, silver medal would be like a gold one. Honestly! I have recently moved to the adult level. I am not as experienced as Jenya.

What did you say to her after the performance?

– We congratulated each other warmly.

You look surprisingly calm.

– This is what I am, I keep all the emotions to myself.

Many people believe that your free program is oversaturated with jumps.

– In my opinion, I have a very harmonious program. First, you can here slow music, which  is convenient to make  track steps to. In the second half of the performance the tempo increases and it is time to make jumps. This composition holds viewers attention till the last second. When they say I can’t wait for the second part of the program, it’s not true. Did you hear the applause? Fans cannot be fooled.

Who is Hanyu Yuzuru for you?

– For me, this man is a legend. To miss half of the season and then win the Olympics… I don’t know how he did it!

If we get the flag back, are you ready to be the bearer at the closing ceremony?

– I am.

At this point, Alina finally affords herself to smile…