Evgenia Medvedeva exclusive: "I don't have time to talk to anybody - only work"
Two-time Olympic silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva returns to competition for the first time since the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games at the Autumn Classic, scheduled for 20-22 September. Olympic Channel sat down with the two-time World champ on the eve of her first competition in Oakville, Canada, just outside Toronto.
Orser in Charge
The Russian star recently ended an 11-year coaching relationship and moved to Toronto to work with famed coach and Olympic medallist Brian Orser.
The 18-year-old admits that almost everything is different from her previous training atmosphere.
“Working with Brian, I think [it’s a] mental difference,” Medvedeva told the Olympic Channel. “Every practice is going so, so fast. You have just to focus. I just don’t have time to look around. I don’t have time to talk to anybody – only work.”
Medvedeva said the first things Orser focused on were her stroking technique, connection with the ice and her health – both physically and mentally.
“I am really happy that I have a chance to go to the ice and just enjoy my skating every day, enjoying every moment,” she said.
What else is new about living in Canada?
“When I moved to Canada, my first impression was like 'Wow, everything is so different from Russia.' Especially with nature because everywhere there are squirrels and raccoons and chipmunks,” she said with a laugh, adding, “I was like, “I’m staying in a zoo!”
"I really love Canada.”
Watch part of the Russian's new short program and hear how she feels about the change in her life.
Evgenia Medvedeva: "I would have died as a person"
Evgenia Medvedeva: "I would have died as a person"Watch part of the Russian's new short program and hear how she feels about the change in her life.
Though she speaks English quite well, Medvedeva admitted communication has been one of the biggest changes to come with her move.
“First of all, language,” she said of what she misses most about her home. “But I started to read books. I started to write a lot. I can communicate with some friends in the Cricket (Club) who speak Russian. I can talk a lot with my parents. I’m really happy that I have the time and opportunity to speak my own language. I think this is the main thing.”
Medvedeva is just one of the superstars in Russia's seemingly endless talent pool.
Olympic champion Alina Zagitova is another example of their depth. The 2017-18 season was her first as a senior competitor, and she burst onto the scene. In January, she beat Medvedeva at the European Championships and followed it up with gold at the Olympics.
Beyond Zagitova, there are talented juniors ready for their moment. Take Alexandra Trusova. Earlier this year, she landed two clean quadruple jumps in her free skate to win the junior world title. A feat never before accomplished by a female skater.
“Figure skating is always improving, always going forward. That’s normal. So, those girls, Alexandra and Anna, just showed to the whole world that it’s possible. Not only men can do this,” explained Medvedeva. “They are such sweet girls. I’m really happy that they just did the first step forward in figure skating.”
Medvedeva, Zagitova and Trusova are the latest in a long line of Russians who have dominated ladies skating in recent memory. A Russian woman has won the last two Olympic gold medals and three of the last four World titles.
So, what’s the secret to Russia’s success in ladies’ figure skating?
“Personality,” Medeveda answered plainly. “I think this is only personality. I can’t explain it… I can’t say items why exactly but I’m sure it is only personality.”
Listen to Medvedeva talking about the reasons behind the Russian supremacy in women's figure skating.
Evgenia Medvedeva shares insight on Russian dominance
Evgenia Medvedeva shares insight on Russian dominanceThe double world champion talks to us exclusively about the reasons behind the Russian dominance in women's figure skating.
A New Image
Medvedeva announced earlier this year that she will skate to ‘Orange Colored Sky’ in the short program and an ‘Astor Piazzolla Medley’ in the free. Both routines were choreographed by David Wilson.
The musical choice for the long program was her decision - she said she's always wanted to skate to 'Libertango.'
But the short program is all new for her.
“First of all, I was a little scared,” Medvedeva admitted.
Though she has known Wilson for several years, the two have never worked together. She credits Wilson, who picked the music for her short program, for pushing her outside her comfort zone.
“It’s totally another image for me. I didn’t do something like this ever, but after a few lessons with movements and just to feel the image – we just didn’t think about the program – like, ‘Let’s try.'" She said, adding, "I really enjoyed those movements, I really started to feel the image.”
She also has a clear image for what her goal is as the 2018-19 season begins: “Show my best,” she said. “And enjoy.”