Valentina Marchei: “My season was really amazing”

Valentina Marchei Valentina Marchei
Interview by Vladislav Luchianov

I think all of us fully admired the beautiful performances in the last season of the Italian figure skater Valentina Marchei. But not everyone knows how this girl is hardworking, persevering and full of enthusiasm for figure skating. Valentina kindly agreed to answer our questions.

VLAD: Hi Valentina and welcome to our edition! First of all I’d like to say thank you very much for your skating this year! And what do you think about past season?

VALENTINA: My past season was really amazing, and at the same time the hardest I ever had. I was better than any season of my career. I got injured at the beginning of the 2008/ 2009 season and couldn’t compete at all, 2 bad injuries at the same time. I got to start to skate again from single jumps at the end of April 2009, since then I kept practicing (without having a vacation last year) till the beginning of the season 2009/2010. I had so much work to catch, and of course this hard work was physically exhausting and mentally too. I didn’t get to go home for about 6 months, so I can be really proud of myself about how the past season went.

- As I know your first sport was gymnastics. How did you decide to become a figure skater?

- My gymnastics coach had to leave in the middle of the season for touring on shows in The States with the Momix group, so as I was a roller speed skater also in the summer time, we figured out with my parents that it could be a good idea to try out with blades.;) So there was not yet passion, but just sport.

- What was the most difficult in learning figure skating in your childhood?

- Single Axel, and of course later double Axel..When I was young in my group I was the only one who was not doing single axel, so to not slow the group, my coach would teach me in the public’s sessions to make me improve ( as I started skating later than anybody else). With the double axel I still have problems, lol… and I landed the first one when I was 14.

- I think that gymnastic preparation was very helpful to you in a figure skating. Isn’t it?

- No, because I really did it for a short time, and believe me, I was not at all a Gymnast, I was really bad.;) But I enjoyed the spirit of this sport so much!

- You are the Italian National Champion and you have won this title in a strong competition with Carolina Kostner. What does it mean for you?

- For me it doesn’t matter with who you compete against, it matters to me to compete against myself, after the hard time I had to go back to skating after my long forced rest cause of the injury, and also with a coach change, it was very important to win to prove myself that I was back and strong enough to be competitive.

- Nikolai Morozov is a great coach and a big creator. Could you tell us about your work with him?

- He is a genius, we create together, he makes me skate a lot, and repeat, repeat and repeat in front of the mirror, in order to catch even the small mistake, or something not pretty. And also he is still a wonderful skater! He skates with us, he has such energy, and he is able to do fantastic tricks and steps on the ice with those feet. His passion and his heart are the push of our work, I got from him what I couldn’t find anymore around me in Italy, the way to see skating is different now, he made me break my limits and pushed myself, I think, I still have a lot to give to the skating world, he is taking out from me the best, and I’m sure everything is gonna come out!

- Valentina, your performances this season was very good not only in a technique but in a musical presentation too. In your opinion, what need to do to combine these two things as well as you do it?

- Sometimes Nicolai tells me that I put too many emotions at the same time in my program, this is a risk cause can distract u from the performance. So , believe me, this year I controlled myself more than any other year. What I try to do is to enjoy every time on the ice, at every competition in order to keep the memories of my passion strong in my heart and in my mind, there not much work to do, just let the heart skate out and live it, if you don’t live it you don’t enjoy.

- Do you have your favorite element?

- My favorite element is the triple Lutz and doing step sequences where I always put all my energy!

- What are your goals for the next season?

- My goals for the next season is to improve the results at Europeans and Worlds, to be able to have an high level performance all season and to keep enjoying as I did last year.

- And my traditional question. What is you general advice for young skaters?

- Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, and never, never, never give up. Sport is not all about medals and titles, it is an experience of life. I will never regret all the sacrifices I did, cause skating made me meet a lot of people, and few of them true friend, and made me speak a lot of languages and made me find myself as a woman and as a fighter for life.

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