Vladislav Luchianov: Figure skating as high-level art

As I promised to my friends, I publish an English version of my interview for our Republic’s edition Allfun.md, a part of the All Moldova media company.

The English version is made by an independent translator.

Interview by Anna Bogdanova

Translated by: Flora Krasnoshtein, Figure Skating Judge (Singles and Ice Dance) with Skate Canada, Central Ontario; and a medical writer with MedWrite Healthcare Communications

Probably many of us would be ready at moment’s notice to sit back and enjoy watching some magnificent pair on ice for hours, executing difficult elements to the music, which, in their own right, could be considered artistic – jumps, lifts, different combination of step sequences…It is impossible to get tired of a show like that! And it’s called – figure skating. This is the rare case where sport and art are in perfect harmony.

Unfortunately, in our country, figure skating has not yet been developed. Nonetheless, there are true supporters of the sport who contribute to its promotion in Moldova. Today we are pleased to present to you the editor of the internet project World Figure Skating, Vladislav Luchianov.

Anna: Why, among all the existing sports, were you attracted to figure skating? What contributed to this interest?

Vlad: I became interested in figure skating when I was a child. At that time (when it was still the USSR), this sport was very popular, and almost all competitions were televised. My parents never missed a broadcast, and as a child, I unknowingly became accustomed to the sport. Subsequently, a simple interest grew into a genuine passion. Perhaps it may sound contradictory, but soccer is also among my many interests. While I cannot call myself an enthusiastic soccer fan, I try not to miss important games.

Did you figure skate growing up?

Unfortunately, during my childhood there were no opportunities to take figure skating lessons in our Republic. In fact, public skating rinks appeared only recently in Kishinev (Chisinau) and Tiraspol. However, I am unable to take advantage of them now – not enough time. But I can glide on the ice – if truth be told, without performing figure skating elements. I hope that in the future I have more time to go skating at these rinks.

Tell us about your blog. How did the idea behind its creation come about, and what is all about?

My blog came into the existence a year ago. The idea of not only watching competitions, but describing them, doing interviews with the athletes and promoting the sport, has been brewing for a long time. And at the end of last year I decided to create my own blog. Because I wanted to target the content to a wider audience, I decided to create it in English. I would like to create a Russian version, however, the obstacle, once again, is the lack of time.

Information published in the blog is diverse. It ranges from competition reviews, articles, and analyses, to expert opinions (coaches, people involved in music creation and design, judges) … And of course, interviews with the skaters. Unfortunately, in today’s mass media, the focus is often on top-level athletes, and the juniors seem to be completely forgotten, for whom attention, is no less, and sometimes even more, important. Therefore, in my resource you can find interviews with well-known Olympic and World champions, as well as with less-known skaters, who are yet to be discovered. My plans for development of the resource include the geographic expansion of communication (I mean new names in figure skating), technical improvements, and increased collaboration with other similar resources.

Sometimes, when I feel inspired, I create a musical slide show dedicated to figure skating. Just a few days ago, I created a montage of a skater’s performances to the music that I selected myself. This work can be viewed in the blog section Slideshow / Skating montage.

In order to write about any sport, one must be very knowledgeable. How do you manage to be so well-informed of the current events in the sport?

I would like to add that first and foremost one must love the subject he or she writes about. Of course, I try to keep up to date on developments in the world of figure skating. This is even more important when there are any changes made to the rules. Also, in the process of working on a given project, I meet many people from different countries, who are in one way or another connected to the sport, so I can always clarify any questions I may have, for example, when preparing the next article, etc.

In your opinion, what do you think are the main reasons that figure skating is not developed in our country? Are there any prospects for its development in the future?

I think it has to do with tradition. Somehow it is widely accepted to think of us as a Southern country. That’s just it – but look at the winters we’ve been having lately! Sometimes at competitions, you see representative countries that never experienced snow and ice. That’s why I think it could be possible in our country under certain circumstances. The mere fact that there are public skating rinks now, it means something. But the development of the sport in many respects depends on the overall level of economic development.

All this requires investment, and substantial at that. Some countries in the early development of figure skating even invite skaters to represent them and skate under their flag, for example, those who due to high competitive environment in their home countries cannot break through to an international level. However, this practice is frowned upon by the International Skating Union (ISU).

Recently, I was fortunate enough to converse with one person who made a huge contribution to the development of figure skating in the World. It’s Sonia Bianchetti Garbato. She worked with the ISU for 40 years, 25 of which she was the chairperson of the ISU technical committee. When she learned where I was from, she said that despite the fact that our country does not yet have a well-developed figure program, there are countries around us, where it is. So anything is possible.

In your opinion, what predominates in figure skating – sport or art?

Personally for me, figure skating – it is a high-level art. From the perspective of a sports writer – this is the case when the sport is in harmony with the art. After watching a program, which is beautiful in both, technical execution and musical composition, as well as the interpretation of the image, you get a huge emotion satisfaction. Only art has such power of reaching an audience on such emotional level.

What are your expectations from the New 2011 Year, and what you would like to wish our readers on the eve of this holiday?

I think that for all of us, stability is very important. Not stagnation – but stability, which allows not only for a development of an individual, but also for the country as a whole. I would also like to wish everyone to take notice of the positive things that the world has to offer. Negativity usually manifests itself, but positivity is subtle, and needs to be recognized. And, of course, good health, happiness and prosperity!

WFS - An independent online sports magazine