Javier Fernandez: “I like to try something new every year”
By Barbara Castellaro,
special to World Figure Skating
Preview by Vladislav Luchianov
This guy is very passionate, fascinating and extremely friendly. Sometimes it seems like he came to us from some Goya’s time: he draws images on the ice, plays with his public, gives light and shadows, because in sport as well as in the art, the shadows are no less important than the light. This guy also knows how to conquer and surprise the audience. His name is Javier Fernandez, the skater who is putting Spain on the world figure skating map.
Fernandez finished fourth at his first competition of the season, the 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany. In an interview after the event, he said that he would continue to train in Canada, with David Wilson and Jeffrey Buttle. Fernandez and Orser said that they were working on keeping energy and improving spins, skating skills and transitions.
His events for the 2011/12 Grand Prix season were Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup. At the 2011 Skate Canada, Fernandez took the lead after the short program over Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi and Canadian Patrick Chan. He finished second in the free skate and took the silver medal overall, exceeding his combined total personal best by over 30 points. He became the first Spanish skater to win a Grand Prix medal.
At the 2011 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, he finished fourth in the short program and first in the free skate finishing second overall, with an overall score of 241.63 points, only 0.03 behind gold medalist Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu. Fernandez became the first skater of Spain to ever qualify for the Grand Prix Final when he qualified for the 2011/2012 event. In Quebec City, Canada he was third in the short and fourth in the free skate to win the bronze, and in so doing, became the first Spaniard to medal at a Grand Prix Final.
At the 2012 European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield, England Fernandez was fourth after the short program and seventh in a free skate. He improved his Euro Champs results taking the sixth place overall.
Javier kindly accepted our offer to answer some questions.
The European Championship in Sheffield… The 6th place… What do you think about your performances there?
J. Fernandez: I think I could give more than I did, but this competition taught me that I cannot fell asleep and is going to help me to do my best at Worlds.
Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko came back once again and won the gold medal in Sheffield. What do you think about it?
J. Fernandez: He is and he will be the legend, he had skates many years and he had won a lot of important medals in his career.
Now you’re working with Brian Orser, Jeffrey Buttle and David Wilson. Can you tell us about your trainings in Canada and also about your life there?
J. Fernandez: I also want to add Tracy Wilson like one of my coaches. There is a great group to work on, if one is busy another one spends time with me and show the right way to do everything. All of them are great coaches with an amazing mind and incredible positive energy. My life in Canada is easy, I live alone, cook alone… I like Canada a lot and I think the people are friendly and warm here.
What could you tell us about your experience with Nikolai Morozov?
J. Fernandez: He is a great coach with a great mind; he helped me a lot in the time I was training with him. The only think I didn’t like about him is that he travels so much around the world.
Javier, let’s talk about your programs and costumes. This season you perform to “I love Paris” and “Petit Fleur” in the short and to Verdi’s music in a free skating. How do you choose the music? What kind of music do you like to skate to?
J. Fernandez: The music of this year is a choice of all of us, Brian, David and me. We decide together. I like to skate all kinds of music, but I can say you that I like to try something new every year. As for costumes – it’s another choice of all of us, same as the music.
The World Championships in Nice… Your objectives…Your goals…
J. Fernandez: Like I always say I want to do my programs good, I want to be happy with them. I have been working hard and I’m ready to beat the 10th position I had in the last year.
Your favourite skaters… In the past and in the present.
J. Fernandez: When I was young I used to like Plushenko; now I can say that my favorite is Patrick Chan, his skating in just amazing: transitions, skating skills, absolutely everything. I think he is the most complete skater we ever had in this sport.
Javier Fernandez and his free time… What do you like to do? I read that you like football and that your favorite team is Real Madrid
J. Fernandez: Yes, Real Madrid is my favorite team since I was very young. I like to do all different kinds of sports; games of Play Station; Skype with my friends, family and girlfriend; watch movies. I can say I like everything that keep me entertained.
You have a lot of fans. What would you like to tell to them?
J. Fernandez: They are very important to me. They give me energy, they give me happiness, and they give me a lot of things. I also want to say them a special thank you for following us everywhere, thank you all!
A few words about your thoughts about Sochi Olympics 2014.
J. Fernandez: I will be there fighting for a medal if god let me arrive in health.