Alisa Mikonsaari: “Finland has very good perspectives”
By Anastasiya Myasoedova,
special to World Figure Skating
For many years, the Finnish national team of figure skating was represented by very good and strong skaters, showing a high quality performances combined with a true ladies style – Laura Lepisto, Kiira Korpi, Susanna Poykio. Unfortunately, these skaters couldn’t come at the last World Championships in Nice for various reasons.
Generational change is a difficult period for any team. Fortunately, this period in the Finnish national team will not last so long. In Finland appeared young, talented and promising figure skaters. One of them is Alisa Mikonsaari, who declared itself seriously by taking a bronze at the Finlandia Trophy 2011. Alisa replaced the injured Kiira Korpi in the Finnish team to the 2012 World Championships two weeks prior to the event. Mikonsaari qualified for the free skate event and took 24th place overall leaving a very good impression.
Alisa, this past season was your first at the seniors’ level. Could you tell us your thoughts about it?
Alisa Mikonsaari: This season I had many events and it was a very good experience for me. The most memorable moments are related with my third place at 2011 Finlandia Trophy and, of course, with participation at the World Championships in Nice. I was informed about my participation just two weeks before the start of events, so generally I pleased with my results there.
This season you skated on a wonderful music from the ballet “Cipollino” by Karen Khachaturian and the music from “Scheherazade” of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Could you tell us the reasons for selection of so serious and not easy music?
A. Mikonsaari: I love ballet very much. A selection of music for my short program was quite interesting. In my skating club every year we hold the annual performance. It can be called as a closing ceremony of the skating season. Last season there was the ballet “Cipollino.” I got the role of Magnolia. I loved the music and really wanted to skate it. Ekaterina Rubleva, with whom I like to work very much, created a short program for me on this music.
The music of my free skate program I like for a long time. Just like it. The program was created by my coach, Alexei Urmanov, in collaboration with our wonderful choreographers Igor Kosheev and Liudmila Mozhina. In order to better understand the music of my programs I watched ballet performances at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
How many time do you spend for trainings?
A. Mikonsaari: I spend many time for my on-ice trainings as well as for off-ice workouts and choreographic classes. I practically don’t have a free time.
How and why did you choose figure skating?
A. Mikonsaari: I started skating in Lappeenrannan, Finland. A friend of my mom saw the skating club’s advertising in the local newspaper and after that I and her daughter started this sport.
You are working with Alexei Urmanov, in St. Petersburg. Tell us please, about this experience.
A. Mikonsaari: My family had planned to live in St. Petersburg for some time. I did not want to interrupt my trainings. So I went to a group of Alexei Urmanov and he agreed to coach me. I enjoy very much working with him in the group.
Alisa, you skate on the same ice rink with skaters who represent Russia. Have you already managed to make friends?
A.Mikonsaari: Yes, of course. We have a very friendly group and I communicate very well not only with team-mates, but also with other skaters of the Figure Skating Academy of St. Petersburg.
Team Finland, which you represent, is experiencing not the best of times – Laura Lepisto and Susanna Poykio retired because of injuries. Also, Kiira Korpi missed the Worlds in Nice. What is your vision of perspectives of your national team?
A. Mikonsaari: I think our team has very good perspectives. Finland has many good young skaters, especially in ladies single skating. I think we will see them very soon at the Junior Grand Prix stages.
Alisa, you said that you practically don’t have a free time. But if you have some free hours, how do you prefer to spend them?
A. Mikonsaari: Well, sport is a wonderful thing but education is also very important to me. Now I’m a lyceum student and have to learn a lot at home as skating takes the biggest part of my time. I also like to go to the ballet or cinema, or just spend the time with my family.
A few words about your next plans, programs…
A. Mikonsaari: I just started my preparation for the next season and I think that at the beginning of May I will have more concrete information about it.