Elizaveta Tuktamisheva works hard in Italy preparing for new season

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva

By Katia Kutyavina and Sara Simonato,
special to World Figure Skating

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, the rising star of Russian ladies figure skating, is currently training in Pinzolo, Italy, where she is taking part at the Alexei Mishin’s summer camp 2012. The young skater is working hard to improve her interpretation skills and the work on the most complex jumps is already started with trials of triple Axel.

From the very beginning of this year’s summer camp she was completely focused on choreographic preparation. Liza, as we all know, is a very hard-working person and she works on the ice for more than 6 hours every day. Her strength is incredible and she is determined in reaching high goals in the upcoming season, the last one before the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. After more than a week of trainings in Italy this is what Elizaveta told World Figure Skating.

WFS: Elizaveta, my first question is about your training process. How is it going? How do you feel?

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva: I am slowly getting back in my sporting shape at the training camp now. I feel good. Italy is amazing! I really like the city here in the mountains. The training conditions here are very good.

WFS: You will be attending the upcoming season as a completely senior skater with possibilities to compete at all senior’s competitions, including European championships and Worlds. Does that in any way affect your training right now? Are you happy about new opportunities?

E. Tuktamisheva: Well, actually I try not to pay much attention to such things. I am focused on my training, focused on doing my work. I already competed against them (note: senior skaters) last year at the Grand Prix competitions, so I’m not expecting to see anything surprising for me from them at the Euro Champs or World Champs. That is if I will be selected to go to Euro Champs and World Champs, of course.

Well, yes, on the one hand I am happy, but also for the time being I do not have a reason for a lot of happiness. First I need to be selected to compete at the European Championships and Worlds. Just because I am eligible by my age does not automatically mean that I will be competing there. But I will try my best to be able to participate in those competitions. I will work very hard.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva at Mishin's training camp

WFS: How was that experience for you when last year you competed with the senior skaters?

E. Tuktamisheva: It was a tremendously important experience for me because I was able to win two Grand Prix competitions. This made me understand that nothing is impossible, that it is possible for me to reach the highest of highs.

WFS: You ended the last season brilliantly by winning at the Youth Olympic Games. How did you feel when you won?

E. Tuktamisheva: At first I could not believe it, but then I finally realized that I had become the champion of Youth Olympic Games and I was so happy. I was incredibly happy. Don’t know what else to say.

WFS: Regarding your new programs for this upcoming season, what are you planning? What music?

E. Tuktamisheva: We have not made a decision regarding the short program yet. But maybe the music will be “Love Story”. The music of the free skate program will be a remix on “Dark Eyes” (Ochi Chernye).

WFS: This summer you worked with Canadian choreographer David Wilson. Right now you are also working with American Tom Dickson. Tell us, please about your work with them.

E. Tuktamisheva: It was very good. The two choreographers are different. Absolutely different in how they put together the programs. I have acquired a tremendous experience from working with both of them. While I have this opportunity I need to learn as much as possible.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, training camp in Pinzolo, Italy

WFS: Do you plan to try anything new in your programs this upcoming season? Maybe some new moves or some new jumps?

E. Tuktamisheva: I don’t know about any new jumps. I think everything will be as usual, but we will spend more time on the choreography. I hope that my skating style will become more graceful. I’m hoping I will move forward. Right now it is only the beginning of the summer.

WFS: You are already assigned to participate in Skate Canada and Trophée Eric Bompard this year. And you won these two championships last year. Why did you decide to participate again at the same events?

E. Tuktamisheva: Well, it seemed to us that it would be better for me to go to Canada this year because that is also the country where the World Championships will be held this season. It seemed to us that this would be a good option for me because time-wise these two competitions are neither too close together nor too far apart. I mean the time gap between these two competitions is neither too big nor too small. So, it was a good option for me.

WFS: There is a big competition now in Russia among ladies. How do you feel about that?

E. Tuktamisheva: I think it is good because when there is more competition it can help us to move forward in figure skating and not stand still in one place. If there were no competitors, then we, athletes as a whole, would not be getting better. So the fact that we have competition I think in the near future will raise the level of skills in Russia’s ladies single figure skating.

WFS: You work in the team with your coach Alexei Mishin and such skaters as Evgeni Plushenko and Artur Gachinski. How do you feel working with this group of people?

E. Tuktamisheva: I have been working with this team of people for a long time, so it is working well for me. The atmosphere in the team is very friendly.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva with her coach Alexei Mishin

WFS: And the very last question. Would you like to say anything to your fans?

E. Tuktamisheva: I want to tell my fans that I really miss them a lot. I hope they will not forget me. I’m going to work very hard right now, so that later I can make people happy with my skating programs. I feel like I really want to be able to show my new programs soon. So… I really miss you all! I send a “hello” to everyone! I love you!

Photos by Sara Simonato

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