Brian Joubert reunited with Nikolai Morozov
By Oxana Shkrebtienko
The last month before the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi Brian Joubert had practices in Russia, together with Nikolai Morozov, a famous Russian coach.
They know each other for a long time. Also, Morozov choreographed “The Matrix”, Joubert’s favorite program ever. And it seems like they are ready to surprise figure skating fans again.
We talked with Brian Joubert and Nikolai Morozov at Novogorsk sporting base in Moscow about their new cooperation, about skating things they’re working on and about thoughts on coming Olympics. Practically similar questions were asked to both and we got interesting and sincere answers.
Tell us, please, about your training. What was your goal and how successful are you here?
Joubert: My goal is to feel very confident on the ice, not only technically and physically but also emotionally. I want to be happy with my skating. Nikolai gave me a lot of positive energy. We work a lot. It’s funny because I started to feel like I was before, in 2006. I’m fast again on the ice. Even if I’m getting older, I don’t feel it. I’m just very happy about this!
What have you done with Nikolai? What do you still have to do?
Joubert: It was a very busy week. We changed the short program. It wasn’t my goal. I was going to come to Russia just to improve the programs. But he wanted to change. Now I’m very happy about this. It’s a short time to be ready for the Europeans but I don’t care. We also worked a lot on transitions.
I feel that I improved a lot! For me it’s very very important. Even for my quad jumps – quad toe loop, quad Salchow, especially the quad Salchow.
So, you also work on jumps, not only on the choreography.
Joubert: On the first 3 days we worked very much time over the choreography. Now we started to work on the jumps and spins. For example, yesterday I jumped a lot, to know exactly if I felt confident in my programs. We want to see if the connections, the transitions are good, if it works perfect in the program. I feel good; I just need to repeat, repeat (it) and to get ready.
When do you go back to Poitiers?
Joubert: I go to Poitiers on Friday and I’ll have one more practice on Saturday. I really want to train with Veronique (Guyon), to show her my short program and what we made with Nikolai. And I’d like to come to my home before the competitions. It’s good to be here but it’s nothing to do in Novogorsk! It’s too boring. The good thing is that I don’t have too much free time here.
Do you plan another practice with Nikolai after the Europeans?
Joubert: Yes, I do. After Budapest I go home for a short time and then I come back to Moscow to work with Nikolai till the Olympic Games. We already have a plan for this future work.
And the last question. Would you like Nikolai to seat with you in Kiss&Cry corner?
Joubert: I don’t know. It depends on him. As for me, yes! I’d like to be in K&C with my coach and Nikolai. If he doesn’t want, I will respect his decision and seat there with Veronique.
Please tell us, why did you offer Brian Joubert to work with you?
Morozov: It happened that recently I was totally involved into the work with Lena (Ilinykh) and Nikita (Katsalapov) but I have old times athletes, who are finishing this year and I would like to help them as much as possible to do what they can do. They are Brian and Daisuke.
Both of them are already at an age when they became just tired of competitions and constant struggle. And now, when they have a “second wind”, I think they will be able to realize all their possibilities.
What has been achieved? Do you have some progress and what do you need still to work over?
Morozov: We achieved a lot! But there is even more to be done. For the Europeans we have changed the short program. It was made within the first three days and now we just practice it. He (Joubert) reached a good form. I think he will be even on better level at the Olympics.
We have already managed to make a new costume for the short program. The only thing we are lacking is time. But he likes to work here, he feels good. We don’t make our aim on the results only. The goal for the Europeans is to skate a clean SP and to train two quads in FP.
After Budapest he again comes here and we will continue to practice in Novogorsk. Everything should be fine at the Olympics. He learns fast, memorizes fast and catches fast. And he has a big progress. I would like to continue my work with him!
What do you practice with Brian? Are you working also on the choreography?
Morozov: Now we work a lot on skating and he improves very well. He is an experienced athlete, a quick learner and a guy with brains. And what I can see now, it’s too early for him to finish.
He could continue at least for a year. He is healthy physically and (he) jumps well. And we could create choreography for him.
What has changed in Brian for those 7 years that you didn’t work together? Do you see these changes?
Morozov: He became an adult man. It became more interesting to work together. I’d love to work with him again (in future). Daisuke knows everything, he needs only work on jumps but Brian has something to study.
I would like him to know a complete figure skating. At this age they aren’t such things like “I know it better than anyone” He listens, hears and he realizes what is required from him. And he really wants to learn!
Tell him to skate another half an hour and he will do it! During the first three days we had three practices a day. I love such kind of job and enjoy it! I enjoy working with Brian!
Photo: Liubov Mudrechenko, Alexandra Ilina