Russia’s 2018 Olympic champion in figure skating Alina Zagitova pledged on Sunday she will never follow the lead of her teammate and closest rival, Yevgeniya Medvedeva, and will never part with her coach Eteri Tutberidze.
Welcoming Zagitova at the airport of her home city of Izhevsk, reporters asked her whether she could imagine herself changing her coach like other figure skaters do, she replied definitely: “No, I cannot even imagine that.”
Earlier in the month, Russia’s 2018 two-time Olympic silver medalist in figure skating Yevgeniya Medvedeva officially announced her decision to part with her coach Eteri Tutberidze and start working with Canadian specialist Brian Orser.
Zagitova told reporters she planned to resume training sessions from June 4. “My biggest dream now is to simply go on training and stage a program in a way to make spectators feel it as it is very interesting,” she said.
She said she plans to spend one day in Izhevsk. On Monday, she will meet with head of the Udmurt Republic Alexander Brechalov and will hold a masterclass for junior figure skaters.
She confessed that when she was just at the beginning of her figure skating career she saw Yevgeny Plushenko dancing on ice in St. Petersburg and looked at him with admiration. So, in her words, such masterclasses are very important for young athletes. “Because they give an impetus, set a goal to keep on moving to,” Zagitova said, adding that her own psychological secret of success is self-confidence and love for figure skating.
Zagitova won gold in women’s singles and silver in team’s event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.