- By the way, when you have risen sharply, there was no fear of jumping? - Oh, it was all like a snowball: first I was injured - injured meniscus, because it does not go to the World Junior Championships, not rolled a total of six weeks. And during this time increased by 12 centimeters. When I came back on the ice, even he slid with difficulty, so have become unaccustomed sensation. It was just awful. I thought even about to try his hand at something else, so unbearable was again all restored. For a long time only a double jump and really did not know what to do next.
There was also a colossal internal grievance: I have so much work, so try to prepare for the competition as much as possible - for what all this to me? Especially since I was very well prepared before the junior championships, and the memories were very fresh. All this took place in the beautiful surroundings of jumping little girls, which became more and more. Against this background I - cornstalk, which does not work anything. - Asked about the cherished desire of the end of last year, you said that you want to reach the final "Grand Prix" and the rest will not say. Now you can discover the secret: what else was on the list? - I naturally wanted to qualify for the European Championship and the world, and I am very happy that coped with this task. The next goal - to skate clean and in Ostrava, and in Helsinki. For me it is more important than the occupied space. Points are counted even judges.
Icenetwork: In your last outing (the Internationaux de France), you looked quite happy with the result.
Sotskova: I was, because I qualified for the Grand Prix Final but also because my coach was happy. When my coach is happy, then you can be sure it means that I skated well. Usually, coaches say [what you're doing] is bad, so if they say it's good, it means that…it's really great! (laughs)
Icenetwork: Two years ago you skated to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Last year you elected to skate to Schnittke's "Adagio." This year you go with Debussy's "Clair de Lune." Do you like classical music?
Sotskova: The thing is, I can't really skate faster programs. They are not my style. When I skate to classical music, it comes directly from my soul. The feeling is so good. It allows me to show all the beauty of the music.
Icenetwork: What kind of music do you listen to during the day? Classical?
Sotskova: No! (laughs) I listen to top-40. Basically pop music, I mean. It's easier to listen to and to understand than classical music. Pop music relaxes your mind. It makes your head more focused on competition. Actually, I sometimes listen to classical music. I've done that twice before a competition, and I must say it didn't work. Pop music makes me calm. Classical music makes me more nervous.
Icenetwork: How do you select a piece of classical music, then? Sotskova: I like all classical music, really, but I enjoy the most classical pieces, like Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky. I love my short program to Swan Lake. I need something that starts slowly and builds over the program.
Icenetwork: Do you often go to concerts in Moscow? Sotskova: Not really. We try to go to the theatre with my mom, but we don't go very often. We mostly go to plays. I love comedies. But usually on weekends I try to relax and go on walks with friends.
Icenetwork: What will it mean for you to skate in Moscow, at the next European championships?
Sotskova: Well, it will mean a lot, because if I skate at Europeans, it will mean that I will be qualified for the Olympics as well. We have our nationals before that, you know. A lot will be decided there, and the field is so competitive. Of course, I will be more nervous if I get to skate in Moscow, because my parents and all my friends will be there. There will be more stress. At the same time, there will also be a warmer atmosphere.
Icenetwork: What brought you to skating? Sotskova: My parents decided that I needed to do some kind of a sport. My mom wanted me to take some ballet classes, but there was an ice rink near our home, and my parents thought it could be a good idea for me to try skating. Well, I cried all I could the first time I went! Fortunately, I had a really good coach. She talked to me, and she made me believe in myself.
After a while, I went to a competition. I ended something like 32nd. It was a rather bad result, of course, but it turned out to be good, because it was a national competition and I skated a clean program. My coach then started believing in me more and more. She also started working more with me, and things got better and better. I won the last competition of that kind I went to, and all competitions thereafter.
It's true that the atmosphere of skating is not the easiest. We are always stressed. There are lots of people in an ice rink. You have to compete all the time. You can't relax, really, or be a little bit inside yourself. You always have to show everybody that you're the best. You have to show it to your federation, to coaches, to your own competitors, of course. That's normal, after all: There are many skaters, and everybody wants to go to Europeans and the Olympics! But it makes it difficult to always have to be on your game. You have no chance to make mistakes. But I love to compete, I love to skate, and I love my programs. I have to ignore what people say.
Icenetwork: Do you try to stay in your own bubble? Sotskova: I try to. Sometimes I manage to just be inside myself, and then I don't worry about what's going on outside me. But sometimes the bubble collapses, because there are lots of people who want to say something like, "You made this mistake" or "You should smile more" or "You can do better," and then (she opens her arms) my bubble bursts.
Icenetwork: So many people have an opinion to share? Sotskova: I must say that the internet is far worse. There are so many readers, and they always write stuff. You'll read comments like, "Her competitor is better, she should go to the Games" or "She is not good enough." That's quite demoralizing. People have to know something: We always want to show the best programs, and also beautiful skating. We don't skate only for us but for everyone. We just try to make the world better and people happier than they were before watching us. That's our goal! Some people who criticize us don't know how much we are working for that goal.
The problem is, modern life without the internet is just impossible. I, of course, don't want to read those criticisms, but they are there, as toxic as they are. Athletes shouldn't read internet comments. They make you more nervous and make you lose some of your confidence. If you follow them, you can lose your way.