Kamila Valieva: Team Tutberidze Aug 9, 2020 19:20:30 GMT
Post by Admin on Aug 9, 2020 19:20:30 GMT
“The first days of training — when I did my program and nothing worked — I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t go to the Final. Maybe I’ll focus on the World Junior Championships. But as it got closer to the competition, everything went better and the coaches were motivating me, telling me ‘let’s skate! You can do it!’ Then the jumps became consistent and I said that I’m going for sure to the Final.”
Valieva ranked fourth in the short program in Torino but finished first overall by winning the free skate with a clean performance of her “Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 ‘Redemption.’” At first, she could not believe she had won, especially since Valieva knew that her American rival, Alysa Liu, had more difficult content in her program, including a triple Axel and a quad Lutz.
“At first I didn’t understand that I had won and thought maybe there was a mistake, maybe again they didn’t call the right jump,” Valieva recalled. “I saw that before at the Grand Prix in Poland, where Alysa did a quad Lutz. They first input it as a triple Lutz and didn’t realize it, but later the score changed. So I thought there was a mistake. I was very surprised to win.”
Early in the New Year, she resumed training and began preparing for the Russian Junior nationals in February. Valieva won that competition and, with another victory to her credit, many touted her as the favorite to take the World Junior title a few weeks later in Estonia. “I tried not to think about the fact that I was the favorite, I just thought about my programs and about skating them clean. I tried not to think about anything, actually,” said Valieva. “Some things didn’t work in practice so well, but I tried to prepare myself as we got closer to the competition.”
Valieva turned in two excellent performances in Tallinn. Gleikhengauz felt the short program was “close to ideal” and also praised his student for her performance in the long program. “Kamila skated in an excellent way, if you don’t count the error on the first quad toe loop,” he said. “That made us all nervous because then the athlete herself had to make the decision: whether she changed the program and goes for other jumps or takes a risk and does the second quad toe, knowing that if there is another mistake it will get a repetition and thus a lower score. We discussed all that in practice. It was a risk that Kamila went for and she pulled herself together to do a quad toe combination, which allowed her to set a new World Junior record (152.38).”
Though Valieva appeared composed and focused throughout the season, she admitted that sometimes she is anxious because of “indifferent topics. You always prepare differently before a competition. Sometimes you are more confident in your jumps, sometimes you are confident about a certain jump or about something else. Each time, in each competition, you go out in a different way, and you do something this way or that way and the program always comes out differently.
“I enjoy competitions and to skate in front of people who are supporting me for each jump and each spin. That is nice. However, when you are skating your program, you are trying to stay more within yourself and sometimes you don’t even hear the applause — you don’t hear anything.”
Valieva is still somewhat shy and was not comfortable with all the attention she received last season. “I don’t like that very much, but I know that it is there and I try to prepare for it,” she said with a sigh. At the same time, she is grateful for the support of her Russian fans, who fulfilled a long-time wish at the end of last year when they presented her with a puppy, a Pomeranian Spitz that she named Liova.
“My mother allowed me to get a dog after the Junior Grand Prix. My fan club wrote to her and asked what gift they should get and my mom said they could get a dog for me,” Valieva said. “He is funny. Always running around, constantly. When I leave he is whining and when I come back he is happy. Maybe I’ll take him with me to competitions in the future.”