Interview with Alexei Yagudin

Part 4

by Magdalena Osborne

Alexei answers questions from fans:

Will Stars on Ice expand in Europe and will you be in it?
Yes, shows are being planned for Sweden, Italy, France, Belgium and possibly more. I will be in some and not in others.

Is it harder to find motivation for training now that you don’t compete anymore and
how has your training changed?

I don’t train! While on tour I don’t really practice much because I do the same routines over and over every day, but this summer I will. It’s less practicing right now and I don’t really need to do the hard stuff anymore. I don’t have to do so much physical stuff but more artistic. I have to look at different steps, spins, where to fall and where to stand, so it’s different.

Is your dog bilingual?
No, he only understands Russian.

How much do you groom your dog?
Zero, my mom’s doing it now. I brushed his coat before but I don’t cut his hair, I think he would look horrible if I did...

Do you take him to dog exhibitions?
No, I didn’t buy him to take him to exhibitions.

Would you rather read a book in Russian or in English?
In English. The last book I read was “The catcher in the rye” (by J.D. Salinger), it was easy to understand. Right now I’m reading about real estate, but I’m kind of stuck because there are so many terms and it’s really hard. I do read in Russian too but I’m trying to learn more English so that is why I prefer reading in English.

Have you read Harry Potter?
No, I haven’t read it or seen the movies and I’m not going to. It’s not my type, it’s a fairy tale and I don’t like it.

Do you read the major figure skating sites on the Internet?
Yes, I do.

Do you read what people write about you?
I can read it but I don’t really care because there are always people who like my skating and those that don’t and they will say I’m good or bad. But I read to get a view of what people would like me to do. But most of the time it’s a lot of gossip.

Do you collect newspaper articles about yourself?
No, that’s my agent’s job.

On your official website there’s a section for fan fiction, do you ever read those?
A long time ago I did but lately I haven’t been going there. But it’s funny what people can write...

Are you friends with Tanya and Maxim? Were you happy they won in Dortmund?
We’re very good friends and I was happy they won. But I’m also friends with the Chinese skaters.

What’s your favourite kind of music?
I don’t really have a favourite; I listen to anything from rap to classical. I’m not into heavy metal but I can listen to anything from Britney Spears to Michael Jackson.

Where’s your favourite spot in St Petersburg?
My bed in my apartment.

Are you afraid of horses?
No. I kissed a horse on the lips once, not a French kiss! It was in central Moscow, we took a ride and afterwards I kissed the horse!

Will you move to Canada?
I just bought an apartment in Vancouver but it was as an investment. I will spend the next two years in Simsbury, but Vancouver is my favourite city in the whole world so you never know.

Have you ever tried skating on rollerblades? Is it easier or harder than skating on ice?
Of course it’s easier to skate on ice but I can jump a little bit on rollerblades, single jumps.

The Finnish team just won Worlds in Synchronized skating. Are you at all interested?
Finland came first and third! But no, I’m not really interested...

Do you remember what it was like when Russia was the Soviet Union?
A little and I’m glad it changed. People have more freedom now but before it was better organized. Many say things were better then. People didn’t have a lot of money but enough to live. Now the rich are getting richer and the poor are staying poor. My parents lived OK, they were fine. They tried to support my skating and my sports career.
But right now my family would have a very hard time without my support.

Will there be another Expression on Ice show in Simsbury this fall?
Yes, and I’ll be in it!

Will you be going to Athens this summer to watch the Summer Olympics?
No, I won’t have any time.

What’s your favourite summer sport?
I like rhythmic gymnastics because of the girls. Actually, I know a few girls in the sport... I actually like winter sports more, biathlon and cross country. But I also like swimming and tennis...

Do you go to the movies a lot?
Yes. I recently saw “The whole ten yards” with Bruce Willis and it was very funny, even funnier than the first part!

How do you feel about other skaters using “your” music, like Lawrence of Arabia, Winter etc.
I don’t care, it’s not my music! Honestly, people can do what they want.

What is your best non skating memory?
It didn’t happen yet.

What would you rather wear off ice, jeans or slacks?
It depends on the mood. Sometimes I dress like a homeless person, sometimes I dress nice... But as simple as possible!

Will you try Freedom blades like Michael Weiss has?
No, because I don’t think it would add much to my skating. But people like different things... There are many different types of blades but the wider they are the slower you skate.

It’s leap year; did anyone propose marriage to you on February 29th?
No, so now I must wait another four years?


The last thing Alexei was asked to do was to circle his preference given the following choices:

Blonde or Brunette?


*** Previously published by Europe on Ice

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