Talking to the Hungarian Team
Series part 2


Welcome to the second part of our Hungarian special; Adastra, Helga, & Kati went to the Jégcsarnok icerink in Budapest, to talk to several members of the Hungarian team for Absolute Skating, as well as for Pixieworld.

Not only skaters will get the mike, but also some coaches. Some interviews were in-depth, others were mostly focused on fun. All interviewees filled out the same 'fluff' questions and choices at the end. Join us for the second part of this marvelous series!

2.1 Zoltan Toth


Interviewed and translated by Adastra
Text: Helga Dobor
Photos © Adastra

Zoltan Toth has recently decided to quit eligible figure skating. We talked to him about that, and other stuff.

What do you think of your last season?
I believe I tried my hardest, and except for my injury, I had a successful season. A successful last year. I mean here, the Olympics qualification, and the Olympics itself.
I’m very happy I could say goodbye with my long program at the Olympics - that I could be in the top 24 skaters in the world! The Europeans didn’t go so well, but sometimes in life you lose something good to get something better on the next day, and it was worth it (or at least not as bad). Losing that thing opened a new door or you simply got a better chance... valamit valamiért - as we say it. :)

Unfortunately my back injury followed me the whole season. I've had this pain since last spring, and it was worst at the end of the summer, when the season started - so it wasn't good to prepare that way, to get through every day with that pain. I wouldn't wish it on anybody!

How do you feel now, after retiring from competitive skating?

I feel relief now that there isn’t pressure on me. No weight on my shoulders. Of course I sometimes practice, to relax. And the practice goes very well, without the pressure I felt during the seasons. It is much easier now! This is enough for me now, and I wouldn’t want to compete anymore.

What are your plans for the future?

We'll continue coaching with Zsofi (Kulcsar - ed). This is our aim now, and I want to work as a coach anyway. We've worked together with Zsofi for 6-7 years, and we understand each other with half-words, so we can co-operate well. It's also a great now that I've more time to work as a coach! I like and enjoy it! My dream is to be a really great coach one day!

How did you experience the previous season? (2004 - 2005)

It was good and bad at the same time. It started badly, with an injury, but the end of the season was good - I mean the World Championships.
However it could have been better, but we learned a lot this season. We re-made my short program because I couldn’t skate it well in competition. Consequently it became evident that we had made a good decision about changing it, as it improved in Moscow. I hope we can use these experiences in this season too.


And as a coach?

It was also good and bad. My two pupils, Annamaria Bitter and Erika Fekete, are very competitive. I was pleasantly surprised, especially of Annamaria, who developed mentally. She didn’t feel the competitive feeling before. Erika always was a good competitor.

What do you think of the debut year of the new CoP system?

I think it did figure skating a favour. The system became fairer. Certainly it needs a few years to deliver the goods and became more fair. They have changed some parts already but it takes longer to get a better picture and to be able to see in which direction they want to develop the system.

What did you do last summer?

We spent July at home in Budapest, in a training camp in the Skating Center, where Szabolcs Vidrais was. In August we were in Jaca, in Alexei Mishin‘s training camp.

What are your biggest goals in skating?

It is always myself.
I haven’t got any real expectations about my placements. I always compete only with myself to achieve my best. At every competition I have certain goals I should achieve. Sometimes I can do it, sometimes not.



If you could start everything again, would you choose to skate?

Have there been changes within skating, as a sport in Hungary, since you started to skate?

I would choose skating again, no doubt about it.
As for changes, since I started to skate, I feel rather negative things, for example, there isn’t any child who could be a new Julia Sebestyen, Viktoria Pavuk or Diana Poth.
The reason for this is that young people today have other ambitions and other goals.
Or they don’t have any goals. In my opinion, their only goal is having a good time - that’s the most important thing - but it is far from becoming successful.

What is your opinion about the upcoming skaters in Hungary?

Unfortunately in Hungary I can’t see anybody who could be a good skater. There are more skaters abroad who are very talented and where skating is more popular.
For example Plushenko and the generation who retires after Olympics. But there are more skaters who can replace them. We always will miss them, the big characters - but the new talents are coming through and we will like them too.

Who do you see as the promise of the future?

I’m waiting for Sasha Cohen to become World Champion, as she is very close to this and she really would deserve it. It’s an on-going question whether the top skaters can be good enough or not for the new system. Stephane Lambiel in the men’s field will be a dominant force, especially when Plushenko retires.
There is also Jeffrey Buttle who is also very good. These two skaters are great both in technique and artistry.

What is the biggest treasure in your life?


How could you live without your skates?

I absolutely couldn't live without them.

Without sport?

I could live without it, because there are always challenges in life outside of sport.

Without music?

Music is important to me. I like all kinds of music except heavy metal and commercial pop music.

Without a credit card?

Well, there is cash also in the world, isn't there?

Without computer?

Why not?

Without friends?

I'm couldn't live without friends.

Without dreams?

Nor those.

Which of the above would be the worst?

Without dreams.

Please associate with one or two words :

Figure skating is ... I adore it.

Family is ... I miss them.

Friends are ... They are really cool.

Money ... be lots of! (Hungarian saying)

Sport ... It's the best thing.

Love ... People very much need love.

Peace ... Peace should be in the world.

Belief ... People have to believe in something. You must have belief!

Please choose between:

Movies or TV
Summer or Winter
Palacsinta or Lángos
Small Demonstration or Summer camp
Skiing or Swimming
Competitions or Shows
Black or White
Short or Long Program
Sleeping or Partying
Movie or Theater
Judges or Fans
Balaton or Velence
Weightlifting or Ballet
Day or Night
Pörkölt or Gulyás
Figure Skating or Being Rich

Do not miss the second interview in this second block of the series, with Zsofia Kulcsar, Zoltans coach, now on AS! Click here to read!


In case you missed the first block with Viktoria Pavuk, Szabolcs Vidrai & Dejan Illes click here!

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