Lucie Mysliveckova and Matej Novak:¬†
"This year's dress for the original dance I found
on the cover of Elle."
By Dana Sidl√°kov√°
Photos © Marina Semenova
Mysliveckov & Novák are 19 year old ice dancers who reached a wonderful 8th place at the Junior world championships a couple of weeks ago and thanks to that will make their debut this week at the senior world championships in Los Angeles. Together with Tomas Verner and Nella Simaova they will fight there for their places at the Winter Olympic games in 2010. We met with this talented ice-dance team shortly before flying off to the USA...
The world championships will start next week in Los Angeles. It's your first big senior competition, how do you feel?
We feel good, we are well prepared. It will be the last competition of the season for us and in the past 14 days nothing stressful has happened to us. It was different at the Junior world championships when I broke my arm during training. It was a little difficult to prepare yourself with that. Personally I am looking forward to LA, but at the same time I am also a little bit afraid. It's something new, just like when we skated our first junior grand prix competition. There will be different people, but it will be a good experience.
Did you ever think at the beginning of the season that you would be able to go to the world championships?
We actually already had this ambition a bit last season. If we had skated within certain criteria at junior worlds last season, we would have been able to go to worlds back then. We just didn't skate so well, so we didn't go. This year however, we went to junior worlds with bigger ambitions, because in the world rankings we were in 5th place, so we said to ourselves it should be OK, also because the number of pairs in ice-dance grew this year. But actually we just skated the competition for ourselves and we didn't tell ourselves that "whatever happens we should definitely qualify for the world championships in LA!"
It must have been difficult for you. Junior worlds just finished 3 weeks ago and now you have to go to senior worlds. Aren't you tired?
I think that we planned all competitions this season very well in spite of it being a very long season. The senior competitions start about 2 months later than the junior competitions.
So you really do not feel tired?
No, we skipped a few competitions because Matej was sick. It actually was a little bit of luck in our preparation, because this way we could rest. Last year we also skated in the junior circuit and also in the senior and it was so tiring. We started to wear out in January. It's not so terrible right now, even though Matej already does feel tired. *laughs*
In your last few days of preparation you trained in Oberstdorf. Was this training any different from the last few months?
We didn't change too much, we just skated our FD a couple of times in training. 30 minutes was enough to practice that, we didn't work on details too often, there is no time for that.
What does a regular day in Oberstdorf look like for you?
In the morning we train for nearly an hour, before that we have an hour of exercising. Then we have about half a day free and in the evening it's the same. That's what it looks like before a competition. In the summer it's much more intense. Other than that we cook for ourselves at home, do our homework *smiles*. It's really lovely there.
Is training there satisfying for you? What’s it like to train so much higher than sea-level...
Well actually we don't really notice we are so much higher than sea-level. I read it starts to affect people when they are higher than 1200 meters. Well actually I shouldn't lie, sometimes the first training in Oberstdorf we feel it, but after that things are fine.
And some positives about Oberstdorf...?
The ice there is fabulous, they play good music there and the atmosphere is great. It's true though that when we are there alone, it's terribly boring and things just go their ordinary way, but that is not unusual. After these 2 weeks we are really looking forward to this competition. On the other hand, Oberstdorf has a beautiful landscape.
What about your music? To pick music for your programs must be a difficult task.
Our trainers have some ideas and we have some ideas too and together we work something out. The music of this year’s original dance we picked ourselves and Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas helped us with the music for the free dance. In December we skated a show with them.
And the costumes?
That's the concern of one of our trainers, Natalie Karamyseva. Just this year’s dress for the OD of this year I found on the cover of Elle. *smiles*
What other sports do you do besides figure skating?
We go swimming. When we are in Prague we also play tennis. Sometimes we get together with more people and we go bowling, play snooker or billiards. In short, we try to go and do other things when we can. *smile*
And as a conclusion to this interview, if you could give me one or 2 words to express what figure skating brought to you and what it took from you, what would you say?
Lucie: It gave me my whole life. I really could not live without it. And what it took? I really cannot tell you, I never think about it this way. I am happy the way things are going and I wouldn't want to change it.
Matej: In general the same as Lucie. I hate to think about it and I also don't want to think about what it would be like if I wasn’t skating. I take everything the way things are.