Samuel Contesti: "I love everything about figure skating"┬á
April 29, 2013
By Anna Bertoloni, Reut Golinsky
Photo © Anna Bertoloni, Reut Golinsky
We have not heard much about Samuel Contesti, the 2009 European silver medalist and five-time Italian national champion, since his retirement from competion in the summer of 2012.That's why we were especially glad he found time for us during a short break after a "Music on Ice 2013" rehearsal in Geneva and we could catch up with him about the things he is busy with now.
Every year you participate in Laurent Tobel's shows. Tell us more about your work with him.
I always come to Laurent shows, yes. We have been friends for so many years. But it's not only this. It's a great pleasure to skate in his shows. Because they are different from every other show, where usually you just skate a program in the first part and another program in the second part and where you usually don't have a storyline. But in his shows there is a story, for example, today it's a story about Japan. And also with Laurent Tobel there is always such a funny cast! We have a lot of fun, really. With Laurent I have a special connection. And we share the same sense of humour.
What will you skate here tonight?
I will perform the same exhibition programs that I did in Bellinzona last year: one to Louis Armstrong's "Mack The Knife", and the second one to [Joe Cocker's] "You are so beautiful". I will be a waiter and then, in the second act, I will be a more special, stranger waiter! (laughs)
We missed you this season. What are you doing now as your daily job? How is your life going on after the retirement?
To tell the truth, I am working, and staying with the children. But I'm also training. We'll see...
Training to come back to competitions?
I don't know. We'll see! At the moment I'm just training. I'd like to do other shows, for example. But it's more difficult if you don't compete anymore on an international level.
If not for competitions, do you have any plans to come back on the ice as a coach? Or maybe as a choreographer?
Not yet... I'm waiting. And probably not as a choreographer: my programs were always my wife's ideas. She always did everything, from both the technical and choreography sides. Even now, for the shows she is still choreographing my programs. She knows what I can do and what I cannot.
Do you still follow the competitions?
Yes, yes, always!
What did you like the most from the last season?
Figure skating! I love everything about figure skating. I like the fact that the level is getting higher and higher. Every year it becomes more and more difficult. And that's a good thing!
What do you think about the future of Italian skating?
Hard to say. I always felt very close to the whole team. I am happy when they succeed and I feel very sad when something goes wrong. But you know, as a spectator it's easy to talk. Sometimes you can hear bad comments, but the truth is that this is figure skating: to fall is just much easier than to stand! It's such a hard sport. I know it well, I had my difficult times too. So, I just wish good luck to everyone for the next season. And health above all, this is the most important thing!
Samuel was greatly missed this season. And it is not an overstatement to say that it was because of his retirement that the Italian team didn't succeed to be in the top six selected to compete at ISU World Team Trophy 2013 in Tokyo. Next season, with the introduction of the new team event as an additional Olympic discipline, his absence might be even more crucial. So maybe he will come back to support the team he loves? We'll see. Stranger things have happened in this skating world...