The Euro Files: Chips of glass

Part 1

By Helga Dobor
Complemented by Titanilla Bod
Photos © Absolute Skating


Part I. Intro, lost things and hilarious conversations 

Writing something funny and interesting as a backstage report of Euros isn't as easy as I expected. Last year when we didn't have so many stories it was easier. This year I wrote down the funny and interesting moments, so we later on wouldn't forget or miss anything. 

All week, Titi worked on her "Zágrábi jégszilánkok" (Chips of Ice from Zagreb), while I thought about my own report.

I tried to think of a title for my report but I didn't find a good one. On Friday, I had some notes but still no title. I talked to Titi:

"Hey, are you writing Chips of Ice? Then I should also write my Chips of Glass"

Titi burst into laughter: "Do you mean Chips of Ice?"

"No, I meant Chips of Glass - you have the Chips of Ice and me the Chips of Glass. I found the title!" 

We had misfortunes too, not only funny moments, and even if it started out badly I was still optimistic and believe the funny moments are priceless! The week started on Sunday, 20th for us. We were in a big group of friends and though I was well informed about Zagreb, we got lost on the first day. Yes, there were more bad signs before that - like they couldn't find our room reservation and at the stadium they couldn't find our tickets - but we still hoped to find the practice rink, thought it can't be that difficult, so we set out for it. Of course, we got lost, and I know it happened to more people later.

Aside from that, I experienced a personal loss too, like my broken camera and (almost) the heel of my boot.

Watch a video of Tomas Verner in the practice rink here!

Unfortunately, the skaters lost things too.

If you are a skater, having the skates with you is necessary for participating in the competition. Luckily, after a delay, they did arrive in time for Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy and it didn't prevent them from winning the gold medal.

"You prepare well for a competition and then you have no skates and there's nothing you can do about it. Thank god they finally came." said Aliona. 

Part II. Press conferences, escapes and sandwiches. 

The press conferences and the usual draw for the skating orders were very funny, usually filled with laughter. 

Story one:

After the mens' short program, the skaters and officials were waiting for Tomas Verner, to give the top three skaters the small medals. The official asked Tomas to come out, but Tomas wasn't there. After repeating his name twice, they found out that he was still at the mixed-zone giving interviews, so the skaters and officials waited. After some minutes, Stephane Lambiel arrived. He had been eating a sandwich and when he entered the room with a calm and innocent face, everybody looked at him. He was so surprised that he jumped out of the room, but then looked around and entered again, apologized and hurried to a free place. When Tomas finally entered, also with an innocent face everybody started clapping. Tomas sat down and didn't even notice that we all were waiting for him. Then the official asked him to come out once again, and sure, he did. Then he finally seemed to get the story. 

Story two:

This happened at the Pairs' Press Conference, after LP.

Yuko Kawaguchi (3rd place) talked about their experience with much happiness:

"These are our first European's and we're happy to get the gold medal [laughed at her own mistake] - I mean the bronze medal."

Later when she talked about the medals again she was very cautious, before the colour of the medal she stopped, and prolonged the word "bronze".  

Story three:

Still at the press conference, Maxim Trankov on beating Savchenko & Solkowy in the future:

"The judges have to learn the name of Mukhortova & Trankov" - it was so sweet, of course, he meant it in a different way, but it was easier to phrase that in Russian, and its original meaning was:

"The judges need to believe in the team Mukhortova & Trankov and start giving us better marks. Then I think it's possible to beat them."

What a difference!

Check back for the Pairs' press conference here

Story four:

At the mens' press conference, after the LP - Tomas Verner. His first sentence was:

"I apologize because I'm speechless at the moment." Then he continued to talk for 10 minutes. Please always be that speechless Tomas!

He thanked God too:

"Thanks the guy UP there that He let me out from this hospital business this time, because I had so many injuries already in my young sport life"

Can anybody resist his charm?

Check the whole press conference here

Story five:

At the ladies' press conference after LP, Carolina Kostner, on struggling to do the triple lutzes.

"Because I missed it yesterday I really wanted to do it today, but when it came, I was just thinking 'ooooooopps!'

Check back here for the Ladies' PC

Some funny conversations:

A Hungarian journalist asked us about this statement of Júlia Sebestyen on her jump.

"I jumped it a bit earlier in my head, and then went into the Axel later. I saw, that I have to jump, have to jump but there is the board - and so it didn't succeed."

Journalist: If she jumped already in her head, why did she jump again?

Of course, he meant differently than it sounded. ? Things also get lost in translation. 

Titi in her first report (Icedance CD) interviewed the Hungarian dancers, Krisztina Barta and Ádám Tóth. Ádám left immediately after he greeted us.

Titi wrote about it in their newspaper:

"With the result (22th) the debuting young pair can be satisfied, but with the points, not - they got 21.17 which is 5 points less than their best result (with that they would place 16th). Perhaps that's why Ádám Tóth escaped from the scene, while Krisztina willingly answered the questions."

Next day Ádám mentioned to the Hungarian journalist friend that he read it online. Titi was surprised to hear that, and later after the OD we talked to Ádám and Krisztina again in the mixed zone.

When Ádám came out, he looked a bit strange, so I like a bad child, had to remark jokingly:

Ádám, it was Titi who wrote that, not me, so please don't escape now!

Ádám: No, I won't!

Krisztina: He will answer all your questions now, just because he escaped and just because he doesn't like answering, she laughed.

Us: Are you satisfied with your program?

Ádám: Yes……. (long silence) Kriszti!

He looked to Krisztina and asked with his eyes for her to continue the statement. Of course, Krisztina continued and Ádám stayed and complemented her message. 

Some time after the mens' free program Titi interviewed Tomas Verner and I was there too. At first he apologized that he had to run to get some food as he was hungry, and for eating the sandwich during the interview. I was surprised how slow he could eat that sandwich, especially when I knew how fast he could eat chocolate. To eat the sandwich took more than 20 minutes, and I was wondering about the reasons for longevity. Ok, he talked too, but still, that sandwich was so small, for a men only two bites! If he didn't like the sandwich why did he eat it?

Half an hour later we were sitting down and I wanted to eat my sandwich I got at the press center some minutes before. I realised it was a similar sandwich Tomas had… I wasn't surprised anymore, it took 30 minutes to eat and about 30 bites because of its compactness. To be honest it wasn't very nice!  


Part III. Programs, benches and photos 

Some skaters changed their programs. Some of them completely changed the program; some of them changed only the costumes.

I have always been interested why skaters change during the season. Was it that they didn't like the previous one or was the reception different than they expected?

Isabelle Delobel's opinion on her FD costume's change:

"We changed the colour of my dress because the old brown colour was too sad. We decided for me to wear red, because this is a colour of passion and it's a story of passion and love." 

Philippa Towler-Green's opinion on their FD program's change:

"We really liked our last program but it just wasn't working that well for us. We were working hard on it and it just didn't fall into place. So we tried some other music and it felt so right within a week of working on it."  

Ksenia Doronina is quite a funny girl - her opinion on her short program's change is a taste of that: 
"I had the "Dying Swan" before as music, but I think it's better not to die so I decided to live in Spain." (Her "new" program was the last season's old Flamenco program.) 

Maxim Shabalin felt he had to explain the story of their Free Dance, which was so loveable, and he did it in such a funny way.

"I think you can understand the story - poor Oksana is forced to marry Maxim from St. Petersburg, who is not a very nice character."

We thought later about this sentence and laughed a lot, but finally agreed that nobody could really feel bad for Oksana. How could that be forced?? 

Alexandra Zaretski and Roman Zaretski were also asked about their programs:

Alexandra: There are many Jewish dances this year in the original dance, so we present the other culture of our country. Our original dance has a desert mentality and it's a "peace" program. Our free dance, on the other hand, has a more Jewish story. We are getting out of Egypt so we are happy. 

The story of Carolina Kostner's free program is also special, and sometimes it's interesting to know the background:

- "My music choice was kind of an accident. We were looking at different pieces of music with my choreographer and the first time we listened to it, it stayed in our minds, because it was strange. In the end, I had three choices and I said, I'll go to bed and I'll choose the one that will be in my head when I wake up, and it was this one. "

Talking about programs and Carolina, Tomas again came to my mind and his opinion about his short program:

"The second part of the program is for the audience, because I like entertaining and making people smile. The first part of the program is for me, because I like jumping and skating!" 

After the Free Dance, I talked to Leonie Krail and Oscar Peter and I loved her opinion on their program and the scores:

"We are satisfied. I think. Yes, we are." 

Skating last in the group, in my opinion, puts lots of pressure on a skater but can have advantages too.

I was curious how they spend that time they have between the warm-up and their skating. Ksenia Doronina's answer on skating last in her group was astonishing for me:

"Skating last was difficult, I even had time to go outside and sit on a bench." 

The next story happened also in the mixed zone, on the day of the ladies' SP. Our Hungarian colleague asked Kati Hadford to go to the Euro's background:

- "Please, would you come here and pose for the photos? It's excellent place for taking photos!"

She was very friendly and helpful and posed for lots of photos.

On the day of the ladies' FP he wanted to ask Kati again:

- "Please, would you…"

Kati: - "Ok, I know already, I prepared for that!" 

Go to Part 2



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