Alexei Mishin Summer '01 interview

 Q: -Besides Plushenko, who else are you working with right now? 

 -I prefer to have just a few students, even though you must have many to choose from while working with
 young athletes. Right now, I am closely working with a former student of Victor Kudriavtsev, Elena
 Sokolova. Unfortunately, we werenít able to achieve the goals that we had set for ourselves last season.  Now,
 our most prominant goal is to successfully skate at the Russian Nationals and make the team to the Winter
 Games. There, by the way, it will be easier for her than at Nationals - three of the six strongest skaters will
 represent our country. To qualify for the team, though, will be very tough.  
 Besides Zhenya and Lena, I also pay attention to Tatiana Basova, Andrei Griazev, Masha Bubenikhina and
 try to assist my wife, Tatyana Nikolaevna Oleneva, in working with kids. 

    Q: There are up to ten major figure skating competitions every year. With rare exceptions, the skaters skate the same program throughout the whole season. Doesnít  it seem to you that experts, journalist and spectators are getting tired of the same programs with such number of tourmanents?

-In regard to this question, I share the opinion of  ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta who proposed to have different short and long  programs at the Europeans and Worlds. It was discussed a few years ago but  no decision was reached. By the way, Evgeny Plushenko has become the first figure skater who performed two absolutely different free programs at the same competition. I mean, at Worlds in Vancouver. The audience and competitors appreciated our brave tactical move.  Itís even effected some people.

  Q: There are less then ten months left until Salt Lake city. Talking about the Winter Games, it would be interesting to hear your opinion on the work of Russian Figure Skating Federation. What is in the future for the sport that bring so many medals to our country?

- I hear some critics addressed our national federation, its president, but such speculations belong to people who pursue their own interests. We have a well-developed committee of judges, qualified coachís counsel, high level administrative offices- there is an organized system and itís good. Many talented skaters were brought up in 90ís. By the way, Plushenko is only 18 he can participate in up to three Olympics. Thatís why I am sure of the favorable future of our figure skating. In spite of some gloomy prognoses, more success is awaiting us in the future.

Excerpts from interview by Andrei Vasiliev, Nevskoe Vremia