At the last Russian National Figure Skating Championship Evgeny Plushenko, coached by Alexei Mishin, created a real sensation. According to his coach, he hasn't only defeated his rival A. Yagudin, but also surpassed him. At the press conference Plushenko said that his dream is to execute all quad jumps in his program. It's possible that this might happen soon.
-Zhenya, why your mom have chosen choose figure skating and not some "manly" sport, for example, soccer?
-Probably, because it is closer to women. Everyone used to be crazy about figure skating and the competitions were often shown on TV. I was a very active kid, I couldn't stay still for a moment. So she has decided to get me involved in sports.
-Were you teased in school because of this?
-How did you guess? Yes, that happened, like "Oh look! The figure skater came to play soccer with us!" Now they envy me a little. When I come home to Volgograd they say: "We've watched you on TV! Great skating!"
Mishina (Alexei Mishin's wife), also a FS coach:
-Zhenya, did you and your mom rent an apartment in St. Petersburg at first?
-No, we only rented a room. When my mom went home she used to ask the next door neighbor to look after me. But I've tried to do everything by myself, even cook, but it wasn't as good as my mom does.
-Was there much money left?
-Not much, there were days when I only had enough to get to the Yubeleinyi and back. But I knew it would end someday and I could provide for myself and help my parents.
-So could you?
-Yes. But my dad is still working; he is a carpenter and bricklayer. My mom was a seamstress. She used to sew for me and make my costumes, but not anymore. I don't want her to work, she has already done too much for me.
-Do you remember your first trip abroad?
-Of course! We flew to Australia for the Junior Worlds. I won the gold, was very excited and bought gifts for everyone. I got a pair of very expensive sneakers for myself.
-What was your first impression?
neat. I've never seen anywhere else such green lawns and washed streets
like in Australia.
Excerpts from interview by Anna Ilyinskaya,
GazetaR December '99