Photo by Koichi Nakamura
Elena Sokolova and Alexei Mishin have parted ways in August of 2002. Elena will continue competing but she has went back to her previous coach, Viktor Kudriavtsev. Sokolova will most likely miss her Grand Prix assignment in Germany and will return to the scene at the Nationals '03.
what do you think about your performance at Cup of Russia?
St. Petersburg Welcomes Elena Sokolova
Last spring, a twenty year
old girl left her native capital city and moved to St. Petersburg to start
a new novel of her life, right from the beginning. Somebody explains it
as a common sign of a despair of an athlete who has a tremendous potential
but wasn't able to realize it due to various circumstances. Others see
that as a hopeless venture. Actually, this is a rather strange step in
sports, perhaps even a bit daring.
Sokolova had a chance to restart her career in sports abroad: T. Tarasova and E. Tchaikovskaya persistently offered her to work with them. However Elena gave her preference to another coach, Alexei Mishin, who, by the way, hasn't been training ladies for years. After switching from Victor Kudriavtsev who paid more attention to Victoria Volchkova, Elena instantly transformed from a stepdaughter into beloved one and become a prima of St.Petersburg figure skating.
As a matter of fact, Lena was
in need of such a mentor as Mishin, who is able to combine flair of a Muscovite
and regal dignity of St. Petersburg in the most wonderful way. At "Cup
of Russia 2000" the audience had a chance to see another, unfamiliar Elena
Sokolova. If we put it into the fine literature allegories, Elena isn't
the "Pipi, the Longstocking," anymore but she transformed into Tolstoyan
Natasha Rostova, an embodiment of a gazelle and high society lady. She's
become less impetuous in her movements. Her programs are now more meaningful.
The most important thing, however, is that her usual nervousness is gone
and her big gray eyes, in a contrast to Grand Prix event '99, radiant with
an absolute tranquility.
Excerpts from article
by Sergey Ostroverkhov
2000/01 Season Review
Last season started out promising for Elena Sokolova. She has debuted her new programs at Finlandia Trophy and won the gold for the third year in a row. "Skate America" was Elena's first and successful Grand Prix event where she became third competing in a very strong field of competitors. It's also important to mention that the high altitude location of the rink in Colorado Springs demands an extra strength from the skaters and not all of them are able to perform at their best. Lena's second Grand Prix event in St. Petersburg brought her to an even better result. This time she finished second. Both of her programs, the LP to Waltz from "Ball- Masquerade" by Khachaturian and "Gypsy Dance" from "Don Quixote" by Minkus that she choose for the SP, suited her really well. While she usually looks very focused at the beginning of her programs, where the most difficult elements as planned, with that completed, Elena becomes more relaxed and her charming personality begins to shine through.
Known as the "Queen of
Practice," Elena's nerves often give up at major competitions such as Nationals
that determine the Russian team to Europeans and Worlds. Probably,
a few months that she has been working with Alexei Mishin, were not enough
to improve her confidence. After being a strong second in SP, a few unsuccessful
triple salchow attempts made her slip to 4th in the LP. One more chance
to make the team was left to her, though, - the Grand Prix Final.
Sadly, but it happened to her once again. It is hard to say anything here
because Sokolova's skating was chucked out of the broadcast except for
the SP where she was such a pleasure to watch especially her wonderful
double axel with a hand over her head.
On March 8th Elena skated at
a concert dedicated to the 60th anniversary of her coach Alexei Mishin.
One of her programs was "Marlyn Monroe" which she also skated at the exhibitions
after the Grand Prix Final.