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Interview of the two times world champion: SPORT-EXPRESS March 29, 2003. By Elena Vaitsehovskaya.

Two times world champion gave his press-conference in English. Absolutely relaxed joked with the American audience, periodically asked if he made his phrase right. When the official part was over, he came down to the people in the room and became speaks Russian. ďHere itís more comfortable to talk, true?Ē

- If Goeble was able to do more difficult variation of his program, what could you oppose him?
- EP: Probably Iíd turn for skating in another way. But I did know how he skated.
- You coach said it to you?
- EP: No. another people.
- And you choose economical strategy?
- EP: Yes. I skated with 70% of my abilities. Itís a pity, that with mistakes. The second quad I two-foot landed, the combination with axelÖ
- You didnít fear to loose?
- EP: No. Because I went to Washington first of all to skate well, but not to win.
- Hardly believeÖ
- EP: But itís so. If you begin to think about the victory, about judging might be, and it becomes a very strong obstacle. It distracted from the right spirits. Thatís why some a moment I donít even discuss that theme with my coach.
- After Salt Lake City?
- EP: Yes.
- Your coach said that at the practice before the Championship you did quad lutz well. If your leg hurts, why such experiments?
- EP: My leg got hurting later. For a couple of days before the competitions. Thatís why I left any efforts to do it.
- Why did you decide to go to Washington for two weeks before the competitions?
- EP: For being sure I have time to acclimatize, to get accustomed for the new conditions, weather. I trained at the suburb, at the skating rink, where my good friend Rashid Kadyrkaev works. We lived at his home.
- And how did you spend your free time?
- EP: I rested, went shopping. My baggage was three days late. I needed to buy some clothes, a sport costume, socks, boots.
- Buy the way, whatís about that story in the airport?
- EP: It was my fault in some sense. Answering the question where I am going to live I wrote the address of skating rink. When I was asked where it was, I couldnít answer, naturally. I had to call Mishin.
- Werenít you together?
- EP: Alexey Nikolaevich has the green card and he passed immediately. But I was stopped by custom-officers.
- Didnít them recognize you?
- EP: I said myself. The officer immediately said: ďAh, you came to win?Ē And was extremely picky.
- And if you baggage was lost finally, how would you skate?
- EP: It was just one costume - for Carmen program. The rest I had with myself. As well as my skates.
- Whatís your explanation of what men did such a lot of mistakes?
- EP: I donít know. On the practice everybody skated great. Till the final. Weiss did quads generally as soon as he came to ice. Goeble, Honda, many othersÖ But today everybody seems to be turned off.
- Do you believe that Yagudin will return the next season?
- EP: He left symbolically [as if]. In a week we both will skate at Pro-Am competition. In any case Iím somehow sure Liosha will return. It will be my pleasure to compete with him.
- And what plans do you have for the summer?
- EP: Iím going to Collinís tour. There we have fewer loads, so I believe my leg could get better. And in two months Iíll return to Peter [St.Petersburg].
- Your speaking English became much better. Is it the result of special lessons?
- EP: No. I study it myself step by step. Iím unlucky with getting a teacher. Once I was in a car with my girl friend and said to her: ďYuliana, itís time for us to set about EnglishĒ. She immediately called a teacher she knew and even came to an agreement about the first lesson. But I, for my misfortune, said: ďTell him that Plushenko wants to studyĒ. And the teacher just as he heard whoís offered him as a pupil, was afraid, I donít know why, and refused flatly. When I come home, Iíll try to find someone who doesnít fear me.