Cosmopolitain, October 2003. By Veronica Romanchenko.|
He had his first big victory when he was 14, becoming the youngest Junior World champion in the figure skating history. And in a year he became the youngest World medallist among adults. Today Evgeni has all gold medals except the Olympic one. The interest to Plushenko in the whole world is huge, he has millions of fans, but heís not going to ďundressĒ for public, describing the details of his victories and defeats. And because of that he got the reputation of a cold and even arrogant man. I can tell just one thing: in the regular life the idol of Russian girls is much simpler daring, romantic and very charming.
VR:- Are you proud with your achievements?
EP:- Iím glad with my achievements and thankful to the fortune that Iím so lucky. And about the pride I donít know and I donít want to know. I donít want people think about me badly.
VR: -What is it like Ė being skater N1 in the world?
EP: - Iíve been aspiring to that for all my life, and I really want to be N1. In the figure skating Iím from 4 and in fact all my life is in the sport. Of course, like an every skater of a high level, I have to refuse of something, to break myself, to overcome physical and moral barriers. All that time one should go ahead, ahead, Ahead!
VR: - Were your first steps in the sport hard?
EP: - Very hard, but as my mom said, Iíve been very stubborn. When I was little I was seriously sick often, I had double-sided pneumonia, the sport hardened me.
VR: - Have you ever had the moment when you wanted to leave everything?
EP: - Several times. When I was 11, in Volgograd where we lived, the rink was closed. And my family and me decided that I would skate no more, but if I wish I could set about karate or soccer. I decided to busy myself with karate. And then in one fine day I was called by my former coach Mikhail Khrisantjevich Makoveev and offered me to continue my training in Moscow or St.Petersburg. I liked St.Petersburg more. Also Mikhail Khrisantjevich has a close friend there Ė a figure skater coach Alexey Nikolaevich Mishin. We came to St.Petersburg and step by step I began to practice at Mishinís. At the beginning it was very hard, he spared me very few time, because then he also trained Urmanov, and Yagudin, Tataurov, Novoseltsev. Iíve been the littlest in the group and my turn was last. Once my mom and me even bought the tickets to come home, to Volgograd. Just before leaving we came to my coach and said about our decision. Alexey Nikolaevich said we did a big mistake, because I could skate well, simply it would take time. Then we decided to stay and try once more. Iím convinced that high sport achievements are impossible without strong shocks and crises. As my coach says, swimming in warm sweet milk canít make a hero out of a man.
VR: - In one interview you said that you would like to open the Ice Center in Volgograd and teach kids with figure Skating.
EP: - Of course, that would be great. Iíve been there a year ago; I went to see the old Ice Palace, where I skated. Now itís something unclear, some warehouses. Thatís wrong. People have no possibilities to skate or play hockey Ė but those sports are very popular in Russia. I see it with ďYubileinyĒ Sport Palace example. Such a lot of kids came here every day! But they have no place to practice. The rink is open from 7 a.m. till 12 p.m. And all the same the ice is not enough.
VR: - Also I heard you want to open a restaurant or discotheque.
EP: - Once Iíve been thinking about itÖ But it takes huge money, which I havenít, itís first, and the second Ė I need the time. If you begin to busy yourself with something besides the sport, so you will spend for that your forces, nervous, emotions. But now I want to be alone with the sport as much as possible.
VR: - They say you seriously think about writing your biography.
EP: - Thatís true.
VR: - But youíre just 20! Is it not too early to write the biography?
EP: - No, it is not. A soccer player Kerzhakov has written his one. I believe I can tell about myself something interesting. While his sport carrier, every athlete lives something like a one full life: youth, bloom and, sadly, decline. Itís an exact model of the real life. So a rather young man can have mature view of life.
VR: - In figure skating youíre called ďa great experimenterĒ. You programs are so different Ė classical Bolero by Ravel, Swan by Saint-Sans and at the same time the funny Russian folk dance, the Jewish dance, and parody Sex Bomb. What is the reason of such a sharp change of images?
EP: - Itís sport, itís art and certainly you need to be different. If you skate all time in one style, people will see and think: ďHe canít do it in another way?Ē And I myself always want to try something new, to see what I can. VR: - Also youíre called Shakespeare on iceÖ
EP: - Yes, first time I was called this way by my coach in one of his interview. That comparison fits our creative conception, because Shakespeare could express all human feelings: love, perfidy, betrayal. I too want to create in my ice programs as more different, diametrically opposite images as possible. Now for example Iím preparing the program in rap style.
VR: - But what image do you like the best?
EP: - Actually I like all my programs. But for the present I have two favorites Ė Albinoni music and Igor Korneliukís music for ďCriminal St.PetersburgĒ series.
VR: - Does anyone work at your image?
EP: - No. Of course I use reasonable advice but yet above all I try to be myself.
VR: - Do you live with the reason or with the feelings?
EP: - Both, but more with the feelings. Iím sentimental, but I separate well loyalty from flattery, sincerity from acting.
VR: - Are you a romantic man?
EP: - I think so.
VR: - Do you have a dream?
EP: - I remember last summer, in America while Champions on Ice tour I had a pleasant evening with one girl. Weíve been in a yacht, listened to the music, looked at stars, talkedÖ I got a very pleasing impression from that and Iíd like to repeat it but with the girl I love. Perhaps itís my most romantic dream. VR: - And what is that girl like?
EP: - Honest, clever, beautiful, tall, slim, romantic, with humor senseÖ
VR: - Do you remember your first love?
EP: - Yes, I do, it was a girl named Natasha Kuznetsova. I met her at the skating rink, I was five or six years old. I liked Natasha, courted her, even tried to kiss her. But she sadly refused, saying that her mom didnít permit her to kiss, but I answered: ďBut my mom does me!Ē And still permitsÖ
VR: - Are you often disappointed in people?
EP: - Sometimes. But Iíve never been disappointed in people or in life totally. I donít know what could disappoint me so strongly and I hope I will never know.
VR: - Itís considered that single skaters are very lonely in his life too.
EP: - I believe everyone has his fate, his life. I donít know about another skaters. In my life I have a lot of good friends, acquaintances, close people. In fact Iím never alone. I can share my experiences with my parents, itís them who above all help me in bad times.
VR: - I heard youíre interesting in history?
EP: - Iíve been, in school. Sadly then I hadnít much time for it, all my attention was concentrated on the sport, but I liked history. The past is the overturned future. I remember then I liked the Indians and knights. Perhaps in my last life Iíve been a knight. And now I want to be him.
VR: - They say you collect arms?
EP: - Not all arms Ė only swords. They were bought in different times and in different shops, also abroad, but they have no historical or antiquarian value. In my childhood I had toy swords. But then I decided, why donít I buy real ones?
VR: - I read that you love cars, girls and discothequesÖ
EP: - Cars Ė yes, girls Ė yes, discotheques Ė yes. But also I love the paintings, good music, classics of the past. Time to time my likes and dislikes, certainly, change.
VR: - Could you remember the most pleasing moments in your life?
EP: - Actually I have a lot of them. For instance when I won the Euros for the first time, then the Worlds. A lot of pleasant moments are about my family. I love spending my time with my parents, going to the countryside or fishing, I love my dog very much. For a long time I wanted to get a dog. And just two years ago, after buying a flat, I got such a possibility. I decided to buy an American bulldog. A defender. When we came to buy it I chose the nippiest one. And now itís this way, runs, dashes. But itís clever, obeys. I called him Golden.