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World Champion Evgeny Plushenko: I Found the One to Enjoy the Life with.

“If I don’t like the question, I won’t answer it. Deal?” – said Evgeni Plushenko during the midnight call to the St. Petersburg. After that, we talked for half an hour. The World Champion is getting read to defend his title in Germany. And to settle down in his family home.

Q: Zhenya, why did you have to go to the Europeans with you knees hurting and become second?
Evgeny: I got injured last summer in Japan. I told the Federation’s coach right away as well as I told myself – I will skate the whole season. For me, breaks are very hurtful. Skip a week – recover for half a month.

Q: What about doctor’s warnings?
Evgeny: In Russia, the doctors took the X-rays and said that it would be good to rest for 3-4 months. An American expert as well as his colleagues from Germany said the same thing. But I had a goal – to skate with all the strength. In any case, I will be going to the Worlds.

Q: Did you got injured in Japan because you skated until you were worn out, you skated twice a day to make more money?
Evgeny: The Japanese offered me a contract and it didn’t make sense to decline it. It was the beginning of the season. It was good that I skated twice a day; it was so intensive. I hurt my knee because my blade stuck in the trace and there was no place for the leg to go. I got injured because of the bad ice.

Q: Great coach Tatiana Tarasova said at Euro 2004 that after Yagudin left, there are no sparring partner of the same level to Plushenko. The interest and courage is gone…
Evgeny: That could not happen! It is sport. You make a little mistake, and you will be eaten. Once, I didn’t go to Europeans because of the injury, and Yagudin and Abt went. Abt skated better than Alexei who made a mistake. But it was Yagudin who had to win Europeans then. His flaw was overlooked. At that moment, we were one head above the rest, and now the guys are catching up. Anyway, I hope to break away from everyone next season.

Q: Joubert defeated you at the Europeans…
Evgeny: He is a good skater. We’ll see if he can hold on. In Budapest, I relaxed after the first combination and lost. I will try and we will see who is stronger.

Q: There are 10 days left till International Woman day. Did you find the gifts for you close ones yet?
Evgeny: I recently bought a home for the whole family near St. Petersburg – that’s the best gift. It was a dream that came true. It’s a beautiful place, there is a forest, I come there for a whole day, go down the hill in the sled, and I charge up with energy, I feel getting stronger.

Q: For the two and a half years, you have been with Uliana, a beautiful blonde. Did you find your perfect woman?
Evgeny: I found a person who is complete match. We live together. We enjoy the life. She is who I really need. I don’t want to give a definition of “my perfect woman”.

Q: It is said that fans of athletes as aggressive and eager as pop-stars fans.
Evgeny: With years, my fans changed. They became more dedicated. Many don’t believe that I answer the letter. Often, I visit my site with my girlfriend or my mom. We read the mail, I write answers.

Q: But you don’t go for the “live” contact…
Evgeny: I have many fans in Japan, Germany, and America. About three years ago, a group of 20 Japanese girls came to me in St. Petersburg. We went to the theater, walked the Palace Square, took pictures, and went to restaurant. Recently, more than 20 girls from all over Russia came to have a dinner with me in a restaurant. It’s is simpler and better to get together with such group.

Q: So what about the calls with passionate admitting of love and spending nights near your building?
Evgeny: Very often, girls call and say something like “let’s get together, let’s meet”. It’s unrealistic to say, “ok, ok” to everyone. Sometimes they sit by the building and wait for me, but they are no fanatics. They don’t write stuff on the walls in the hallway. I’m very glad because it’s pretty clean.

Q: Upcoming March 8th is not one of your favorite holidays?
Evgeny: New Years is. We celebrated 2004 by going to my friends in suburbs. There were hockey players and other athletes. Sauna, pool, billiard. There were no overindulging in alcohol – I just sipped some champagne. We partied for two days – and it was time to prepare for the Nationals.

Q: So you are going to Worlds now. When will you take care of your injuries?
Evgeny: I’ve signed a contract to go to Collins Tour in America after the Dortmund. Then, the exhibitions all over Russia. Then, I plan my own shows. And only after that – rest and treatment.

Q: When are you going to start working on the possible super jumps with four rotations?
Evgeny: I think I will jump if not all of them, then I’ll do the most by 2006 games. For the next season, there is an easy plan – I have to start breaking away from the competition.