Last summer the buzz was that Florent Amodio would leave his Moscow training base and coach Nikolai Morozov and relocate to the U.S. That, however, was not what Amodio had planned.
“I was in shock when I was asked to drop Nikolai as my head coach,” Amodio recalled. “After the 2011 Worlds, we spoke with the French federation. We made plans, which meant I would work with Nikolai in Hackensack, N.J. for a month in June. After that I was supposed to train for a few weeks with Tom Zakrajsek in Colorado Springs and then spend August in Courchevel with Annick Dumont.”
The situation took an abrupt turn in mid-July. “Nikolai did not want to quit coaching me and I was in the same frame of mind,” Amodio explained. “So I decided it was time for me to take full responsibility for my choices and my career.”
The 2011 European champion admitted it was not an easy victory. “It was kind of an arm wrestle with my federation. But I need a base with someone I trust. In a very short period of time, Nikolai and I had built a strong relationship and I could not understand why I should stop it,” the 21-year-old said.
“The split with my previous and longtime coach Bernard Glesser was very painful and I did not want to renew such a situation.
“My relationship with Nikolai has since strengthened, and as a goodwill gesture, he even came to Courchevel this summer. Now, I feel more serene and free in my head and also relieved.”
Amodio knows that he created a buzz in his first season in the senior ranks and expectations are now high. “My new routines are even better than last year. No hip-hop and no vocals,” he said. “For the short program I will skate to jazz-style music and for the free, it is in a Brazilian style, which is my roots. I will still go after the public. They push me and I try to entertain them.”
With the 2012 Worlds set to play out in France next March, Amodio knows he will have to include a quad in his long program if he hopes to medal in Nice. “I started to do the quad Salchow and in late August I worked with Alexei Yagudin in the U.S. to master the quad toe,” Amodio told IFS.
“Landing a quad in the free is almost mandatory this year, if you want to place high. And in the short too, perhaps ... I will try a second triple Axel in the second half of the long program that will give me extra points. Medaling in Nice would be great, but I will need to be perfect there.”
In order to be as prepared as possible, Amodio will split his training schedule between Paris and Moscow.
Originally published in December 2011