Florent Amodio made some crucial decisions at the end of last season and now has a solid appreciation of the word ‘adjustment.’
The first decision he made was to part ways with his longtime coach Bernard Glesser. “It was hard to do that, because we had strong ties,” Amodio admitted. “He taught me everything and I am thankful for that. I owe him for my flow and my technique.”
Glesser, who was also Stanick Jeannette’s first trainer, coached Amodio to the 2008-09 Junior Grand Prix Final and the 2010 French national titles and a 12th-place ranking at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“He is one of the best technicians in France and we achieved a lot of things together,” Amodio said. “But something changed after I placed 15th at my first World Championships in Torino.”
Amodio and Didier Gailhaguet, the president of the French federation, searched for the best possible and most suitable solution. They agreed on one person: Nikolai Morozov.
After the disappointing results achieved by Russian skaters at the 2010 Olympic Games (the nation claimed two medals and no titles, compared with the three crowns they registered in Torino in 2006), the Russian authorities persuaded Morozov to leave his training base in Hackensack, N.J., and return to his native country.
He agreed to work with the French rising star, which meant Amodio had to leave France to train. “Instead of relocating to the U.S. I moved to Russia,” Amodio said with a smile. “But there were wildfires surrounding Moscow last summer that forced us to go to the Baltic States for a cooler atmosphere.”
Due to his commitments to others skaters such as Miki Ando, Morozov is
not always at his side. “When Nikolai is traveling and I am not competing, I go back to France and train in Champigny [a suburb east of Paris] with Annick Dumont,” Amodio said. “That allows me to see my family from time to time. But my new life is rather tough for all of us.”
For this season, Morozov selected music that he felt suited Amodio’s style and to date the French star has had rather good international results. He placed third at NHK Trophy, second at Trophée Eric Bompard and sixth at the Grand Prix Final.
Domestically, he placed second to Brian Joubert at both the French Masters and the national championships.
“My expectations are high but I do not always achieve what I would like to,” Amodio acknowledged. “With Nikolai, I know he will push my limits. We are still in a growing process, adjusting to each other.
“We are also aware that a quadruple jump will soon be mandatory, at least in the free, but perhaps also in the short program.”
The European Championships, which took place in late January in Bern, Switzerland, were considered a good opportunity for monitoring both Amodio and Michal Březina’s potential to overtake their respective national rivals, Joubert and Tomáš Verner.
The results of those Championships did not play out the way many expected. Amodio surprised everyone by claiming the title while Březina landed in eighth place, more than 25 points behind Amodio. The World Championships should prove to be an interesting competition given this result.
Originally published in April 2011