In early May, Alexandra Trusova, 15, made the decision to change coaches and leave the training base where she had worked with Eteri Tutberidze and her team since 2016. Evgeni Plushenko is now officially her primary coach.
Trusova granted her first interview following her coaching change to International Figure Skating, and spoke briefly about her reasons for moving to train with Evgeni Plushenko, Worlds being cancelled, life in quarantine, and the new family dog.
Switching coaches is a decision you do not make overnight. What led to this?
I know that changing coaches is a responsible step. Only here in Russia does this decision trigger so many emotions, discussions, and even accusations and insults. In other countries, as far as I know, this process is calmer. The emotions are probably higher because figure skating is so popular in our country. And this love is very dear to me.
I am convinced that each thoughtful athlete analyzes his or her potential and the situation around him or her. My thoughts brought me to the understanding that the time had come to take the next step forward, and I am sure it is the right step because I am taking it consciously, without any hesitation or doubt.
Why did you choose Evgeni Plushenko as your coach? He was a very successful skater, but he does not have much experience as a coach.
My decision to work with Evgeni was not because he was a great athlete, although we shouldn’t forget that. For me, he is most of all an outstanding personality, and that is much more important. He went through difficult ordeals, finding each time within himself the strength to get up again and go to battle again. And the most important thing: He never bowed his head to the system; he always remained a winner. Additionally, Evgeni has a deeply artistic personality, which attracts me to him.
And Sergei Rozanov is moving with you to Plushenko’s school?
For me, it is very important that Sergei will be next to me. We understand each other very well and we trust each other. We have worked together a lot and it has been very productive.
This past season was your long awaited senior debut. How would you evaluate that experience?
I would assess it as good. Not everything worked out the way I wanted, but I learned a lot. I learned new elements and gained experience and I will definitely use that in the new season.
What was the best moment last season and what was the toughest?
The best moment of the season was the performance at the Japan Open. I was able to perform my program well and to help the team. That was a very nice feeling, and overall it was interesting. Also, competitions in Japan are always great. The hardest competition was Russian nationals.
When Worlds was cancelled what was your reaction?
A lot of hard work, physically and mentally, went into the preparation for Worlds. The cancellation was very unexpected. I couldn’t believe for a long time that this is possible. It turned out it is possible and not only that, life stopped for a moment. But I pulled myself together quickly and made plans for the off-season. I really wanted to learn the quad loop.
We had shows coming up and we spoke to the coaches. They gave me five days of vacation and after that the preparation and shows were to begin. But everyone knows what happened. The shows were canceled; the flights were canceled and everything did not go as we wanted. (Trusova and her family went to Egypt for a short vacation, and returned home on a charter flight that was arranged for Russian citizens stranded abroad).
How are you now spending your time in quarantine?
We have a house not far from Moscow. It is very nice here – a forest, a little river and the birds are singing. So it is easier for me to deal with quarantine and self-isolation than for many others. I can train in fresh air.
What are you doing to stay fit?
I am staying in shape as much as I can. But training on the floor does not replace the ice. Other than training, I have been studying for my school exams. I’m learning English. Overall, there is a lot to do.
Tell us about your new family puppy.
I have a big family and it doesn’t get boring. Jack is more my brother’s dog. He dreamed a long time about having a Siberian husky. I love all of them. The more, the better! Lana (her poodle) is very happy. She has fun with Jack.
Trusova personally thanked her former coaches in an Instagram post:
My dear friends!
In life, sometimes the moment comes when you need to take a crucial step. This is necessary to go further, to new frontiers, to new achievements. This is not always a simple decision, but if everything is thought out and balanced, then you must go forward decisively and boldly, and nothing can stop you.
I took the decision to collaborate with Evgeni Plushenko on the next segment of my path. For me he is not only a great athlete, but most of all a distinguished personality and a genuine person who, accepting all challenges, persevered and won.
I remain grateful to my teachers, mentors and coaches who have worked with me up to this point. I thank Olga Shchevtsova and Larisa Melkov, who opened for me the wonderful world of figure skating; Alexander Volkov, Anna Tsareva and, of course, Eteri Tutberidze, who, without regard to time and circumstances, literally gave me all the best and valuable of what she has. I am sure that I will still have the opportunity to give my great coach more than one bouquet of her favorite flowers. I also thank Daniil Gleikhengauz for the characters he gave to me and the programs he choreographed for me.
With all my heart I want to say thanks to Sergey Dudakov for working with me, for kindness and decency. I am sure that we will meet again and again and I will have the opportunity to tell him personally.
Special thanks to Sergei Rozanov for his work and faith in me. He speaks little of himself, preferring deeds rather than big words, but without his painstaking and honest work, I would not have achieved my achievements and victories. At the decisive moment, he gave me his shoulder. He is my reliable friend.
Sincere gratitude to the teachers of the secondary school “Sambo-70” who endured my training schedule and helped me to get an education.
Dear friends, thanks again for your support and best wishes for success. I am pleased to have the opportunity to communicate directly with you. Waiting for everyone at my events.
I promise I won’t let you down!
Editor’s note: Trusova ranked fourth in the 2019-2020 World/Season Standings