Below please see Tamara Moskvina's interview with a Russian newspaper
"Argumenty i Fakty." I don't know what the date of it was, so it may
have been posted before. In reference to the collision, what you need
to know to understand the context is that during the Olympics, the
Russian fans were disgusted with one-sided NBC coverage of the warm-up
collision. They thought it was outrageous that Jamie was presumed to
be the only one hurt, and Anton was thought to be "made of stone." In
the heat of the moment, some people online suggested it may have been
intentional on Jamie's part, but they were subdued by the reasonable
majority who agreed it was, of course, only accidental, but Anton
should have gotten his share of attention and sympathy from the media.
Tamara Moskvina: We didn't put sand in anyone's boots
The Salt Lake City triumph of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze
was the fourth in the Olympic medal count of Tamara Moskvina, a famous
Russian figure skating coach.
Q. How upset were you by the pair skating scandal?
A. Whenever the results are decided by one vote or one hundredth of a
second, the second-ranked wants to know why and what for. For
instance, when we were deprived of our medals (or kept away from them)
at the last worlds in Vancouver, we felt pretty bad. But we never
accused anyone of biased judging or blamed Canadians for holding the
worlds and the Grand Prix Final in their home country to take
advantage of the home field and fans. So my take on that is that there
is no use crying over spilt milk..
Q. What was Lena and Anton's reaction?
A. They were pretty upset at first because they thought the scandal is
directed against them personally. Eventually, I persuaded them that
they did their part, and that was the most important thing. Their long
program really was the most beautiful, artistic and musical, with more
difficult lifts, steps etc. "Did you skate well? Yes, you did," I told
them. "Do you really believe you robbed someone? You didn't. You
didn't slam into the Canadian lady during warm up she slammed into
you. You didn't put sand into anyone's boots. So chill out."
Q. Speaking of, was Anton hurt by the collision?
A. He was a bit hurt his left forearm was bruised. Of course, it
would be ridiculous to call that a reason for his error during the
long program. However, the collision did shake them up because they
didn't get a chance to warm up two of their difficult elements. We
were prepared for anything, but could never in our dreams imagine that
collisions can occur during the warm-up of the best pairs in the
Q. Do you see the Olympic medals won by your students as your own?
A. Personally, I don't have any Olympic medals. My students, however,
have four. Elena Valova and Oleg Vassiliev in 1984. Dmitriev and
Mishkutenok in 1992, Dmitriev and Kazakova in 1998, and now Lena and
Q. What do you think of a recent rumor that Rudolf Zagaynov allegedly
hypnotized Yagudin to win, and Plushenko, to lose?
A. I don't believe that the psychologist who works with one athlete
can damage the nerves of the other, as it is alleged Zagaynov did to
Plushenko. The only thing a psychologist can do is to make this
patient a bit stronger. Let's look at a closer example Ludmila
Velikova and her students Maria Petrova and Alexey Tikhonov. All of
them are unhappy with my fourth Olympic win. So why can't they hurt
my stability and keep me from winning, considering their close
relationship with a great professional, a psychology department chair
in the Lesgaft Institute, which is also Zagaynov's alma mater? And
besides, if that was so easy, why don't other people use this method?
In my opinion, Plushenko was simply under too much pressure for his 19
years of age, and that's the reason he buckled.