Ice Network

Medvedeva's message: 'Love saves the world'

Newly crowned European champion may try quad by end of season
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Evgenia Medvedeva's goal in skating is clear: to win the Olympic gold medal. -Getty Images

Evgenia Medvedeva arrived in Bratislava with titles from the 2014 Junior Grand Prix Final and 2015 World Junior Championships, a victory at the 2015 Grand Prix Final and a gold medal from the 2016 Russian Championships. She continued her winning streak by capturing her first European gold medal Friday night. She took the time to speak with icenetwork the morning after her victory.

Icenetwork: How did it feel to wake up this morning as the newly crowned European champion?

Medvedeva: I didn't understand what happened to me yesterday, and I don't understand better today, actually. I don't feel like a European champion yet, but I think that that feeling will come!

Icenetwork: Can you tell us a bit about your free program? You skate to contemporary music, both from Wallis & Edward and René Aubry, who worked a lot with choreographers. What story did you create with it?

Medvedeva: My choreographer and coach took a long time to explain to me what I was going to do with this program and helped me to understand how to feel the program. It is harder to understand than my short program, and a very different character to put across. It was quite hard for me to understand.

At first I hear the music loud, and then it becomes less intense, and back. … It's not a question of hearing. (laughs) I am just turned inward, to the inside of myself, because I am scared of the world. Then I uncover my ears and I open to the world and can hear it, but I'm scared again, so I close them one more time, and the intensity of the music decreases.

After that, I understand that the world is not that scary, so I open myself to the world and start skating, as if I were taking a journey to discover that everybody has to live in peace and joy. That's the main story of my program: Love saves the world.

Icenetwork: Do you prefer to skate this program or the short program, which you skate to another soundtrack, Melodies of the White Nights?

Medvedeva: (thinks a little) Can you say if you prefer your daughter or your son? (She laughs, and all of us around the table laugh at the same time. Can you believe she just turned 16 last November?)

Icenetwork: Many experts have highlighted the great style and posture you have on the ice. It's something you didn't have before. Have you worked specifically on that part of your skating?

Medvedeva: (laughing) Oh no! I thought that was already the case last year! That's so disappointing!

More seriously -- yes, absolutely. You know, every season you have to get better. This year we put a strong emphasis on working the choreography.

Icenetwork: After your short program, you said that you tried to relate to the audience. How did you do that?

Medvedeva: Actually, I hear the audience a lot when I enter the ice for warmup. I always listen to the audience then, as the speaker announces the name and résumé of every skater in the group. I like to listen to who gets the most applause and cheers then!

After that, I always try not to hear my competitors' results.

As soon as the program starts, I don't listen to anything anymore.

Icenetwork: Aliona Savchenko said she skated here (in Bratsilava) in 2001, at the European championships. What would be your dream for the future?

Medvedeva: Whoa! In 2001? (She counts.) I was 1 year old!

My dream would be to become a role model for children, to set an example for the young generations.

Icenetwork: What is your goal on that path? To win the Olympic gold medal?

Medvedeva: Yes.

Icenetwork: What do you think you need to work on to achieve that?

Medvedeva: That's a tricky question. I think I need to work more on the quality of my elements...I mean, the technical quality of my elements. I think they will be my strongest points.

Icenetwork: You don't feel they are already at the top?

Medvedeva: Well, you can always do better!

Icenetwork: Have you ever thought of trying triple axel or quads?

Medvedeva: I think this season I will not try those jumps, but by the end of my season, I will maybe try the quad salchow. But I don't know about that. I have never tried it. I trust that my coach knows exactly what to do and what to work on and at what time.

Icenetwork: What do you like, besides skating?

Medvedeva: I enjoy drawing very much. Do you want to see what I did?

At this point in the interview, Medvedeva took out her cell phone and started to look for some drawings she had made. They were just like her skating: precise and delightfully exquisite.

This one I made after the Sherlock Holmes series. The movie gave me the inspiration, and I did it while I was watching it. I like drawing pictures of people, even caricatures…

That one I made from a Japanese animated movie. I don't enjoy mangas (Japanese comics) too much, but I love Japanese animated movies. See this keychain? (She shows a cartoon character.) I drew it here…

And that one (she explodes in laughter) is me, last season. (Her sketch shows a small girl with her dress on her skates. She has improved a lot since -- in skating and in drawing!)

Icenetwork: How do you like the U.S., where the next world championships will be?

Medvedeva: I really like the U.S.! It's a dream I always had to visit that country. I passed by New York once, but it was just a connection, and it was too quick for me to visit the sites. I went there for Skate America. It was in Milwaukee, which is not so big a city. We didn't do much sightseeing. I'm very excited to go to Boston. I hope I have some time for sightseeing, and shopping, too. I would like to get something special from the U.S., something that can't be found in Russia or in the rest of Europe.

Icenetwork: How will you prepare for that event?

Medvedeva: My goal is to work every day until then and put all my soul into my skating. If I do, then I'll skate well. And if I skate well, then results will follow.

This interview was made possible thanks to Estonian writer Svetlana Veklitseva, who interpreted most of the discussion. (Medvedeva is quite willing to speak English but is still in the process of learning the language.)