Ice Network

Krasnozhon continues to build winning reputation

17-year-old working toward cementing himself as "full package" skater
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Alex Krasnozhon picked up two additional Junior Grand Prix titles this season, and the 17-year-old hopes to enjoy similar success at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. -Getty Images

Reigning U.S. junior champion Alex Krasnozhon has every reason to be proud of himself. Having won titles at Junior Grand Prix stops in Australia and Croatia this season, the 17-year-old is now considered one of the favorites to hoist gold at the Junior Grand Prix Final in December.

Despite already achieving such remarkable success, Krasnozhon isn't done tweaking his craft, and he hopes to finish in the top six at this season's U.S. Figure Skating Championships. His technical arsenal, combined with an intrinsic internal artistry, clearly show that Krasnozhon is ready to perform well on the national and international stage.

Icenetwork spoke with Krasnozhon about his recent success, the approach he takes to modern men's figure skating, the programs he's put together for the 2017-18 season and his thoughts on the present state of U.S. men's singles skating.

Icenetwork: How would you describe your season on the JGP circuit, which so far includes two gold medals?

Alex Krasnozhon: This year was my third competitive season on the Junior Grand Prix series. During my first JGP season, I was going through a stage where I was just excited to compete. I learned a lot that season.

The most important thing was how to prepare, handle, and act during competition to make sure I am always at my best. I also learned the hard way, as my second Junior Grand Prix in Poland in 2015 resulted in a fifth-place finish. I could have ended third if I had done at least a Level 3 spin instead of a no value sit spin.

Last year, I paid attention to my spins and finer details in my program. This helped me qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final, where I came fifth. This year, my coaching team and I have set a goal of performing like I'm on the senior circuit.

Icenetwork: How were you able to make so much progress on the ice in such a relatively short amount of time?

Krasnozhon: I think the key to making progress, especially in a short window of time, is setting a particular goal and achieving it. For example, after my first Junior Grand Prix in Brisbane, our goal was to stand up on the quad loop, and do triple lutz-triple loop, as well as skate out the long program better. After we set that goal, we trained the long program accordingly.

Icenetwork: Was earning a spot at the Junior Grand Prix Final your initial goal from the very beginning of this season?

Krasnozhon: Starting this season, my coaches and I knew what I was capable of, and the actual goal is the gold medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final.

Icenetwork: You have already distinguished yourself with originality and your style. How important is it to you to be original on the ice?

Krasnozhon: It is very important to be original. Every program that Scott [Brown] and I create is special, and there is no other program that looks like it. I always want to separate myself from others. As you can see, everyone does a triple flip-triple toe this season, where I do perform a triple flip-triple loop. Everyone also does quad toe, while I do quad loop. As far as playing it safe, we don't like to risk spins, so we just do clean Level 4 spins with quality. Personally, I think it's important to bring out your own personality and style.

Icenetwork: How did you arrive at the musical selections for your programs this season?

Krasnozhon: The musical choice for my short program this year came into my mind right after I was done competing at Junior Worlds. I knew that I wanted to create a unique piece that would show my emotions and my passion.

As far as my long program, my coach, Darlene Cain, came up with the idea for that music. I learned later that the translation of lyrics in my long program is "Now we are Free" and I relate to this piece a lot. I am finally going to compete at nationals as a senior. For the past three U.S. championships I was a bit nervous, but now with all this experience behind me, I am finally free.

Icenetwork: What are the main areas you'd like to improve moving forward?

Krasnozhon: I'd like to develop Level 4 step sequences in both programs, a clean quad loop, possibly adding another quad, receiving no lower GOE than +1, and having a better performance overall.

Icenetwork: Do you prefer to be a skater known for having strong technique or one with captivating artistry and musical interpretation?

Krasnozhon: I prefer both. I don't want to just be known as an outstanding jumper, nor do I want to be known as just an artistic skater. I want to be known as a full package skater who has everything. Put it this way, there are cars that are crazy fast, like Formula One cars, or there are extremely nice cars like a Rolls-Royce. I want to be a Bugatti, Fast and Nice.

Icenetwork: Tell us about your approach to combining artistry with the high technical demands of modern men's skating today.

Krasnozhon: Combining both is extremely hard. If you try to be more artistic, the jumps will be affected. If you focus solely on jumps, the artistry goes down, which is why you train to do both. You have to perform your program every day in practice like your choreographer set it. You are going to fall on jumps for the first couple weeks, but after training that way, you become an unbeatable skater who has both jumps and artistry.

Icenetwork: You've elected to study business and not follow the path of your parents, who are both doctors. Why did you decide to go this route?

Krasnozhon: Actually, I decided to become a cardiologist two years ago. When I first moved to the United States, one of the most popular majors was any field in business, and for some reason, I wanted to do that. Later, I realized that I have genes to be a doctor.

Icenetwork: What do you expect from yourself in the JGP Final and in the competitions that will follow this season?

Krasnozhon: I expect myself to give one of my best performances at the JGP Final, showing more improved skating from what I've done earlier this season. In the next competition, which would be nationals, I expect to be top six. I want to show that even though I am young, I am still capable of setting the bar high.