Tuktamisheva looks to make immediate impact

Russian prodigy confident heading into first Grand Prix Series

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva expects to medal at her Grand Prix assignments this fall.
Elizaveta Tuktamisheva expects to medal at her Grand Prix assignments this fall. (Getty Images)


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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to
(09/14/2011) - Elizaveta Tuktamisheva is preparing for her first senior international competitions in this fall's Grand Prix Series. Despite being only 14, she already has stood on the podium at several prestigious competitions, as she was the silver medalist at the 2011 World Junior Championships and the 2010 Junior Grand Prix Final.

She is often referred to as a "child prodigy" in figure skating. When she was 12, she was performing complex elements: a triple Axel and a cascade of triple Lutz-triple toe loop combinations. She has all the triple jumps in her arsenal.

On top of her readily apparent skill, she possesses diligence and purposefulness, often spending more time on the ice than had been planned. Her serious approach to skating combines well with her affability. (This became apparent when after long training sessions, which ended late at night, she insisted on going forward with this interview, despite her weariness.) Elizaveta, tell us about your preseason training?

Tuktamisheva: Training this summer was fairly productive. It was a lot of work, both in technical terms and in terms of choreography. We choreographed two new programs that I like very much. In a recent interview with your coach, Alexei Mishin, he said that your technical skills have improved even more. What do you have to say about that?

Tuktamisheva: My step sequences will definitely be new. With regard to my skills in general, I think [the improvement] will become clear during the new season. This season you will be skating in the Grand Prix Series. What are your thoughts about moving up to the senior level?

Tuktamisheva: I try to never think about the status of competitions, whether it is a world championships or an ice show. For me, the most important thing is to give everything I have and do all I can on the ice. Skaters who are more experienced are usually not afraid of facing first-year seniors. What are your thoughts about this?

Tuktamisheva: This will provide added incentive and motivation for me to skate well and prove that we [former juniors] should not be underestimated (she smiles). Are you hoping to win a medal at either of your Grand Prix assignments in Canada or France?

Tuktamisheva: My plan is to be among the medalists in this Grand Prix Series. Tell us about your new programs.

Tuktamisheva: I really like both of my programs. They really fit me, especially the short. Tango music is one of my favorite kinds of music -- I really feel that theme -- but I also like my free skate program (a piano and violin version of "Bésame Mucho" and "Caravan" performed by Jack Costanzo) very much. It seems almost all of your time is dedicated to training. Has anything changed in your daily routine over the summer?

Tuktamisheva: Training still occupies most of my time. It's impossible to achieve good results in sports any other way. Tell us about your goals for the upcoming season.

Tuktamisheva: One of my main goals is to prove to the judges that I am worthy of being a senior skater, so to speak. I want them to accept me into this circle.