Expressive Amodio takes aim at worlds podium
European champion doesn't feel pressure to defend title
|Florent Amodio says he feels no pressure to defend his European title. (Getty Images)|
Last season, Amodio caused a sensation by winning the European Championships in his debut at the competition. Along with countryman Brian Joubert's silver medal, it was the first time since 1961 that the French took the top two places at Europeans.
No less impressive was the success of Amodio's programs, which were original both in content and music. He is a skater who is always full of energy, a quality for which he is beloved by audiences.
Before leaving for the Japan Open, icenetwork.com spoke with Amodio about last season's success and his thoughts on the upcoming season.
Icenetwork.com: Florent, you are the current European champion. Because of this, have you changed your preseason training at all?
Amodio: (Laughs) Should I have more pressure? No, I don't. I just keep going, never forgetting where I'm from and training every day so hard to be the best. I don't let the pressure bother me. It's just amazing to skate.
Icenetwork.com: It must be a wonderful feeling to be the best on the continent. This season you will have to defend your title. What are your thoughts about that?
Amodio: It feels so good. This title is for all my life, so it's amazing. Yes, I know, now I have to defend my title, and I also know that it's going to be hard, but one of my goals for this year is to be one of the best in the world, so I have to perform my best everywhere.
Icenetwork.com: Your free skate program last season proved to be a resounding success in terms of expressiveness. What are your programs like for this season?
Amodio: I love them. They are different in style, but all my programs always touch me inside. I work so much for the audience, and I'm so excited to perform my new programs this year.
Icenetwork.com: You practiced with Alexei Yagudin during your training in Moscow. Could you tell us about that?
Amodio: When you are a skater, your dream is to win titles, to be the best, but having an experience like skating and practicing with Alexei Yagudin was definitely amazing. He was so nice with me, explaining a lot of little things as a skater, and that was a really good moment.
Icenetwork.com: Your coach, Nikolai Morozov, has many students in different disciplines. How does he manage his time among all his skaters?
Amodio: He has enough time for everybody, and it's totally fine for me. There are 5-6 skaters maximum on the ice, so it's perfect. Also, it's so great to skate with such good skaters.
Icenetwork.com: What is your opinion about the current level of European men's skaters in comparison with skaters from North America and Asia?
Amodio: We've got amazing skaters in Europe. In France, it's not a popular sport, so it's harder than in Japan, where they have millions of people who love figure skating, but I'm 100 percent sure that Europe can be good as other regions in all skating disciplines.
Icenetwork.com: After the European Championships, Brian Joubert warmly congratulated you on your victory. How do you describe your relationship with him? It is friendly or are you rivals first?
Amodio: Brian is my friend now. For sure, we're going to compete to win everything, to keep the French team strong, but we know there is only one number one, so we have to do our best at every competition. I know journalists like when there is a "fight" somewhere (he smiles), but I'm really happy to be on the French team with him.
Icenetwork.com: Next year the world championships will be held in France. What does this mean for you and what does it mean for French skating fans?
Amodio: "Wow" - that's the first word that comes to mind! It's going to be amazing. It is my dream to compete in all the big competitions at home. First, this is a great opportunity to develop figure skating in France, and second, it's my public, and it's my dream to be the best in front of them!
Icenetwork.com: Tell us about your goals for the season.
Amodio: My main goal is to skate my best, with a quad at every competition.