Andrei Lazukin:


“I need to realize that I have done everything I could and then I can calmly say goodbye”




 Andrei at practice in Kislovodsk

Andrei Lazukin, 24, struggled with injury since 2019 after coming 10th in his first and so far only appearance at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan and underwent knee surgery. The skater that trains in Alexei Mishin’s group since 2010, started his comeback in the past season. We met him together with other skaters of Mishin's and Tatiana Prokofieva's group at the training camp in Kislovodsk.


*Why do we report on Russian skaters and publish interviews with them in spite of the terrible war (which is even not allowed to be called war in Russia) in Ukraine? We believe that these horrible events are not the fault of the Russian people and we feel that the civil society in Russia should be strengthened and not excluded.*


How do you look back at the past season?

Andrei: It was bad, I say right away. It was the first after a long break due to injury, and, frankly, everything went wrong from the start. At first we made a mistake with the first competition – I should not have gone to the first event of the Russian Cup series. It would have been better to compete in St. Petersburg before that, because when I came to Syzran I realized that I absolutely forgot how to compete, how to set up myself, all my feelings. Two years are still a long break. And at the beginning of the season my physical form is not the best. At the same time the roster was pretty serious. As a result, I took 7th place. Then I came second in the second event. I didn't qualify for Russian Nationals. And the season was basically over for me already at that point...

After New Year I planned to compete at the Russian Cup Final, but two weeks before the event I got Covid. I was sick for ten days, but I got ready and we decided to go. And when I did the short program, I realized I would not be able to do the free program and I withdrew. I am a patient person; I have been through a lot, but this time I did not take chances, in order not to make it worse. The aftereffects of the disease had been showing for a long time. The disease wasn't that hard, but then my whole body ached for a few weeks and my temperature rose to 37 in the evening...

I did some good programs last season, but one performance wasn't enough. For the programs to work, everything must come together - the form, the clarity of the skating, the emotional balance. But it didn't work out for me right from the start. In the course of the season it was decided to change the music a little, and then some more. In the end, there was very little left of the original version, and I stopped liking the program myself. We went back to the free program that I skated in 2019, the Adagio from the Concerto de Aranjuez. We kept the short program (Tango de Roxanne).


After the injury I went quite a long way, got all the quads back, already skated good programs in practice, I got into shape, in my opinion, even I improved. It's just that not everything was calculated to the end, that's why the season did not work out. But all coaches support me. Alexei Nikolaevitch (Mishin) told me directly: "Hold your horses". I`m not ready myself, but the competition in our group is better now. Zhenia Semenenko grew up, Misha Kolyada and Matvei Vetlugin joined the team. As for the girls, only Lisa Tuktamysheva is left. She's a very strong athlete. But it spurs me on the contrary. I have always loved competition. We cheer each other on and encourage each other on the ice. And off the ice we have a normal relationship with each other.



Andrei with coach and choreographer Tatiana Prokofieva


What are your plans for the new season?

Andrei: We are going to change both programs. I want to open myself up in a new capacity. I will probably start to create programs with Tatiana Prokofieva. We have a music for the free program that I suggested. But it is a preliminary version. Everything could change.


What kind of programs do you like to do?

Andrei: I generally like character programs. I like the classics, I feel it very well, but I would also like to experiment. In any case, I can have one classical program and another "experimental" one...


What does motivate you to continue?

Andrei: A feeling of being unfulfilled. I believe that I am capable of more. There are no other rational reasons. I just like to skate, I like figure skating, though there are a lot of buts - injuries, problems with finances and so on. We'll see. There are a lot of new guys now. When you get out of the general flow, it's not so easy to come back. I had different thoughts during the off season. Some things embarrassed me, and some stopped me, but I still decided to go ahead. To put an end to it, I need to realize that I have done everything I could and then I can calmly say goodbye.

The fact that there will be no international competitions next season is sad. Of course, it diminished my motivation, because all athletes want to perform not only domestically, but also at international events, to have a chance to be selected for major tournaments. But I don't have any other options.


What are your plans for the future?

Andrei: I've graduated, I can work as a coach, and I've even tried it. Now I started to study on my own to become an IT specialist. I'm interested in programming websites. I am not thinking about getting a second higher education, I’m doing it just for myself so far.



Andrei at practice in Kislovodsk

Andrei at practice in Kislovodsk



You were interested in journalism, weren’t you?

Andrei: Now is not the right time for journalism. While I was recovering from injury I had a chance to come to Moscow and record podcasts. They even wanted to buy our programs, but we did not sell out. We stopped. While I was not skating, I was able to go back and forth to Moscow, but then this opportunity went away.


The Russian version of this interview has been published on the website of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia (in the material about the training center Kislovodsk).


Русскую версию этого интервью можете прочитать на сайте ФФКР (в общем материале о базе Кисловодск)



Off ice practice in Kislovodsk



All photos by Flade and are not to be copied, reprinted etc. without permission.