Interview with Lisa Tuktamysheva

Q: How do you feel about winning your first National title?

A: It is an amazing feeling. Finally, after six years of competing at (senior) Nationals I was able to win this title. Most of the time, I struggled with the short program (at Nationals.).

Q: What was different this time?

A: I don't really know. I just went out more ore less confident and skated well with emotions.

Q: And you were even sick.

A: Yes, before the free skating I fell sick. To skate the free program was terrible. Before I went out to skate I drank some water and I had trouble holding the water bottle because it was very heavy. During the warm up off ice, after each little jump I felt a terrible fatigue and I didn't know how I can get out there and skate my free program. But I pulled myself together. However, towards the end of the program my head started spinning and before the loop everything went black before my eyes and I don't know how I finished the program. I was like in a trance and I went out and I skated on pure willpower apparently.

Q: When did you decide to go out and try after all? Your coach Alexei Mishin told us in the morning that you cannot compete.

A: I never wanted to withdraw. Yes, there were thoughts, but the whole time I wanted to skate and to fight to the end. We did think I had to withdraw, but then we decided that I have to fight and it wasn't in vain. To be able to go out in this condition makes the title even more valuable.

Q: How do you feel today?

A: I feel better, but I am still tired, sleepy.

Q: You've shown a lot of fighting spirit this season, not only here but also when you skated well in the Grand Prix Final coming off illness or in the Grand Prix events not being in top shape. How did your character change?

A: Maybe I developed more of a fighting spirit. I don't even know what happened with me and how I was able to pull all this off.

Q: How important was it for you to become Russian Champion?

A: This is an important title and I think it is important to be Russian Champion and to come as Russian Champion to international events. I wanted to win. I think that the European and World Championships have more meaning, but it is still very nice to be Russian Champion.

Q: You said before that the European Championships won't be so new for you as you have met your rivals before at the Grand Prix. But how much are you looking forward to finally be able to compete in this major event?

A: Yes, finally Adelina (Sotnikova) and I can compete in these events. Of course, it is a little nerve-wracking, but I think once I'll be on the ice, it won't matter to me anymore if this is the European Championship, the Grand Prix or Russian Nationals. No matter which event, you always want to give your best and skate well.

Q: You've moved to St. Petersburg one and a half years ago now. How have you adapted to the city?

A: Very well. It is an amazing city. I want to thank Mikhail Viatcheslavovitch Kuznetsov (sponsor of Alexei Mishin's group), who arranged everything and helped me a lot to move to St. Petersburg. Without his help, I wouldn't have been able to move there, I wouldn't have had a place to stay. I would be helpless. The city is beautiful, I fell in love with it.

Q: What are you favourite places?

A: So far I have not found yet a place where I would go in a difficult minute just to sit, but I just enjoy walking in the parks, on Nevski Prospekt. I live in the city centre and sometimes I walk to the ice rink. I walk over the Palace bridge, past the columns and especially in the morning on a , beautiful, sunny day, it is unforgettable. The White Nights are beautiful as well.

Q: What about school?

A: I am studying externally. My mother is a teacher and helps me with algebra and geometry. This makes it a little easier. I study with my books at home. I get some home work and I try to do it, but it is hard to combine studies and skating.

Q: What about your younger sister Evgenia?

A: She skated a little but then we decided that one skater in the family is enough. She is going to school and we signed her up for ballroom dance classes.

Q: Didn't you say that you like ballroom dancing as well and would like to attend classes if you had time?

A: Not just ballroom dancing, I like dancing in general and I would love to sign up for some classes.

Q: Do you still go back to your old home town of Glazov?

A: There won't be a chance now for New Year's holiday, but I would like to go there at least for a few days. I have family and friends there. Sometimes they come to visit us in St. Petersburg, which is nice. But still it would be nice to go there, to walk around and see what has changed. It is still my home town and I miss most of all the people there.

Q: You said you like going out and dancing in your spare time.

A: Yes, I like to spend my spare time with friends. I can't be without having some fun with my friends. My friends are mostly other skaters.

Q: With whom are your especially friends?

A: With our group, with the boys. It is easier to be friends with them than with girls. They are honest. It just happened that I am very good friends with three boys from our group and I also have one girl friend. Of course, I also have girl friends and we hang out together.

Q: Did you want to be a boy when you were younger?

A: I didn't want to be a boy, but I dressed like a boy. No, never I wanted to be a boy. I like to get myself busy with hairstyling, make up and all this and I love shopping.

Q: What kind of shops do you like?

A: I like all kind of shops, there aren't any special shops I prefer.

Q: What goals do you set yourself for the remainder of the season?

A: I want to skate well in the international competitions. I won't look into the future, my dream is it just to skate well.

Q: What is your relationship with Adelina like?

A: It is good, we are friends and she is a nice girl. We've known each other for a long time and we've wanted to go (to Europeans and Worlds) together for a long time and now finally we can go. I am very happy that she also qualified. I also have a good relationship to Nikol (Gosviani).

Q: You said that you like France a lot.

A: Yes, I love Nice and Paris. At the Grand Prix we walked around in the city, but there were no free days ecxept for the first one so I didn't have much time for sightseeing.

Q: Where do you want to go for vacation after the season?

A: I would like to go to Nice. But for some reason the plans I make never happen so I am afraid I won't go. Right now it is a plan and I really want to go.