Interview with Misha Ge
Graz, November 2012

Q: At Worlds you were bothered by a back injury. How did you recover from it? How is your back now?

A: Well; at Worlds I had a lot of strong pain and we did a lot of injections and everything and it was really a very hard competition, but a good experience for me. So afterwards I rested for almost one month to recover, and it was much better. But it still bothers me sometimes, especially when we work on the triple Axel and the quad. So even yesterday I felt very uncomfortable, because the back bothered me again. But we work a lot on it to make it stronger so hopefully it will get better.

Q: You are skating to Charlie Chaplin which suits you very well. How did you choose this image? Whose idea was it?

A: We choose it together, me and my coaches which is my father and my mother. We worked a lot to make it creative, interesting and unique. It's a difficult challenge to choose something from Hollywood and from one of the best actors of all times. So it was a hard decision but we tried to make it come to life. And I think it works pretty well, because what we did is judged by the audience, by many people and many people like it and enjoy these programs. We are really happy that so many people really like it and even when I skated in Finland the crowd was so crazy. But I don't know how the judges think. I'm not sure if they like it as much as the audience. So we will see, we will keep working to improve it.

Q: So how was the feedback you got about your programs in Finland?

A: It was spectacular I think. We tried this new true, new style, a different program at the first competition. It's lyric, it's different, it's a lot of play, a lot of emotion. Now people will think about it. The reaction at the first competition was amazing and it was so loud at the competition. And we're really happy that the audience received it that well. That is a success for me. So I'm really happy about that and as well with the short program. And many ice dancers came to me and said you have a great (short) program, so enjoyable. As ice dancers do the Flamenco best, it makes me really happy to get such a feedback from them.

Q: You decided to use some lyrics in your music and you are ready to accept a deduction for it. What message do you want to give?

A: It's still a question for us because when we decided to use lyrics it was our wish for the future of skating. We wanted to create something different from what other people do. At the time we decided it we thought a deduction might be ok, because we want to show the old Chaplin from the 1920s but also the new Chaplin. To make it unique we combined it. Yes, it is a deduction, but we will see what we do. It is still a question for us because everyone likes it. But I'm not sure if the judges will like it. We got the deduction two times, but we still think about what to do.

Q: The ISU congress decided to allow lyrics in single and pair skating with the 2014/15 season.

A: That's the question! But we decided before the ISU made these new rules. Rules came up.... why should we change, we're not going to change. That's why I kept it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the abolishment of the qualifying and the newly established minimum score?

A: We're working on getting that minimum score for the World Championships. I try to improve every time in competition, to do better spins, better jumps, more difficulty. But even with improvements the score was almost the same, sometimes even lower. So it's kind of hard for us now. We are improving every time, but the score is not improving so much. And everyone said okay this time you did a better competition, your elements are better, the artistry is better, but the score is not going up. So it's hard work, but we will try to do the best to keep improving.

Q: Earlier in this summer you told us that you are in a little difficult situation as you have to move around a lot. What is your situation now? Where do you train?

A: Well! Before I lived in California and I still live in California but in a different part. It's closer to the next state, in Palm Springs. This is almost three hours away from Los Angeles. But then we moved to Los Angeles, the Hollywood area. It was a difficult time for me in the summer to move, to find a new place, settle down, a new ice rink, a new place for my parents to work because they are coaches. So there were a lot of things, but now I settled down and we work hard. I am also taking acting classes because in the future I want to be an actor and do many other things. So I'm really happy to be in Los Angeles, in Hollywood to learn many new things, a better place for practice and maybe a place that has more opportunities. We will try to improve all the technical elements in each competition and try to improve the program to get a higher score, hopefully the score I need for going to championships.

Q: What special challenges do you face being a skater from Uzbekistan, especially with visas and travelling?

A: The challenge for us skaters from small countries is that it is very difficult to receive a visa in a country that we are not citizens of. There are so many different competitions worldwide and every embassy or consulate is also different and has different rules, so sometimes they are very picky about issuing a visa. Sometimes it depends on your passport, so sometimes for me with an Uzbekistan passport they are double checking everything which costs even more time than normal. To get a visa for competitions always wastes so much time and causes a lot of problems. But there is nothing we can do now. Hopefully in the future we will have the chance to get an "Athletes Passport" which will help World Professional Athletes to get their visas done easier and in short time. Unfortunately right now it is impossible, because this needs to be approved worldwide.

Q: What do you plan? Which competitions do you attend this season?

A: After Graz and Poland we have Germany (NRW Trophy) and Four Continents and then if I get score, the World Championships.

Q: What will you change in training and your programs for the competition in Dortmund?

A: There are a few things and little parts we need to redo in both of our programs. We checked and learned from our last few competitions. We will try to do as much as we can in two weeks, but time is very short to make major changes.

Q: Thank you for the interview and all the best.