Interview Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro

Q: How do you feel about your season?

A: 2012/ 2013 was a difficult season. We went back to Moscow: new coaches... new everything. So there was a bit of adjusting [to be done]
and there have been some ups and downs. We had a good skate at...actually our first competition... at the Federation Cup in Russia. It was the first competition held in the Olympic stadium. It was organized by our federation to kind of hold a competition and they invited a few teams from the [Russian] National team. In pairs there was Kavaguti/Smirnov and in ice dance there was us and Sinitsina/ Zhiganshin and actually in that competition we skated very well. We won and we were rather happy with that beginning of the season as well. Romania (Crystal Skate) was not a bad competition, also we did well, came in second, I think our seasons best. Paris (Trophee Bompard) was not so good for several reasons. It didn't quite go as we had planed. At Nationals we were happy with our performance in the free program. There were some minor errors but in general we think that we skated well, of course we had hoped for a little bit better skating, possibly some higher places, but I mean it is not totally bad. And this competition (Bavarian Open) it was the end, it is our final competition of this season and we think we possibly we could have done much better yesterday. But with our free program we are happy even being not in the last warm up [group]. It was okay, we tried to do our best and show our free program because it might have been the last time that we're doing it this season.

Q: After last season, you changed coaches and moved back to Russia from the USA. Why did you change coaches?

A: Well. It was very difficult situation. It was not totally our decision. It was because as you know all Russian skaters to a certain degree have support from our federation and finances in different groups. It's difficult to pay for everything in America. So we think for everybody was a bit easier for us to be in Moscow and I think they made two strong groups for this coming Olympics
, it's Zhulin’s group and Morozov’s group. Zhulin has two teams in the National team and our coach has a very big group. So I think that it was kind of the general idea to get us to where everybody [is], to make a more compact center for skaters before the Olympics. So that's why we got kind of invited back. I mean we had a few issues with Natalia Linitchuk about music choices but in general we are still always very thankful to her and if the situation had been a little bit different we might never have left her because we really enjoyed working with her and she is a big role model as a coach and as a person for us.

Q: What are the differences on practice on and off ice compared to your former coach?

A: Well, this year we are in Nikolei Morozov's group, but our main coach, who is working with us now, is
Denis Samokhin, because Morozov is really busy with his single skaters. And he has Japanese and French and different people and doesn't always have the time for us.... so we have Denis. And also that took a lot of getting used to, because he came to us in the middle of the season. So it was a crazy season. But in general with Nikolei...he is more into the on-ice training and just skating and he doesn't really believe in off-ice training, which is different to Natalia’s training which included a lot of ballet and off-ice. In this group he leaves it up a lot to ourselves. If you want to, like us, do off-ice training, we invite personal trainers to not lose what we have worked up before.

Q: What was it like for you to live in the USA, especially for Katia who never lived abroad before?

A: Well, with me being there, who spoke English, it was much easier. And we are very good friends, we looked after each other, and we had Russian coaches and a few Russian people there. If was difficult to get used to living together and cooking together without having our parents there. So that was an experience to learn from and grow-up a little.

Q: Jonathan was born in Australia and has Australian citizenship. Did you ever think to compete for Australia as it would be much easier to become the top team of the country? Please elaborate the pros and cons.

A: It's difficult, because in figure skating a lot of things have to do with chance and the right time and the right field and I have already been in the top of juniors with my ex-partner and Katia, so I always thought it was possible to do seniors. But, you know, things change, partnerships break up, people change coaches... I still believe there is hope, even in Russia. In Australia figure skating is not a very developed sports, so that's why lots of those Australian skaters all go to Colorado, America, train in Canada and that's also why I, with my mom, she was actually my first coach, but it's very difficult to train with your mom and she still helps every now and then with us now here in Moscow. But it's difficult, there are no real facilities to use, so Russia or America were really the only choices. And actually, before I moved to Russia, we had try-outs in Igor's [Spilband] group and in Russia and the right partner came in Russia, so that's why we decided to stay there.

Q: What are your plans and ideas for next season?

A: Next season is the Olympic season, so it's very serious, and also not just the Olympic season, but also to place well for the next Olympic cycle, for the 2018 Olympics. And I think we will try something totally different. I think this year we tried to play something we enjoy. Well, our coach didn't like our music while making the program, but we really wanted to do things like long lines and classical things and I think, maybe we didn't choose the right kind of program. So next season we will try and do something different. I mean, we have many ideas. Maybe [we will do] something modern, working with modern choreographers. But yes, definitely trying to think outside the box for next year. And I think, also, our coach didn't want to do something extravagant, because it's difficult for him, he has to make so many programs and something different for everybody and we were the last ones to get our program this year, so a lot of his imagination was already used.