SportsBetrayal, tantrums and the "runaway girl": how Plushenko became...

Betrayal, tantrums and the “runaway girl”: how Plushenko became a great coach


Evgeni Plushenko, together with his students Sofia Titova and Veronika Zhilina, showed a 100% result in the junior series of the Russian Grand Prix. They won four quarters! After that, Tatyana Tarasova, who was understandably strict against the two-time Olympic champion, realized that Plushenko is a great coach. RIA Novosti Sport describes the way the elite figure skater is recognized in a new role.

After the Olympics in Sochi, mention of the possible fifth Olympics by Plushenko did not subside for three years. The skater periodically warmed them with optimistic expressions. It was only in February 2017 that the following statement was heard from him for the first time: I’m going to the 2018 Olympics, but I don’t know in what capacity.”

Soon Plushenko announced that he was ending his sports career.

The athlete admitted, “I had 15 surgeries. It is difficult to compete in the fifth Olympics. I ate it.”

Soon after, Angela Plushenko announced that she was opening her coaching academy. The first star student of the mentor was the Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova.

Many even then called the transfer of the skater a PR stunt. Nevertheless, after the victorious Olympics, Sotnikova performed little at competitions, where new stars managed to shine. First of all, we are talking about Evgenia Medvedeva, who is also a two-time world champion.

In major competitions, Plushenko took part in the next season as a coach. Not with Sotnikova, but with the twice world vice Serafima Sakhanovich among the young people who, unexpectedly for many, got into her group. In addition, the skater entered the short program of the Skate America tournament alone. Thanks to the free program, Plushenko managed to fly to Lake Placid. Sakhanovich then took a pretty decent fifth place. It looks like this collaboration has hope.

The feeling did not last long. Already in the spring of next year, the skater went to St. He returned to Petersburg. The role was played by the dismissal of coaches Alexei Vasilevski and Yulia Lavrenchuk, who worked with him. Plushenko later said that Sakhanovich was a “mood person” and that working with him didn’t work. And in a recent interview with RIA Novosti, he said that the separation of Vasilevsky and Lavrenchuk was a “betrayal.”

The next famous figure skater who worked with the two-time Olympic champion was Anastasia Tarakanova. She also transferred along the route “Eteri Tutberidze Group-Plushenko Academy” she. At the time, no one had predicted that these two names would soon begin to shine in the headlines side by side.

It turned out that Tarakanova’s cooperation with Plushenko was short and not very successful. At the end of the first season, under the guidance of the new coach, the skater left the group. Not without scandal. Plushenko spoke of Tarakanova’s “tantrums”, and the student complained about the lack of ice and the non-standard size of the site.

At about the same time (season 2018/2019), with a difference of one year, girls from the Tutberidze children’s group went to Plushenko’s academy, which at that time was known only to figure skating “nerds”. If at the time of the pass, 11-year-old Veronika Zhilina already knew the triple axle and quadruple jump, then Sofia Titova did not even have an axle in two and a half laps. Then it turned out that he was simply fired – they did not consider this promising. We will be back to these skaters. As well as Sofia Muravyova, who moved to Plushenko after being fired from Khrustalny in the summer of 2020.

Now let’s talk about the noisiest crossings of the mentioned route. First, Alexandra Trusova moved to the Plushenko Academy. He did this in the midst of the curfew (in May 2020), while everyone was at home. At the same time, Sergei Rozanov, one of the coaches of the Tutberidze group, started working for Plushenko. The “wounded” side reacted very painfully. Choreographer Daniil Gleikhengauz hinted that Plushenko was attracting people with big money.

Another deafening transfer soon followed. From Alena Kostornaya Tutberidze went to Plushenko.

“Lovely, kind people come to us with an open eye, to achieve results, to prove to themselves and others. Time passes, we work efficiently, and sometimes we achieve tremendous results. More and more new conditions for the continuation of joint work (for example, the increase in the price of love), “Tutberidze This is how , reacted to the departure of the European champion in their social networks.

The next few months passed under the sign of confrontation between the two coaches. The parties exchanged sharp comments, which fragmented the media space no less than the competition of their own students. And it generally did not develop in favor of the young coach. For Kostornaya, the time spent with Plushenko did not work out. The figure skater did not qualify for the World Championship and wanted to return to Tutberidze, deciding to regret the broadcast of the federal television channel.

Led by Plushenko, Trusova took third place in Stockholm 2021 and showed the best result in the free program. Even then, there were rumors that he would soon leave after Kostorna. At a press conference, the skater was asked if he plans to change his coach again. Trusova’s response was: “I’m not going to change anything yet.” Many focused on the second part of the sentence.

As it turned out, it was necessary to look at the first. Accompanied by the statements of the head of “Khrustalny” Renat Laishev about the imminent return of the second “runaway girl” Trusova, she really went to Tutberidze. Under the guidance of his former coaching team, he was already preparing for the Olympics. In the summer of 2021, Rozanov also left the academy of the two-time Olympic champion.

If it seemed to anyone that after that Plushenko’s coach would fall into the shadows, they were wrong. The first half of the 2021/22 season was marked by the Olympic selection. But the figure skater, who did not agree with this, also managed to shine. Sofia Muravyova entered the top three after the short program at the Russian Championships and was at first generally ahead of the future Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova. The skater was left behind only after receiving a very controversial penalty. “Sonya is smart! They’re second to her, it seems like they really needed that point.” Such a burning comment was left by Plushenko’s wife, Yana Rudkovskaya.

A minor problem, of course, did not stop Muravyova’s progress, this fall’s silver medalist of the fourth stage of the Russian Grand Prix. It is very important that Plushenko personally brought figure skating to the ice, despite his own show. For the two-time Olympic champion, coaching has now become a hot topic. Although his academy has two groups. Dmitry Mikhailov and Sergey Alekseev work in one, and Artem Znachkov and Alexander Abt in the other. Anyone can take the athlete to the start, but for Plushenko, personal involvement is a priority.

Of course, no one can say that the brilliant results of the athletes of his academy in the Junior Grand Prix series are someone else’s virtue. Sofia Titova does triple axel and quadruple jump. Veronika Zhilina has the same set. Artistically, these skaters no longer look like a “kids league”. It is not for nothing that an urgent question arose after Plushenko’s fourth consecutive winning lap: “But shouldn’t these skaters be targeting the adult category?”

After Titova’s performance in the Moscow stage of the Junior Grand Prix, Plushenko said, “The girl will be very good. She is already good. Everything is ahead. I always like her mood. . She loves to compete, this is important.”

As for Zhilina, in the final Moscow stage in the free program she made two quadruple jumps, but the triple axle did not come out. Trauma intervened.

Plushenko said, “There’s progress, it’s noticeable. What are we talking about if we’re upset that he made two quads and didn’t make an Axel?”

With Titova and Zhilina ready to perform in the adult category, the coach disagreed.

“They didn’t grow up to junior level. If it were otherwise, Veronika would have competed for this year’s seniors,” the coach said.

However, he admitted that he could qualify for both athletes for the Russian Championship this season: “I’ll decide if they need it”.

Meanwhile, they need a healthy sparring partnership, which Plushenko follows closely. These skaters are definitely his project. Their successful development is a guarantee that they will no longer seek a better fate for themselves. And Tatyana Tarasova, emphasizing in the fall that Plushenko is a great coach, will certainly admit that the two-time Olympic champion is already one.

Source: Ria

With a passion for storytelling and reporting, I am an experienced writer and Editor with a focus on sports. As an Author at News Unrolled, I write engaging stories on the latest developments in the world of sports. My articles have been featured on numerous global media outlets and my work has been highly praised by renowned editors.


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