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Post: The price scares more than rigidity: why do foreigners go to Tutberidze?


The start of 2023 in figure skating was marked by an event contrary to the latest trends, according to Italian Daniel Grassl, silver medalist of the European Championships, RIA Novosti. He is confident that the cooperation with Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze will continue. The figure skater has already appeared in Moscow. RIA Novosti Sport commemorates all foreign athletes who have worked with Tutberidze.

Maurice Kvitelashvili (Georgia) – full cooperation with Tutberidze

Georgian figure skater Maurice Kvitelashvili cannot be considered a complete stranger, as he was born in Moscow and competed in the Russian championships until 2016. Kvitelashvili trained with Eteri Tutberidze almost his entire career, so after the change of sports citizenship, basically nothing has changed.

Over the past few years, Maurice and his coaches have enjoyed international success – bronze medalist of the 2020 European Championship and gold medalist of the Moscow Grand Prix in the pandemic season. At the Beijing Olympics, the figure skater took tenth place.

This season, Kvitelashvili abruptly left Khrustalny, where he spent almost ten years. He moved to Italy in Lorenzo Magri’s team. According to the representative of the Georgian federation, this is a temporary solution due to the current difficult conditions. Firstly, going from Moscow to competitions in Europe and America is logistically difficult. In addition, there are psychological aspects – while Maurice is preparing for the European and World Championships, none of the Russian athletes has the right to participate in international competitions. Frankly, the sports authorities of Georgia thought that it would now be calmer and more productive for the skater to train outside of Russia.

Nika Egadze (Georgia) — full cooperation

Another Georgian figure skater in the Tutberidze team is Nika Egadze. Unlike Kvitelashvili, Egadze was born in Georgia and lived and studied there until the age of 14. She came to Khrustalny for an internship and a production from Daniil Gleikhengauz, but in the end he remained for good. Interestingly, the events of 2022 did not affect Egadze’s career as much as his teammate Kvitelashvili – he still trains in Moscow and travels to the beginnings with Sergei Lipov. Nika has competed in two stages of the Grand Prix series this season and even won the Denis Ten Memorial in Kazakhstan.

Elisabeth Tursynbayeva (Kazakhstan) — full cooperation

This is perhaps the most dramatic and high-profile story of Eteri Tutberidze’s collaboration with foreign athletes. Elizabeth’s parents managed to change more than one track during her childhood and offered their daughter more than one coach – Natalya Dubinskaya, Elena Buyanova, Svetlana Sokolovskaya, Eteri Tutberidze. The figure skater trained in Khrustalny for two years, but in 2013 she went to Canada to join local expert Brian Orser – for example, she was the coach of Olympic champion Kim Yong Ah, and at that time only promising young man Yuzuru Hanyu.

Much was expected from Tursynbayeva, led by Orser, but during the five years of cooperation she has not won a single serious international championship, neither in adults nor in juniors. After Tursynbaeva took 12th place at the Korean Olympics (at these Games, two of Tutberidze’s students Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva received gold and silver), she sensationally returned to Moscow to her former mentor.

For Tutberidze, a new stage of work with Elizabeth became a matter of honor, since in parallel with the return of Tursynbayeva Tutberidze went to Medvedev’s student Orser. My motivation to prove my coaching excellence has increased exponentially.

Thus, throughout the season, Tursynbayeva learned the quad salchow and became the first adult figure skater to do it cleanly at competitions. She also won a silver medal at the Universiade, the championship of four continents, and came second in the world championship, losing only to Alina Zagitova.

Apparently, this impressive breakthrough cost Elizabeth a lot of health because her later career was interrupted by a serious back injury. In 2021, the figure skater announced her mandatory retirement.

Shoma Uno (Japan) – internship

For many years, the best Japanese skaters chose Russian coaches. Shizuka Arakawa and Mao Asada skated with Tatyana Tarasova at different times, Yuzuru Hanyu took lessons from Alexei Mishin when he learned the quad ax, and Daisuke Takahashi trained with Nikolai Morozov.

The single-player Uno was no exception. In 2019, the athlete abruptly broke up with her longtime mentor, Mihoko Higuchi. Before that, there were two notable silver medals – the World Championship and the Olympic Games. It may seem like a great success, but even in the presence of the great Hanyu Uno, it was clear that he trusted more. He found himself in Moscow to restart his career and look at himself from the outside.

The beginning of cooperation with the Japanese figure skater was proudly announced in the social networks of the Tutberidze group. It is not known on what terms the parties initially agreed, but everything was limited to fees and a selection of joint photos. It is interesting that Syoma almost never left “Crystal” and in fact started the new season without a coach at all – she came to the first tournaments accompanied by a manager and sat alone in the “kiss and fly” zone.

Julia Lang (Hungary) – internship

The Hungarian champion had arrived at the training camp with Tutberidze in the spring of 2021, when quarantine restrictions around the world were starting to relax a bit. The goal was simple – to improve personal results, because at the World Championships in Stockholm Julia Lang did not qualify for the free program.

The three-week internship was supposed to help the skater master the quad salchow and adjust his jumping technique. Lang noted that training in Khrustalny is characterized by increased intensity – much less time spent at home on the ice.

In addition to her training camp experience, Yulia received the free program from Moscow from Daniil Gleikhengauz. But a short internship didn’t make much progress – next season, Lang again failed to reach above 30th place at the World Championships.

Beşar Oktar (Turkey) – internship

Başar Oktar from Turkey spent a total of four months in Khrustalny. At the invitation of Sergei Rozanov, who worked at Tutberidze’s headquarters at that time, I went to the rink. There were no plans for permanent cooperation, but Bashar was not against staying longer in a strong group. He went there to tow the equipment. The strictness and strict discipline of the Turkish figure skater did not embarrass or frighten – the only obstacle was the financial side of the issue. Studying and living in a foreign country was very expensive for his family.

Tutberidze himself admitted that he refused many offers to work with foreign skaters for patriotic reasons.

“Russia and yet ours…” I have it. Sometimes athletes from major federations apply. Get the second number of the Chinese team. But in order not to be rude, I declare an insurmountable price,” Tutberidze said at a press conference at RIA Novosti in 2017.

It is worth noting that Oktar throughout his career managed to train with almost all the best Russian coaches, including Alexei Mishin, Elena Buyanova and Victoria Volchkova.

other skaters

In addition to all the above athletes, every summer other figure skaters from different countries – Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, China come to the Tutberidze group for training camps. Many prefer to keep it a secret, many of them unknown enough to be spoken out loud to the public. Italian Daniel Grassl, who wants to continue his cooperation with the Russian coach, has been expressing his intention to work with Tutberidze for a long time. Grassl is a fan of quad jumps and constantly dreams of jumping them all, so he and Eteri Georgievna will have something to talk about.

Source: Ria

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