Evgenia Medvedeva opens up on Canada training move

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Evgenia Medvedeva has had a mixed year.

The Russian figure skater won the ladies’ singles world title in Helsinki in 2017, and was favoured to win Olympic gold at PyeongChang 2018.

But she missed out to Alina Zagitova, finishing second behind her younger Olympic Athletes from Russia teammate.

And, after splitting with long-time coach Eteri Tutberidze, Medevedeva moved to Toronto to train under Brian Orser.

Different styles

The 18-year-old has found things different in under Orser, himself an Olympic medallist for Canada.

Aside from having new training partners including Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez, Medvedeva is having to settle into new rhythms.

In an interview with John Wilson Blades, she admitted training in Ontario was more intense.

“In Russia I had two sessions of an hour and a half. Now it’s less time (shorter), but more sessions, it’s even harder than I thought.”

Orser isn’t the only one guiding the Russian. Calgary 1988 ice dancing bronze medallist Tracy Wilson is also involved.

“To practice with Brian and Tracy, they’re so positive. They’re always trying to keep you calmed down. Everything is going more quietly,” Medvedeva added.

The Russian has had to get used to a new training style compared to what she was used to under Tutberidze.

“There are some unusual exercises for jumps, for skating,” she noted.

But it’s not a bad thing: “For me, I think that it’s better, because after all the exercises preparing for any elements, I feel really better.”

Medvedeva has at least managed to find some home comforts in Toronto. (@jmedvedevaj/Instagram)
Medvedeva has at least managed to find some home comforts in Toronto. (@jmedvedevaj/Instagram)

Culture shock

And Medvedeva needed to adjust off the ice too.

She admits that she was unprepared for the friendliness she has encountered in Canada.

“For me, it’s so unusual that everybody almost always smiles,” she said.

“When you meet somebody, ‘hey, how are you, how’s your day going?’ And the first time, I just thought ‘Why are you asking?’

“It’s so unusual. I think it’s better here mentally, to practice more quietly. It’s better.”

You can re-live Evgenia Medvedeva’s silver medal-winning free skate from PyeongChang 2018 below:

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Author: ZK Goh
Olympic Channel news producer/reporter. All-round sports nerd.