Riedell offers the conclusion of our sit-down conversation with Russian figure skating star and Team Riedell member Elena Radionova. We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elena on a tour of our factory here in Red Wing, MN. After traveling around the world and landing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, she took the time to sit down with us so we could catch up with the bubbly skating champion. Below we talk about her skating inspirations and what she does to prepare for competitions.
If you missed part 1 of our interview you can get caught up here.
Can you tell us about the off ice training plan that you follow? How did it help you last season?
I do floor choreography. It helps me to keep my physical form/shape. It helps me work through and think through the programs and elements so that I don’t make those mistakes on ice. It really prepares me to think through the choreography and watch it in the mirror. I can see all of the mistakes and correct them off-ice and it helps me to focus on the ice. In choreography class I can memorize my program better so that I can just perform it on the ice. Of course I also do weights, stretching, running and things like that to stay in good physical health and avoid injury.
Competitive skating has taken you all over– what was your favorite place to compete and why?
I don’t really like to fly far away. I find it hard to stay still and do nothing on the long flight. I do really like traveling to Japan and America though, and I really look forward to competitions in those countries. Of course when you want to go to countries for competitions and look forward to traveling to them you feel much more excited to go to those places.
What country or city do you want to visit that you haven’t been to yet?
Los Angeles and Miami in the US and more of Canada, but hopefully I am going there soon. Also, I would like to go to some European countries because I really like the architecture and cultural experiences.
What do you love about visiting the United States?
I really like that the lifestyle is so diverse in the US. The Minnesota lifestyle is so quiet and different from New York where the lifestyle is so fast – a very Russian lifestyle. In Minnesota it feels like you can see the real America. I was just in Boston for the World Figure Skating Championships and it’s more like a European or English lifestyle. I liked the architecture of Boston. I really like experiencing all of the differences in the different areas of the US.
What do you miss when you travel?
I guess it’s pretty normal. I miss family, and my dog. When we go together I don’t have to miss them but we can get irritated by each other because of the stress of travel.
What do you see as the biggest lifestyle differences between USA and Russia?
The US is very different from Russia. Here you can find everything. Here you can find so much variety and people are so laid back.
The biggest difference that I see in lifestyle is that there is so much variety and life is more diversified. American’s have so many more options of things to try like food and activities. In Russia life seems more structured and there are less options for these things.
For example, here you can just decide to do skating. In Russia classes are very structures and they are about physical training and choreography, group training and less opportunities to develop yourself freely on ice. The American style is just a different way of learning it seems more individual and personalized. Maybe this is an opportunity to try and learn some of the American way.
What do you find to be similar between our countries lifestyles or life experiences?
I don’t really know, but I like shopping much more in the US!
(Elena was able to spend time shopping at the Mall of America during her visit.)
What inspires you in figure skating?
I love that skating is sport and art at the same time. You can put all of your thoughts, ideas and emotions into a program and that ability to express inspires me.
What is your favorite treat to eat?
I really like donuts and Cinnabon.
Maybe we will have to take you to get a fancy American Donut with candy bars on top and fillings.
Yes! I would like that very much!
What is your favorite music to listen to?
I really like to listen to music and I listen to all kinds of music but not Rock. This is so different from my mom because she really likes Rock.
What do you like to read?
I like to read and want to read more, but I mostly read school books. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to read for fun.
Where do you hope to be and what do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
That’s really hard to say now because I’m sure I will be somewhere completely different. I would love to know! I don’t know that I want to be a coach but I would like to be a choreographer.
What is a piece of advice that your coach gave you and has always stuck with you?
There is no one special piece of advice that stands out but my coach gives a lot of good advice all the time. I really like the coaching process that my coach uses.
What skater or skaters did you look up to when you were a beginning skater?
I really like to look up to all skaters but my favorites are Yuna Kim, Carolina Kostner and Mao Asada – and I like their skating style because it’s kind of quiet but still very athletic.
What advice can you give to skaters out there?
I would love to wish them to never give up. Never to put your hands down in defeat. Even if you have bad practice or bad competition there will be always be brighter days and more achievements.
We can’t wait to watch as Elena’s star continues to rise and shine brightly in competitive figure skating. Her future programs are sure to dazzle figure skating fans all over the world! We hope you enjoyed our conversation with her as much as we did!
Happy skating, #TeamRiedell and #TeamEclipse!
*This interview was translated to English from Russian.