Brian Joubert: "I'm prouder of this victory"

 

By Titanilla Bod
Photos © Caroline Paré

The Frenchman Brian Joubert just won his second European title in Warsaw, and as usually  found himself to be the centre of attention by fans. He kindly posed for every photo, signed every piece of paper, and during the ladies free program he also found the time to talk to us.

How is this victory different from the one in Budapest?

I’m prouder of this victory, because it was very difficult. I was so nervous because there was a lot of pressure on me, especially from the French journalists. It was very hard. Budapest was completely different, I wasn’t the leader there, I was the surprise which was easier for me.

When you look back, what has changed since then?

Budapest was back in 2004, now we are in 2007. So I have more experience, I feel more confident. I know what to do, know when and how I have to do it to win a competition.

How did you react when you learned that Lambiel was not going to take part in Europeans?

Before his announcement it was okay, but when he said he wasn’t coming, I got nervous. The French press kept saying: “Brian is going to win the Europeans!” So if I hadn’t won, it would have been really hard for me. But I did win. 

In Budapest there were some tears on the podium, this time you were singing the anthem. Which one was more emotional?

It was more emotional for me in Warsaw, because I’ve had a great season; I’ve won everything so I was happier. In Budapest I was just surprised, I didn’t understand what was happening. This time it was better.

When Tomáš Verner beat you in the short program, what was your first reaction? Angry? Disappointed?

I was disappointed, because I made just one mistake. But it was a big mistake, I lost seven or eight points – it’s a lot! But the rest of the program was clean and very good. I was disappointed about the mistake, because I normally don’t make such mistakes in practice. 

When is the hardest time for you in the day of the competition? When are you the most excited or the most nervous?

Before coming to the ice rink is the hardest. When I’m in the hotel, it’s very difficult because I think about the competition and what I have to do. But as soon as I come to the ice rink, it’s okay. 

Before your long program you looked so focused, even relaxed. Did you feel relaxed?

Yes, because when I came on the ice for the six-minute warm up, I was very confident. Everything was great and when the music started, I was sure that I will do a good program. 

When did you decide that you wouldn’t do the second quad?

When I did the first one, I wanted to do the second, the quad salchow, but in the air I changed my mind and I decided to do just a triple. I could have done the quad salchow, because I was in good condition, technically it w as very good. But I wanted to do a clean program, that’s why I didn’t do the quad salchow. The second quad toe wasn’t even planned. 

You decided in the air?!!

Yes, it can be still changed in the air. I pushed as if it was a quad jump, but in the air I said: “No, just a triple.” When you’ve been a skater since the age of four you know how to stop in the air, so it wasn’t difficult.  

I have noticed that your coach is taking notes all the time during the practice sessions.

I don’t know what exactly he writes down. But everything I do during the practices he puts into his notebook.  

I also read that he makes a precise plan for all your practices and that you like that.

Yes, because I don’t have to think about it. I have a plan, I just have to look at it, and I know what I’m going to do in March or in April in practice. It’s easier for me; I have to be focused just on my job on the ice.  

So, you are now a two-time European Champion how did you celebrate your title?

Right after the competition I did nothing, because I was very tired. But on Friday, when the French ice dancers also won the competition, we had a great party! *smiles*






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