Flo riding high
An interview with Florent Amodio
December 8, 2010¬†
By Nadin Vernon
Photos © Absolute Skating by EMJO, Jeannine Bourdiau, D. Feldhoff, Miriam
The men's competition at the Troph√©e Eric Bompard promised to be an exciting event with three Frenchmen at the start. Out of the three, National Champion Florent Amodio emerged as the skater who kept his nerve during the free skate and finished second, behind Takahiko Kozuka from Japan. Not only did Florent highly entertain the audience with a programme that stood in stark contrast to the mostly classical music choices of the afternoon, he also showcased his ability to keep his focus when it really matters. Performing his energetic routine with attitude to boot, Florent had the whole arena on its feet and while the home support in France was strong, I think audiences anywhere in the world would have responded in the same way.
Despite being high in demand after this
successful result, Florent made some time for us to have a
Congratulations Florent, you must be very
Yes, I'm very very happy.
You were skating in front of your home
crowd here in Paris. For some the extra pressure can be too
much to handle, while you seemed to really soak it in and
make it work. How did it feel?
It was very special for me to skate here because
it was my first big experience in France. And I was quite
aware of all the pressure, but my coach Nikolai told me to
just stay focused on my job and that's what I did. I feel
very happy because there was a good exchange with the crowd
and I did well, so I'm very happy.
was quite some build-up in the press prior to the event as
Yes there was. There was a lot of talk about
Brian and me and whether I could beat Brian. So I was aware
of all that but I just want to stay focused and show my stuff
on the ice and have fun and that's what I did.
Tell me a little bit about your programme
choices this season, especially your free skate really stood
out here and had everybody going.
I chose this music because it's me, this is
the kind of music I dance to on the dance floor when I go
out to clubs and I listen to Michael Jackson and the Black
Eyed Peas on my iPod, so it's me. And I just want to show
the public who I am and have fun with the public and for me
that's what skating is all about. It's my vision.
So will we see more of the same style next
I don't know yet, I know I have to try different
styles but I don't want to choose a piece of music which is
not me. I want to have something special for me, like this
year, so we'll see.
Before the warm-up for the short programme
you had your headphones on until almost the very last minute
before you went on the ice. Do you try to shut out what's
going on around you?
Yes. And here Nikolai also advised me not to think about being in France, and the audience going crazy, but to just really concentrate on the job in hand and that's it, it's all about being very focused.
What were you listening to?
Lil Wayne (smiles)
And what did you do before the competition
I spent some time with my friends. My practice
in the morning was so so, not really good or bad. But then
I gave everything in the competition.
me a little bit about your training situation. You changed
coaches this season and are now training with Nikolai
Morozov in Latvia. But I understand you are also training
with Annick Dumont. How does that work out in practical terms?
Yes, I changed many things for this new season.
My federation proposed to me to work with Nikolai, so I tried
it and everything is going really well. Nikolai is a great
coach, there is a good feeling between us. But for me it's
important to also be in France sometimes, so that's when I
train with Annick. I made a new start and I'm really happy
I did that. I enjoy having a coach I can really talk to and
who boosts me.
Nikolai coaches many top level skaters,
how does that affect everyday training?
It's very different to what I was used to in France. Overall the practice is much harder and it's very professional. But for me it's good to be around the other skaters.
Nikolai is my main coach, but obviously he
travels around to all the Grand Prix events and it's difficult
to find the time to work with him during this period. I try
to go with him when I can and when I can't I stay in France.
You were at Cup of Russia even though you
didn't skate there and Miki is here in Paris, so you travel
around and train together?
Exactly. It's not always easy to go all over
the world but my federation helps me, so that's good. Miki
and I have become very good friends and we're all like a little
team and that's fun. It's a new experience and I love it.
How many hours a day do you usually train?
Normally I spend around four hours on the
ice and then I do off-ice training and dancing.
there anything around you where you are in Latvia, or is it
just ice ice ice?
There is just ice and that's it (laughs).
But it's good because we practice a lot and it helps me to
stay focused. So yes, it's just skating but that's what I
want so it's ok for me.
You went on tour with Kings on Ice earlier
this year and it's clear you are quite the showman.
I love to do shows, it's my vision of figure
skating. And I really enjoy my free skate this season because
of the show factor.
Do you feel like you're bringing the show
to the competition?
Yes, I try but it's very different. I'm much
more focused on the competition but at the same time it's
me and I love that contact and interaction with the crowd.
Have you got any shows planned this season?
I have a show in France but actually I don't
want to do too many shows while I'm in the middle of competitions.
Europeans are coming, so I don't want to have too much yet.
When the season is over we'll see. I've had some offers from
different productions, both in Europe and in Japan, so we'll
There was talk of St√©phane Lambiel possibly
doing some choreography for you. It didn't happen this season
but is it something that's still on the cards?
St√©phane and I met during Kings on Ice; we talked a lot about his career and his skating. We are good friends and yes, maybe one day we can work together. This season I changed so many things, I didn't want to go anywhere else for choreography, but we'll see what happens in the future.
What are you mostly working on this season,
are you practicing a quad?
Yes, I'm practicing the quad, it's very hard
but it's my big goal for the future as it's very important.
But for this year, Nikolai wants me to skate my programmes
clean every time and they are getting very consistent. So
for now that's my main focus.
You qualified for the Grand Prix Final,
what are your plans for the rest of the season?
I'm leaving for Japan this week because we're
going to train with Miki and then we'll probably leave for
China around Wednesday before the competition. That way we
get used to the time change in advance as well. And then I
have Nationals the week after the final, so things will be
Best of luck in Beijing Florent, all the
Thank you, and sorry for my English (smiles).