Who will represent Sweden at Worlds in Tokyo?
Meet one of the candidates Alexander Majorov
Being in the presence of a Majorov always means lots of talking and laughter, but in Alexander “Sasha” Majorov junior’s case, it also means him taking care of things. This time it was finding us chairs to sit on and helping me with my recorder (somehow I have problems turning it on, a very import matter). Sasha is used to interviews by now. A reporter from Stockholm recently took a flight to his home town of Luleå in northern Sweden to interview him, but didn’t know it involved a 5 km walk to the arena. It was -25 C outside… After the interview Sasha drove him back since the reporter wore summer clothes. He felt sorry for the reporter, a typical Sasha characteristic.
It’s rather amazing to look at Sasha’s statistics. In the current world rankings he is in 8th place. Last season he finished in 19th place, barely beaten by Adrian Schultheiss in 17th. No wonder the Swedish press calls Sasha “a great talent”.
Let’s warm up by talking about last summer’s training. Did you go to any camps?
No, I was at home, we didn’t go anywhere. But we considered one of Kudriavtzev’s camps, or Mishin’s, but it would have been too expensive. Kudriavtsev has the same approach to training as we have, but his was the same week as our own camp here in Luleå, so my dad wouldn’t have been able go anyway. And every year we have the Russians come over for 4 weeks, but this year they could only stay for 3 weeks since the hotel had too many reservations.
You have a new short program. It is different from what we normally see from you?
Yes. We began with an Africa inspired Bolero. The step sequence we made to that music could have been a level 4; it felt that great! But then we started with the actual program. The beat of the music was 1,2 - 1,2,3 - 1,2 - 1,2,3,4 which was perfect for the step sequence but not for the actual skating. We tried for a month and a half, changed it a million times, but we didn’t get anywhere with it. It just wouldn’t work out, so we started searching for new music. A week before the Swedish team camp we finally changed it. I had had some thought about Austin Powers; I thought it was pretty good but my mother wasn’t sure. (Sasha is coached by both his parents.)
Really, why not? That surprises me!
I am a clown off-ice but not on-ice. I am more of a classic skater, and to be funny… I just don’t know.
I think the audience perceives you as funny and your skating expresses joy!
Well, outside the rink I am funny, but not on the ice. My dad knows what I am capable of so it was a challenge.
You think that about yourself too? I honestly can’t see that …
Well, now I do. At first I couldn’t make any of the jumps and be funny too since I had to concentrate so hard on the right things. But now I am doing better. At the 1st (junior) Grand Prix competitions I was in rather good shape and well prepared for that program.
I have seen it and the music and the program made me happy and I’m glad you chose to skate to it; I think it suits you very well. But I do understand that it must be difficult being funny and concentrating all at once.
Yes, it is difficult, you can’t relax at all, you just have to keep going and going. It was the same with last year’s Lieber Tango. It was also challenging; very hard work music, especially in terms of physical condition.
Challenging in terms of condition? I’m surprised again. Lina Johansson (a former Swedish champion who finished 2nd at junior GPF in 2003) made a comment once as we watched you skate like a jumbo jet at the Nordics. She said: “Sasha, he never gets tired. I wish I had his energy, he always makes it to the end of the program, with speed!”
Oh, but I didn’t have the energy, I didn’t work at it at that time, but since 2 years back I do have the strength.
Well, it’s been 4 years since she said that...
Hmm, well I think I couldn’t have made it back then, but 2 years ago when I made a total fool out of myself at Euros, I didn’t have enough energy so I started working on it.
Was that a wakeup call for you then?
Yes, I fell 4 times at Euros, so it certainly was. I have worked very, very hard to be in shape ever since.
I don’t remember you falling that many times, I only remember your great presentation. You are very good at selling your program even if you fall because you still feel the music.
Let’s talk about your free program that you kept from last year. Have you changed anything?
Yes, the costume. At first I was a little skeptic about changing; why change? I thought it was pretty unnecessary. But my mother thought I should change so she made a new costume for me. She makes all my costumes so it was made fast. I looked too fat in the old one.
Well, certain brown colors make me look… well, big then, but the new costume is better. And there are less things flying around too and it is more comfortable. The first one looks great on photos though…
And now you have a triple Axel!
Have… it is better anyway.
It is really good!
Ok, it is good.
You changed the technique, still taking off from an inner edge but not from a circle but more from a straight line.
Well, when it worked, it was great, but there was a great chance of a flop so we changed it to the technique I use today. It works better for me.
What are your goals for this season?
The season began pretty well for me. I have many good competitions behind me, but you can never relax until the season is over. Then I can start practicing other jumps such as the quad. Right now my goals are to skate clean programs and to get fair points and not the unnecessary addition often awarded at Nationals. I don’t like that; I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I’m better than I really am.
That is a common phenomenon at Nationals all over the World though.
Did you get any PB (personal bests) this season yet?
I did, in the first senior competition. The short program was good; I got 72 points but one element was not counted so got 69 points.
Do you have time to participate in the Swedish cup too? (“Elitserien” is a new national competition series of 14 competitions ending with a final in April. It was introduced to offer the Swedish skaters more competition experience. Points and rankings are given, but on a national level only.)
The ISU competitions I’ve done count too, luckily. I don’t have the time to do the cup but I will be in the final. I think there are too many competitions. My dad, who is a coach, can’t be in two places at the same time and there can be two competitions the same weekend, so that’s not so good for us. But the idea with the cup is great and it will hopefully grow into something really good. But it costs a lot to enter four competitions as they (the Swedish Figure Skating Association) want you to. Perhaps they should have a little less competition participation required. I think some of the concept details are still under progress…
Sasha didn’t get to go to Europeans this year, but will he be one of the two men to represent Sweden at Worlds? The Nordics in Copenhagen will soon decide his fate, according to the Swedish Figure Skating Association. Sasha is still ranked nr 1 in Sweden in spite of the 3rd place at Nationals. I hope he gets to show his great talent at the big competitions soon. He is 19 years old and ready to move up. It is time for The Majorovs to enter the main stage…