Marco Klepoch: "At first I couldn't really learn how to skate"

September 3, 2014
By Titanilla Bőd
Photos © Andriana Andreeva, Johanna Welnicki

Marco Klepoch of Slovakia placed 26th in the short program at the Europeans in Budapest and he missed qualifying for the long program by a small margin. The 16-year-old skater made a good impression on fans and judges, which is good news for men’s skating in Slovakia.

How satisfied were you with your performance in Budapest?

I didn’t have any big expectations, because this was my first big international senior event and I was one of the youngest participants. I just wanted to skate well and make a good impression and I think I managed to do it. I’m very happy that I didn’t finish last. I didn’t really think about making it to the free program, it would have been only a bonus. So I’m satisfied.

What were your impressions about the atmosphere and the organization of the Europeans?

It was something new for me, a very good experience. I have already competed at junior Worlds, but this was much bigger. I liked it so much.

Was there any other skater who helped you in this new environment?

Of course the whole Slovak delegation took care of me, I also talked a lot with Czech guys; they are our brothers. I also know the Polish skaters because they also compete at the Four Nationals. So I was not alone - they took a good care of me.

Did you meet any skaters in Budapest who you admire?

I always wanted to meet Javier Fernandez and the others. Some of the guys my age ask them for autographs and I skate with them on the same ice. It was a great feeling for me. We took a few photos together.

How did you start skating?

At first I couldn’t really learn how to skate and my father insisted that I must know every sport, like swimming, skiing, skating, cycling so that I can join my friends if they go somewhere and not just sit there while the others are having fun. But at the beginning somehow I couldn’t learn it, so he decided to put me on a skating course. There they noticed that I had talent and so it started.

Do you have any favourite jump?

I like the loop. It is not the easiest triple and it works quite well for me.

Which was the first triple you landed?

The Salchow. Everyone says the toeloop is the easiest jump but I still have some problems with it.

Do you think about quad jumps or is it too early for this?

Sometimes we try a triple Axel on practice and I hope that in two years I can think about quad jumps as well. But we will see; the most important thing is not to get injured.

What are your goals and dreams?

I’d like to qualify for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea and possibly to be in the top 10 or top 15. But this is really a dream.

What are your training conditions?

In Slovakia there is nothing extra, but I have to use wisely what I have. I hope that later on I can spend a few weeks abroad with foreign coaches. But I have the support of the federation now; yet it’s not like at the very beginning, when my parents had to pay everything. So far I train in Slovakia and for summer camps I go to neighbouring countries, mainly to the Czech Republic.

How do you choose music for your programs?

At first I consult with my mum…we pick 5-6 pieces and then we show them to the coach. He chooses which one is the best for him to create the program and the choreography.

Which style do you prefer? Your short program was very dynamic, Perfect Day for a Murder from The Pink Panther.

I prefer the masculine style; my long program is a rock song, Smells Like Teen Spirit by David Garret. I can’t really interpret the lyrical music, this is not for me.

What do you think: is figure skating more a sport or more art?

Figure skating is amazing because it involves sport and art as well. Maybe in the past it was more a sport; they just did element by element. But now you can’t succeed without interpretation. The best skaters can add their personality into their programs. They tell a story on the ice. Now you have to be athletic and artistic and the same time. Maybe that’s what fascinates me that I can do art and sport at the same time.

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