Stephen Carriere: "I really like what I'm doing again"
He considered quitting but decided to stay for one more year. Stephen Carriere is enjoying figure skating again, which he proved in Bratislava where he won the Ondrej Nepela Trophy. After the victory ceremony, he had a short chat with Absolute Skating.
How did you like this competition?
I think it was pretty good; it was a good start for moving on to the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, which is great - I've never been there. As for my short program in Bratislava, it was between tentative and a little overexcited. In the FP I was more calm. I think the music helps [Clair de Lune and Turning Page by Sleeping at Last]. I'm proud that I was able to skate one day and one moment at a time. I will definitely keep that going and work on 'letting go' and performing even more.
What does this first place mean to you?
It’s good, it’s exciting. This season especially I don’t want to focus on first or second or third or whatever, but the scores were also great. It is great that I have my name on the plaque on the trophy with all other great skaters, but for me it’s important just getting out there and competing, which in May or June I didn't think I was going to do.
Why did you think you might not compete?
I thought that maybe it was the end and that maybe it was time for a transition to something else. But I got a call from the US figure skating association and they said, you got one more year. And I said: well, let’s do it!
So what is your motivation for this season?
Enjoying myself and being in a good company. It was great being here with the Slovakian crowd and I'm looking forward to the Moscow audience. I really like what I'm doing again. Sometimes it gets hard, it can get tense, but now I'm just enjoying myself.
Tell us something about your programs this year.
The short program... I’ve actually used La Vie en Rose before; I just use lyrics now. Instead of using Mack the Knife instrumental for footwork, we kept Louis Armstrong’s great voice. So it’s fun. In the long program I wanted to do something different and I think it is different. At first we weren't really sure, but I really believed in it and in the second half, the lyrics say a lot. Skating has essentially been my turning page; it has been the longest relationship that I've had in my life. It’s been rocky but we've found a way. So for me, it’s easy to connect with the music.
What do you think about the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, the event, the organization in general?
It’s great. Everybody is so relaxed and I think everybody is here in honour of Ondrej Nepela. He was one of those guys who paved the way. He was an icon and I think we are all here because of that. It is a testament just how great he was. Even if the rink is big and the event is great I just think the bare bond is honouring him.