Interview with Rachael Flatt


By Olga Shinkarenko, Kristina Korolyova
Photos © Kristina Korolyova


Rachael Flatt from the United States of America is the reigning world junior champion. She surprised herself with great skating at the Cup of Russia 2008 which earned her right to the podium. It was her second senior Grand-Prix event and it was here she won her first medal in senior international skating. It was also Rachael's first time in Moscow which is even more special to her due to her good results. I decided to interview the silver medallist of this year's COR and since not many people know her yet, ask some questions about her interests, hobbies, and how it all started for her. I caught Rachael in the bus after the gala exhibition. She was on her way to the hotel to get ready for the closing banquet of the competition. I realised that I'd left the dictophone, the questions and photo camera with my friends/journalists who were by that time in another bus with Jeremy Abbott and Adam Rippon. That didn't deter me and we still had a nice talk together . I remembered the questions and tried to write them on a small piece of paper in the dark bus and Rachael was so kind to help me with her pocket torch.

So, how does it feel to be second at such an important start for you in senior skating? What are your impressions from Cup of Russia? This indeed is very important for me as this season is my first one in seniors and it means that now I am competing at the highest level. It is different from juniors and I am trying to get into it. This competition overall was a great experience and I am glad that at both Skate America and Cup of Russia I showed good results - being 4th and 2nd is a big privilege for me.

When did you start skating? Is there any story behind of how it started for you? Oh yes, there actually is a story and it is very interesting. I started skating when I was 4. My father took me to the mall to buy a birthday present for my grandfather but instead of a gift for him we came back with new skates for me! From then on, I began to attend skating lessons and now I am where I am.

Did you look up to any of the skaters? Who was your role model in childhood? I guess it was Michelle Kwan. She is an incredible performer and was very popular then. Perhaps, Michelle was a dream-skater to all of the girls.

Which program do you prefer the most – the short or the long one? Are there favorite programs of yours which you enjoy very much?
I like both programs. There isn't much of a difference actually. They are both made for competitions so I put the same amount of energy and strength into both. My favorite one is probably the short program from the season 2006/2007 and the gala exhibition which I'm skating to this season.


Is it harder for you to skate to fast and dynamic music or to slow and lyrical? To fast music. You have to keep up with the speed and not forget about all the elements that have to be done correctly all at one time. But I still love skating to lyrical, romantic music - it is fun as well.

What do you usually do with your costumes after the season is over? Nothing special actually. Usually you just put them in your wardrobe and keep them there. That's it. In some cases you put them on again to skate to old programs at different kinds of shows but mostly they are kept at home.

If you were to skate in pairs now who would you skate with? I have no idea, really. I used to skate in pairs for three years before I decided to skate single so I know what it's like, but I really don't know for now.

Imagine you were to make a movie or to star in it. What kind of movie would it be? Harry Potter, I think. Yes!

Do you have a dream-country, which you have already visited or haven't yet? Italy. I spent two weeks in Venice and Florence and I just fell in love with these cities! As for countries not yet visited, I guess it's Australia and Japan. They are far enough to dream of coming to visit!

If you were not skating, what would you be doing?
I'd be doing school and playing tennis. Maybe, I'd ski too, I don't know.

What music do you listen to?
Mostly, it is pop. I like pop-music.

Are there any songs that characterize you and characterize home for you?
Let me think… There is one. Natasha Bedingfield - "Pocketful of Sunshine". Considering home – any jazz songs, yes, smooth jazz. I like it.

Who would you like to meet among Russian famous people if you had a chance to do that?
Sergei Rachmaninov, a Russian composer. I skate to his beautiful music this season in my long program.

What are your impressions from Russia? Did you have a chance to walk around Moscow and go sightseeing?
Yes, I did. Today morning before gala trainings we went to the Red Square. It was amazing! I liked it. Russia is very nice.

What are your plans after coming home?
I will continue working on my programs. I want to keep working on the elements and on the choreography as well. Nationals in January are my goal for the next year. Depending on how I perform there, it will be clear whether I will be competing at the Worlds that are to be held in Los Angeles.

Thank you so much for this nice conversation. And good luck for the rest of the season!

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