Maxim Kovtun is perhaps the most talented Russian figure skater who has appeared since the days of Plushenko and Yagudin. He was the first to venture to include two quadruple jumps into the short program at once. And for the 2014 Olympics, five quads were already doing: two remained in the short, three perfectly fit into the arbitrary. But the competition in Sochi passed without him. Then everyone thought what would happen in Pkhenchkhane. And no again.
Return to the top planned for the season 2018/19. As a result, Maxim won the next championship of Russia (by the way, his first title in December 2013 was the first defeat for Yevgeny Plushenko since 1998), the silver of the Universiade and ended his career. Sport24 escorts Kovtun to a new life and understands why he could not win a major medal. Or at least fight for it.
Before the Games in Sochi, Russia had only one quota in men's skating. Kovtun couldn’t earn any more. Everything was decided at the World Championships – 2013 in Canada. To bring two permits, Maxim needed to get into the top ten. All hopes collapsed after the short program – only 19th place. In the final protocol a little better – 17th place.
Three figure skaters claimed for a trip to Sochi: Kovtun himself, who won the Russian qualifying championship with an impressive margin, Sergei Voronov, who took the second place (and the highest among Russians) at the European Championship, and Yevgeny Plushenko, who lost to Kovtun in Russia , I missed Europe, but I really wanted to get to my third Olympiad.
It turned out the desire of the champion – almost the law. Specially for Plushenko, they organized a closed test rental, after which the executive committee of the federation gave him the only place in the Olympic team.
What this story ended for Plushenko and the national team, everyone remembers.
For Kovtun, this moment was one of the defining. He abstained from high-profile interviews and statements in the press. But his fans still occasionally recall the author's track “Slides” and the line “It’s not like me, what it should be like … I would have tattered my whole past life on the body with a tatoo”.
For the 2014 World Cup in the Federation, Kovtun was remembered again. And he immediately issued two very decent rentals, earned a score of 250 (at that time serious figures) and returned to Russia the second quota in men's single skating.
Then there were two victories at the stages of the Grand Prix, another gold of the Russian championship, silver and bronze of Europe. At the same time clean Maxim skated only two times. Figure skating gradually turned into a tedious duty, and expectations increasingly diverged from reality.
Kovtun tried desperately to cheer up. On the ice, I changed coaches (I went out loud and not very beautifully from Buyanova to Goncharenko and back, I even managed to work with Plushenko) and the style of performances. Outside of it, he created and dissolved musical groups and released new tracks, which were enough for an entire album.
Only the set of ultra-si elements remained unchanged – the same quadruple sheepskin coats and salchows, with which he was going to surprise everyone else in Sochi.
In the end, even Tatyana Tarasova, who invariably believed in Maxim in the most difficult times, could not stand it.
“Kovtun once was the first to jump two quad in a short program. Now almost no jumping. What can we talk about? He was the fourth in the world, and now he does not enter the top ten. This is a regression. You need to completely revise your training system. And enough is already repeated that "we learn." People insert new elements right in the course of the season – the same Hania. He could calm down for a long time, but it works, develops, but we have no progress. ”
Another characteristic for Kovtun from Tatyana Tarasova is shame and shame. This is after the Euro-2019 in Minsk. There, Maxim has 8 gross errors on 7 jumping elements. But the main disappointment is not even that. During the Russian championship in Saransk, for a moment, the feeling that Kovtun wanted to win again and again believed in himself returned. As it turned out, deceptive. Not everyone can deal with internal problems and contradictions in the non-stop mode. And this is also an act – to recognize everything and start a new life.
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