in figure skating, the road to success knows no compromises / Article

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Denis has been training for the sixth year with the titled Swiss Stefan Lambjel, and his development has mostly taken place outside of Latvia. Vasiļjevs, who ended the European Championship in 5th place, admitted in a conversation with Latvian Television’s “Sporta studio” that figure skating is not very well developed in Latvia and that the sport does not have its own special culture. Denis also reminded the parents of young figure skaters to take special care to ensure that their children have fun on the ice.

“There is a need to change [veids]as we see figure skating,” Vasiliev said. “What many parents don’t understand is that you can give a lot from the outside [atbalstu]but if there is no joy in your heart to do it, then you will not go far [rezultātu ziņā].”

Figure skating is an elite sport, where the finances invested in a child directly correlate with the possibility of achieving high-value results.

Parents should count on at least 300 euros per month for their kid to start skating. Amounts increase with more training, which also translates into better skills.

If a child skates a lot, it is immediately visible,

explained Svetlana Baltere, the coach of the “Kaskads” figure skating club.

“Skating skills will be completely different,” Baltere emphasized the importance of the time spent on the ice. “It makes a difference whether the child comes [slidot] twice a week, or come twice a day. It will make a huge difference.”

The coach of the figure skating club “Kristal Ice”, Samanta Kovalkova, also emphasized the need for more lessons if the goal is high achievements.

“If parents want their child to grow up to be an athlete, to go to competitions, then of course the workload is greater. You need more hours to spend on the ice,” said Kovalkova. “[Sporta] medicine [apmeklējums] choreography is also needed… It’s about three to four hours just for training.”

On the other hand, the figure skater’s mother, Linda Zariņa, admitted that she perceives her offspring’s lessons as part of her child’s education.

“Our family has a principle that we can save money for many other things, but we have decided to invest as much as we can in children’s education,” Zariņa described the importance of figure skating.

Despite the heavy burden on parents’ shoulders and their wallets, figure skating is one of the most popular sports in Latvia.

You can practice figure skating in 16 clubs and sports schools in 12 places in Latvia. One of the motivating factors for parents – figure skating develops movement coordination, balance and posture.

The general secretary of the Latvian Skating Association, Inese Jesse, does not hide that you can count on the support of the federation only after reaching a high level.

“Where there are sports schools in different cities, there is, of course, funding for sports schools. The sports school creates training groups or interest education groups. The federation starts supporting athletes when they already go to championships and participate in the international arena,” said Jesse.

The former figure skater Diāna Nikitina, who became a coach, commented on the European Championship on Latvian Television, but the athlete made sure that it was a very difficult path. She also enjoyed the new experience of being a commentator, seeing figure skating from a different side and making sure that there is something going on outside of just living on the ice.

“I know everything from individual skating, I know very well what happens in sports pairs, but dancing is like a different world for me. I was preparing for dancing [translācijai] almost until three in the morning, but I can honestly say – I managed everything. It worked, even though I was worried about it,” Nikitina did not hide her satisfaction.

After participating in the Olympic Games, Diana’s career ended at the age of 17, because an injury forced her to choose between sports or health.

In advance, Nikitina made sure that long-term forecasts do not fit in figure skating.

“We could see our little drama in Latvian figure skating, specifically in individual women’s skating. Angelina [Kučvaļska] had won [Latvijai] a ticket to the Olympic Games, but in the end [Angelinas traumas dēļ] I left,” said Nikitina. “Sports are very difficult. You never know who will make it to the end.”

For the time being, Kučvalska has the best achievement of Latvian figure skaters for women – 4th place in the European Championship. In order to get to the elite level, her training regimen did not let up, starting at the age of 10 – at least eight hours of training a day. It included ice training, choreography lessons and more. Such a regime does not remain without traces.

“Sometimes I came home and just immediately fell asleep because I had no energy at all,” Kuchvalska admitted. “Of course, it was a little morally difficult, because I had to monitor my weight, how I looked. In one season, it started [pubertātes] age, when everything changes, hormones make themselves felt. I couldn’t do anything about myself. I couldn’t stop eating when I stopped – I get nothing again. It was morally very difficult. I saw several female athletes who started to get sick, for example, with anorexia, bulimia. Because they wanted to be fit all the time. It went too badly.”

Figure skating is an aesthetically pleasing sport in which both children and their parents and coaches see beauty and brilliance.

The most important thing is that this combination is in a healthy balance.