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Re: Чемпионат Европы 2012 || European Championships 2012


I tried in these days to find the right way to express how I felt but I always think to be trivial, repetitive,maybe because there have not been invented yet words to express for real the type of emotion that Evgeni Plushenko was capable to gift us all.

Evgeni has always made me happy. Every time I see him down on the ice skating, no matter if for a show or for a training, I experience a feeling of absolute harmony. But this was my first time in a competition with the presence of Evgeni, and was a long-cherished desire to be able to applaud him during a comp, be there to suffer, to wait, to exult. Never before like this particular time I realized that Evgeni has something more, a special indefinable “something” that can not be defined with only the talent, technique, even with artistic expression. Evgeni is will to succeed even when the obstacles seem too high, is the belief in himself without being let down by hasty or negative judgments, is the determination to face with courage the tests, the humility to make it even starting all over again.

Evgeni Plushenko in the European championships started from the qualification rounds, the skater who won everything put himself back into the sport from the lowest level, beginning with the first group. I arrived in Sheffield running without breathing just in time for the short program, with Elisabetta and Consuelo we crossed our fingers to be able to catch all flights and train transfers and at the end, when we finally entered the arena the first athlete of the first group was finishing his program. Just in time to sit back and to actually realize where are we and the heart starts beating furiously... Here we are, it's his turn to skate and my hands squeeze Elisabetta's one stronlgy. Triple toeloop triple toeloop combination, and the program goes on easily,with intensity, then a beautiful triple axel, the refined and elegant step sequence and Evgeni ends his routine while I still do not realize that it actually happened, I made it, I'm here! He didn't perform the quadruple toe-loop, but his followers are conscious that Evgeni is not in good shape. The left knee still hurts very much, and it's gonna be back to the hospital for another surgery soon. The only fact of his presence here is kind of a miracle, is the result of his steadfast determination. He finished the short program in second place,who did better than him was only Artur Gachinski, sharing an intense and well executed program. The following day we go to watch the practice, and Evgeni is really focused, he enters into the ice rink, begins to warm-up, try a few jumps. Then Mishin, from outside the ice, he raises his hand, waving his 4 fingers ... that's an indication to try the quad. Elisabetta understands the signal and make us to notice that so we are anxiously awaiting. Here is the preparation and the jump and the fast rotation, not a perfect landing, the fall. We tremble but Evgeni gets up quickly, takes up speed again and within seconds after he lands right in front of us a beautiful quad toe loop, and then one more, in combination with a triple toe-loop and again a beautiful triple axel. I reach the stars for happiness I feel in my heart that Evgeni will give us another demonstration of his greatness as an athlete during the free program, erasing in a minute, without too many words, doubts and criticisms that accompanied the last period of his career when heaters said: he is not gonna make it, he is too old than his opponents, he is gonna fail to catch up with the new regulations, he has no transitions skills and he is no longer as fast as he was in the past... I have always believed in him, because I am firmly convinced that Evgeni has a strong self confidence and never gives up. Everybody should be aware of it right now, after many years of career and many titles he won, but maybe someone needs one more demonstration about who is Plushenko.

Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. we are on the supertram that brings us to the arena. We go inside,in the air spreads the music program of one of the competing athletes. Our heart is flooded with emotion, we sit in the bleachers close to the rink and after a while Evgeni takes the ice: he wears a brand new costume, black, elegant, his face is serious, focused, we feel the tension for the cometition just like he does, because this is a turning point and a confirmation for him. Some laps around the rink, some jumps. We observe him in silence, quivering of his own emotions ... in a few hours on freeskate we will know if our feelings are real: we see him ready and truly motivated. At the end of the practice session he stopped for a moment staring at the ice, immersed in thoughts that maybe we can imagine... And finally, the competition begins, athletes succeed one by one, we applaud, we participate, but our minds and our hearts are all addressed to him. Here he is warming up outside the ice rink, my hands tight to Consuelo and Elisabetta, the heartbeat accelerated. The music begins as well as the magic. First jump, a perfect quadruple we scream all together, and immediately after a beautiful triple axel followed by a triple toeloop. The excitement never seems to end. These are the longest four and a half minutes I've ever experienced. Evgeni skates easily gifting us a jump after another with a confidence that leaves us breathless. The song is in its own strings, a passionate tango, burning just like his sight which catches all the arena's attention to him. The circular step sequence is so beautiful that my eyes fill with tears of emotion, but I have no time because the program is going forward, strong and fast ending in a thrilling finale in which we see all his grit, his desire to be there to make only one thing: winning. The arena is all standing up to cheer him. This is the establishment of a record that nobody can take him away. We have not seen the scores yet, but for us, for every person inside the arena, Evgeni is the winner.

What can I say? There is no need of scores – stellar, by the way - to make clear of what was this competition, and no doubts about who is Plushenko. So I steal the definition of him made by an old man met in the elevator of the hotel,who was listening me talking about Evgeni and who said smiling at me:"Only one word: Plushenko"

Thank you Evgeni.

N.B. Thanks to Elisabetta, Consuelo and Sara with whom I shared this extraordinary adventure.

Lorella Miotello
Traduzione di: Sara Langella
by cekoni
06 Feb 2012, 06:39
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