In figure skating matchups, I am always on the side where there is more sport than art, skating and presentation. Medvedev against Zaguitova? Of course, I am for Zagitova, she has a Rittberger waterfall. Shcherbakova vs. Trusova? Of course, for Trusova, she jumped five quads, and Shcherbakov only two.
In these unwritten rules of all time there was only one exception – his name is Mikhail Kolyada.
Also, I’ll probably speak a bit abruptly; after all, only after the announcement of the end of my career (as I always ask you not to deceive yourself with suspensions) it became clear how much Kolyada meant for figure skating not only in Russia. but also in the world.
I very rarely had a complete immersion in the program: so much so that you can completely forget what is happening around you. These are Volosozhar/Trankov’s Masquerade, both Yulia Lipnitskaya’s Olympic programs and… all Kolyada productions. Well, true.
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Among journalists, it has always been fashionable to scold Mikhail for his breakdowns, and then to despise and condemn him for stand-ups in the mixed zone (or rather, for record short answers) – and for all this I am not ashamed. to say that I have always supported him.
Including the Pyeongchang Olympics, which divided Kolyada’s career into a before and after, and for me it was one of the hardest experiences for fans along with Alexander Legkov’s Vancouver duathlon. I also remember very well how the administrator of the Kolyada fan group and I stood next to the Challenger in Espoo, nervously squeezing our hands and worried as if this was the main start of the season. He was nervous but cool.
Kolyada would get frustrated with endless drops and used to downright rage in mixed zones (until we all learned to treat his responses with philosophy and humor), and then you could power up almost any of his skates and enjoy yourself endlessly, even allowing for unsaved quads. . And is it really important that you again send colleagues to Alexei Nikolaevich Mishin?
Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship
I’m not good at sliding and I can’t compare dance duets on this gauge. But Kolyada always wanted to shout: “Misha, skate with threes!” – to see exactly the art, and not the abundance of multi-turn jumps.
The last time I saw Kolyada skate live at the Panin-Kolomenkin memorial in St. Petersburg, and neither the stains nor the modest half-empty stadium at the Academy of Figure Skating on Tupolevskaya did not interrupt the indelible impression.
Over the years, it is clear that Mikhail Kolyada did not fit into the Russian system, where figure skating is embedded in the paradigm of all sports, where “faster, higher, stronger” and where, apart from the winner , there is simply “everyone else”.
So it was not at all surprising when Misha admitted that he “doesn’t take it off” mentally. No wonder: after Trankov’s “bream”, other artists Yagudin and much more.
Mikhail Kolyada explained why he decided to suspend his career
There is too much competition in our figure – you cannot reflect here, otherwise the system will suffocate you. You can’t get high on ice until you’re 30, like Jason Brown and Keegan Messing did, not quad geniuses, but top skaters and brilliant inspirers. And it’s not even about the quadruple lutz, which we never saw after the Chinese Grand Prix in the 2017/2018 season.
I won’t point to the laurels of Yuzuru Hanyu and Nathan Chen (Chen is generally the opposite type of skater), however, in an environment more favorable to his talent, Kolyada might well shine at the level of Shoma Uno himself.
But he leaves, publicly admitting that he is mentally tired.