Thursday, 28 February 2013

2001 Interviews With Annie Bellemare


Back in the good old days of Tripod and Geocities, I briefly attempted hosting a website called Intensity On Ice which included a database of professional competition results, music and a few
great interviews with skaters active during that period. Below I have shared two of these 'lost' interviews with Canadian figure skating medallist Annie Bellemare!

INTERVIEW ONE

Q: Do you feel the pressure to make the world or Olympic team more now that you skated so strongly at Four Continents and Worlds? 

A: Not really. For sure I want to do well, and I want to make the world and Olympic team but its another goal, and I will do everything to make it happen. However, I know it's going to be tough because it's a lot of people's dream and goal and there only one spot.

Q: Describe your new programs to us. 

A: My short is "The Piano". I finally felt ready to skate to that music... it's a soft program. I really like it. My long is classical music but happier (I feel like its more me than last year because I think I'm an happy person). I really like both programs a lot and feel really comfortable doing them. For exhibition, I did not do it yet, so I guess it will be a surprise.

Q: How was your summer training? 

A: It was good: no injuries, lots of good training on and off ice. I worked a lot on the new programs and on triple Sal/triple loop (new combination actually in the long (not perfect yet but coming along pretty well). I also worked a lot on my layback so hopefully it's going to be better.

Q: What are your goals for the Grand Prix? 

A: Top five in both would be great... but my biggest goal is to skate real well in both competitions. I really want to become more consistent.



INTERVIEW TWO

Q: How did you feel about your performances and your spot qualifying for your first World Championships, held in your home country? 

A: I was really happy of my performances at Four Continents. I had great practices all week and felt really good. My short program was one of the best ones I ever did in competition and I was thrilled to do it clean (it's actually a great confidence booster for Worlds ). My long was so-so, but it was still the best of this year, and the fact that I tried everything and did not quit made me really happy. As for Worlds, I was really glad to make the team, for me it means so much. It's one dream that is coming true, and it could not feel better, especially since its in Canada.

Q: What is your game plan for Worlds? 

A: Well, right now, just to train hard; do more runthroughs (especially the long). With the foot injury it was hard to do a lot before Canadians, and now that I have more time I feel like I can be even more ready. Maybe also to work on a triple/triple or triple axel, but not to add in the programs; just to show it in practice but only if I have time.

Q: How is training coming? 

A: Training is going well. I'm training as hard as I can and taking one day at a time to be as ready as I can be.

Q: What are your goals for Four Continents (and tentatively, Worlds)? 

A: Four Continents : Have two good programs and get to go to Worlds, a top 10 finish at Worlds : Have a good skate and get top 15 and maybe top 10.

Q: What was/is your favorite program and why? 

A: I would say that I loved all my programs a lot, but I think one of my favourite one was "The Man In The Iron Mask". It just felt good and I guess it always brings me back to that first Canadian medal.

Q. Who are your skating idols? 

A: Kurt Browning for the skater he is... I think the best in the world. Elvis Stojko for his endurance and perseverance. I think he is one of the toughest out there!

Q: Tell me about your daily training, coaches, choreographers etc.? 

A: I train from about 11 am until 3 pm (sometimes more, sometimes less). I have about 45 minute lesson time with my coach (Stephane Yvars) every day and I work with Majoly off and on ice on my movements and feeling with the music. To do my programs, I go to Toronto off and on to work with Marijane Stong.

Q: What do you/don't you like about being a celebrity? 

A: Well , I don't think I'm a celebrity. Not yet... so I can't really tell you what I like or don't like.

Q: If you could skate to any one piece of music, what would it be? 

A: I think I always skate to music I like, but there is one I actually never skated to and I really like: the "Piano" soundtrack. It's really good. Maybe one day. Maybe a song from Tori Amos would be good.

Q: How long do you plan to compete as an amateur? Would you like to compete or skate professionally? 

A: I can't plan the future but if everything goes fine I would say until 2006 amateur, and maybe a couple of years professionally.

Q: Tell me about your day to day life, hobbies and friends.

A: I usually skate most of the time, and when I don't skate I work in a figure skating shop: it's actually my mom's figure skating boutique... and when I have some time off , I go out with my friends see a movie, have a good meal, or read a book alone.

Q: What's your favourite skating element? 

A: I really like skating around with every song that I like that makes me remember why I skate. I also like trying new jumps - it gets me really excited... but I think one of my favourite jumps is the triple lutz. I just love the feeling of nailing a great one...

Q: Any advice to your fans? 

A: Stay yourself, be who you are, do what you want to do, and have fun... I think if you do this, you will go through life a lot more easily.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

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