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From Junior Glory to Senior Goals –


by Matteo Morelli | On-Ice Picture by Robin Ritoss

Czech Republic’s Kateřina Mrázková and Daniel Mrázek are final 12 months’s Junior World Champions, with spectacular outcomes collected all through their junior years. With their first 12 months as senior skaters nearly accomplished, we met with them to speak about their transition from junior to senior and the way they intend to develop and develop within the subject.

Kateřina and Daniel, it’s nice to speak to you. That is your first 12 months as senior skaters. How do you are feeling entering into this season, already with two Grand Prix project for you, a European Championships and Worlds?

Kateřina Mrázková (KM): I believe I’m having fun with the competitions, as a result of we had been enhancing some stuff within the programmes, we attempt to make them extra attention-grabbing. The competitions are principally the identical because the juniors for me, however I’m having fun with the environment in a giant area.

With two Grand Prix assignments already accomplished (eighth at Skate America and seventh at Grand Prix of Espoo), what classes did you study from them?

[DM] We might have achieved a lot better within the free. After Finland, we had one week off, as a result of we didn’t have time without work for the reason that summer season and we felt that getting some relaxation and doing one thing completely different would assist us. Then we went dwelling and again to coaching, engaged on the programmes once more, making some modifications and run throughs.

KM: Within the free dance, I did a mistake within the one foot. I used to be a bit unhappy about it, however I believe the programme total wasn’t dangerous. We did some enhancements on our components, for instance the raise. Till the error, we had been actually pleased with the programme, then it obtained a bit worse I believe, however it was a superb programme total.

Daniel Mrázek (DM): We discovered to at all times skate programmes with 100% power, to be within the efficiency and to continue to learn. We had been discussing what was fallacious, what we should always enhance, so we work on many features that we need to enhance, in order that we’ve got a plan of labor.

KM: It’s completely different to skate in a giant area with lots of people as a result of the strain is a bit larger, so additionally it is good that we’re practising skating with numerous viewers.

You additionally had your first European Championships (with a ninth place end). How did you are feeling about it?

KM: I believe we did nicely, we’re comfortable. It seems to be just like the work we’ve got been doing within the months earlier than this championship is paying off.

DM: After Finland, we labored on every part. In juniors we had been good skaters, however in seniors it’s completely different, there are such a lot of good skaters, we need to step up and work on our ranges, for instance on the sample step sequence, but in addition all the small print within the programmes.

Did you are feeling any strain stepping up into your senior profession because the Junior World Champions?

KM: No, as a result of we’ve got no expectations from this season. Our coaches informed us to not anticipate something, we’re new and we’re younger.

DM: However in fact we need to do nicely, as a result of we need to present that we’re not simply staying the identical, we need to enhance and we need to present that we are able to do even higher.

Whereas the rhythm dance this season relies on 80s music, you determined to skate on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in your free. How did you determine the content material of your programmes?

KM: For the free dance, we needed to do one thing completely different, a distinct model of music in comparison with final season. Ballet music was a bit difficult, as a result of it’s approach softer however that’s the reason we selected it, to enhance.

DM: We selected one thing very highly effective as we needed one thing that can make us develop, as a substitute of selecting the identical sort of music that we all know we are able to do. We additionally needed to seek out one other model and I believe we really feel fairly nicely within the programme.

KM: Within the rhythm dance, we select the music as a result of we needed to!

Do you just like the 80s music usually?

KM: I believe it’s not dangerous! We choose extra completely different types like tango and waltz, however I believe it’s okay.

What are you aiming for this season, being your first senior season?

DM: Because the season goes, we don’t actually have any expectations. We have to enhance our skating expertise, we’ve got to skate rather well within the observe. We additionally want to enhance within the couple connection, within the lifts and in some transitions.

KM: That is one thing to deal with for the very long time.

DM: We’re not going to enhance in a single month!

Let’s take a step again. When did you begin skating? What age had been you?

KM: I used to be 4.

DM: And I used to be 5.

And when did you begin ice dance?

KM: A little bit bit greater than 4 three in the past.

DM: She was 13 and I used to be I used to be seventeen.

What made you determine to skate collectively?

DM: It was my harm with the ankle: docs informed me that I will be unable to leap anymore, to do any massive jumps. I additionally felt that it will be dangerous and that most likely I’d not maintain numerous years of my profession, that I might get injured much more, so I made a decision to do ice dance. Kate was the perfect associate for me, in fact.

KM: Once we had been younger, our mother was our coach in singles. I believe we might skate fairly nicely for singles, so we simply determined to attempt to skate collectively and it has been going nicely up to now!

Do you are feeling that being siblings helps?

KM: I believe it’s serving to. We’re each very completely different.

DM: It has some unfavourable and constructive issues. We’re brother and sister, so typically we are usually extra sincere with one another, scream a bit greater than we’d do to different individuals, so we’ve got to deal with it extra as if we communicate to a coach, however it’s nice that we’ve got a superb relationship, we are able to inform every part to one another.

Let’s mirror in your junior years. You achieved quite a bit, closing this chapter with a gold medal at Junior Worlds. What did you are taking away with you from these years, shifting into the senior subject?

DM: As a result of we didn’t begin doing ice dance once we had been small and we solely began three years in the past, what I take is that we had been capable of go to the highest in juniors in a really quick time and that at all times make me assume that we’ve got that potential. I hope that we are able to additionally do it in seniors, someday. So, that is motivating for me.

Are you able to already see a change out of your final junior to your first senior season? Do you are feeling you might be already extra mature and stepping up?

KM: I’ll say we improved numerous issues, however nonetheless we’re not mature sufficient to check ourselves to somebody who’s older than us, so we nonetheless look a bit younger. However I believe it wants time, it’s not going to occur in just a few months. We’d like extra time, however we’re engaged on it!

Do you have got any long-term aims that you’re working in direction of already?

DM: We need to obtain as a lot as we are able to. We are going to attempt to get as excessive as we are able to and we’ll work for that. We are going to see what we are able to do!

Evidently the ice dance motion within the Czech Republic has been rising considerably over the past years, with two high ice dance groups (alongside Natálie Taschlerová and Filip Taschler) reaching vital outcomes. What do you concentrate on this?

DM: It’s not actually the Czech Republic, it’s Italy! (laughs) It’s Matteo (Zanni, their coach) in fact. It’s a coincidence that Natálie and Filip additionally began as a brother and sister and that then we began. They had been the primary to begin this Czech Republic doing nice in ice dance. After I obtained the harm in singles, I instantly thought that I actually like to skate, so why not do ice dance? After all, Matteo helps us to attain it as a result of right here in Egna (the place they prepare, on the Younger Goose Academy), we’ve got numerous alternatives.

KM: Sure, we’re comfortable to have him and naturally additionally the others there.

How does it really feel to coach on the Younger Goes Academy with all these good groups round you?

KM: Once we began ice dance, we had been for just a few months within the Czech Republic with our coach Barbora Řezníčková after which we did the transfer to Italy. We don’t know the way it works somewhere else, however we prefer it right here. For instance, within the Czech Republic, on one skating rink we don’t have sufficient time to work on the ice.

DM: The distinction that I can really feel from singles is that after I was single and I used to be on the ice, there have been 5 different coaches and there have been college students however they had been not likely serving to one another, they had been all by themselves. And right here it’s one crew. We now have three on ice coaches and a few off-ice coaches. Everybody helps one another, which I believe is the easiest way. So that’s what I really feel is completely different and I believe that it’s a superb approach to obtain issues.

Do you prefer to reside in Italy?

DM: We simply skate right here. We principally reside on ice!

KM: I really choose to be within the Czech Republic as a result of I perceive every part and we’ve got household there. However additionally it is good to be on this small city in Italy, the mountains and the view are good, I choose a village as a result of within the Czech Republic we reside in a village.

You talked about your coach Matteo Zanni: what number of years have you ever been coached by him?

KM: It has now been three years, for the reason that starting. He did every part with us.

DM: We did ice dance for 3 months after which we obtained to him, so he’s accountable for every part we do.

Are there any at present competing or retired groups you take a look at and are impressed by?

KM: I believe every couple has one thing, for instance somebody has an excellent method for the raise, somebody has good angle bending. I’d not say that there’s only one couple we take a look at, I believe everybody has one thing good.

DM: We need to attempt to take one thing from many various {couples}. If I’ve to say names, I believe we are able to say Scott Moir with Tessa Advantage, we each actually like them. I believe that’s how ice dance must be achieved. However additionally it is true that, as a skater, you can’t attempt to be like them, it doesn’t work like this.

KM: We nonetheless attempt to be ourselves.

When not skating, are you busy learning? And do you have got any passions aside from ice dance?

DM: Sure, we each research. I research at College, I’m in my second 12 months. I do it on-line and it’s only for skilled athletes, they make the schedule appropriate for us so we are able to research.

KM: I research in highschool, I’ve two extra years, together with this one. I don’t have actually a lot time to spend on one thing else, however in fact I like different issues. For instance, Daniel is obsessed with singing and taking part in piano.

Perhaps someday you will skate on certainly one of your musics!

KM: I don’t assume so, however we’ll see!

DM: I choose to play one thing completely different than what we skate on.

Is there the rest that you simply wish to share?

KM: Really, sure! I heard that many individuals are confused with our music for the free dance (Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake), as a result of we skate on ballet music. It’s actually a ballet story, however many individuals assume that we skate on the ballet from the film, Black Swan. It has nothing to do with that! I don’t understand how this got here up, however I simply need to say that we skate on the true ballet music.

DM: It’s the one from the orchestra. It’s exhausting if you wish to do the ballet story, we need to make it like within the theatre. We’re actually attempting exhausting to make it appear to be a ballet!

KM: It’s actually exhausting to sum up two hours of ballet on 4 minutes on the ice.

Have you ever really had ballet courses earlier than?

DM: Sure, we had. Principally, from once we had been youthful, however it’s regular for each skater, you have got ballet courses. Now we’ve got a ballet instructor that got here right here two years in the past. I believe she is the perfect instructor up to now in ballet when it comes to method, you possibly can see that she is absolutely good at it. And this 12 months, we determined that we need to strive one thing new as a result of we by no means actually skated on ballet earlier than. I believe it’s working nice, additionally for the longer term, once we provide you with another concepts, I believe programmes can be very attention-grabbing!




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