Dmitriev Jr. Finds New Opportunities in USA – International Figure Skating


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    When news broke in the fall of 2021 that artur dmitriev, jr. — the eldest son of two-time Olympic pairs champion Artur Dmitriev — was changing countries and planning to represent the USA. uu., everyone was surprised.

    dmitriev jr. she had represented his Russian homeland for almost a decade, but at the end of 2018 he suddenly disappeared from the skating radar. behind the scenes, he was dealing with injuries and health issues that started “a long time ago, before sochi in 2014. i broke my leg and had a very serious injury to the ligaments in my foot. I had to undergo an operation and long-term rehabilitation. after 2018, I decided to take a break, ”he explained.

    “The first reason was that my body was tired and inside I felt that I needed to rest. I worked with doctors and physical therapists to try to get back the power I used to have. the second reason is that he was changing his federation. In fact, I am grateful for this period because I was able to regain power in my body and I feel much younger than three years ago. so overall I think it worked really well for me.”

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    Nearly three years after his last cap for Russia, Dmitriev switched federations to represent the United States, a country he had lived in for seven years as a child. “When my father retired in 1998, my parents moved to the United States. he acted in shows and my mother worked as a choreographer with sasha cohen and sarah hughes. we lived here long enough to get citizenship. I don’t have any legal problems,” said the 29-year-old.

    “I haven’t trained with my father since 2018 and now I work with my wife (ekaterina ukolova, a former Russian figure skater whom he married in August 2020). in russia they didn’t see me as a promising athlete. I received an offer from the American federation and I thought this was a good option.”

    In his first event on American soil in September, Dmitriev finished third and qualified for the 2022 U.S. championships.

    Three months later, he contested his first national championships in Nashville, placing 12th out of a field of 14 in the short program. the first to skate free, dmitriev made a bold move by doing a quad axel as his first jump. the attempt was unsuccessful; he landed it on two feet and the jump was called for insufficient rotation.

    “I’ve done better in practice,” he said in reference to the jump. “I had a landing on it four or five years ago, but I couldn’t keep my form up for competition. so after three years off the ice and no competition, I came back and tried again. I hope to have a clean one soon. I think I’m the first to do it in a competition, I don’t know anyone before me.”

    training the quad axel takes preparation and time, said dmitriev jr. “I usually take 15 minutes to work on it and when it’s done I’ll skip it. then I take some time off and when I feel like I can I’ll do it again.”

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    when asked how he started working towards mastering the quad axel the st. The Petersburg native said that he first tried two triple axes in a row. “So I said, hmm…can I do three in a row? I did three in a row and then four in a row, he explained. “And then I thought, ‘what if I go for the quad axel?’ can I do that? let’s try. that’s why i’m trying to do it. it’s like another level psychologically. It’s not one foot, it’s two feet, it’s in the head.”

    admitted that he had seen yuzuru hanyu’s quad axel attempt at the all japan championships and felt he “did a good job”.

    citing his age, dmitriev jr. He said that he limits his training sessions and listens to his body. “I can take a random day off if my body tells me to stop. I could even do like an hour (of training) a day and I’d be fine.”

    In mid-September he started training for the qualifying event and started working on his programs and his jumps. the next month he was still only doing triples and hadn’t tried any quads. “Little by little I am taking shape and I hope everything goes well. I have to work a lot I have to do gymnastics, a lot of stretching, so I think I need about half a year to get back to my full form, ”she said.

    Although he is focused on mastering all four revolutions, the shaft is not his favorite jump. “I like all the little parts of each jump. everyone is different. with the quad axel: we started when my father trained me when he was little. we did two jumps: loop and single axis and he taught me the double axis. but I love every jump.”

    “I intend to return to duty. how it will turn out, we’ll see. I’m absolutely serious.”

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