Two-time world junior figure skating champion Alexandra Trusova has been making the headlines this week after reports about her split from renowned coach Eteri Tutberidze emerged in the Russian press.
The 15-year-old prodigy who has made revolutionary changes in the sport, becoming the first female skater to land a quad at an international event, has reportedly parted ways with Tutberidze, as she felt “useless” and “neglected” by the coach.
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According to Sports 24, which cited a source familiar with the situation, Trusova will now be coached by two-time Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko at his figure skating academy in Moscow.
Plushenko confirmed the news saying that they have started to prepare all the necessary documents to officially include Trusova in his group.
Trusova, whose fantastic results nosedived this season, has been reportedly upset over Tutberidze’s training approach complaining that the coach has spent much more time with other skaters in her group.
“Girls from the Tutberidze group haven’t been provided with any support by their coach who hasn’t contacted them even online. It has become a huge problem for Trusova who has long felt neglected despite being the first skater to jump quads,” Sports 24 said.
Alexandra TrusovaQuad flipWhy not… 🤪 pic.twitter.com/xjfIvWIcRS
The skater hasn’t yet confirmed the split, but her possible exit from the team fully echoes the situation surrounding another figure skating star Evgenia Medvedeva who left Tutberidze after losing the Olympic crown in Pyeongchang.
Two years ago the long-time leader Medvedeva, for whom an Olympic silver was a total failure, broke ties with Tutberidze and moved to Canada to train under the famed coach Brian Orser.
The skater who had been unbeaten for more than two years felt insulted and depressed after her coach brought Alina Zagitova to Olympic glory pushing her former star Medvedeva into second place.
The uncompromised champion who couldn’t put up with the role of an outsider preferred to end her relationship with the coach causing public uproar in Russia.
Medvedeva’s supporters blamed Tutberidze for shifting priorities right before the Olympics and making Zagitova her number one skater, something Medvedeva treated as a huge blow and betrayal.
Others, on the contrary, criticized Medvedeva for her actions insisting that Tutberidze provided the skaters with equal chances at the Winter Games and advised Medvedeva to accept her Olympic loss with dignity.
Now, with Trusova leaving the group it has become absolutely clear that training several top class skaters under one roof is a complicated task. Fierce competition undoubtedly stimulates progress, but it can also lead to degradation when all of your skaters only want to win.
Hidden anger, grievances, disappointment are another side of success inside Tutberidze’s group which has become a trendsetter in women’s skating bringing multiple champions to the world podium.
When you have a bunch of immensely gifted athletes with insane technical potential it’s difficult to explain that some of them will not win or even make it to the national team. How do you motivate all of them? What do you say when they fail to succeed? How do you comfort them if they are depressed?
These are the questions which become stumbling blocks for many coaches. And when there are more questions than answers cooperation ends and both prefer to go their separate ways.