Figure skating competitions have started today in Kazan at the Special Olympics Russia Invitational Games. A 16-year-old Aleksandr Ivanov from Saint Petersburg is one of the participants. Even though he took up figure skating only 5 years ago, Aleksandr is already the winner of the World and European Special Olympics Games, and he has many gold medals in his collection.
A young Saint Petersburg resident successfully performed at major international competitions, but the first tournament was the most memorable – Special Olympics World Winter in Austria in 2017. “It was so beautiful there!” Aleksandr recalls.
Since childhood, Aleksandr loves speed sports – roller skates, skates, bicycles, skate. A school physical education teacher suggested that I contacted the Special Olympics Committee of Saint Petersburg. Aleksandr began to study in the figure skating club when he was 11. About a year later – participation in competitions in Austria, then tournaments in Finland, in 2020 – Special Olympics Sweden Invitational Games. Besides, if the athlete’s first performances were of the second degree of difficulty, now they are of the fourth degree. By the way, it was in Sweden that he performed with his favorite “Figaro” free routine.
“When we came to the club, everything began to work out quickly and well,” recalls Tatyana, Aleksandr’s mom. According to her, thanks to his participation in the Special Olympics movement and competitions, her son has become more disciplined, responsible, and focused on results.
Aleksandr trains 5 times a week. The coronavirus pandemic has made its adjustments – during the lockdown period, the athlete studied at home and repeated the programs, while in the summer he attended paid ice rinks. Tatyana says that Aleksandr happily went out on the ice after the break and remembered the programs. Now he is trying not to miss trainings, even if he has to get up at six in the morning. “I feel like sleeping, but we get up and go,” said Tatyana.
The athlete admits that he is worried before going on the ice at the competition. But he tries to tune in for the result more, to think about the good, and wants to show off to the spectators.
Aleksandr calls Alexey Yagudin, Alina Zagitova, Evgeniya Medvedeva his idols in figure skating; he also watches with interest the performances of Dmitriy Aliev and Mikhail Kolyada.
Now Aleksandr is aiming to go as high as the fifth degree of difficulty in figure skating and learn how to execute more complicated elements.
However, the interests of the Petersburg citizen are not limited to sports – he attends computer courses and tries himself in programming, and works with an English tutor to communicate at future international competitions with athletes from other countries.