A young team of ice-dancers, training in Lyon, caught our eye (and not only ours) at last French National Championships held in Dammarie-Lès-Lys, a few weeks ago, where they were rewarded with a bronze medal. We took the opportunity to get to know them better, as they will doubtlessly make news in the future.
Annecy Infosports : Tiffany et Alexis, first championship in Seniors and a medal already ?
Tiffany Zahorski & Alexis Miart : Yes, compared to the previous years it is a very good result. We are lucky. It is a good performance for a first participation.
AIS : How did you prepare this competition ?
TZ & AM : We have been working really hard for the past 3 or 4weeks, we thought that we had to do our best and that even if it wasn’t top notch, it had to be correct. Our main wish was to make a good impression, on people who like us in particular, in order to restore our confidence about our progression. To show we are improving.
AIS : You have been skating together for 3 seasons and it seems it works well, depiste Alexis’ serious recent injury (*)
AM : True, it’s working pretty well. I’m just recovering from injury and Tiffany was very patient, she waited for me. She was forced to train alone for 2 and a half months, while I was having physiotherapy. One and a half month in a plaster was a bit long and I had difficulties getting back in the saddle, but then, we had to work full power to be more or less ready for the Nationals. Obviously, it worked.
TZ & AM : Junior Worlds ? Absolutely not. As we are qualified for the Senior European Championships, we will remain in this category. We haven’t worked on a our junior programs anyway, so we would have a lot to catch up with. It would be real hard ! Then, there are the Olympics in Sochi in 2 and a half years and we have to make our name right now if we want to consider a participation in these Games. It is an opportunity we must seize. Being »upgraded » to Seniors isn’t a sacrifice for us. When you look at the age of the current World and Olympic champions, you know you have to be ready earlier [than before] to fit in the World upper ranks. Unfortunately, if you stay in the Junior category, even with high ranking, you remain unknown. Better work harder and make ourselves a name in the Senior ranks.
AIS : You are members of Lyon Glace Patinage, your predecessors were ice-dancers like Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat. Do following the tracks of such giants, and working with coaches who have such a record of achievements, put a particular pressure on you (**)
TZ & AM : Right the opposite, it’s much more exciting. They are very experienced and can really help us in our quest for medals. It’s up to us to follow and to work the way they want us to. It works very well, we do everything together and both duos get along just fine. And we are lucky enough to be the only French couple training in Lyon, we get a lot of attention it’s a very good thing. Exchanging with dancers from other countries is really fulfilling and it enables us to observe and improve, to skate better.
AIS : Precisely, you are showing up at a very favorable time, since we have the feeling that, French ice-dance will sooner or later go through a vacuum, something that didn’t happen in a few decades. Do you feel an expectation from the public and also from the French federation ?
TZ & AM : Yes and no. We feel that people expect a lot from us. But it isn’t a real pressure. That is what makes us push forward. Even if there are actually some expectations on different levels, it is not what will make us skate well or better. We have our own style, it’s different from our contenders’. It’s better not to watch us with a comparative mind. Knowing that people count on us is an incentive. It is a great motivation. It is already very nice if we are considered on the same level as others.
(*) Alexis Miart broke his ankle during the 2010-2011 season.
(**) Tiffany Zahorski et Alexis Miart are coached by Muriel Zazoui and Romain Haguenauer, who won World and Olympic medals with Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder and Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizeirat
Translated from French by Kate B.R.