When the information broke in the autumn of 2021 that Artur Dmitriev, Jr. — the eldest son of two-time Olympic pairs champion Artur Dmitriev — was switching international locations and deliberate to symbolize the U.S., everybody was taken abruptly.
Dmitriev Jr. had represented his Russian homeland for nearly a decade, however in late 2018 he abruptly disappeared off the skating radar. Behind the scenes he was coping with accidents and unwell well being that started “a long time ago, before Sochi in 2014. I broke my leg and there was a very serious injury to the ligaments in my foot. I had to have an operation and long-term rehabilitation. After 2018, I decided to take a break,” he defined.
“The first reason was my body was tired and inside I felt I needed a rest. I worked with doctors and physiotherapists to try and regain the power I used to have. The second reason is I was changing federations. I am actually grateful for this period because I could regain the power in my body and I feel much younger than I did three years ago. So, overall, I think it worked out very good for me.”
Almost three years after his final worldwide outing for Russia, Dmitriev switched federations to symbolize the United States, a rustic in which he had lived for seven years as a baby. “When my father retired in 1998, my parents moved to the United States. He performed in shows and my mother worked as a choreographer with Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes. We lived here long enough to obtain citizenship. I don’t have any legal problems,” the 29-year-old stated.
“I have not trained with my father since 2018 and now I work with my wife, (Ekaterina Ukolova, a former Russian figure skater he wed in August 2020). In Russia, I was not seen as a promising athlete. I received an offer from the American federation and I thought this was a good option.”
At his first occasion on American soil in September, Dmitriev completed third and certified for the 2022 U.S. Championships.
Three months later, he contested his first nationals in Nashville, rating 12th in a area of 14 in the quick program. First to skate in the free, Dmitriev made a daring transfer by going for a quad Axel as his first leaping cross. The try was unsuccessful and acquired a downgrade following a two-foot touchdown.
“I have done better in practice,” he stated in reference to the bounce. “I had a landing on it four or five years ago, but I could not keep my shape up for the competition. So after three years off the ice and no competitions, I came back and tried it again. I hope soon to have a clean one. I think I am the first one to do it in competition — I don’t know anyone else before me.”
Training the quad Axel requires preparation and time stated Dmitriev Jr. “I usually take 15 minutes to work on it and when I am ready I will jump it. Then I take time off and when I feel I can I will do it again.”
When requested how he began working towards mastering the quad Axel the St. Petersburg native stated he first tried two triple Axels in a row. “Then I was like, 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 it. That is why I am trying to do it. It is like another level psychologically. It is not one foot, two feet – it is in the head.”
He admitted he had seen Yuzuru Hanyu’s quad Axel try on the All Japan Championships and felt he “did a good job.”
Citing his age, Dmitriev Jr. stated he limits his coaching classes and listens to his physique. “I can take a day off randomly if my body is telling me to stop. I could even do like one hour (of training) a day and it would be fine.”
In mid-September he started coaching for the qualifying occasion, and began engaged on his applications – and his jumps. The following month he was nonetheless solely doing triples, and had not tried any quads. “Little by little I am gaining shape and I hope everything will be good. I have to work a lot. I have to do gym, a lot of stretching, so I think I need about half a year to get back to my full shape,” he stated.
Though he’s centered on mastering 4 revolutions, the Axel isn’t his favorite bounce. “I like all little parts of every jump. They are all different. With the quad Axel — we started when my father coached me when I was small. We did two jumps: loop and a single Axel and he taught me the double Axel. But I love every jump.”
“I intend to return to duty. How it will turn out, we will see. I am absolutely serious.”