Valery Malinin, the grandfather of American figure skater Ilya Malinin, talked about the differences in raising children in the United States and Russia.
– Ilya chose the nickname “God of quadruplets. He even wears a hat with such an inscription on it. Some fans in Russia think it is too much.
– The Americans were brought up differently. A Russian baptizes before you start, an American chews gum. You know?
Our athletes in the USA are more relaxed, ours are more excited. I remember, after the performance at the Spartakiade, they were assembled, we were awarded, praised, and scolded. We were scolded without any choice of words.
There was a lot of psychological pressure. And can you imagine what kind of pressure is there at the national team level? Although, maybe now everything has changed.
– So, Ilya is more American than Russian in his character?
– Yes. They are brought up in completely different personalities. Where does a child usually grow up in our country? Kindergarten, school – it’s a collective. In the yard – it’s also a collective. Everything there is according to its own laws. And there is a different team, the priorities are completely different.
In the U.S., I haven’t seen kids hanging out in the yard, playing. They’re busy all the time. The bus takes them away in the morning and brings them back in the evening.
Ilyushka used to leave early, because he’s an athlete. But they all do it. I don’t know at what level, what quality, I don’t know. But the kids are always busy there. I haven’t seen any children there left to themselves.
And on weekends you can see that they are playing sports and riding bikes. There are a lot of running tracks, tennis courts – come and play. There is a lot to do there, so they are brought up in that environment, so they have a slightly different attitude.
– Do you have any Russian traits in him?
– Determination, a desire to get results by all means. It’s in the blood of Russians. That’s why there were three players of the US junior team that were born in Russia during the World Championships.
A lot of Russian families come and settle there, and a lot of kids go in figure skating there.
Of course, his success is thanks to his parents. Tanya is such a goal-oriented person that if she wanted it, she would achieve it. If she wanted him to become a good athlete, she made every effort.
If she had had a different character, less strong, more weak, nothing would have happened. Would have been on the orders of Ilya, when he wanted to practice soccer instead of figure skating – said Malinin.
Valery Malinin also spoke about his grandson’s character and his training techniques.
– What helped Ilya to progress?
– He has an interesting character trait. I remember we used to threaten him, that he didn`t train well enough. We said to him, “Ilya, when you go to your competitions, there will be five boys, and the one who works and trains well will win, and you will be last”.
He says, “No, I won’t be last. We say, “How’s that?” and he says, “You’ll see!” And the interesting thing is, he came back all the time a winner or a runner-up. There wasn’t even anything to contradict.
For the next competition, the preparation goes hard again, and he’s like, “I won’t be last, you’ll see!” He gets that from his mom – if I want to do it, I’ll do it.
He once worked with his father on the triple axel, and even then Ilya said, “I’ll do the fourth jump. I like that determination in him, to achieve everything, no matter what. I am proud of him.
– And he jumped in the end! The first one in history. What’s such a secret training technique?
– There are no secrets. I had a conversation with Tanya on this subject. Colleagues write to her, call her, ask what they do in such a special way. She answers simply: we work the way we were taught in the Soviet Union.
Like Igor Borisovich (Ksenofontov), like I gave the technique – everything is the same, nothing special here. Plus Ilya’s character, which I inherited from my mother. And when he began to achieve success, it only strengthened his desire for new achievements.
It turns out that the knowledge that Roma and Tanya got, they transferred to Ilya’s upbringing. And there was nothing supernatural there – everything as taught in the USSR. Ilya went through all that.
The coaches use different methods. It is clear that the correct technique is always the same. It is largely based on the work of our Professor Alexei Mishin. Later, maybe Eteri Tutberidze added something, but not much,” Malinin said.