From Junior Glory to Senior Dreams –


by Matteo Morelli | On-Ice Photo by Robin Ritoss

Czech Republic’s Kateřina Mrázková and Daniel Mrázek are final 12 months’s Junior World Champions, with spectacular outcomes collected all through their junior years. With their first 12 months as senior skaters nearly accomplished, we met with them to speak about their transition from junior to senior and the way they intend to develop and develop within the area.

Kateřina and Daniel, it’s nice to speak to you. This is your first 12 months as senior skaters. How do you’re feeling moving into this season, already with two Grand Prix task for you, a European Championships and Worlds?

Kateřina Mrázková (KM): I feel I’m having fun with the competitions, as a result of we have been enhancing some stuff within the programmes, we attempt to make them extra attention-grabbing. The competitions are principally the identical because the juniors for me, however I’m having fun with the ambiance in an enormous enviornment.

With two Grand Prix assignments already accomplished (eighth at Skate America and seventh at Grand Prix of Espoo), what classes did you be taught from them?

Daniel Mrázek (DM): We may have completed significantly better within the free. After Finland, we had one week off, as a result of we didn’t have break day because the summer season and we felt that getting some relaxation and doing one thing totally different would assist us. Then we went residence and again to coaching, engaged on the programmes once more, making some adjustments and run throughs.

KM: In the free dance, I did a mistake within the one foot. I used to be a bit unhappy about it, however I feel the programme total wasn’t unhealthy. We did some enhancements on our parts, for instance the carry. Until the error, we have been actually pleased with the programme, then it bought a bit worse I feel, however it was a great programme total.

DM: We realized to at all times skate programmes with 100% vitality, to be within the efficiency and to continue learning. We have been discussing what was mistaken, what we should always enhance, so we work on many facets that we wish to enhance, in order that now we have a plan of labor.

KM: It is totally different to skate in an enormous enviornment with lots of people as a result of the stress is a bit increased, so additionally it is good that we’re practising skating with quite a lot of viewers.

You additionally had your first European Championships (with a ninth place end). How did you’re feeling about it?

KM: I feel we did effectively, we’re comfortable. It seems just like the work now we have been doing within the months earlier than this championship is paying off.

DM: After Finland, we labored on all the pieces. In juniors we have been good skaters, however in seniors it’s totally different, there are such a lot of good skaters, we wish to step up and work on our ranges, for instance on the sample step sequence, but additionally all the small print within the programmes.

Did you’re feeling any stress stepping up into your senior profession because the Junior World Champions?

KM: No, as a result of now we have no expectations from this season. Our coaches informed us to not count on something, we’re new and we’re younger.

DM: But in fact we wish to do effectively, as a result of we wish to present that we’re not simply staying the identical, we wish to enhance and we wish to present that we are able to do even higher.

While the rhythm dance this season is predicated on 80s music, you determined to skate on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake in your free. How did you determine the content material of your programmes?

KM: For the free dance, we wished to do one thing totally different, a special type of music in comparison with final season. Ballet music was a bit difficult, as a result of it’s means softer however that’s the reason we selected it, to enhance.

DM: We selected one thing very highly effective as we wished one thing that can make us develop, as an alternative of selecting the identical kind of music that we all know we are able to do. We additionally wished to seek out one other type and I feel we really feel fairly effectively within the programme.

KM: In the rhythm dance, we select the music as a result of we needed to!

Do you just like the 80s music basically?

KM: I feel it isn’t unhealthy! We want extra totally different kinds like tango and waltz, however I feel it’s okay.

What are you aiming for this season, being your first senior season?

DM: As the season goes, we don’t actually have any expectations. We want to enhance our skating abilities, now we have to skate rather well within the apply. We additionally want to enhance within the couple connection, within the lifts and in some transitions.

KM: This is one thing to give attention to for the very long time.

DM: We should not going to enhance in a single month!

Let’s take a step again. When did you begin skating? What age have been you?

KM: I used to be 4.

DM: And I used to be 5.

And when did you begin ice dance?

KM: Somewhat bit greater than 4 three in the past.

DM: She was 13 and I used to be I used to be seventeen.

What made you determine to skate collectively?

DM: It was my damage with the ankle: medical doctors informed me that I won’t be able to leap anymore, to do any massive jumps. I additionally felt that it might be dangerous and that in all probability I’d not maintain quite a lot of years of my profession, that I may get injured much more, so I made a decision to do ice dance. Kate was the most effective associate for me, in fact.

KM: When we have been younger, our mother was our coach in singles. I feel we may skate fairly effectively for singles, so we simply determined to attempt to skate collectively and it has been going effectively thus far!

Do you’re feeling that being siblings helps?

KM: I feel it’s serving to. We are each very totally different.

DM: It has some destructive and optimistic issues. We are brother and sister, so generally we are typically extra sincere with one another, scream a bit greater than we’d do to different folks, so now we have to deal with it extra as if we communicate to a coach, however it’s nice that now we have a great relationship, we are able to inform all the pieces to one another.

Let’s replicate in your junior years. You achieved quite a bit, closing this chapter with a gold medal at Junior Worlds. What did you’re taking away with you from these years, transferring into the senior area?

DM: Because we didn’t begin doing ice dance after we have been small and we solely began three years in the past, what I take is that we have been capable of go to the highest in juniors in a really quick time and that at all times make me assume that now we have that potential. I hope that we are able to additionally do it in seniors, at some point. So, that is motivating for me.

Can you already see a change out of your final junior to your first senior season? Do you’re feeling you’re already extra mature and stepping up?

KM: I’ll say we improved quite a lot of issues, however nonetheless we’re not mature sufficient to match ourselves to somebody who’s older than us, so we nonetheless look a bit younger. But I feel it wants time, it isn’t going to occur in a couple of months. We want extra time, however we’re engaged on it!

Do you may have any long-term goals that you’re working in the direction of already?

DM: We wish to obtain as a lot as we are able to. We will attempt to get as excessive as we are able to and we’ll work for that. We will see what we are able to do!

It appears that the ice dance motion within the Czech Republic has been rising considerably during the last years, with two high ice dance groups (alongside Natálie Taschlerová and Filip Taschler) reaching necessary outcomes. What do you concentrate on this?

DM: It shouldn’t be actually the Czech Republic, it’s Italy! (laughs) It is Matteo (Zanni, their coach) in fact. It is a coincidence that Natálie and Filip additionally began as a brother and sister and that then we began. They have been the primary to start out this Czech Republic doing nice in ice dance. When I bought the damage in singles, I instantly thought that I actually like to skate, so why not do ice dance? Of course, Matteo helps us to realize it as a result of right here in Egna (the place they practice, on the Young Goose Academy), now we have quite a lot of alternatives.

KM: Yes, we’re comfortable to have him and naturally additionally the others there.

How does it really feel to coach on the Young Goes Academy with all these good groups round you?

KM: When we began ice dance, we have been for a couple of months within the Czech Republic with our coach Barbora Řezníčková after which we did the transfer to Italy. We don’t know the way it works somewhere else, however we prefer it right here. For instance, within the Czech Republic, on one skating rink we don’t have sufficient time to work on the ice.

DM: The distinction that I can really feel from singles is that once I was single and I used to be on the ice, there have been 5 different coaches and there have been college students however they have been probably not serving to one another, they have been all by themselves. And right here it’s one crew. We now have three on ice coaches and a few off-ice coaches. Everyone helps one another, which I feel is the easiest way. So that’s what I really feel is totally different and I feel that it’s a superb solution to obtain issues.

Do you wish to reside in Italy?

DM: We simply skate right here. We principally reside on ice!

KM: I really want to be within the Czech Republic as a result of I perceive all the pieces and now we have household there. But additionally it is good to be on this small city in Italy, the mountains and the view are good, I want a village as a result of within the Czech Republic we reside in a village.

You talked about your coach Matteo Zanni: what number of years have you ever been coached by him?

KM: It has now been three years, because the starting. He did all the pieces with us.

DM: We did ice dance for 3 months after which we bought to him, so he’s accountable for all the pieces we do.

Are there any at the moment competing or retired groups you take a look at and are impressed by?

KM: I feel every couple has one thing, for instance somebody has an excellent method for the carry, somebody has good angle bending. I’d not say that there’s only one couple we take a look at, I feel everybody has one thing good.

DM: We wish to attempt to take one thing from many various {couples}. If I’ve to say names, I feel we are able to say Scott Moir with Tessa Virtue, we each actually like them. I feel that’s how ice dance ought to be completed. But additionally it is true that, as a skater, you can’t attempt to be like them, it doesn’t work like this.

KM: We nonetheless attempt to be ourselves.

When not skating, are you busy finding out? And do you may have any passions aside from ice dance?

DM: Yes, we each research. I research at University, I’m in my second 12 months. I do it on-line and it’s only for skilled athletes, they make the schedule appropriate for us so we are able to research.

KM: I research in highschool, I’ve two extra years, together with this one. I don’t have actually a lot time to spend on one thing else, however in fact I like different issues. For instance, Daniel is obsessed with singing and enjoying piano.

Maybe at some point you’re going to skate on one in every of your musics!

KM: I don’t assume so, however we’ll see!

DM: I want to play one thing totally different than what we skate on.

Is there the rest that you just want to share?

KM: Actually, sure! I heard that many individuals are confused with our music for the free dance (Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake), as a result of we skate on ballet music. It is known as a ballet story, however many individuals assume that we skate on the ballet from the film, Black Swan. It has nothing to do with that! I don’t understand how this got here up, however I simply wish to say that we skate on the true ballet music.

DM: It is the one from the orchestra. It is tough if you wish to do the ballet story, we wish to make it like within the theatre. We are actually making an attempt laborious to make it appear to be a ballet!

KM: It is admittedly laborious to sum up two hours of ballet on 4 minutes on the ice.

Have you really had ballet lessons earlier than?

DM: Yes, we had. Basically, from after we have been youthful, however it’s regular for each skater, you may have ballet lessons. Now now we have a ballet instructor that got here right here two years in the past. I feel she is the most effective instructor thus far in ballet when it comes to method, you may see that she is admittedly good at it. And this 12 months, we determined that we wish to attempt one thing new as a result of we by no means actually skated on ballet earlier than. I feel it’s working nice, additionally for the long run, after we provide you with another concepts, I feel programmes will probably be very attention-grabbing!


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