Bulgaria's Top Skaters: Fans are the Best Cup

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | July 7, 2004, Wednesday // 00:00
Bulgaria's Top Skaters: Fans are the Best Cup Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (novinite.com)

Albena Denkova, 29, Maxim Staviski, 26, managed to reach the tops of the world skating with hard work, sacrifices and great desire for success. They teamed up in 1996, when Albena's partner Hristo Nikolov retired. She started skating at the age of 8, while Maxim's parents determined his future when he was 4. Albena was a gymnast before switching to skating. Maxim, who is originally from Russia, but got Bulgarian citizenship, has also skated in a Russian ice ballet. Their grand success came when they landed the bronze medal at the figure skating World Championship in Washington. The medal they swept was a historic result, as Bulgaria had never been medalled in World Championships before. Bulgaria's top figure skaters received Novinite.com Personality of The Year 2003 Award in the Sports category.

Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski answered questions of Novinite.com Editor Nadya Dimitrova

Q: Does Bulgaria has available the necessary conditions for "producing" champions in figure skating?

A: Of course! We are the living proof of that!

M: Our career began in Bulgaria and we became famous here. I agree with Albena that Bulgaria's future figure skating champions have real chances here.

Q: Are there young Bulgarian figure skating talents that have attracted your attention?

A: It is too early to say. Training and working with love and passion is the most important thing in figure skating. A child could be very talented but after a year or two he or she decides that figure skating is no more the sport for her or him. Time is what matters in our sport. There are many children willing to train figure skating and that proves that we have achieved our goal - to promote figure skating in Bulgaria.

M: Other children start thinking very highly of themselves and this is the death of the sportsman.

Q: What is the most important in figure skating?

A: Experience. We have been on the ice for nearly 20 years in order to get where we are now.

Q: You are the first figure skating couple to sign a contract with International Management Group (IMG). How did you manage to do that?

M: Everyone is saying that we are very original, different from the other figure skaters. We work on our choreography and costumes in cooperation with our trainers and choreographers. Albena is very active when it comes to the costumes, as she is a fashion fan.

Q: Who are your biggest rivals at the moment? How do you excel them?

A & M: The Russians, no doubt!

A: We have our fans and their number is greater that those of the Russian pair.

M: Our performances are also more complicated and more interesting. There is no doubt that they are good sportsmen, but we have more and more loyal fans!

Q: What is your biggest disappointment so far?

M: The World Figure Skating Championship. We believed that we could be the champions, but...

A: Russian sportsmen are usually the winners in all winter sports and losing a medal in a discipline like figure skating would be a great loss for them.

M: The Russian press offered us great support after we were placed second at World Figure Skating Championship.

A: Having in mind that the Russians are very nationalistic, it was a great success to see some of the most prestigious sports newspapers saying that we performed better that the Russians.

Q: What is your most valuable title?

A: Let's hope it is still to come!

Q: What are your working plans?

M: We are training for the next world championship and the major skating events before that.

A: We are preparing our performances, costumes...We still have lots of work to do! We want to do our best!

Q: How you relax after tough training sessions?

A & M: We enjoy our spare time!

A: When we are here in Bulgaria, we enjoy every single minute out. While in Russia all we do is train.

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