I wish I knew how to start this letter. I’ve waited for so long the moment when I wluld write you, but now that I’m standing in front of my pc, I can’t seem to find the proper words. i don’t want to flatter you with big words, for I know that you’ve read enough letters from fans all over the world to last you a lifetime.
I just want to say a couple of words from my heart. What I really feel. I must confess that ever since I was a child I wanted to skate, but unfortunately the conditions from our country did not help me very much. So I resumed myself to “practicing” it indoors, in front of the tv, that is.
I really did not realize how special figure skating is, until I grew up and watched the 2002 competitions. I had already heard about the figure skater Alexei Yagudin. I knew back then that he was a strong skater, with a great ability to improvise in a fraction of a second, with great technical skills, and an incredible will to fight through the competition and against his adversaries.
Before 2002, I had watched Lawrence of Arabia in 1999,at the Worlds Championships. I was mesmerized. If I closed my eyes just for a couple of seconds, I would have imagined the burning sun and the hot sand under my feet.
I asked myself what makes this particular skater special. Well, it was as if why the sun special. It was everything-tremendous presence on ice, learning how to get into the music as if it were part of him. He becomes the music; he never stops stretching himself to new challenges. He has a smile that lights up even the largest rink, but he can also gear up a program down to a rink which no bigger than a handkerchief.
These are just words. I am confident that skating is more than keeping your balance on the ice and sliding. It’s about waging a battle firstly with yourself, only then with your competitors. It’s about the gift to express emotion, convey your feelings to the audience, overcoming the obstacles, will, power, courage, determination. The latter words would seem to define best figure skating.
I would say that each program represents a part of your life. You might as well not read this personally, but I feel that I must say this to you, or whoever gets to read these lines. I pretty much love all of your programs, but the ones who define Alexei Yagudin for the skater he is today, would be “Winter”, “The Man in the Iron Mask” and “Overcome”. Maybe it’s because you’ve won the Olympic title with these. When you look up at the “snow” at the beginning of Winter, there is joyous wonder in your eyes. You made me believe that you are really seeing snow, and I instantly recalled the smell of snow in the air. From that one glance upward, I am there, because you were in the moment. It is that profound for me, and that is your innate gift.
In “MITIM” I really believed that you were fighting and I wanted so badly you to win! And you have indeed. It was the peak of your programs. It really showed how much you love to skate and everything just went perfectly hand in hand…
Last but not least, my favorite exhibition program is “Overcome”. It made my heart ache and I can see how you clearly fought against odds to gain. I love above all the others Overcome. This represents years of desperation and sacrifice and doing without and extreme need focused into 5 minutes on the ice. This is true determination. The music is some of the most moving, most heart wrenching I’ve ever heard, and when you overcome adversity in the program, there is much more than satisfaction – triumph and unadulterated joy.
I almost cried after you finished skating. I immediately said to myself it’s just a choreographed program, but realized it was real, expressing it in such a way that I instantly felt it and understood without a single word being uttered.
Most of the times, I feel a bit melancholic about leaving eligible skating, but knowing and seeing the beautiful programs you have came up with in the professional world, gives me a feeling of comfort and assurance that you will keep on skating as long as you can.
I don’t ask for much. If possible I would be more than happy to receive a reply. Удача и может Вы находить, что сила идет дальше в трудном умноженном и сиянии!