The Inside Edge is where I take you behind-the-scenes of this week’s @SkatingPj Podcast. What would you say if you were offered the opportunity to chat with/interview an honest to goodness legend? YES is what I said when I found out from Emanuel Sandhu and Guelph Skating Club Technical Director Gennady Kaskov that coach Alexei Mishin would be visiting for a seminar and staying on to offer private lessons for a week. Mr. Mishin brought his Russian students with him to train in Guelph and to access choreography with Emanuel and Lance Vipond.
Alexei said I could call him either Alexei or Professor when I introduced myself to him. I have seen him forever at competitions, and he is the sort of man who is always respectful to behind the scenes people like announcers, but what I didn’t know is that there is a lot of twinkle in his eyes as he spoke about his life.
I watched him from the boards as he taught several skaters and occasionally called on the talents of 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva to demonstrate for the students. He was in shoes on the ice with complete confidence that a) he wouldn’t slip and b) no one would accidentally run into him. Watching him in action dispensing information, I was fascinated by his process. There was a ton of talent on the ice that day, and a whole lot that I was (happily) watching.
At 75, he has accomplished a lot including coaching Olympians (most notably Olympic champion and medallist Evgeni Plushenko among many others.) He is an author of books focused on bio-mechanics, and a man with many honours and awards to his credit.
No surprise here that our conversation could have gone for many more hours. Alexei offers many insights into his life, his methods and the sport of figure skating. I enjoyed it so much I am going to re-listen to it myself!
The Outside Edge is where I highlight videos from across the skating world and bring you a little bonus from somewhere on YouTube or beyond. This is where I get to share with you something that you may not have seen before. Before he was a legendary coach, Alexei Mishin was a skater. Most specifically a pair skater with fellow coaching legend Tamara Moskvina. The following video is from the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France:
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