Ice Network

Majorov aims to make podium at home Europeans

Swede coming off career-best performances at Olympic Games in Sochi
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The level of Alexander Majorov's skating improved dramatically this past season. -Getty Images

Alexander Majorov of Sweden has competed internationally for a long time, but he has rarely been the target of attention from the figure skating community. A lot has changed, however, since the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, where the 22-year-old not only conquered the audience but also demonstrated career bests in both phases of the competition.

Performing two very strong programs in Sochi, Majorov totaled 224.86 points and finished in 14th place. Some felt he deserved better, and that only his relatively low world ranking prevented the Swede from finishing higher.

Majorov came to Sochi in a position of leadership in Swedish figure skating, with three consecutive national titles. This, however, is not his most noteworthy achievement.

Three years ago, at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Korea, he won the bronze medal, which was Sweden's first medal at an ISU championship in 74 years. The last Swede to accomplish that feat was Vivi-Anne Hulten, who took the bronze at the 1937 World Championships.

Icenetwork talked with Majorov about his impressions of the Sochi Olympics, the state of figure skating in Sweden and his future plans.

Icenetwork: Sweden is a very hockey-centric country. Why did you choose figure skating? Family traditions?

Majorov: Yes, I think family traditions played a role here. My dad is a skating coach, and it so happened that I also went to figure skating.

Icenetwork: Your father was not only a skater but also the first coach of Alexei Yagudin. What role does this factor play in your relations?

Majorov: Well, on the one hand, it is very difficult, but on the other, it is very good that at any moment I can count on help. By the way, my mother is a coach, too.

Icenetwork: It's no secret that skaters often have to share the ice with hockey players, who perceive representatives of our sport rather ambiguously, especially when skaters are in the clear minority. What was that like for you?

Majorov: Here, in my town, I don't have any problem with hockey players. We are all very good friends here.

Icenetwork: At the Sochi Olympics, you managed to demonstrate maybe the best performances of your career. What impressions do you have from these Olympic Games?

Majorov: I have only very good memories and emotions of Sochi. This memory will last a lifetime. Especially, I will remember the moments when the audience supported me.

Icenetwork: Indeed, the audience liked your performances. I thought you were a little bit confused when the arena began to buzz, demanding higher points for you.

Majorov: Yes, I was very surprised that people were so supportive of me. I really liked it very much!

Icenetwork: The world championships in Japan were unsuccessful for you. (He finished last in the short program and missed qualifying for the free skate.) Were your performances there affected by the high tension of this Olympic season or were some other factors at play in Saitama?

Majorov: I don't understand what happened there. I was in very good shape, even better than in Sochi. There were mistakes on jumps, and also judges didn't count two of my other elements. But now I have learned what to do if this happens again. Next week I'm going to the last competition of the season, and I want to finish it with good performances. People learn from mistakes, and I have learned it in Japan.

Icenetwork: You are a longtime leader of figure skating in Sweden. Is there a younger generation which can give you competition at the national level?

Majorov: We have good athletes who can compete for medals. I'm getting better competing with them, and I hope to continue my tradition of being Swedish champion for many years.

Icenetwork: Around the world, there are different relations between figure skaters and national federations. What part in the career of skaters does the Swedish federation take?

Majorov: We have a very good federation, where very good people work. We have good mutual contacts and atmosphere. Besides skating, they also teach us how to work with media and the anti-doping agency. Also, they provide us very good physiotherapy and much more.

Icenetwork: Tell us about your plans for the coming period of preparation for the new season and for the future.

Majorov: I hope I can win a medal at the next European championships in Stockholm. But for that, I have to improve a lot of things, such as stability of my performances. Also, I need to work on new elements that will bring me closer to the leaders.