Recent successes just a beginning for Amodio
French skater proud of accomplishments, still wants more
|Florent Amodio prides himself on being able to bring out the emotions in a program. (Getty Images)|
In recent years, the hardworking Frenchman, who distinguishes himself with his artistry and expressiveness on the ice, has improved greatly in the technical part of his programs. He notes that much of his success is linked to his cooperation with Russian coach Nikoli Morozov. In turn, the coach has not hidden his pride in his student's successes.
"Of course, I was very pleased with Florent and his silver medal at the European championships!" Morozov told media after the event. "He skated last in the strongest warm-up, and that is always very difficult.
"Florent went to the ice after the brilliant free skating program of Javier Fernández. He saw the high marks that Javi got, but he still went on the ice concentrated and showed a very worthy performance."
Icenetwork.com talked with Amodio about his latest success, his medal collection and his plans for the future.
Icenetwork.com: During the last three years, you've won a medal of each color at the European championships. What are your thoughts on this achievement, and what does it mean to you?
Amodio: I'm proud of me, proud of my work and proud of my team. I work really hard in Novogorsk (Morozov's training base near Moscow, Russia). I gave everything to be the best, but I know that it's just a beginning.
I want more and more, but I'm very happy because every year I become better and better. I've got a lot of things I can improve, and I still have to work a lot, but now it's not just a dream to be one day on one of the most prestigious podiums.
Icenetwork.com: Specialists noted that you looked very confident in Zagreb. In your view, was that due to your growing experience or did any other factor come into play?
Amodio: I don't know ... Maybe for sure [experience] helps, but I know I was ready. I did my job and that's it; that's the only thing I can take care of.
Icenetwork.com: What are your thoughts on the 2013 European Championships in general? In one interview you said that the competition there was just "crazy."
Amodio: Yes, the performances of all the medalists were just incredible. I'm happy for Europe. We showed that we can be very dangerous, especially taking into account the coming Olympics. So that's perfect.
Icenetwork.com: In 2011, you caused a sensation by winning the European championships in your debut at the competition. In recent years, you confirmed that it wasn't just a "one-day" sensation, and now you're one of the most consistent European skaters. What do you think about that?
Amodio: I work hard every day. I'm alone in Novogorsk, and that's also hard. But, at the same time, it makes me so strong. Nikoli gives me everything, so I just take my chance and do every day more and more. I'm happy about what I did, but there are still a lot of things I want to do.
Icenetwork.com: Two years ago, you told me that figure skating is not a popular sport in France. However, in Zagreb we saw new, interesting skaters from your country. Has the popularity level changed?
Amodio: It is still not popular, and that's why I try my best to take the sport higher and higher in my country. We can do a lot with figure skating. Lots of people love figure skating. I know it is not soccer, but TV and newspapers have become more interested in it.
We just have to be smart and create more and more every year, create interest for people and bring out emotions. All of this has to be intense -- that's the key.
Icenetwork.com: World bronze medalist ice dancer Nathalie Péchalat, who couldn't compete in Zagreb due to her partner's injury, played a new role as captain of the French team. What did her presence and support meant for the French skaters?
Amodio: That was the bad news for the team. You know, we are like a family, so when we learned that Nathalie was still coming, we were so happy! She gave us all the energy with her support. She helped us, and that was amazing. We were so happy to share those moments with her. We love [Nathalie and Fabian], and even though they missed another European gold medal, they will rock at their next competitions.
Icenetwork.com: After the European championships, you participated in the famous "Art on Ice" show in Switzerland. Taking into account your creativity and expressiveness, what do ice shows like that give you?
Amodio: The show is in my blood, and that's the reason why I skate. It's just incredible when I see every night about 10,000 people.
That's the question we have to ask ourselves: Why during every one of the six days of the ice show did 10,000 people come, and why at Europeans was the rink for 5,000 not full?
"Art on Ice" is one of the best tours in the world for me, so I'm very happy to take part in it and realize my dream.
Icenetwork.com: How and where will you prepare for the world championships? Maybe it's time to begin making a medal collection there, too?
Amodio: My preparation will be in the United States. I have to skate clean both programs, and I have to skate my best there.
You are right: It's time to do it.