Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stéphane Lambiel: "I’m a little bit crazy"

Four months ago, on the 16th of October, two-time World champion Stéphane Lambiel called a press-conference and announced his retirement from the eligible sport. He explained that his health doesn’t allow him to train and use his body 100%, so it’s impossible to think about winning the third world title or Olympic gold.
Season 2008/09 started without him. The Swiss skater’s name was erased from the lists of Grand prix participants. Only banners from his fans (who continued to come to the competitions) and the other Swiss team members reminded us of the brightest figure skating star of the last few years.
But figure skating is his life, he remains on the ice, he participates in shows. During the rehearsal of the one of them, the Swiss show "Art on Ice", we had a chance to talk to him about his life now, four months after such a hard decision.

Stéphane, what is the state of your health? How are you feeling right now?
It’s better, still not 100% to be able to compete, but enough to participate in the shows. I love to think about the ideas of new programs, the audience. I love shows. Competitions and shows are very different. During the competition you’re on your own, you’re concentrating on your individual goal. There is no social life during the competitions; you cannot talk to other skaters. During the shows it’s more like family, there is a balance between skaters and I like such an atmosphere.

But you loved competitions…
I had a really nice time during the competitions, but now it’s over.

It is so sad to hear that…
But it’s so.

You once said that after your decision you were sad for two weeks. You should know that there are lots of people who are still sad, who miss you during every competition, every Grand Prix event…
It’s sad, it’s a sad situation, because the skating world, the competition world is a little bit sick right now… because of the new system, which is very weird. It was a hard decision to retire, because I loved to compete, it was always my passion, but now I understand how I can challenge myself in the shows. I won’t disappear, I will always skate, and I skate for myself; and in the shows I skate for the crowd. It’s so nice to not have judges and not have rules, to just be free.

Full interview.

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