I had the pleasure of meeting Valentina when I participated in the Adult Training Camp at Ice House in Hackensack, New Jersey earlier this summer. She was kind enough to take the time to meet with me for this interview later in the summer during the Moran Memorial Championships, the annual competition at Ice House. She has an expressive nature which made her answers to the questions interesting and enjoyable!
You began working with Nikolai last year, correct?
Yes, in September of last year.
Do you have any other coaches you work with on or off of the ice?
Nikolai is the only one--he is the coach for everything on and off the ice. When I am skating at my club in Italy, Olympic Dream High School, Valter Rizzo oversees my skating. He is a dance coach.
Your injury occurred at Skate America. What happened?
I sprained my right ankle doing a triple Lutz.
How long did it take to recover from the injury?
I decided to recover in the US and it took one and a half months off of the ice. It was a really slow start because in December, I discovered that the recovery was not well done. I had a lot of work to do on the ice and I did not understand why it was not working. I lost a lot of energy and power. I got through Nationals but it was not really good. After Nationals, I was supposed to get ready for Europeans—working on the ice and power work off the ice—but I only had 40 percent of the strength back in my foot. We decided that I was not ready for Europeans and I would not do it, but I would start work for Worlds. I came back here to Ice House and after one week back, I strained a ligament in my left ankle. Recovery for that injury took me three months without skating. I went home to recover and did six hours of physical therapy a day for two and a half months. Now I feel good but I am still not ready. April, May and June were the hardest. I would cry after skating every day. I could not even skate two hours in a row and I got tired fast. But I never give up in whatever I do. Everything is a challenge with myself.