"Thé ou café"

Here is a very interesting interview. Marina & Gwendal were guests at "Thé ou café" (in English: "Tea or coffee"), a French TV show which is about one hour long. I tried to translate it well and I hope you'll enjoy it. Some parts of the show are not transcripted (the less interesting ones) and I missed the beginning, but most of the interview is there!

Catherine Ceylac (C.C): Your mothers are very important for both of you. Gwendal, you are born in the suburbs of Lyon, in Bron, and it's your mother who took you to the ice?
Gwendal (G): Yes, my parents in general, both of them.
C.C: Your father was a sports teacher?
G: Yes, he was. I think that parents are really important to be successful in the sport. One has to be helped, supported. When you are all alone it is very difficult.
C.C: Especially in a sport like this! How old were you when you started skating?
Marina (M): I started at the age of 4.
C.C: And your mother was a champion, right?
M: Yes, my mum used to skate too, so I kind of started with her. I think that more than half of my success has happened thanks to my mum, because she really helped me very much, from the start and even now.

C.C: Marina, you're often seen as the leader of the team, do you feel this way?
M: I personnally don't feel it that much, I don't know, maybe I am... Everybody says this... (she looks at Gwendal and smiles)
G: Yes she is for sure. She is like this naturally, so she doesn't feel it really, but it's always her who gives the impulse to work harder, things like that.
C.C: Does she have more dash?
G: Yes she does because, as I've said, she always goes straightforward.
C.C: Does she have more ambition?
G: Hmmm...
M: No, I think we both have the same ambition (Gwendal nods) however, I always feel that, even when I've achieved something, it isn't enough.
C.C: You are a very demanding person.
M: Maybe...
C.C: You are never happy?
M: Oh, sometimes I am happy, yes, but...
G: In Nice she was happy! (he laughs)
M: Yes I was very happy.
C.C: Do you think that it is a right reward, what has happened over the last months?
G: We always believe that work always pays off, one day or another. Not always directly, but one day it pays off. This is the reason why we didn't lose our faith last year, when we didn't win the World title. We knew that one day we would get it.
C.C: Sure, you must have faith, energy, enthusiasm, etc... But above all you must be self confident, mustn't you?
M: Yes it's very important (Gwendal says yes in the same time). You must believe that you will be World champion.
C.C: And that you are the best?
M: Yes. I arrived at the competition with that feeling, because it was a very important competition, but it wasn't that easy, not as easy as I thought it would be at first. We were really really ready, we...(she thinks) but it was not easy. (she smiles and looks at Gwendal)
G: We realised that it was very... We've been given this title all season, and it's not as simple as that, you have to be there, you have to give everything. One doesn't win a title like this easily.
C.C: Do you take care of diet, like other high-level sportsmen?
M: Yes, I do. Not all the time, but before competitions, yes. (she looks at Gwendal)
G: Body lines are very important in our sport.

(quick profiles of Marina and then Gwendal appear, with description of their characters)
C.C: So you, Marina, are crazy about fashion, and you have a strong personnality(Marina smiles). And you, Gwendal, are described as a "faux calme" (how to translate this in English?? "false calm"?), well it's kind of true!
G: Yes, yes... It's kind of true!! (he smiles like he is proud of himself)
C.C: You're also crazy about music, you are very skilled, by the way, with your computer you mix the musics for your shows, don't you?
G: Actually, I work on the music cuts for our programs. It's not always me who does it, because there are moments when it becomes too complicated and you have to be a professional to do it. But I really enjoy doing this, our sport enables us to combine dance and music and sport, and for me it's wonderful.
C.C: Do you choose your music yourself?
G: We choose all together. (Marina nods)
C.C: With your coach?
M&G together: Yes.

C.C: Marina, sincerely, wouldn't have you preferred to win this World title for Russia?
M: Hmmm... Now I think not, because I'm very happy to be in France and it's a country I like and I have facilities here...
C.C: Are you saying this to be kind to us (smiling)?
M: No! I always say what I think, I don't hide anything and...
G: That's true! (he laughs)
M: ...and it's the country that gave me the chance to go on doing the things I like, so I have no regrets. (she smiles)
C.C: You got 4 maximum marks (6.0) including one from the French judge at Worlds. Why does a national judge can vote for his country?
G: It's a fact, it has existed in skating for years and it doesn't shock us at all.
(Marina has not understood the question and Gwendal explains)
M: Oh! Yes! I think it's normal because there are judges from all countries that are represented. Russians only vote for Russians!! That is the problem! French are much more correct. I am very happy that this judge supported us and "thank you" to him!
C.C: Things could be changed and the national judge wouldn't vote...
G: (not really convinced) I don't think it would change a lot.
C.C: Sophie Moniotte wrote a book, "Les Patins de la colère" (in English: "Skates of anger") where she denounces figure skating, pressure, the fact that the judges are biased... Do you support her?
G: Worlds this year are the proof that it has changed a lot, we think thanks to Worlds last year (reffering to them not winning the gold) where it really was a shock and there was a lot of polemics. But this year was an example that it is not like she describes it in her book at all. We were 2nd after the original dance and I watched the original dance and I think it was very well judged. Then we deserved to be first in the free dance, and we were first in the free dance, that's all.
C.C: Who was the first person who called you or whom you called after your victory?
G: Nobody, they were all at Nice!! (he laughs)
C.C: And what official message did you enjoyed the most?
G: We got messages from Mr Jospin (Prime Minister) and Mr Chirac (President) the day following our victory.
C.C: Is it pleasing or not?
G: Yes, we're pleased to see that they are interested in it and that they followed us. (Marina nods and smiles)
M: Personally I had the impression that as soon as we had finished, the phone couldn't stop ringing. The 2 days following the competition, all the time there was someone who called to congratulate me, it is really pleasing. I had the feeling that everybody was calling me at that time.

C.C: Outfits change a lot from year to year, now skaters show their arms, navels... What has changed?
M: We have a very good designer, I think, for our outfits, and she makes things for us that are different from the other teams. We were the first one to make changes in colors already and now I see that everybody does the same.
G: As for stuff, we use less lycra, which was very much used before, and we often use silk. Lycra was very convenient because it was extensible and we need freedom in our moves, but it gives a cold, dull aspect. So we started to make more diversified things, we use velvet, silk...
C.C: I guess that the stuff has to be light?
M: We still add lycra so that it is extensible, but I think that light stuff gives lightness, fullness to our movement.
(there is a short sequence to show how costumes are now where they show many ice dancers like Fusar-Poli & Margaglio, Delobel & Schoenfelder, Hugentobler & Hugentobler)

C.C: Why did your parents called you Marina?
M: I think that my mum liked an actress whose name was Marina Vlady, she was French...
C.C: Are you ready? She speaks to you:
(recording of Marina Vlady speaking to Marina)
Marina Vlady: Hello little Marina. My father used to call me like that. So we are two Marina, but there is a third one and I would like to read a poem for you. (She reads the poem in Russian) And it means: "one is made of stone, the other is made of clay, and I, all of silver, am shining. Everything in me changes, my name is Marina, I'm an unsteady foam of the sea." This is a poem by Marina Stuetayeva (sp?), whom I'm sure little Marina knows (Marina nods). It's a great Russian poet. I also wanted to say to both of them, the World champions, that I wish them a lot of happiness on the ice. They are great artists and I think they have a lot of luck, and maybe they'll have a chance of being Olympic champions. That's what I hope for them.
G: That's very nice!
C.C: Did you know her? Had you already met her?
M (really surprised): No, never. Of course I know this actress because she is the wife of a very famous singer in Russia, and by the way I love him and we often listen to him with my mum when we are in France. It is a big surprise because my mum, I think, gave me this name because of Marina Vlady, she really liked this actress very much.

(There is a report about a young skater whose name is Marina and who is 10-11 years old. She says she would like to be a champion, a second Marina! Then she comes with a birthday cake for Gwendal)
C.C: Yesterday was your birthday! So there is a tradition (to blow out the candles and make a wish), I guess it exists in Russia too, doesn't it? Happy birthday! You are 28 years old!
G: Oooh yes! (he and Marina laugh, then he blows out all the candles)
C.C: Congratulations!! That means the gold medal for you at Salt lake City!!
G: Yes! I'm crossing my fingers, but we'll have to work.
C.C: Marina (the young skater), do you have a question to ask to Marina?
Marina (the young skater): Yes, how did she managed to go on skating and going to school in the same time?
C.C: So this is rather a question for Gwendal, because he kept on with studying.
M (kind of hurt): What? I went to school too!! (Gwendal laughs) And even now I am still learning French!
So, sorry, answer the question.(laughing)
Marina lets Gwendal answer.:-)
G: Actually, to do both successfully, first you mustn't listen to those who tell you that you have to choose between the two. That is very difficult , all the time you're said that you won't be able to do both, that you have to choose between skating and school.
C.C: You completed a DEUG (French degree at college) of chemistry...
G: yes, and I got a diploma in sports management, and now I'm in a commerce school.
C.C: And do you succeed in combining everything?
G: Well that's the reason why I'm still studying, I have to slow down everything, so it's a bit long otherwise I would have finished already.
M: I have a different point of view. One mustn't stop studying but you have to decide for yourself what is the most important, because personally I think that you can't be successfull at both in the same time. You have to do one thing but do it right, that's what I think. (she smiles)
C.C: So Gwendal doesn't do it right?
M: Yes, he does but we don't have the same point of view...
G (laughing): But I've chosen my priorities. Skating can't wait, school can be delayed. But to find a good balance it's good to have both, to have other perspectives of life.
C.C: Bertrand Dingé is going to join us.
(Bertrand Dingé, a journalist, enters with a stuffed parrot)
C.C: That is a present for Marina! She wanted to have a parrot!
M: Yes!
Then Bertrand Dingé tells us a little more about Marina & Gwendal. He quotes Marina: "We are going in the same direction but not in the same way so it is difficult." Then he tells a funny story that happened at Worlds: Marina (and all the skaters) had a bodyguard who followed her everywhere. As she doesn't have an easy temperament, the bodyguard was very tired at the end of the week! But after the free dance, while all journalists where around her trying to ask a question, she looked at her bodyguard and said: "Sorry, I was not that nice with you." And she gave him a bunch of flowers and a kiss! Then the bodyguard was suddenly very happy, and he later said: "If she needs me, I'll follow her everywhere in the World!!".
Then B.Dingé tells another story: a few weeks before Worlds, Gwendal had an interview scheduled for TV. Just before the interview, he went to fly a kite. The journalist thought it was a great idea and went with him. But Gwendal's car has been stolen! Furthermore, when the journalist wanted to call the police, his portable phone didn't work anymore. So Gwendal went to the police station, and right after he bought a new portable phone. The journalist had already gone, thinking that there wouldn't be an interview after that. But Gwendal called him and invited him to come with him and do that interview!
Finally, the last story is to show that Gwendal is not ALWAYS calm: one day at training, he got angry and kicked the boards in anger... and his blade broke!!


































Back home