Home LATEST NEWS Kamila Valieva’s coach is getting results, but at what cost?

Kamila Valieva’s coach is getting results, but at what cost?


Let’s take a look at his training methods for a moment. Eteri Tutberidze is often compared in the industry as an army general on a mission and his motto is: Whatever the means used, it is the victory that counts.

Some observers even speak of a military regime on ice. By the way, his center is not called a skating school, but the Sambo 70 camp, located on the outskirts of Moscow.

The meager testimonies collected speak of permanent humiliation and punishment. To give you an idea, she said: There is no “I’m tired, I can’t take it anymore”. If you are tired or injured, you stay on the ice and work. Even if you have two broken toes, you go back and do the same thing a hundred times. This is what Polina Shuboderova, one of her former students, confessed on Instagram.

An observation was also made in the face of the incredible permanent succession, which is not only attributable to the demographic weight of Russia, but to that of the skaters. It can be seen that there are not many athletes who go beyond adolescence, because there is also an obligatory passage on the scales at the school of Tutberidze.

Tutberizde chats with the skater.  A man accompanies her.

Kamila Valieva chats with her coach Eteri Tutberizde at the Beijing Games.


Anorexia is a problem in skating. And the greatest champions have not escaped it. According to the international press, we learn that his former proteges have all retired at least prematurely for this reason.

Evgenia Medvedeva, Olympic vice-champion in 2018 and double world champion in 2016 and 2017, Alina Zagitova, Olympic champion in 2018 and world champion in 2019, Yulia Lipnitskaya, European champion and vice-world champion in 2014. all retired before the age of 20, victims of health problems or anorexia.

Famous skater Yulia Lipinskaya, who won team gold in Sochi at age 15 and was a world silver medalist in solo is a good example. She retired at 19 saying that when she skated she felt like she was getting fatter just by breathing air.

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The example of Evgenia Medvedeva is also disturbing. She would have waited until she was 22 to declare that she had spent part of her life half starved at controlling everything she ate.

She makes a figure in a competition.

Russian skater Evgenia Mevedeva, in 2019. She is a former protege of coach Eteri Tutberizde.


Agence France-Presse reports that in 2019, Anastasia Shabotova dropped a bombshell during a live post on Instagram. You have to take a lot of doping products and you will perform with regularityhad launched the young champion then 13 years old.

Not all evidence points in the same direction. Alena Kostornaya, the 2020 European champion, said: Everything I went through in training, the pain, the humiliation, was worth it. A claim she made the night she was crowned.

If I took the trouble to collect all these articles from the international press, it is because it is difficult to know what is really going on in this camp where the champions and champions grow like mushrooms.

On the other hand, why the International Skating Federation (UIS) didn’t she do the same exercise? Worse, one can reasonably wonder about the blind policy of this federation. In 2020, she awarded Eteri Tutberizde the prestigious distinction of best trainer at the Skating Awards gala.

The International Skating Federation said at the time on Twitter: Eteri Tutberidze is voted best coach! She has given so much strength and dedication to her athletes this season. Now is the time for this talented trainer to take center stage. Congratulations Eteri!

The same International Skating Federation that joined the call of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to condemn 15-year-old skater Kamila Valieva.

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In the cidthe French poet and playwright Pierre Corneille, wrote: To conquer without danger, one triumphs without glory. This has never been so true for the one who believes she has shaped many champions.

This feat is above all the result of the incredible strength of character and resilience of these young athletes who aspire to a better life. The Russian poet Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote: To live without hope is to cease to live.

We must now hope that the ice which represents the immaculate white really regains its color.

A dramatic Olympic final

Kamila Valieva cries after her performance.

ROC representative Kamila Valieva finished 4th in women’s figure skating following a tough long program.

Photo: Getty Images/Catherine Ivill

Literally shot by his entourage. This is how analyst Alain Goldberg summed up Kamila Valieva’s performance during the free program on Thursday.

The young skater broke down during the last program by missing jumps that she succeeded every day to perfection. The pressure of the last few days got the better of her and the athlete took 4and rank in the final standings.

The International Olympic Committee can take a breather: it will be able to hand over its medals. Meanwhile, her trainer Eteri Tutberidze will leave Beijing proud of the results achieved, as two of her protégés won gold and silver medals.

Another mission accomplished for the coach adored in her country and who cares if, along the way, she leaves behind a young girl whose dreams may have been shattered forever. The show must go on : Russian parents and their children will continue to jostle at the gates of his camp.

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