Joubert still miffed about worlds finishSkater worried about decrease of the technical level of skatingBy Jean-Christophe Berlot, special to icenetwork.comBrian Joubert came back disappointed from Gothenburg, Sweden. Even though he skated his best competition of the year, he had to surrender his world crown to Jeffrey Buttle of Canada. Joubert skated a perfect free program, and strongly claimed afterwards that he was "mad to be defeated by someone who [had] not even attempted a quadruple jump in either of his programs."Currently skating in the French tour, Stars sur Glace (Stars on Ice), Joubert took the time to think back and understand his performance at worlds for icenetwork.com.You seemed quite mad when you heard the final result at worlds. How do you feel two weeks later?Actually I still am very mad. Not so much against my competitor, who had the perfect championship. What is at stake is the future of figure skating. Sport is meant for athletic prowess. What I see now is a decrease of the technical level of skating, so I am very worried about that.Will you then adapt to the rules as they are (and as they are currently applied)? Or should figure skating definitely push forward for a better reward of technical difficulties, especially quadruple jumps?Actually I will stick to my position. I hope there will be a lot of pressure put on the rules so that they can evolve, although I am well aware that this will be most difficult before the 2010 Olympic Games. Anyway, I will keep taking risks myself, just like I have in the past. Maybe even more so during the next season, which will be a transition season before the Olympic year.Don't you fear this might cost you other titles?Taking risks does not mean ignoring the rules. You know, I carefully studied the results I got in Gothenburg. I lost about five points on my spins, and six points because of my two triple flips. I did not have a triple to triple combination, so I lost some points there too. However, my component marks were excellent, and that is a great encouragement for me. I also made points on my steps, compared to my main competitors.So, the direction to take is quite simple. I will keep working on the component part and choreography. Kurt Browning and Dominique Molina really helped me last season, and we will keep working together. The toughest part may be the flip, as I learned to take off that way years and years ago, and it is my most consistent jump. Yet, it was considered valid at the last European championships, so I suppose it is not so bad.What about your spins?Indeed, I clearly need to work more on my spins.With whom do you plan to work on them? Let's say I will work with someone who is very gifted at spins, and with whom I have already worked in the past. This, however, has yet to be finalized.So this means that you are going to take risks and follow the rules at the same time?Yes. The rules have become far stricter this past season, everything needs to be perfect; spins, steps, jump edges. You need to make sure that your body positions are correct, etc. The one great thing with the new judging system is that it forces you to be a complete skater and perform in every part of skating. I like this very much.Two weeks have passed by since your Gothenburg performance, what do you want to keep from it?The most important part for me, as seen from now, is the sensations I got. The short and the free programs I skated in Gothenburg were the ones I had the most pleasure to skate. I may forget the programs themselves, however, I will retain the sensations I experienced there.After Europeans we worked a lot. I knew I was ready. So I could leave France telling to myself: "have fun." I never had to tell myself: "you have to win." Also, the audience in Gothenburg was magnificent.So, now you are with the French team, altogether for the French tour. With its 28 laps in more than a month, the tour is the longest in years. How do you feel about it?You know, I have always skated because I was having fun out there. Skating has never meant "work" for me. It is not a job. When I was younger, I spent many hours in public sessions, to skate and skate again.So, the tour is meant as a relaxing moment for me. We skate under pressure and stress all year long. Meeting again with the French audience is really a top thing for me. Also, we get along quite well within the team, even though from time to time someone has to yell: that's life! In fact, I would have loved this tour to be even longer!Joubert is laughing. Whether it is for a show, or for a competition with risks to take and strict rules to follow, this guy undoubtedly loves skating.Note: Joubert has worked with several spin specialists in the past, as this element has never been his strongest. One of the most publicized spin experts he worked with was Lucinda Ruh, from Switzerland, prior to the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
As a former skater it really bothers me to think winning should be based on one jump.Jeffery had a complete package so get over it Brian.I am now a professional musician and see this happen in music.
Wow, I don't remember Elvis Stojko whining as much as you do Brian. He was a technical master and a decent artist but there were many times he was beaten by skaters who did not have his technical prowess. The same could be said of Brian Orser beaten in Sarajevo by Scott Hamilton when Orser clearly had the technical advantage. The sport is what it is and has been evolving sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
As a fan I'm tired of nothing but tricks, which is what the new scoring system seems to push. I prefer a complete program. The non-eligible shows are far more enjoyable. If it's all tricks, it's nothing more than practice with a fancy costume.