Duplicate entry '' for key 'ip' Kristoffer Berntsson | Interviews and reports
Nie wieder Pickel!

interview Oberstdorf July 2009: www.figureskating-online.com


interview at CoR:

article about how Kris spent his summer 2008

Kristoffer Berntsson

Oberstdorf, July 2007 

Q: Figure skating is not exactly a typical sport in Sweden , ice hockey is much more popular. So how was the reaction of your family and friends when you became a figure skater?

A: It was never a problem for me. At first, when I started I was only five years old, so I don’t remember so much. My parents put me into the skating school. We lived close to the rink. I was in the hockey school as well, but it was not as much fun! We had a lot of fun. There were many boys actually and we had two guys coaching, and we were just playing and had fun running around on the ice. I think that’s why I got started. I liked it so much from the beginning. Then, of course, the other boys one after the other dropped out, and now I am the only one who is still skating. I think it was a great group and a good start for me. And outside…. I wasn’t so much into figure skating actually. I went to practice, we had practice every day, then I came home, and my other friends didn’t skate. I practiced, and that’s it. Outside the rink there was no skating. I didn’t watch skating, I didn’t talk about skating. It was for a long time like this.

Q: But you must have liked the sport.

A: Yes, I liked the skating, but maybe (he wasn't interested much in skating in general) because all my other friends were not skaters. Now it’s different.

Q: But your friends accepted what you were doing?

A: Yes, they did, and there were no problems. In Sweden other guys had problems, it could be hard, if you are the only figure skater in your class. It could be called a girly sport. Now when I tell somebody that I’m a skater it’s just “wow”. Maybe in the younger years it’s harder.

Q: Who were your idols when you were younger?

A: I never had any idols really. When I was younger I was a big “Guns and Roses” fan. That’s it pretty much. Me and my friends played some music.

Q: Did you ever skate to “Guns and Roses”?

A: No. Should I? Maybe some show number one time. I think one time only.

Q: And what kind of music did you play?

A: It was rock and punk. I played the guitar. We started our own little band actually and played in my friend’s garage.

Q: Are you still playing?

A: No. It’s too bad. I know how to play, but I can’t remember any songs anymore.

Q: You sometimes seem so serious and quiet, but on the ice you’re not and now you told us about playing rock music. What is the difference between the on and off-ice Kristoffer?

A: I think I’m a little bit more quiet, but more so when I was little. I was very shy. I go on the ice, and I go off the ice as well. I think it’s also when you mature and get older. But I think I also benefit from my skating. You learn how to present yourself in front of an audience.
: Your programs are very original and different, for example the short program you had for two years and now of course the John Travolta program. Who has these ideas?

A: The short last year, my choreographer came with the idea. He used this music himself and said the crowd always loved this music. I was also trying to do a different style, trying to do different things, and Salsa was new for me. Crazy things like screaming that’s his idea. The disco – I came up with disco. I thought maybe it’s good. I told my coach and choreographer and they liked it. So we went for it.

Q: It worked very well.

A: Yes, it suits me perfectly.

Q: Did you keep it now for the new season?

A: Yes.

Q: What changes are you planning?

A: We have to rework the step sequences, of course. And I’ll try of course maybe to speed up some entrances into the jumps and gain some more time for step sequences. They’re going to take more time. There will be some small changes in the spins because of the new rules. But there won’t be big changes.

Q: But you’re going to have a new short program.

A: Yes, I’m going to do a Michael Jackson number. It wasn’t my idea. There were some others who thought I should do it. My coach (Andrea Dohany) suggested it. I talked to my choreographer and he said, why not? We didn’t do it before. He is a big Michael Jackson fan, so he liked this idea. It’s fun to have a kind of music that gives you energy and gets the crowd going, the home crowd I’m hopefully going to skate for later this season. (Meanwhile, Kristoffer published on his homepage that he chose another music for his short program)

Q: When we look back at the World Championships – was this the best performance you’ve ever given so far?

A: Yes, by far. I did skate a couple of good competitions before, but I had a higher level (in Tokyo ).

Q: What were your emotions at the end of the program?

A: I was just so happy. It was a special moment. I can remember, when you skate during the program at some point in the first part you’re still focused. But at some point you’re just “wow, I did every single jump!” Before my last Salchow and double Axel at the end, you know the easiest jumps, but you’re like “oh I have to keep focus and not (relax)”. And for the last step sequence I just gave everything. The crowd was with me. When it was over it just felt good. Then I saw the crowd standing up and I was like “wow! For me?”

Q: You already mentioned that you hopefully will compete in front of your home crowd. You already competed in Sweden at the European Championships in 2003, and now you’ll be even in your hometown. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of competing in your home country and even home town?

A: Of course I’ve been in the rink many times and skated there many times. I don’t have to travel far. And of course, the support you get. In Malmö it was amazing. Up until this year it was one of the biggest moments. I got so much energy from the crowd. I can’t explain it. I remember it. I was younger and more inexperienced. I started my short, I did triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and then I just… the crowd was going, I got so excited and I lost focus. I did a single flip and I fell on my step sequence. Of course, it affected my to do a good start, but then I got carried away. I didn’t keep my focus. I hope I can learn from my mistakes and I’ll do better. Of course, it’s also more pressure. I know I’m going to be a poster guy (laughs). Of course, I come from Gothenburg, I have been to many competitions and I did well last year and secured two spots for Sweden .

Q: Is there attention from the media for you in Sweden ?

A: Not yet, but after Worlds it was pretty much.

Q: Do people recognize you on the street?
A: Sometimes, but not so much. It felt crazy. Sometimes they asked, oh is it you skating?
Q: What are your goals for the upcoming season?

A: I hope I can improve from last year. I got two Grand Prix. Last year I was sixth in Cup of Russia and I hope I can improve on this. I was really close in Cup of Russia, it was just two or three points to the third place. I hope I can get higher component marks. Of course I also have goals for myself, but that’s more like my private goals to keep me motivated. Until then I just wanted to skate well and do my best and show people what I can do. Like in Japan .  

Q: What exactly are your studying?

A: Electrical engineering. Now I’m going to be an electric power engineer. I’m starting my master degree so I’m choosing power electronics.

Q: How can you combine your studies with your training?
A: It works well. I can do part time studying. So it’s going to take forever, but I still think that I will skate for many years and then as long as I’m skating I can continue studying. I think it’s good to keep my thoughts on other things also. Otherwise I would just skating and going home. I like to do other things in between. I go to school, I think about different things. I also have friends from school. I have many friends from skating now. I have been around for many years and I met many people. It’s nice to have also friends from another part of the world.
Q: We also got some questions from fans for you. One question also relates to your studies. The girl is also studying electricity and magnetism at school and wants to know what for you is the hardest part of your studies.

A: Mhm. That is a difficult question. In high school we had a subject called physics. We had the second physics course in high school with all the magnetism, magnetic fields. It was a difficult course but it went pretty well, so I can’t…I did everything, I passed every test. The maths in the beginning was very hard, when you come from high school to university. In high school I had easy maths and I learned fast. I didn’t have to study maths in high school, and then all of a sudden you come to university and you see them writing on the boards and fill them completely and you just sit there and (stare). You understand absolutely nothing what he is talking about like he is talking in some other language. It took like one month, and then you understand the first thing he said. You’re like one month behind. That was tough. Maybe you get into it when you learn how to study, but in the beginning it was difficult.

Q: The next question is: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

A: Ten years…oh, I’m old! I’ll be almost 35. Maybe I’ll be still in skating. I’m not sure. Either in skating or I’m working. That will be hard to decide. It depends on how it goes. A lot can happen.

Q: Maybe you’ll be married with three kids!

A: Yes, and then I’ll stay at home and work. Right now my plans are just competing and skating hopefully until the next Olympics.
Q: Your fans would like to know whether you can cook.

A: What I cook… usually easy things. Sometimes I like to really cook with a recipe, but on a normal day I maybe just make some pasta, maybe fry some chicken, make a little sauce.

Q: They also would like to know if you like Queen.

A: Yes. I’m not like a huge fan, I enjoy their music very much, but I don’t have all their CDs. 

Q: If you were sent to an isolated island and could take only three things – what would you take?

A: Can I take only material things?

Q: There is food and water. If you like, you also can take a person.

A: I would take my girl friend, that would be nice. And can I use a phone there?

Q: Yes, a satellite phone.

A: But I would need power.

Q: It has a solar battery.
A: That’s nice. And maybe I would use some fire to cook some food. I’m practical, yes.
Q: Thank you very much for the interview and good luck for the season!

Source: www.figureskating-online.com

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