2021 World champion Anna Shcherbakova was on the popular Russian late night talk show Vecherniy Urgant (English: Evening Urgant) on Friday.
Even though the show’s host Ivan Urgant has been sick with COVID-19, he has still been hosting the show from home via a video call and is displayed on a big screen. Urgant spoke to Shcherbakova about the World Championships in Stockholm, about school, the cake that Nathan Chen presented her for her birthday, and TikTok.
Shcherbakova was on Urgant’s show before – she previously appeared in December of 2018 after winning her first national title, with Alena Kostornaia and Alexandra Trusova.
Segment with Anna Shcherbakova:
Urgant: We congratulate you on such a great victory. How do you feel as a world champion?
Shcherbakova: To say that everything has changed a lot is impossible because after returning home I started training the next day. So in that sense, nothing has changed.
Urgant: Can’t you show Eteri Tutberidze the gold medal and say: “Let people celebrate normally, wash the medal?”
Shcherbakova: For me, probably someone else will wash it, and I will return to training because otherwise there will be no more medals. (laughs)
Urgant: Then let’s talk about the fact that you went to Stockholm. As far as I understand, this is the first time in your life when you went to a competition without your parents.
Shcherbakova: Yes, it was the first time but it was forced. You can say that I was ready for this, I knew that it would be so. But, probably, these were not the main difficulties of this championship because, besides this, there were many other rules that had to be observed.
Urgant: Tell us about these rules.
Shcherbakova: We were in the so-called “bubble,” that is, we did not go out, the hotel, the skating rink – one building. We were on the street only at when we switched from the airport to the bus, the rest of the time we spent inside.
Urgant: That is, you went to Stockholm without your parents and didn’t even walk around?
Shcherbakova: Yes. We had a tour on the bus while we were driving to the hotel – we were told what was around. Therefore, when I arrived home, I did not even have the feeling that I was abroad. There was a feeling that we were locked up in some room in Moscow, they said that “if anything, you’re in Stockholm, now there will be a world championship,” but the feeling that I’ve been abroad did not appear. (laughs)
Urgant: Did you play cards with the girls in the hotel? Tell us what was fun.
Shcherbakova: There was some kind of entertainment in the hotel on the first floor, you could play ping-pong, like basketball – there was a special machine. And so, probably, from entertainment for us it was to go to the boys’ competition, we cheered for everyone.
Urgant: They say you also took your textbooks with you.
Shcherbakova: Yes. But this is probably already usual for me. Because almost always I have the end of the quarter during the competition, I have to finish something, send it to the teachers.
Urgant: Tell us how you finished the quarter, what subjects are your favorite, in what subjects do you have a three, where next year… Give us something that would remind us of ourselves.
Shcherbakova: Fortunately, there are no such problems so far. (laughs)
Urgant: Are you now apologizing for being an excellent student?
Shcherbakova: Well, not an excellent student because after all it’s impossible to go to school all the time. But fives, fours, I try to keep up with everything all the time.
I have no problems with the fact that I don’t do something well, if there are problems with academic performance: it happens that I’m late for some deadline, later I’m not. Therefore, of course, thanks to the teachers who understand everything and meet me halfway.
(host shows the below photo of Shcherbakova’s emotions after the announcement of the scores at the World Championships)
Urgant: Anya, did you think you won’t win? Why did your eyes widen like that?
Shcherbakova: It was really unexpected. The mask probably does not convey all the emotions that I felt then. But because this season I had better performances, it was not my best performance, so I was surprised when I saw that I was the first.
Urgant: Do I understand correctly that we are now talking about your free skate? You went out, the first thing that happened was a fall. At that moment, any other person would simply say: “Come on, there will be many more world championships in my life that I can win.” What does an athlete feel when they perform at such important competitions and fall at the very beginning?
Shcherbakova: Of course, as it seems to me, the most difficult thing for further skating is when the first jump fails because it sets the tone for the whole program. Therefore, after that it was very important to get it together. We can say that the remainder of the performance was not in flow but more so focused. Therefore, probably, I did not get pleasure, instead it was calculated. Because every jump, every movement – everything had to be monitored so that there were no more mistakes.
Urgant: Let us congratulate you on your birthday again, you had a birthday right at the championship. They say that an American skater gave you a cake in front of everyone.
Shcherbakova: Yes, after my exhibition performance. This was a big surprise for me, no one warned me about it. After I finished skating, Nathan Chen came on the ice, gave me a cake, and congratulated me on my birthday.
Urgant: The question, based on the situation that is happening in our country: is it possible to accept gifts from American athletes and then eat them?
Shcherbakova: In general, as we are taught: any food that is presented to you is risky to eat. (laughs)
Urgant: Is it at the espionage school? What did you do with the cake the American gave?
Shcherbakova: We have special training courses so that we don’t make any mistakes. (laughs) There is a separate item about food. Then, in the locker room, everyone split it.
Urgant: So you couldn’t even celebrate there?
Shcherbakova: Well, I’ll say this: I have a birthday every year but I won the world championship for the first time. Therefore, probably, my emotions from the world championship overshadowed my birthday, somehow it passed me a little.
Urgant: We thought that you, like all normal people at your age, get your earned money, go and buy yourself sweets, outfits, as we say – fashionistas. But everything turns out in a completely different way. Tell us where you spend your money.
Shcherbakova: I do not spend it, I save it. Because so far I do not have a specific idea where I can put it. My parents help me with this, in particular, my dad: he tells me where it is more profitable, how to invest money, so that it does not just lie around and so that it grows, the money works.
Urgant: Wait, you invest?
Shcherbakova: Yes, I invest in stocks.
Urgant: I understand that you have an urgent need to film a TikTok on our show. Tell me why.
Shcherbakova: We try to follow modern fashion, let’s put it that way. All year, the girls in our group thought about creating a common TikTok account and shooting various videos but somehow we did not. And then I left for the world championship and everyone, apparently by agreement, decided to create this account.
Urgant: Everyone made a video but you didn’t.
Shcherbakova: Yes, I haven’t taken a direct part in the account so far, so I decided to surpass everyone at once by shooting my first TikTok video for the account here.
Urgant: I am at your disposal, tell me what needs to be done.
(Shcherbakova and Urgant film the below dance)