On April 24th, in a really touching message addressed to her friends and supporters, the Italian ice dancer Lorenza Alessandrini announced the end of her partnership with Simone Vaturi. Inside Skating asked Lorenza to share her thoughts on the split up – and the result is an extremely sincere insight into the circumstances of a clearly painful decision. One thing is sure though: the young Italian skater seems determined to continue her competitive career and we can only hope she’ll be able to feel that cold breeze on her face for many years to come.
by Florentina Tone
Lorenza, you’ve been skating with Simone Vaturi for 7 years now – and you’re definitely too young to retire, at 23 and 25 respectively – so, why this decision to split up? Was a sudden decision or something you were considering for a while? Would you lead me into the circumstances of your decision to part ways?
Lorenza Alessandrini: As you said, Simone and I have been skating together for 7 years, and our path together has been full of difficulties… We both got injured and we had to fight to get back on the ice and progress. We faced many other difficult moments of various kinds, it was not easy, but we always got out of them feeling more united and feeling like a stronger team. Living all those moments together created a strong bond between us and I’m very grateful for that. Unfortunately, we got to a point where the problems to be solved were just too many. I think that after years of fighting Simone got very discouraged and decided to take a break from skating in general. I personally thought that, though the situation was complicated, it would have made sense to keep on trying to make it together. But Simone was probably just too frustrated with the situation to agree with me, or at least this is my opinion.
I can’t think of a better way to ask that, except for the direct one: is the split up caused by Simone’s decision to try to skate with someone else, in this case, Ekaterina Riazanova? According to some Russian and Italian sources, Simone carried out a successful test skate with Ekaterina – and rumors are the new couple will represent Italy in competitions…
Lorenza: No, his decision had nothing to do with the possibility of skating with Ekaterina or anyone else. Our relationship had gotten to a point where it was difficult to progress together. I know Simone very well and I believed him when he told me that he was very discouraged and that he would quit skating if a good chance didn’t come along for him. It is true that in order to progress many aspects of our relationship had to be fixed, and I was ready to do that, but Simone probably thought that it would have been impossible. That’s the reason why he decided to split up with me and it has nothing to do with the chance of skating with someone else. I know that he respects me very much not only as a skater, but as a person too, and all I can do is respect his decision and do my best to understand the person that I’ve shared so much with these past seven years.
If this is really the end of your partnership with Simone, what are your plans when it comes to skating? From my understanding, it seems that you want to continue… It must be hard to search for a different partner after skating with Simone for so many years, but which are the steps in order to do that? Do you have a future partner in mind?
Lorenza: If there is one thing that I’ve learnt from life is „Never say never”, but at this point I truly believe that this is the end of my partnership with Simone. I don’t think that he is going to change his mind – and even if he did it would not be an easy situation because I would only continue to skate with someone that deeply believes in me.
Figure skating has been my biggest passion for all my life, I gave everything I had to this sport and if I had the chance I would like to stay in this world. Right now I’m studying in an Italian sport university because in the future I would like to become a coach or a choreographer: I consider myself a very artistic, giving and sensitive person and during my career I went through many ups and downs, and I think that all those experiences could help me becoming a good coach one day.
For now I would really like to find a good partner to continue skating with, but that is not easy. There are no senior male ice dancers available in Italy at this moment and that already makes everything complicated. Anyway, nowadays it’s really common to see couples made of two athletes coming from different nations skating together, so I still hope that I can find the right person even if he’s not Italian. This month I plan on having a few tryouts and I hope that one of them can lead me to the right partner to compete with.
Will the Italian Federation support you in your attempt to continue skating with someone else?
Lorenza: The Italian Federation has been very supportive with me. Many people in the Federation first met me when I was only a child and saw me growing up. They’ve been with me during the good and the bad and I will always be very thankful to them for that. Even in this difficult period I could count on some great people that helped me and were there for me. Luckily, they all assured me that they would be very happy to support me in the future with another partner.
Looking in retrospective, is there a particular moment in your figure skating career so far that you’re particularly attached to – and why?
Lorenza: One moment that I’m particularly attached to… That’s not easy, there are so many good memories! Well, I think one of the most memorable and important moments for me was the first day that I got on the ice after taking a break to heal my broken spine. I couldn’t skate for almost two months – that was the longest time I had ever been off the ice since I can remember… That day I noticed for the first time the cold breeze that hits your face when you skate… It was the same that I felt in the past, but before I was so used to it that I never actually noticed it. I know it’s a small thing, but somehow it made me think of all the things that I took for granted and, starting with that moment, I learnt to take every day spent on the ice like a gift. Even through the hard times I learnt to really appreciate every day that I could feel that breeze on my face.