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Fast confession - Tomáš Verner: I’m not the type to hit on girls

Jana Fikotová
22.Mar 2017
+ Add on Seznam.cz
5 minutes to read

He’s not competing, but he has no time. Figure skater Tomáš Verner’s (30) main occupations include exhibition performance, training young figure skaters and the new project Czech Dance Tour 2017: Make Czechia Dance. 

You’ve taken up dancing?

Figure skating also involves dancing, so it’s not that unusual for me. On the other hand, the Czech Dance Tour mainly consists of choreography like street dance, disco, show and art dance. Over 12 dancing days and 13 disciplines in 8 cities, people will compete for the titles of champion of Bohemia, Moravia and the entire Czech Republic. I will be a silent observer and a member of the final jury.

Are you looking forward to making Czechia dance?

The tour across Czechia starts on 18 March in Pilsen and culminates with the announcement of the best performance of modern dance styles. The dancers will gather for the two-day final in Prague on 20 and 21 May. In addition to the aforementioned cities, competitive dancing performance will be held in Brno, Chrudim, Spořice, Jindřichův Hradec, Otrokovice and Havířov. You will see, everybody will be dancing and I’m really looking forward to it.

Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m
Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m, Praha 9

How is your dancing?

Definitely not as great as it might seem. I know three basic dances which belong to figure skating, and beyond that it’s just a matter of movement. I definitely prefer dancing on skates then in shoes. This is why I keep my fingers crossed for all the dancers, choreographers and coaches, who have danced through hundreds of pairs of shoes in order to present their very best at the competition. Dancing and figure skating are very similar; they are both a sport and an art. Therefore, choosing the best performers is not just a question of figures on the stopwatch or meters in the field, but also about the dancers’ “drive” and how they perceive the music and choreography together.

When goes or used to go on in your head before stepping onto the ice?

That is a lengthy subject and I think concentration in itself is the main thing. There are many thoughts going through one’s mind. In the beginning it was harder. Now I think I have more control over the flow of thoughts and I tend to be professional at the given moment. If I fall during the routine, the aim should be to disengage from all the mistakes and to keep going and concentrate always on the next element. Sometimes this is hard to do, but I continuously hear from the coaches to forget everything I did, whether good or bad, and to keep on focussing.

You started skating when you were five. Was it your decision or your parents’?

Figure skating was always the first among all sports in our family. My siblings and I tried everything – football, tennis, even gymnastics which my sister does now. My brother also did figure skating. I wanted to put on skates because I was platonically in love with my friend Štěpánka and I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. Our parents knew each other and somehow a decision was made that we could skate together. For some time I was only interested in Štěpánka and didn’t care about skating. Then it all turned around, skating became my passion and I won my first national championships at fifteen.

Which other sports do you like and can you do them all?

I like all sports, it doesn’t matter what it is. I prefer ball games. On the other hand, I have to admit that I don’t do sports professionally anymore and I don’t have time anyway. Therefore, it’s very nice for me that I don’t have to drive around the country and perform. I can just sit down and judge.

Considering the jury for figure skating and the jury for dancing – is it equally unfair?

I will be able to answer this question in a few months. I’ll see, perhaps it won’t be. The question of fair/unfair is always the subjective opinion of the juror and this will vary. Now it will depend on how much the dancing differs, because in figure skating it differs a lot.

How does one become a successful figure skater?

In my view, it applies in figure skating that the sooner a child starts training, the better. Ideally by the age of 7. Having skates on your feet and moving around on the ice is entirely different from other sports.

How would you like to support your children one day?

I would like my children to try the widest range of sports and other activities. Then I will let them decide what they enjoy and which direction they want to take. In short, just like my parents did. I certainly want to avoid attempting to make my own dreams come true through my children and forcing them into sports that only I like. It is important for them to expand their horizons and get a few lessons…

Is motivation and guidance towards sports important for today’s children?

Children are generally less active nowadays and this may be one of the reasons for widespread overweightness or even obesity. When I was a boy, I dropped off my backpack at home after school and went out to play. Today’s children don’t know this and are used to spending time in front of the computer. It would be great to restore the same attitude towards activity and sports that we used to have.

Does the success of our athletes inspire today’s children?

I would like to hope so. Even many adults have taken up cross-country skiing after witnessing the victories of our biathletes. The task of top athletes is to show their peers how fulfilling and beneficial sports really are. Remember Nagano (Olympics)? The Czech Republic was in the grip of hockey madness back then. Every kid took his hockey stick and tried to play, if not on skates then at least on a tarmac with a ball. Everybody wanted to be a hockey hero, the Jagr or Hasek from the television. I hope I might be an inspiration for some children.

What about women? Where do you take them if you want to impress them?

I would definitely take them out for dinner or somewhere quiet. I wouldn’t take her out on the ice if she didn’t know how to skate. Discos aren’t very peaceful and I’m not really the disco type.

Are you a hunter of women?

To be honest, I’m not really the type to go out to a bar and hit on girls. On the other hand, everybody enjoys attention and the male ego enjoys being soothed, so it’s nice to be hunted occasionally. But I have discovered one crucial thing, pointed out by my fitness trainer, who said that if I want to find the right woman, I shouldn’t go to the club or disco, but rather to the gym.

And what should your future wife and mother of your children be like?

It would be nice if she were younger than me, meaning she should be less than 30 years old and about 170 cm tall. Given that sport is one of my top priorities, she should be interested in sports and I would appreciate it if she enjoyed my sense of humour. As for appearances, I like blondes. What I like most about women is not just a pretty face, but also a nice derriere.

Should she know how to cook?

It’s definitely an advantage but not a necessity. I am very self-sufficient and I’ve learned not only how to cook, but also to bake. (laughs)

What are your plans for the future?

My plan for the future is children. But because I haven’t been hunted and haven’t hunted anybody down yet, I’m still working on it. I’m not going to stress it, but I would like to have a family and I will work towards that, even with respect to my present situation. I will participate in fewer exhibition performances, and will only choose a few. I will continue to be involved in sports, and will pursue cooperation with the Olympic committee, the Czech Figure Skating Union, the International Figure Skating Union and I will still be visible in sports, but less in my active sphere – rather more as a coach, advisor or manager. Two years ago we founded the Czech Skating Academy, which functions sporadically throughout the year, when we can operate without taking children out of school. We insist strongly on this. 

Fast confession:

Hockey or football?

Football.

Favourite place on earth?

That’s very, very hard. Costa Rica.

Favourite food?

Roast beef with six Carlsbad dumplings and a lot of cranberries. Mediterranean cuisine and Italian pasta. I love dumplings and in addition to roast beef, I like strawberry dumplings with breadcrumbs, melted butter and sugar.

Do you like cooking?

I cook when I have to, and it’s obvious in the results, so don’t ask if it tastes good.

What clothes do you prefer wearing?

I have spent my entire life in sweatpants. Now I represent the Bandi men’s suit brand and they provide me with such a wardrobe that I could wear a different suit every day.

Favourite cosmetics?

I have no idea about cosmetics.

What about fashion trends?

I don’t really understand that stuff – what’s a trend, what’s a fad, what’s in or what’s cool. I wear whatever I happen to put on and whatever is clean and ironed at home, and what I think matches. But I don’t follow trends.

Do you like cleaning?

I don’t, but there is one other activity that I don’t enjoy at all, and that is hanging curtains. I experienced this recently. So I prefer cleaning to hanging curtains.

What about ironing?

I have an iron and an ironing board, but the iron is likely to remain in warranty for a long time.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment in figure skating?

There have been many. For instance, if you do a single jump instead of a quadruple one, and it doesn’t happen once but twice, then it’s not embarrassing – it’s a tragedy. I happened to forget a part of my routine, I tripped over my own skates and fell on my face, I forgot to take off my blade guards and fell on the ice… there are many such incidents and we don’t have enough time to discuss them all.

Most beautiful day in your life?

In 2007 when I called my parents, who had never been at my competitions in person in order to avoid making me nervous. I called them to tell them I had finally won a medal at the European Championships. Or when I first executed a quadruple jump. That was in America.

Most valuable medal?

I could say that my most valuable medal is still the silver from the European Championships. The gold was great, but I was already rather ambitiously expecting that one. We worked for it, we were ready, but the silver was light a lightning bolt from a clear sky.

Apartment or house?

At first definitely an apartment and maybe a house later. But I associate houses with a lot of work, be it carpentry, plumbing, electricity – I am not good at any of those things, so a house would probably cost me too much right now.

Where would you like to live?

In the Czech Republic.

Is there a question you’ve never been asked but would really like to answer?

People very seldom ask me whether I hunt or am hunted, and I’ve already answered that question today. Otherwise, I think I’ve already said everything and I will keep anything I haven’t to myself.
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