Interview with Lisa Prenty
Q: This has been a very full season (2002/03), to what do you accredit your success?
A: I suppose I owe my successful year to the fact that I kept pushing myself from competition to competition. The season started off a little rough with sub-par performances at summer competitions, but consistently improved with each skate. This, of course not possible at all without my support team (coaches, family, friends, fans).
Q: How was the crowd reaction during competitions?
A: It was really quite surprising!! I never expected the kind of enthusiasm, and support from the crowd that I received this year. I know that when I step on the ice, I'm going to enjoy the performance no matter what. However, this task is certainly easier when the crowd is clapping along with the music, and enjoying themselves.
Q: What is it like to have the crowd go crazy when you get on the ice? A:
A:It's nice. It sort of gives you a boost of confidence
Q: Its not distracting at all?
A: No..No. I think the most distracting its ever been was last year at Canadians it got to the point where the audience was sort of having a yelling contest while I was in position waiting for my music to start. One side someone yelled we love you Jeff, and on the other side someone else yelled yeah well we love you more· on the other side No, we do and this is all going through my head when I was in position. Normally I don? hear that stuff but it was so quiet and that was sorda bothersome. Most of the time I just feed off of it its pretty motivating.
Q: Ask him how he got to be so darn nice!!
A: Every word I've read from people who have met him stresses how incredibly friendly he is. I'm friendly with people who are friendly to me. I obviously wouldn't be too friendly to anyone who was careless or mean with me, I guess its just the way I've been raised my Mom's taught me to respect people.
Q: Your more comfortable with people...?
A: Yeah, well with you guys I'm a lot better but I'm still pretty shy with people I don't really know.
Q: You don't come across as too shy anymore.. We've seen you grow..
A: Yes Oh definitely
Q: When we first started to talk to you, you were painfully shy...
A: Well the first year (after) NHK sort of came as a surprise, I didn't really slowly progress onto the international scene so yeah I think it hit me initially I was pretty shy I wasn't expecting it.
Q: What was your realistic goals for placement going into NHK?
A: Well, before departing for NHK, I was under the impression that both Alexei, and Evgeny would be there. My goal was to place top 8. When I arrived, and heard that they had both withdrawn, this goal changed to top 6.
Q: What were your realistic goals for placement going into 4CC's?
A: It was difficult actually to make a placement goal going into that competition for two reasons:
a) We left for Korea only one week after the completion of Canadians, so there was really no time to sit down and placement-wise analyze the event.
b) With the approaching Olympic Games, nobody really knew who was going to be there competing. As far as basic goals were, I planned to improve upon my Nationals performances, and stand up on the axels, which I did not in Hamilton.
Q: What was your realistic goals for placement going into Nationals?
A: Going into nationals was an awkward situation for me this past year. As I was 9th the year preceding, I had no great expectations, however, that was before my international successes. I basically concluded that if I did what I could, and had great performances, that it was possible to come 3rd. However, I made my goal a realistic top 4/5.
Q: Did you have any family in attendance at CND's? Did it enhance your success? Make you more nervous?
A: I did actually have my Parents, sister, and grand-parents there for the competition (short and long). I really try not to think about anything accept my skating while on the ice. I know that they were probably more nervous than I was since in the past, competitions were not exactly my forte.
Q: Biggest success this season? Disappointment?
A: The biggest success I have had this season thus far is landing the quad/triple at 4CC. My results were not as successful as they were last year basically because we've focused on thinking about future results and what I will need (eg. the quad). To have the pressure of needing this jump, and landing it the first season with it in the program is a big deal for me.
Q: Anything you could have done better?
A: There are always things that could be done better, but to look back and dwell on something won't really accomplish too much. My coaches are always pushing, and helping me to improve every aspect of my skating, making sure that I have not neglected anything, so basically, with every session, everything is getting a little bit better.
Q: Anyone at competitions that were intimidating to be competing against?
A: I think I've been intimidated in the past with fellow competitors, but this year was very different. I was able to learn from people like Elvis, Takeshi, and Alexei this year instead of freaking out and trying to do things they are doing. I'm a competitive person by nature and enjoy finding motivation through another persons successes, but the moment that I'm more concerned with what someone else is doing rather than what I am doing is the moment that I start to neglect my timing and technique.
Q: What do you do just before stepping on the ice or in between warm up and your program to get focused? (Do you have any rituals ex putting on skates right foot first?
A: Well, I always put my left skate on first, because it just feels more comfortable for some reason. I guess it's become sort of ritualistic, but it's certainly not a factor that would affect a performance. Between the warm-up and my skate, if there's time, I'll take my skates off, and walk around a bit, as well as do some breathing exercises. I basically try to stay relaxed and generally talk to Lee about something completely unrelated to skating.
Q: What do you do the night before and the day of a competition to prepare or relax?
A: The night before, I usually like to eat carbs like comfort foods, like I love pasta and stuff like that so I will eat that the night before, I don? usually like to eat that the day of. If its in Canada I like to watch TV, something that makes me relax and keeps my mind off things, or read·o something, anything that keeps me from thinking skating but other than that I just try to keep it normal.
Q: Do you eat heavy or light the day of competition?
A: It depends if I only have a couple of hours before the competition sometimes the practice is pretty close to the competition I will eat fairly light, but if I have quite a bit of time like four hours then I eat pretty heavy. Usually it? a steak or beef or something the day of competition I like the protein
Q: Are you hungry after you compete?
A: umm yeah I am usually pretty hungry
Q: Do you have the opportunity to see the cities in which you travel for competition?
A: It all really depends upon the competition schedule. I always try at least to walk around the city with a group of people if for no other reason than to take pictures. Generally, once the competition is finished, the organizing committee has a tour available for the skaters, coaches, etc..
Q: What did you do during off ice time?
A: During the competitive season, then I'm usually at the library doing homework, at home with my family, or hanging out with friends.
During the off-season (2001), I went to Dominican Republic with my sister, and friends. Upon returning to Canada, I decided to pick up an extra credit at University (summer school), and pick music for next years programs.
The off-ice schedule this year tended to be a bit hectic. Since I was going to school part-time, and skating, my work-outs (cardio, weights, etc) generally fell at either obscenely early, or obscenely late hours. I also began doing private Pilates classes and ballet classes at the national ballet, which I feel helped me achieve a core strength needed for this sport as well as improve my posture and lines.
Q: Strangest thing a fan has done/said to you?
A: Well, I guess the strangest thing a fan has asked has been for me to share all of things a got on the ice at a particular show, with her! I wasn't really sure if she was serious or just kidding, but I normally try to arrange for anything I can't take home with me to be given to a nearby hospital for children.
Q: What's the most bizarre encounter you've ever had with a fan? (so that we could all be sure never to repeat it!!)
A: I don? know that I have ever really had any·I don? think any encounters face to face. I?e been pretty lucky.
Q: except the person that asked for all the things you got from the ice...
A: Right that was at worlds I think, I thought that was a bit odd.
Q: Do you have trouble winding down after doing a program in competition?
A: Yes. It usually takes me a bit of time to calm down after a competition. There's such an immense surge of adrenaline while on the ice, and it lingers in the system so I find it somewhat difficult to fall asleep later on.
Q: Jeff's Thoughts on:
A: Ben now training at Mariposa: Ben has been a huge asset this year in Barrie. Not only is he a hard worker and talented skater, but a fierce competitor as well. I think we've been able to push each other this year on the ice, especially with the quads, and it had done nothing but make us both stronger.
Elvis's retirement: I had the opportunity to tour with him this year on the SK8 with Elvis tour, and had an incredible time, so in that respect he has not been absent from my skating. In the competitive sense, he made such an impact throughout his career as well as at last years nationals, that it would be safe to say that Canadians felt a bit lacking without him this year.
Q: Recent movie favorites? Music?
A: Well, I do try to see a movie whenever I can, and have seen some great ones this year, namely: "Chicago" and "The Pianist". I've been listening to a lot of music recently by Lamb and John Mayer.