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ST. PETERSBURG, March 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Figure-skaters inspired all the Russian Olympic athletes in Sochi with their enthusiasm, the maitre of Russian variety and pop music stage, Iosif Kobzon said here Monday.
Kobzon, who appeared on the music stage in the early 1960’s, has been invited to take part in the ice show ‘Olympic Champions Visit Alexei Mishin’. Mishin has been the coach of a number of outstanding Russian athletes, including the Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko.
“I was amazed when I got an invitation to come here and celebrate together with the great Alexei Mishin,” said Kobzon who was the first entry in the program. “I was really glad to walk into limelight together with him.”
He said he couldn’t call himself a fan of figure skating but said this particular sport, which had much in common with arts, was generally close to him,” Kobzon. “I’m a good acquaintance of Irina Rodnina (the three-time Olympic champion in pairs in the 1970’s) and with Tatiana Tarasova (an outstanding figure-skating coach).
“At the Sochi Olympic Games, the figure skaters were the first to open the medal score for the Russian national team and they inspired the rest of our athletes,” he said.
He believes that too little attention is paid to coaches in Russia. “In the meantime, these are really holy people because they give so much of their energies and soul to their pupils,” Kobzon said.