World figure skating and Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova said she had “a good attitude” towards her haters and “built a fortress” that only families are allowed in after receiving mixed reactions to her move to televised presentation.
The 18-year-old has put her competitive career on hold to host the hit show “Ice Age” on Russia’s Channel One, and she has admitted that her early episodes were “very difficult” alongside athlete and more experienced host Alexei Yagudin were.
Critics have questioned Zagitova’s ability and aptitude for the high pressure role in the spotlight, which taught her about the difficult task of interviewing unresponsive guests and asking the right questions as they first steps on the air.
“I have a good attitude towards haters,” she told Match TV. “I used to pay a lot of attention to them.”
“I was concerned, but now I understand [I would be] nowhere without. It is an incentive to go even higher. I built a fortress – only relatives are allowed there. “
In a year when the sports schedule has been severely disrupted by the pandemic, Zagitova is unsure whether she will return to elite competition.
Instead, she’s focused on better encouraging the show’s stars to open up to her.
“Since athletes are not very talkative, I am now studying specifically to speak well to people,” she revealed. “I have a tutor in language techniques. I’ve learned a lot of tongue twisters.
“I also had a problem asking the athletes if they were upset. When I was competing and they asked me questions like this after I fell, I was very upset. It’s obvious.
“Will I get back to the sport? We’ll see. Now the coronavirus [situation] is very hard.
“A lot of competitions are canceled, some of them are questionable. It’s a difficult situation for the whole sport.”
Zagitova admitted last month that she battled fear and shyness during her first few weeks in the Ice Age.
The teenage sensation paused their amazing athletic endeavors last year after winning European, world and Olympic titles in two remarkably successful and challenging seasons.
She said she continues to be grateful to her huge fan base, which includes nearly 800,000 Instagram followers.
“Fans come to my rink to take pictures … because of the coronavirus, a lot of people are not allowed in.
“You are on the street – I really feel sorry for you. I am very happy when you ask to be photographed.”
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“I have to talk to show the participants”: Alina Zagitova reveals “problems” with being a TV presenter