Kevin Aymoz skated two very strong programs at the World Championships in Japan. We met him the day after his free program, a huge smile on his face.
Solène: How do you feel after placing fourth at the World Championships?
Kevin: I'm still over the moon. I was living in the moment, and it is the first time in my life that I can remember my program. Usually, the emotions are so strong that I don't remember it all. In Saitama, I almost saw myself skating from the outside. The way I felt during these two programs is hard to explain. I felt so good... in my bubble, at peace with myself. My therapist really helped me prepare for it. She also works with athletes from the French Athletics Federation. We talked about how they feel a few minutes before they run, jump, or throw. I realized that our situations were similar and that I was not alone. All athletes have periods of doubt. When I arrived in Saitama, my training was difficult due to jet lag, but I was determined. The morning before the free program, I felt very good and knew I was ready.
Solène: You broke your free program points record (187.41)!
Kevin: Before hearing the scores, Silvia and I thought I would have about 175 points…
Solène: And when the grades were announced, you left the Kiss & Cry!
Kevin: Silvia left first (laughs). I ran after her. Fabrice Blondel jumped out of joy too! This is a very good score and my personal best. At that moment, I didn’t think of the ranking. Before my program, I heard the audience applause for Kazuki Tomono and Jason Brown. I immediately felt their support. It didn't scare me; quite the contrary. I was happy to be able to get their support too. I knew their scores were high. But I was not aiming for any particular place. I was skating in the last group and wanted to take advantage of that. Someone close to me texted me after the competition, “Damn fourth again, I hope you are not disappointed”. Of course not!
Solène: You got the third-best score of the competition in PCS and a 10 in presentation. I imagine that is also very satisfying.
Kevin: Yes, I was delighted with it. The judge who gave me this grade of 10 explained to me why. This made me very happy and reassured me about my work and performance. This season was like a roller coaster. The start of the season was going well, with good quad jumps and a successful first competition. At the French Masters, I injured my ankle, and I didn't expect to skate again soon. We resumed slowly, and the Grand Prix in Espoo went well. The European Championships were painful, and now these World Championships are showing me the magic of sport.
Solène: After the European Championships, you wrote on social media, “You will hear me roar.” How did you manage this period of doubt?
Kevin: I took a week off and went to the French Junior Championships with Ninon Dapoigny as her choreographer. She trains in Grenoble with Françoise Bonnard. She attempted impressive technical elements, and she got a very good score. I admired her courage and her competitive spirit. It motivated me! But I got ready very quickly, too quickly. My programs were perfect several weeks before leaving for Japan. I peaked too soon. The next few days were difficult, with a lot of fatigue and fever. I took a three-day break. The training sessions were difficult on a cardio level. The perseverance paid off, the errors became fewer as time went on. It gave me confidence. Silvia told me during the World Championships not to fear fatigue and that my body knew what it had to do. I thought about those words during the program and trusted my body.
Solène: You left the French Masters in October in an ambulance. What would you like to say to the Kevin of 5 months ago, who is on the stretcher?
Kevin: A lot of things. I struggled after the Masters and was waiting for other people to decide for me. But in the end, I took the decisions. So I say thank you to Kevin because he managed to change course.
Solène: You will end your season at the World Team Trophy in mid-April. How do you see this competition?
Kevin: I'm happy that Team France qualified. We have qualified for the World Team Trophy for years now. On the other hand, the double round trip to Japan from the United States will be difficult. I will then continue with the French tour at the end of April and my postgraduate exams. I know it will be a packed month! The World Team Trophy is an interesting competition with an individual dimension where everyone wants to skate their best and a strong team spirit. I am happy to show my programs again and hope to repeat this experience of control and serenity.
Solène: Do you have any ideas for your next programs?
Kevin: We’ve picked the music! We’ve started to think about movements and will start choreographing the free program at the beginning of April. I will have a busy spring and summer, including a tour in Japan. I will also choreograph programs for Maia Mazzara, Ninon Dapoigny, and Mila Bertsch in Grenoble, as well as a Swiss and a Swedish skater. But everything is well planned!
Par Solène MATHIEU pour Skate Info Glace