After a highly competitive event, Adam Siao Him Fa clinched his second consecutive title at the Grand Prix de France. We had the opportunity to speak with him with a group of journalists at the event.
How did you feel during the short program?
Adam: I was delighted with my score, but I didn't feel entirely at ease on the ice. I adapted to the situation, and it came out well. I managed to land the jumps anyway. I knew that I had to go for points wherever I could.
The six-minute warm-up before the short program looked challenging, with several mistakes, while your training sessions on Thursday and Friday were excellent.
Adam: Yes, I felt perfect during the training sessions. Everything changed during the six minutes before the short program. I was stressed. I needed to refocus and take my time. I knew these mistakes were not a big deal. It is better to make them at that time rather than in the program!
What was your reaction to the scores for the short program?
Adam: I was thrilled. I wasn't aiming at a particular score. I was satisfied because I skated cleanly. Not perfectly, but cleanly.
Were you only "satisfied"?
Adam: That's already a big word for me (laughs).
Was there something off with the butterfly during the short program? The landing seemed different than usual.
Adam: My coaches told me they had a scare. I didn't feel anything special on my side. I was very focused, especially since I had some imbalances in my step sequence. I told myself, "Just stay upright; that's all that matters. Stay upright and do the steps."
How do you feel about winning?
Adam: I still can't realize what happened. For a moment, I completely forgot about the competition and all the pressure I had. I let myself be carried away by the music, simply having fun. I thought: "Do as in training, skate, and have fun." I was relaxed and didn't see the program pass by, but I went through a whole range of emotions. I stayed focused until the end of the program because mistakes can happen quickly, but I had fun to the fullest; it was awesome. I screamed with joy at the last note of the music. I have been preparing for months, even years, to achieve this kind of performance.
You were defending your title with a great opponent in front of you. What pressure did you feel?
Adam: I tried not to think about it, but, indeed, there were obviously expectations. However, I did not put pressure on myself because of that; it was more about my performance because I had achieved very good programs at the beginning of this season, and I knew I had to continue in this direction. It's a sport; anything can happen, and sometimes, I have bad thoughts telling me, "Be careful; something can happen," but I try to put them aside and refocus.
Two victories at the Grand Prix de France, but do they have a different flavor?
Adam: This season is very different from last year. The level is very high, and that is all the more motivating. Last year, I was aiming for a top 5 at my Grand Prix, and I finished first. This year, I knew I could win if I did my job, but I had to stay focused on my performance. Compared to last year, I include four quads, including the Lutz and a second triple Axel in the free program. I also have a quad Lutz in the short program. I worked a lot on my physical preparation, on and off the ice, and with my mental coach. We wanted to prepare the best we could and manage my stress most effectively.
You surpassed the 100-point mark in the short program for the first time in an ISU competition, as well as the 200-point mark in the free program.
Adam: Few skaters have indeed crossed these thresholds. Reaching them in the Grand Prix proves that the work I've done so far has paid off. I must continue in this way; it's confirmation that I'm on the right track.
It was a close call; how would you have felt about second place?
Adam: What mattered most was my performance. I don't have control over the other skaters and their scores. I do my job, I do what I know how to do on the ice, and then, the result matters little to me as long as I enjoy myself and am satisfied with my performance.
You didn't do a backflip during the program, but upon exiting the ice. Was it planned this way with your team?
Adam: We talked about it with my coaches, who told me not to do it during the program to avoid the two-point deduction for an illegal element. So I decided to do it afterward, and in the end, the victory was decided by two points, so that was a good call.
Will you celebrate this victory?
Adam: Not really. I'm quickly passing through Nice, then I'm off to the Cup of China on Tuesday. I need to rest and recover before my second Grand Prix.
Is victory possible at the Cup of China?
Adam: I will focus on my performance. I obviously know that Shoma Uno will be there. He is an excellent skater whom I admire. It will be very motivating to skate with him, as it was motivating to skate in France with Yuma and Ilia. I'm going to give it my best. However, the conditions will be different. I have to manage jet lag, travel, and the recovery from the Grand Prix de France. I will use the experience I gained last year to do better than I did last year at the NHK Trophy.
How do you feel about this rivalry with Ilia Malinin?
Adam: It's motivating because we push each other to the top. We give our maximum, and it's very pleasant to participate in competitions in this atmosphere.
You both like acrobatic figures. Have you tried Ilia's "Raspberry Twist"?
Adam: Ilia taught me the Raspberry Twist when we were touring in Japan, but it's his signature move, and I don't want to include it in my competition programs. On my side, I suggested to Ilia that we do a side-by-side backflip! You can find a video on social media of Adam and Ilia performing a Raspberry Twist.
Solène MATHIEU - Skate Info Glace