The 2009 World Figure Skating Championships are just three weeks away in Los Angeles. Brian Joubert, the six-time French national champion and former World champion, has enlisted the help of Lucinda Ruh (see right) to help win his second World title. Lucinda is a two-time Swiss national champion and two-time World Professional bronze medalist. She also holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest and fastest spin on ice --115 revolutions. She is known for her choreography, grace, and presence in her programs so what better person to put the finishing touches on a program than her? I had a chance to ask Lucinda about her experience working with Brian.
What's it like working with Brian Joubert?
With Brian it has been wonderful. His agent called me to work with him already a while back in 2005 and it gave lots of good results and so he called again just a week ago to see if I could work again with Brian before the World Championships. I love to inspire and continue my spin legacy and so in that way I like to continue to help skaters with the knowledge and experience that I have.
Brian and I are very comfortable working together. My mission is always not to teach but to guide the skater to be the best they can be and bring out their potential. My goal is always to have the skater understand all aspects of spinning and therefore they can then make huge improvements with it. As it is a month before Worlds we cannot change too much in regards to new positions in the spins or elaborate the transitions in the program. However, we have been working very hard on centering, speed, clearer positions and nicer lines through the spins, program and footwork. Brian is great to work with -- a pure athlete, very hard working, a quick and eager learner, powerful, dedicated and has the fire in his eye. He loves the challenges that are in front of him.
It's funny though as he always mentions that the spins exhaust him more than the quads! He would rather do quads the whole session than a few spins. People tend to underestimate the difficulty of strength and stamina that great spins require. Also I think the new point system is unfair to those skaters where flexibility and long lines come less easy to them. The new point system also does not let the skater become an individual and shine through with his strengths. The work that Brian and I have done together has already shown big improvements and I am confident that he will produce great new results and earn more points at the World championships in Los Angeles with the new spins.
You and Brian are working together in Poitiers, France, which is his hometown. How is Poitiers?
Poitiers is a quaint town and I think it is very special of Brian that he wants to stay here where he grew up and be close to family as it grounds him and helps him to be the best skater he can be. When everything else as an athlete is so tough, chaotic and demanding, it's nice to be able to be surrounded by family and real life. We have been working very hard so I have just been able to enjoy the wonderful hotel and ice rink. :)
You have also been requested by the French federation to work with Candice Didier, the ladies champion, as well as the French junior team.
The French federation wanted me to work with the other team members as well. Yes, I will be in Paris next week for the ladies champion and French Junior team. I am so excited as I lived there from when I was one to four-years-old so I can't wait to revisit my childhood neighborhood, friends and of course the Eiffel Tower :) It will be interesting working with these new up and coming skaters. I can share more news about them after I work with them.
In addition to helping skaters achieve their best, Lucinda continues to model, act, design, and support various charitable causes that are important to her. She is also working on her book currently scheduled to come out at the end of the year. Check out her official website here to find out more!