Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz: “With so many teams, it doesn’t feel too competitive. We all hold each other”.

Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz
Photo by Maria Kateshova

Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz paired up in 2015 and have since won silver at the 2017 Spanish Championships, their first national title at 2018 Spanish Championships, and bronze at 2018 Skate Canada International. Last week, they took 5th place at Nebelhorn Trophy, which was held in Oberstdorf, Germany. After the free dance, Olivia and Adrian commented on their performance. 

It was a little bit of everything. We made a few mistakes. They probably cost us a lot of GOE, some of them – levels. But then the other elements were really good, so it was a bit of a roller coaster.

Would you please tell me about your new programs?

Our rhythm dance is from the movie “Grease”. We use three pieces of music, the first one being “Grease opening”, second being “You’re the One That I Want”, third being “Hand Jive”. 

Our free dance is the story of a sad clown’s one and only love. We took this idea from a sad clown, and, then, we found a piece of music to go with that theme. And then it evolved into being something evolving,  a love story between two people in a circus performing together.

Speaking of the rhythm dance, do you like musicals in general, and, if so, what is your favourite musical so far?

Before this season, I wasn’t really interested in them. However, when we were choosing the music for our rhythm dance, I learnt which ones are musicals, which ones were on Broadway, and so on. 

 In general, I can say yes, I like the most popular ones, they make you feel happy and uplifting.

 If I’m not mistaken, this is already your third competition…


Fourth (smiles)

…even fourth, and it’s just the beginning of the season. Skate America is coming up soon. It’s a pretty tight schedule. Is it more effective for you to compete a lot? 


Yes. Repetitions, competing, getting out in front of a crowd under pressure, it helps a lot. By the end of the season or even the Grand Prix circuit, we are more comfortable with the programs.

Last season, we started at Autumn Classic, so we did less, and we didn’t feel like it sat under our skin as well. So we wanted to go back to how we handled that first season together, doing more before the Grand Prix circuits.

When you have competitions back to back, what do you do to make sure that you have enough strength to go into the next competition?

Our coaches give us a lot of decent amounts of rest after every competition, that’s one, two, three days. And, on the ice, training isn’t so hard. We do both programs every day, but we don’t kill ourselves. We really pace it.


When we don’t compete, normally we have five workouts a week. Before the competition or between two competitions, we do less “off the ice” activities  (cardio, weights, and so on) and more skating.
We keep it simple, but effective.

With so many strong couples in your group, how difficult is it for you to share the coaches’ attention? Do you feel competitive when you train?

We’re used to it now. In the beginning, it was different having so many teams, but now it’s quite motivating. It’s nice having your friends and teammates around. It doesn’t feel too competitive. We all hold each other.

We also have different schedules, so sometimes we don’t see a team for three or four days. We can be skating in the afternoon, then in the morning, so it’s not like we see everybody every day. 

Our coaches do a very good job sharing all this. We have ice from 7:30 in the morning until five. There is plenty of ice, plenty of coaches.

There have recently been some organizational changes in your club in Montreal. Did they affect your training process somehow?


No, it’s more for them to organize themselves. I think more things will come soon. Right now, it’s just to let people know that they’re changing their name.

So, for you, nothing has changed so far?

For us, no. We keep training. We still have to do the same job, to compete and to do our best.

Thank you very much for the interview. Good luck!

Ludmila ORLOVA, Oberstdorf