Tatiana Totmianina Released From Mercy Hospital

Tatiana Totmianina spoke to the media Sunday afternoon at Mercy Hospital.

All Smart Ones Skate America Event Information

(10/24/04) - Russian pairs skater Tatiana Totmianina was released from Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sunday afternoon after being treated for injuries she sustained during a fall with her partner Maxim Marinin while competing in the pairs free skate at 2004 Smart Ones Skate America on Saturday.

In a press conference held shortly after her release, Totmianina said she has no memory of the fall but is feeling better today.

"I don't have any memory," she said. "I don't remember how I fell. I just remember being on the ice (before I fell), but how it happened I didn't remember. In pairs skating you fall sometimes. Not once in your life, but a couple of times. Actually, it wasn't something unusual; it was just a simple lift. It wasn't successful."

Totmianina was wheeled into the press conference in a wheelchair. She appeared in good condition, as the only outward signs of her injury were a bruise on her right eye and contusions on her head. While at Mercy Hospital her attending physician was Dr. Larry Jones, chief of trauma services.

"We were informed last evening that Tatiana had hit her head and suffered a short period of unconsciousness," Dr. Jones said. "Upon arrival she was awake; she was talking with us. We did some x-rays, including x-rays of the neck that were fine. We did a CT scan of her head primarily to look at the brain - the brain was fine. Her neurological exam was normal and we diagnosed a concussion. She was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation where during the night we did occasional neuro checks to make sure that she was doing all right. This morning she was doing very well and it was our opinion that she could be discharged today. With a few weeks of rest she'll get back and we expect great things from her again."

Totmianina's coach, Oleg Vasiliev
At the press conference Totmianina's coach, Oleg Vasiliev, spoke with emotion about the accident. When asked what went through his mind when he saw the fall, he responded:

"Many things. When I noticed that Tatiana was not moving right after the fall I understood that it's serious," Vasiliev said. "I didn't know how serious it was. But when I approached I saw she was unconscious, and I understood that it was serious. Thank you doctors and this hospital. They found out that it's not really, really serious. It's still not good but she's out of the injury right now and hopefully soon we'll start preparation for the second half of the season."

Speaking further about when he believed Totmianina and Marinin would be able to compete again, Vasiliev said the next two competitions that they had planned to do won't be possible. Totmianina will rest for the next week, including no reading, television or physical activity. At that point doctors in her training town of Chicago will assess her condition and determine when she is ready to resume training, perhaps as soon as 10-14 days.

Totmianina said that she preferred to return to the ice as soon as possible.

"I wish to go tomorrow," she said. "Just wait, me and Max will come back - of course. What do you think, I'm going to die?!"

Vasiliev fielded questions on the dangers of figure skating:

Per hospital policy, Totmianina was in a wheelchair.
"Figure skating is one of the sports where you can get a bad injury, especially pairs skating, because there are elements and lifts and throw jumps and some other elements that are extremely dangerous," he said. "It's a simple technical mistake. It's high speed and very high momentum so sometimes it's very difficult to handle these movements. That wasn't the most difficult element or most dangerous. But again, if you remember, the speed goes to 40 mph and Max is 6'3" feet tall and at the moment they were doing some kind of rotation, so you can understand how difficult it is to control."

Vasiliev also commented on Marinin's current state:

"He's doing OK. Of course he's mentally depressed. No one will blame Max for this mistake. It's part of figure skating, especially pairs skating. Doing this kind of sport you should be ready for something like this to happen. It's happened many times in the past with different skaters, and it will in the future as well. Right now, the sport is at a difficult level, and it's difficult elements that skaters do."

Totmianina's injury occurred Saturday night in a fall during her free skate with partner Marinin. The accident happened during an overhead lift about midway through their program. The on-site medical team responded immediately and Totmianina was secured to a backboard. She was carried off the ice and stabilized before being transferred to Mercy Hospital.