Your Idol (Last interview with Sergei Grinkov)

When we were preparing this material for the press, Sergei Grinkov was still live. And suddenly - terrible news: our magnificent athlete and a great guy had passed away. He died in America. He was only 28. We decided to keep this material in "Your idol" section. After all, the real idols do not die.

Sergei, you will stay for a week or two in Moscow and then back to the US?
Our home and work are there. I think, after Katia and I leave, Russian sport won’t have any problems. Russian figure skating school is still very strong. There are still devoted coaches who work with talented teenagers: Galina Vasilkevich, Vladimir Zaharov. And Katia and I won’t be far from our native ice. We’ll still serve it.

Who got you into that kind of a sport?
My parents, they were very fond of muses, and considered figure skating to be very similar to ballet.

Who was your first partner on ice?
Katia, my wife was. I was 15 and she was 11. We are still together.

So, your love somehow "automatically" happened?
We always had a serious and confident relationship. I would not call it love. In my opinion, love is very close to passion. There was a feeling of mutual respect. Without it, the strong duet is not possible, you cannot even think of success without it. In 1984, we won the Junior World championship in Colorado Springs. It was a great incentive to continue on. And no "love story", otherwise we would not win any gold.

And still, four years ago you got married. Is Katia a good wife? Is she the same ideal woman you have imagined?
I accept Katia the way she is. I like everything about her, though I suppose each person has shortcomings.

So, you never had regrets about your choice?
Never. We never quarrel even about little things. We try to spend our free time together. And we don’t have a leader in the family - everyone has duties around the house.

Let’s get back to figure skating. You became Olympic champions for a second time in Lillehammer. Don’t you have a feeling of reproach? Your pair already took gold in Calgary. Don’t you think your getting back from professionals to amateur gets in the way of young skaters, deprives them of motivation?
I don’t think so. If the young skaters performed worse than us in Norway, they are not Olympic Champions. It means, they didn’t prepare for the competition. They were in great shape, though. They had Europeans and Worlds to help them to be in great shape, be motivated to win. We didn’t have that, Katia and I had to learn difficult elements from scratch!

Sergei Samohvalov. Afisha magazine - 1995
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