Ekaterina Gordeeva still feels Sergei's presence

Sergei, Katia and A. FadeevFor the first time after the death of her husband Sergei, a famous figure skater, Ekaterina Gordeeva, returned to the ice in February of 1996 in Hartford, Connecticut. Recently, she skated in Masters Miko exhibitions at the Bercy sports complex in Paris. French audiences gave her a touching ovation.

- When you skated with Sergei, you were the inspiration of the pair. Where do you derive you inspiration from now?
- I look for inspiration in my past. When I skate, I always feel Sergei around, as if we skate together. Because of this I find strength in myself.

- Have Sergei given you advice?
- Sergei was a very modest person, he seldom spoke. He thought that if you do something you have to do it better than anyone else.

- How did three-year-old Dasha take her father’s death?
- I did not hide anything from her. Dashas’s teacher at the daycare center advised me to explain everything, and my daughter understood it all. She did not cry. Now she starts asking questions. My parents, Sergei’s mother and I try to answer them. We show her photos and videos. I feel that it will be more difficult when she grows older.

- How do you spend your time alone with Daria at home?
- She always finds something to do. She adores dancing and dressing up, paints her nails.

- Will Dasha skate?
- She likes figure skating very much but she also likes swimming. She is a very active girl.

- How did your fellow skaters take this tragedy?
- Everything happened at the rink right in front of their eyes. Everybody supported me, and some of them went to Moscow for the funeral. Their support helped me to get back on the ice.

- You live in the United States now. Do you feel nostalgic about Russia?
- I do. I miss my homeland. Russians are so different from anyone else. We are different and have a special strength of character. I miss my sister and parents. But I’ll remain in the United States until I have work.

- After Sergei's death, do you keep a diary?
- I write a book which will be published in November. There I will tell about the happiest days of my life with Sergei.

- Do you call your priest who baptized and married you and read the burial service over Sergei?
- I call him when I have questions. He spiritually helped me during the 40 days after the funeral. My mother supports me as well.

- Are you a religious person?
- Religion is a private world. I don’t know the Orthodox Church rituals very well but when in Moscow I go to church often.

- Where do you keep Sergei's skates?
- In the bedroom.

By Yuri Kovalenko. Paris Match magazine, France - Paris. Photo: Christopher Little - 1996. Published in Izvestia (Russian Newspaper) July 5, 1996.
Translated by © gordeeva.com