Excerpt from Passion, Profession & Politics by Stephen J. Press

фото фотоOne afternoon, while at the Institute of Physical Culture, Dr. Popov came over to me and asked "I hear you have a skating background. Perhaps you would consider consulting in a case of a young skater we have who is suffering from static neurosis". I was honored to be asked and readily agreed. We went together to another part of the building, and entered a smallish room where there were two women waiting. One a skating official from Canada, and the other an exquisitely beautiful, even angelic young lady of 17 years, sitting facing the doorway. I was sure I knew her, and asked "don’t I know you?". She replied in English, "perhaps"… I said, "you’re Katya, aren’t you?" She just smiled and lit up the room and said "da".

Naturally this was Ekaterina Gordeeva, who, together with the man she would later marry, Sergei Grinkov, had just that year before won the Olympic Gold medal in pairs figure skating in Calgary.

They showed me her films and I performed a physical, orthopedic and neuro exam, and motion palpation, and determined that she had a subluxation in the 5th lumbar level. I asked what had been done to help her and got an entire list of useless therapies. It turned out that she was traveling to New York the next day, and I was leaving two days later, so after I treated her in Moscow, we arranged to meet again in New York. I was given only the name of her coach, and not much else.

When I got home, I ran into New York with no idea how I would find Katya there. But I brought photos of myself with Dr. Popov at the Institute of Physical Culture and with other luminaries I had met there. I figured that this way, if I needed to come to some Soviet agency in the city, they would at least realize that I wasn’t just some crank.

I figured right. I found the Soviet mission to the UN, and knocked on their door. It was a dark, forbidding place, with cameras everywhere and a small cramped waiting room. A receptionist said only "da?" And I tried to explain who I was and why I wanted their help. They looked at me like I had three heads coming there like that. But finally someone called an interpreter, and she figured out that I was trying find Katya, and that I was a "tovarishch"… comrade! A coach came about an hour later, and we went together to her hotel where she was rooming with Tracy Wilson, the lady who made such a stir in Nagano about the judging corruption while color commentating.

I saw Sergei for the first time, and it was clear to me even then that he was very protective of her, like boyfriend rather than partner. And finally Katya appeared and we got together for treatment on a portable table in her hotel room.

When I returned to Moscow the following year, I was called to the office of the minister of Sport and given a gold GOSCOMSPORT medal for curing her sciatica and "saving her career". When she wrote her book, I thought it strange that she would forget me and actually mention another Chiropractor she saw here much later.

Dr. Stephen J. Press. Copyright by © 2004 Passion, Profession & Politics
Special thanks to Janna for this excerpt.